1 Timothy 4:9-10
Trust is essential to human existence and functioning. Where trust is totally absent, nothing happens.
trust: “assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something”.
Some people trust everyone and everything – suckers, gullible. Others trust no one outside themselves. Most of world operates somewhere in the middle: trusting accuracy of the gas pump while they check your $20 with their funky black pen @ Valero’s and give you back change they didn’t check. The real issue is accurately determining who and what should be trusted – call that by different labels: showing good judgment, exercising discernment. Bible talks about that; Jesus sent out Twelve:
Matt. 10:16“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
We live in world owned by God, sought by Satan; devil doing all in his power to take full control, over come God’s people and evict God from premises. Repeated tool he uses: false teaching. Makes sense,
John 8:44 He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.
Also makes sense saints would be warned in God’s Word about false teachers, how to recognize and avoid them and their teaching. Our text makes third of 5x in pastoral epistles we’re confronted with key phrase: πιστος ο λογος, a trusty / believable word. Then there is added value statement: deserves complete approval.
1Ti 1:15 Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.
1Ti 3:1 If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.
1Ti 4:10 we trust in (set our hope on) the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.
2Ti 2:11 if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him.
Ti 3:8 those who have believed in God should be careful to maintain good works.
Short sayings packed with meaning you can stake your life on. Set the course of your life by them. Properly understood in their context, will unerringly bring you safely home to Father’s presence.
A. a trustworthy saying v.9
might ask, “why is it trustworthy saying?” – answer depends on who you ask
“Some of the sayings seem to be maxims [proverbs] currently known and possibly accepted by the Ephesian church.” WBC
“possibly a quotation of a current saying quite like the Johannine type of teaching” RWP
“They were amongst the most repeated and loved phrases of this new religion. They were often on the lips of the early church, and every new Christian memorised them.” Thomas
could very well be true but…. not good enough reasons; don’t believe what we do simply because it’s church tradition
is trustworthy because of its source, divinely inspired word of God, given by him through his servant
perhaps heard saying: “God said it, I believe it, that settles it.” Unnecessary phrase there – God’s word settled in heaven forever (Psa. 119:89) whether it is believed or not
bears up under any / all weight
provide answers to ultimate questions: where is there meaning in life, how can I find hope and purpose
in entire history of God’s Word – no alternative that has been proven superior to guide in this life or provide genuine hope for next
no challenge to its authenticity that has successfully proven the point; all based on rational arguments, not evidence
Don’t need to check for watermark, swipe pen across them, do any sort of litmus test
either-or situation: either Bible is Word of God or it isn’t; if it is, then saying is trustworthy; if it isn’t, might as well go home
universal application – part of the metanarrative
letter written to particular individual: Timothy; however, applies beyond that small circle
“deserves full acceptance” can be understood 2 ways
accepted without reservation or qualification: no “yeah, but”; believe this much, buy it under these circumstances
accepted by all who hear it: applies regardless of place, time, economic or social or intellectual or religious or ethnic status
B. a worthwhile motivation v.10a
God cares about motivation and action
Matt. 15:7-9 “Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: ‘These people draw near to Me with their mouth, And honor Me with their lips, But their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, Teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ “
good question to ask self: why am I doing this? habit? duty? friend’s approval? avoid conflict? personal gain? other similar reason?
none of those good enough to merit God’s approval; remember what Jesus said –
John 14:15 If you love me, keep my commandments.
trust in the living God
remember definition of trust – confidence in “the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone”
if they say something, have confidence in it; if they promise something, have confidence
God has said much about past, present and future – to trust in him means have confidence in all the above
also means must live in light of God’s word and our trust in it
if living God is the Savior, then
resurrection is a reality; small piece of real estate, supposed site of Jesus’ tomb, not all that important
angels didn’t think so! Luke 24:5 “Why do you seek the living among the dead?”
one we worship, owe very life to, is living exalted life in heaven and present with us by his Spirit
when work of life is overwhelming, seems impossible, endless – what keeps you going?
hope in the living God
when work of Gospel ministry appears like going nowhere – no one listening, no one responding, maybe even losing ground to evil men who oppose, what keeps you going?
what about work of trying to keep failed relationship together; persevering in spite of age or infirmity; picking up pieces of children who do more wrong than right; caring and making decisions for loved one who becomes more dependent each day; faithfully witnessing to unsaved loved one, praying for salvation for decades to no avail
hope in programs or counseling or prescriptions or hospice or chemo and radiation will disappoint – only hope in living God that comes from the living God; God works through means but hope must be in God, not the means
to struggle and suffer
it’s hope in living God that motivates and strengthens to struggle and suffer for his sake
for Timothy, was primarily suffering for sake of Gospel in view
living God in person of Son labored on our behalf, suffered untold agonies on our behalf, set example for us
C. a Savior of infinite worth v.10b
had God so purposed and ordained, Lord Jesus’ work of redemption could have brought about salvation of all men – hell empty of sinful man
Bible makes plain that’s not the case; many will die in their sins and spend eternity estranged from God
however… goodness of God extends to all men regardless of eternal destiny
of all men
all are delivered from full and immediate consequences for their sin
all are delivered from (many) circumstances that would result in serious harm
all are delivered from deadly assaults of Satan and his agents, attacks that would cause eternal consequences
all who find eternal deliverance from sin and death find it only in the living God, the one who was dead and is alive forevermore, who has the keys of Hades and Death. (Rev. 1:18)
those who “believe on the Lord Jesus Christ” (Acts 16:31), who “confess with their mouth the Lord Jesus and believe God has raised him from the dead” (Rom. 10:9) experience special deliverance
those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation God has purposed to deliver from kingdom of darkness into kingdom of his dear Son, Lord Jesus
it’s deliverance that goes beyond making things easier to deal with – breaks bonds of slavery to sin and Satan
deliverance to liberty in Christ, freedom to do what is pleasing to God, to live righteously and godly here, eternally there, confirmed in holiness, beneficiaries of inheritance beyond wildest dreams
Surrounded by people living in hopelessness, desperation, believing life can never be any better, not anxious to live yet afraid to die. Need to hear trustworthy sayings:
that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners”, that “the living God is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.”
No one who genuinely sets their hope on the living God will ever be disappointed. But they must hear of the living God who loves sinners and sent his Son to die for them and save them from their sin. God grant that many will hear words of life from us.