These Things Command and Teach
These Things Command and Teach is a sermon teaching us that God has set a sure foundation, a tribe stone, a precious cornerstone — the standard upon which everything else is built upon. The foundation of our Christian life, our church, everything in our relationship with God, is Jesus Christ. A believer in Jesus will not be confounded or swayed because he stands on a sure foundation. Are you standing on a sure foundation?
II Timothy 4 instructs that “these things command and teach” in the church. How does a pastor know what to preach? There are several factors that need to be considered when answering this question.
The Factors to Consider
First, the preacher needs to be a student of the bible. He needs to study and know what the Word says. Someone once said, “You can no more teach that which you do not know than you can come from where you have not been.” Studying scripture never ends because you can never know it all. The preacher also needs to pray for and seek and allow God to speak to his heart. He needs the Holy Spirit’s guidance and the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Second, the preacher needs to spend time in prayer, asking the Lord what message He would be giving to His people. It is actually the Lord’s message that is given to the people, not the preacher’s novel idea, or what is popular today, or out of a good book. Reading is good but read the bible first and then other things too. You will get a great deal if you are well-read, can grow, and understand things. But the message that is given must be the message that the Lord gives. There are certain things the Lord instructs to do, to proclaim.
Third, the preacher needs to understand the needs of his people. And fourth, the preacher needs to understand the needs of everyday life. What are people dealing with, what are they going through? It is not going to be the same every day or for every person. Some might be having a great day, others, the worse day of their life.
Paul was writing to a young pastor and giving him instructions to preach to the church, but he was also writing to pastors for all times. I Timothy is instructive in the order of the church and how to operate a church. Paul talks to the pastors or overseers of the church. Jesus called them overseers of His sheep. When Jesus left, he appointed under-shepherds or pastors of the sheep. But how does a young pastor run a church? That is what I Timothy is about, how to pastor a church. Chapter 4 instructs the pastor on how to preach, what to proclaim to God’s people, on what is going to help us, all of us.
The Church Age
The “church age” is a term commonly used today, but it is not found in the bible. It is a term we used for the final age in human history before God’s judgment falls upon the Earth. The church age began when the Great Commission was given by the Lord Jesus Christ, to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature and baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and teach all that He commanded us to do. That is the commission of the church, that is what we are supposed to do. He gave it to His disciples until the time of His return to take His people out of this world.
While the term “church age” is not in the bible, similar terms are used such as “latter days,” “latter times,” “the last times,” or “the last days,” all referring to the church age from the time of the Great Commission to the time of the Rapture, a word not found in the bible either, but you will find the principles there. The church age is the time that God is working through the local church to reach the lost in this world. Some will depart from the church in the last days. The world creates its own religions because it does not know God and follows other men’s ways and teachings. It is not truth. They teach the doctrine of devils – denying the teachings of Jesus and his deity.
There are secular stories that tell you about Jesus. He performed the miracles He did for many reasons, one being to confirm He was who He said He was. But the world and some Christians turn away from God and listen to seducing spirits which are deceptive demons who denounce the truth of God’s Word, and they teach the doctrines of devils, untrue doctrines. These doctrines of devils replace the truth of God with the lie of Satan. Jesus says that Satan is the liar and the father of lies. Satan told the first lie and all lies since then are children of that lie. In Genesis 3 we learn about the first lie from Satan to Eve in the Garden of Eden.
Cults get started through lies. When we start changing the meaning of words, they become meaningless. Some people may say that we will experience death but not like it is described in the bible. Who would know more about it than God, the Creator of all mankind? Scripture says the spirit leaves the body and returns to God who gave it. There are certain realities people want to deny, not because they aren’t true, but they don’t like reality, and so, they try to manufacture a new reality.
A Seared Conscience
The word “hypocrisy” means acting as a player on stage, performing a believable act. They make you believe that they are someone other than who they really are. The hypocrite speaks and knows what you want to hear and believe. But it is not the truth, nor is it reality.
