N. T. Wright describes the end of a rugby game. His team was way ahead, when the other team started playing rougher—and, somewhat dirty. He asks this question—if you’ve ever been in a game, how did it feel when you were losing?
Wright then transitions to our lesson—1 Timothy 3:1-9. This passage describes the evil that the early church faced in the first century Roman Empire. Besides the first century, what does this passage remind you of—sound familiar?
Could it be that satan has played dirty since the resurrection of Jesus, and still does until Jesus comes again? Do you recognize evil behavior in our culture today?
In verses 8 and 9, Paul refers to Exodus 7—when Pharaoh’s magicians, Jannes and Jambres, performed magic to counteract the miracles of God.
Do we see false teachers and charlatans using the Gospel for their material gain and power? Think of people, Christians and others, who may be using strong agendas for gain in today’s world.
Verses 10-17 turn from warning of evil to encouraging Timothy in his Christian walk.
In verses 10-12, how does Paul say that Timothy has grown in his faith?
In verses 16 and 17, Paul says that all scripture is inspired—actual Hebrew, “God breathed”. What does it mean to you that scripture is inspired by God, and not just words and thoughts of men?
What is scripture profitable for, and what does it accomplish in our lives?
Think of some scriptures that have inspired, or changed, your life. Then, think of some scriptures which help you to see you must grow and make changes in your life.
Ask God to help you do so.
— Pastor John