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Federation Rocks – Northern Territory – Mount Goyder Syenite
There is much in the Epistles of the Apostle Paul to Timothy that is relevant to all who are involved in Christian ministry today.
Reflections for the first nine weeks of 2019 have been prepared to assist those who are entering or already engaged in a process of discerning what is the will of God for their future ministry. The nature of that future ministry is not limited to what Paul described in these Epistles.
My intention is to provide a resource for all who love Jesus and seek to serve him. It is not restricted to those who hope to enter into holy orders.
Second Epistle of Paul to Timothy 3: 12 – 4: 5 (NIV)
12 In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, 13 while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.
4: 1 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who will judge the living and the dead, and in view of his appearing and his kingdom, I give you this charge: 2 preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction. 3 For the time will come when people will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather round them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. 4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths. 5 But you, keep your head in all situations, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, discharge all the duties of your ministry.
The importance of God’s revelation of himself and his nature through Scripture is evidenced here. Yes, the Holy Scriptures to which the Apostle Paul has referred are the Hebrew Scriptures, our Old Testament. God’s pre-eminent revelation of himself through his Son has been recorded for us in the Gospels and other books of the New Testament. The servant of God must rely on God’s word in order to become “wise for salvation” through faith in Christ Jesus.
All who love Jesus and seek to serve him, whether in holy orders or otherwise, must immerse themselves in his word. Life-long learning is essential or the Lord’s Servant will grow stale and love will grow cold.
Paul’s charge remains valid for us all: “preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction” (verse 2). His warning about the world’s thirst for myths is fulfilled in our generation. We are required to endure the hardships associated with rejection of the word of God and, regardless of the hostility of the world, to “discharge all the duties of (our) ministry” (verse 5).