Saturday, March 5, 2011

The Search for Meaning

What does it mean to be Christ-like and to possess Godly conduct? Our lesson searches for the meaning by reviewing I Timothy 2: 1-6; 3: 14-16.

The review begins at I Tim 2: 1 wherein the apostle Paul is writing to his protégée, Timothy. Paul is giving him instructions concerning church life. He encourages all Christians to pray for all men. Their prayers must be humble, earnest and specific, intercessions for others, and always of thanksgiving.
Christians must pray for kings, and for all that are in authority. Our leaders occupy a special place in our prayers because they are ordained of God for a purpose (Romans 13: 1-4). Paul taught that interceding for rulers before the throne of grace can and will influence them to calmly maintain civil order. Are we not told to put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6: 10-18), which includes prayer, and God will fight our battles? He will turn the hearts of our enemies and make them our footstools (Psalm 110: 1). If rulers are stabilized through prayer, then society will follow suit. This is how we will lead a quiet and peaceable life, worshipping in all godliness and honesty.

Believers have been directed to pray for all men and all leaders for this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior. It does not matter how that person or leader treats others, Christians have been instructed to pray for them. There is always an opportunity to save someone and bring him into the Kingdom of God for a life eternal. It is God’s desire to have all men saved and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.

There is one mediator between God and men. This Mediator gave Himself as a ransom. Christ had to come into the world as a man in order to suffer for men, and to represent men. He was the ultimate Intercessor.

At I Tim 3: 14-15 Paul is writing of his hope to be released from confinement. He would visit Ephesus to teach the believers how to behave in a way that complimented, not embarrassed, Christ. The Christians are specifically told to behave themselves in the house of God. The church itself is the pillar and ground of the truth. Scripture does not depend upon the church, but the church must proclaim the Scripture and the doctrine of Christ. Christians are not expected to preach false doctrine or to act in an ungodly manner.

What is the great truth the churches are the pillars and grounds of? At I Tim 3: 16 Paul tells us that “…without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:…” It was great, but even more so, Christ was a mystery, an unknown truth. It was a great revelation.

There were six things revealed. 1.) God was manifested in the flesh (John 1: 14). 2.) Christ was justified in the Spirit (Mat 3: 15-17; Mat 17: 5; Rom 1: 3-4; John 16: 10). 3.) Christ was seen of angels. They worshipped Him (Heb 1:6). They attended His incarnation, His temptation (Mat 4: 11), His agony to the Garden of Gethsemane (Luke 22: 43), His death, and His ascension. 4.) Christ has been preached among the Gentiles. His name has been proclaimed to the four corners of the earth. 5.) That Christ is believed on in the world. Although His name has been proclaimed worldwide, its reception is not worldwide. 6.) That Christ has been received up into glory following His ascension.

Christ returned to Heaven, but He is the Mediator for our Salvation. Christ shall return one day looking for a glorious church without a spot or a wrinkle (Ephesians 5: 27). Our worship should be one of humility. The true worshipers have right motives and worship is their lifestyle rather than their Sunday show. A worshiper knows what it means to behave in and out of church. Inasmuch as Christians are God’s children, we are to be totally subordinate to God the Father. As such well-behaved Christians, we must reflect Jesus Christ in every aspect of His existence – that is to say His pre-earthly life, birth, suffering, death, and return to heaven (I Tim 3: 16). We can then say we have found the meaning to be Christ-like.

Written by Deborah Davis

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