Monday, July 28, 2014

Word for the day by Christian Education Forum

Equipping people of God

Young Timothy was serving the church at Ephesus where a dangerous heresy was on the surface, the Gnosticism. The Gnostics taught that the matter is essentially evil and so when God created this world he had sent out a series of emanations in order to avoid touching the flawed matter, and those emanations were known as aeons. Between human and God there stretched a series of these emanations, each with its name and genealogies. So Gnosticism literally had endless fables and endless genealogies. If a man/woman wanted to get to God he/she must ascend this ladder of emanations, and for which the necessary thing was knowledge. So knowledge became very important, intellectualism and intellectual arrogance and pride became prevalent.
In such a context Paul was appealing to the church at Ephesus and the young minister Timothy to be nourished on the words of the faith and of the sound doctrine which they have been following(V:16). 

Nourished in the Word of God (v.6,7)

To confront the false teachers, Timothy was told that he must be nourished in the word of God.  Timothy was instructed not to pursue silly myths and profitless tales like those which old women tell to children, but to fix his hope on the living God, who is the savior of all, especially of believers. The church could be protected from dangers especially from false teaching with the soundness of its leaders.

Lead an exemplary Christian lifestyle (v. 12)

One of the difficulties Timothy had to overcome was that he was young. There would be many who would watch him with a critical eye. Timothy was asked to silence criticism not by verbal defences, but by conduct, love, faith and purity (V: 12).

Give importance to the scripture (v 13)

The word of God had to be explained because many of the believers in Ephesus were in difficulty to understand the depth of the gospel. Christian doctrine is not easy to understand, so Timothy was urged to exhort the believers. It is not enough to present the Christian message as something to be studied and understood; it has to be presented as something to be done. It is living the gospel and the truth in action.

Exercise of spiritual gifts and calling (v. 14)

An effective ministry is possible only when we exercise our spiritual gifts faithfully. Paul’s instruction to Timothy in verse 14 is logically connected with the reference to preaching and teaching. Timothy has a gift (charisma) for ministry. The source of power is Holy Spirit. The minister’s responsibility is to exercise those gifts to empower the believers. The gifts do not operate independently but find its release into the church and into the lives of other people through one’s service. No doubt failure to use the gifts given by Holy Spirit does not affect just the individual, but the whole church and thereby diminishing the importance of the Holy Spirit into a selfish realm.

Prayer: Lord, help me not to be too busy to hear your voice when you speak to me; to listen to anyone who is in trouble; and to help anyone who is in difficulty.

Thought for the day: Many believers have, like uncut diamonds, shining qualities beneath a rough exterior.
       
Rev Binu C Samuel, Ascension MTC Philadelphia
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