Monday, July 1, 2013

The Content of Our Teaching (2 Timothy 3:10-17)

Our culture has a definite idea of success and winning. We see a direct correlation between popularity, fame, money, etc. and ability. The best pastors and teachers are obviously those that have the huge following, the book deals, and the “great lives.” We Americans also have a huge love affair with innovation. We think the best thinkers are those that come up with things no one has ever thought of before. How good can someone be if they simply teach the ideas that have always been around?

Well, the first part of Paul’s big, concluding charge to Timothy is to, “continue in the things you have learned.” He doesn’t value innovation when it comes to the Gospel, to Salvation and to God’s plan. The value here lies in Truth and, more specifically, revelation. It is Scripture that gives the pastor and teacher—every believer ultimately—all they need to understand about God’s plan for life. We are not on a search for new, “secret,” as yet undiscovered truth. The classic message suffices in every context, in every time.

That being said, we are also not pursuing a truth or a message that will bring us the world’s understanding of success. Paul cites the qualities that he exemplified that we should follow: his teaching, his conduct, his purpose, and his values: faith, patience, love, and endurance. All in the knowledge that the things that successful ministry will bring us are persecution and suffering. And that not primarily (or at least exclusively) from “the world” but rather from the religious elements of the world.

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