How can a person be deceptive and prey upon another person? Those who give heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of the devil and speaking lies and hypocrisy, having their conscience seared with a hot iron. Someone who has done something wrong and they know it’s wrong and know they shouldn’t do it and their conscience bothers them because they know they’ve done wrong and made the wrong choice, and know that it was an evil, sinful thing to do, but they chose to do it anyway. They had a hard time with it and felt convicted in it.
But as time passed, they did it again and again and after a while, it does not bother them at all. That’s what it means to have a conscience seared with a hot iron. After a time, you have no conscience or conviction, and it does not bother you a bit. You can do it without feeling. Their own sin has burned away their conscience. They can deceive and lie and can hurt without feeling.
These people only want to accomplish their own goals and don’t care anything about the people they deceive or those who they use as long as it gets them where they want to be. The Marxist Communists have a term for that, they call people “useful idiots” which are people who help them with their cause without them even knowing they are helping to accomplish their cause. They are being used. Satan has a lot of useful idiots. A lot of people he uses to fulfill his agenda, they don’t even realize that they are being used. Deceivers, those who only want to accomplish their own goal and care nothing about those who they deceive or what happens to those people.
The Lie Prohibiting Marriage
Here are two examples out of many that the bible gives of lies used to deny the truth of the scripture. These were happening during the time Paul wrote to Timothy, but people do these things today too. The first example is forbidding people to marry. Today’s example could be priests who cannot marry. Not allowing people to marry goes against what God ordained. A good study on God’s purpose in marriage would be reading Ephesians 5, Revelation 19, and I Corinthians 7.
Marriage is sacred because it is God’s plan and design. Marriage is a gift to mankind, and it was given so that mankind would be fruitful and multiply to replenish the Earth. If you notice, we live in a death culture today where we want to kill the unborn and after they are born, the elderly, where does it stop? We live in a time when suicide is lifted up and praised, and if medicines are too costly just let the people go.
God isn’t about death; God is about life. One of the reasons for marriage is that we would replenish the Earth. The family begins when a couple enters into the covenant of marriage and the family is designed and described by God in the bible is a picture of the relationship that God desires to have with his most beloved creation which is mankind and that would be you. You are God’s most beloved creation and He said so many times. Read Psalm 8 and you will have a good idea of it. God thinks highly of you. You are His prized creation, above the angels, above the moon and the stars. When Jesus came to be the Savior of Earth, did He come to save creation? No, He came to redeem mankind. The relationship He wants to have with mankind is pictured in the family.
In the Old Testament, Israel is the wife of Jehovah and in the New Testament, the church is the bride of Christ. So to forbid people to marry or to deny marriage as God has designed and ordained it, and to turn it into something else that God never intended it to be, is to deny God’s Word, and by extension, it is to deny God. It is no wonder why people want to become atheists and deny the Word of God because it tells them not to do the things they want to do and to do things they don’t want to do.
The Lie that Forbids Eating Meat
The second example Paul gives is to not eat meat at all. Before the fall of mankind, all the animals were probably vegetarian and did not eat each other. Since the fall of mankind, God made meats to be received with thanksgiving by them who know the truth and have been saved. The Lord tells us to receive His food with thanksgiving. We ought to pray and thank God for our food and that we have food to eat. Food is given to energize our body and sustain life. Food, air, and water are what is needed to sustain life. Some may choose not to eat meat but commanding not to eat meat is against what God ordained.
In the Old Testament, God commanded that the priests eat meat. He also commanded that lamb be eaten at the Passover meal. God fed meat to the suffering prophet Elijah. Jesus fed four thousand and five thousand people fish. He had the Passover meal with His disciples and then fed fish to the disciples on the shores of Galilea after His resurrection. If God commanded us to be vegetarian, why would He have had His servants eat meat? Think and use your wisdom. What kind of food can you eat? That which is sanctified by God and prayer.
What makes a good preacher? When you tell people what God’s Word says and get them to understand the message that God has for them, not just in the two examples given but in all areas that the Word of God addresses. When you do that, then you become a good minister of Jesus Christ. Nourish with good doctrine. Nourish yourself and nourish the people with faith and good doctrine. How does a man attain good faith and good doctrine?
