“To focus on how I’m doing more than what Christ has done is Christian narcissism”    ― Tullian Tchividjian

Stand Firm                 1 Tim 1: 15-20

 

There always seems to be people at surfing events who are self proclaimed experts. They know everything and seem all too willing to instruct others. For them it seems humility is for the weak and their opinions like their hypocrisy know no bounds. They would never admit weakness let alone an admission of sinful brokenness. Paul had transformed from an expert in the law to a broken sinner under the grace of God.

Paul had been a Pharisee and those guys had a clear definition of what a sinner was… Sinners were people like tax collectors and prostitutes. Jesus (God in human form) was constantly in the face of these pharisees because of his contact and association with these sinners. Lk 15:2 And the Pharisees and the scribes grumbled, saying, This man receives sinners and eats with them. (Lk 7:34; Mark 2: 16 Matt 11:19; 9:10-11)

With that description of sinners in mind. Is it not remarkable that Paul describes himself as ‘the worst of sinners’. Even more amazingly Paul does not say he ‘was the worst of sinners’ but rather that he ‘is the worst of sinners’. Paul had come to understand that all of his righteous acts were like filthy rags. (Isa 64:6)

People who think they are righteous, and are therefore under no obligation to repent, will never turn to Christ until they realise their need of him and his salvation.

Some people, even after turning to Christ begin to rely upon themselves for righteous change and holy living, rather than on God who provides the change.

This is the fundamental difference between the Pharisee and the Tax gatherer in Jesus parable, it is the tax gather, and his utter dependance upon the mercy of God that sees him justified. (Lk 18: 10 – 14).

The more Paul understood the magnitude of grace, the more conscious he became of his sinfulness.”  — A Carruthers.

It is this humble, God dependent leader who now leaves Timothy an instruction…

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience.  Paul is saying to Timothy I’m given you this charge / order / instruction so that 18b by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. 

The preservation of truth is just that, a battle, a waging of warfare against the author of lies… the consequences of not fighting and seeking the truth is… 19b By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith,

By rejecting the truth some have made shipwreck of their faith there faith has been dashed against the rocks because they have not taken heed of the lighthouse… the warning beacon of truth (the word of God)

Hymenaeus swerved / drifted from truth 2 Tim 2:18 Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus, 18 who have swerved from the truth.

This is a slow erosion of truth, a setting of your rudder 1 – 2 degrees of course but by the time you reach the end your miles away from the truth.

We must cling to the absolute truth of the scriptures, the gospel truth before erosion otherwise we are faced with creating a new normal for Gods truth. Once the knowledge of the pure truth is eroded, we are only left with the half truth. or worse still a truth of our own making.

So I just want to recap by asking a few questions:

* Do you acknowledge and cry out for the grace and mercy of God or has the seed of pride self reliance and  self righteousness gripped your heart.

* Is the word of God, the pure simple gospel truth in the bible, the rudder to your life? Or are you the captain of this ship directing yourself.

* Do you read the bible and take notice of its warnings and direction or are you sailing close to the rocks?

* Is its Gods word that contains the truth or do you listen more to others, read other books and set your standards by the gauge of the world, the latest prophet of bestseller?

* Lastly I want to encourage us all…. This is a true saying worthy of acceptance Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners….. amongst whom he found you and I and rescued us from our sin. How great and how abundant is his mercy and grace to us.

“Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.”  ― Tullian Tchividjian

“To focus on how I’m doing more than what Christ has done is Christian narcissism”    ― Tullian Tchividjian

“God is not interested in what you think you should be or feel. He is not interested in the narrative you construct for yourself, or that others construct for you. Rather, He is interested in you, the you who suffers, the you who inflicts suffering on others, the you who hides, the you who has bad days (and good ones). And He meets you where you are.”   ― Tullian Tchividjian

God’s mercy and grace give me hope – for myself, and for our world. Billy Graham

“Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”   ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

““Legalism says God will love us if we change. The gospel says God will change us because He loves us.” ― Tullian Tchividjian”