Nourished in Good Doctrine
All scripture has been given by the inspiration of God (God-breathed) to the men who wrote the scriptures. How does the preacher become nourished in the faith and good doctrine? From the scriptures. All scripture is profitable for teaching, for showing us where we’re wrong, to show us how to get right and we understand that we’re wrong and tells us how to grow and continue to be right. You have in the scriptures everything you need to live a godly life.
Refuse the profane, that which is not holy and godly, but is worldly and unrighteous. Scripture says to put a difference between that which is holy and the profane. Today, we tend to mix the two together. We are to refuse myths, that which is not true.
We are to do spiritual exercise. Bodily exercise profits little, but godliness is profitable for all things and has the promise of life that you have right now and the life that is to come. Not only will you have this promise now, but for all eternity. This is worthy and true for everybody to accept. Everybody needs to hear this message of the Gospel.
How does the preacher know what to preach? Paul has given instructions, and everyone is to hear the Gospel and know how to be saved. You cannot begin to live a Christian life until you become a Christian. You cannot grow spiritually until you have been born again. Everybody needs the Gospel. We believe in the living God. We trust in the living God. There is only one living God. This is the Gospel: to trust in the living God.
You have got to believe there is a God and that He is a rewarder of them who diligently seek Him. We suffer telling these things because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men. Salvation is provided for everybody, especially for those who believe. Jesus is the Savior of all men but not everybody will be saved. You must believe to be saved. Trust in the living God and put your faith in Him. Those who believe benefit and receive eternal life. These things we are to proclaim. Not only the man in the pulpit but every believer ought to proclaim these things.
Being a Good Example
Paul writes to Timothy who is a young preacher and instructs him to not let anyone put him down just because he is young. Timothy was a young man when God called him. You are not too young if you are following God. You learn more as you grow, but do not let anybody convince you that you are too young to serve the Lord, or too old.
Timothy was instructed to be an example to other people, to lead by example what a believer’s life should be like in the words that he speaks and in his daily manner of living. You’ll be labeled a hypocrite if you talk a good talk, but your life doesn’t back it up. So be a good example in your words, in daily living, and in love. Be an example of a person who loves other people. Be an example in faith, not only preach faith but live the faith. Let our faith be obvious to others. Be able to show a good spirit to people around us. Be a person who demonstrates a spiritual life. We ought to live in purity in an immoral and profane world.
Read your bible and read other books that help you grow and understand your bible. Encourage others to do the same and comfort those who are hurting. Give a clear teaching of God’s Word. A good place to start is the book of Matthew because it offers the most teaching in it and the most words of Jesus. Read those things that will help you to grow in exhortation and in doctrine.
Timothy is instructed to not neglect the gift given to him of the ministry: the ordination, the calling from God to preach, and being recognized by the elder preachers who laid their hands upon him. He and we should meditate on scripture, to read and take time to think about its meaning to gain understanding. The more you memorize scripture the better you going to meditate on it. Hide God’s Word in your heart and let the Holy Spirit use it to speak to you. Surrender yourself to God’s Word.
Proclaim God’s Word
Take care of yourself, and while you are doing that, do not let self get in the way of serving Jesus. Take heed of yourself and doctrine. If you live like this continually, you are going to be saved and those who hear what you proclaim will be saved also. What should the preacher preach? What does the Christian need to proclaim?
By word and by living, preach the Word. Proclaim the love of God, the death of Jesus Christ for our sins, and His resurrection is a guarantee of eternal life. Then live a godly life according to the Word. Let your life be an example to others in your everyday actions. Then read, study, meditate, love, believe, and live a life above question. It’s up to us to command and teach these things we’ve learned and to be an example in word and lifestyle, in love, spirit, faith, and purity, and to proclaim the truth of Jesus Christ through His Word. Not just proclaim it but live it.
These Things Command and Teach sermon starts with verses from I Timothy 4:1-16:
1 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
3 Forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving of them which believe and know the truth.
4 For every creature of God is good, and nothing to be refused, if it be received with thanksgiving:
5 For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.
6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
7 But refuse profane and old wives’ fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
11 These things command and teach.
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
Also verses from John 8:44:
44 Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.
II Timothy 3:16-17:
16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
7 Philip answered him, Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.
6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
8 This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.
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