The Goal of God’s Command

Sermon June 16, 2019

Timothy 1: 3 -11

 

Summary: Paul spells out the specific goal in this text and some problems we might encounter.

  1. The goal - God’s command
  2. 2- The problem - men’s controversies
  3. 3- The truth - God’s law

Goals in life. Do you have any. Did you have any when you were young? I wanted to be a secret Service agent, then an FBI agent and the finally a police officer. Of course, each idea fell through and to the relief of my wife who said you would been dead your first day on the job. Knowing how want to rush in a solve the issue at hand.  God knew better for me!

More than likely you were like most of us; you just wanted to be able to make a living and raise your kids to be responsible Christian citizens. And you can’t ask for much more than those things!

Do you realize, however, that some have no goal or goals in life? They just exist and nothing more!

In Alice in Wonderland, at one-point Alice says to the Cheshire Cat, “Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?”

“That depends a good deal on where you want to get to,” said the Cat. “I don’t much care where,” said Alice. “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go,” said the Cat. Some people are like that. They don’t care where they go, as long as they can do.

 When he was 88 years old, the late Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once found himself on a train. When the conductor came by, Justice Holmes couldn’t find his ticket, and he seemed terribly upset. He searched all his pockets and fumbled

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through his wallet without success. The conductor was sympathetic. He said, “Don’t worry, Mr. Holmes, the Pennsylvania Railroad will be happy to trust you. After you reach your destination, you’ll probably find the ticket and you can just mail it to us.”

But the conductor’s kindness failed to put Mr. Holmes at ease. Still very much upset, he said, “My dear man, my problem is not ‘Where is my ticket?’ The problem is, ‘Where am I going?’ ”

And I think a great many people ask this question within their heart and mind, “Where am I going?” They may wonder what is going to happen to me some day when I reach the end of life’s road? And they should wonder and ask that question. Perhaps it will make them think about their relationship to God and Christ. I see it at Strong – Bad news forces patients to think about their own relationship with Christ.

Charlton Heston, who played Moses in The Ten Commandments and performed in other works, may have won accolades galore, but he was not a man to rest on his laurels. He was ever the perfectionist.

“One of the things about acting or painting or writing or composing music, is you never get it right,” he said. “You can spend a lifetime and, if you’re honest with yourself, never once was your work perfect. People say to me, ‘You’ve got the awards and the parts and the money. What are your goals now?’ I say, ‘To get it right one time.’ ”

That’s an interesting thought. I’d like to get it right and do it more than one time. However, I discovered in life that no matter how much I do for the Lord or how good I serve, preach or teach, I’m still in a deficit, so to speak. I can never reach perfection. I WILL NEVER reach perfection. In my short time of writing and preaching I never feel what my heart wants to shout out about our Lord!  No human being will. But our perfection is in Christ!

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Whether we do well or not, our hope is in Christ. He is our goal in life, that is, to please Him and to walk with Him in life.

Paul spells out the specific goal in this text and some problems we might encounter.

1- The goal - God’s command

2- The problem - men’s controversies

3- The truth - God’s law

I. THE GOAL - GOD’S COMMAND

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

Wow! What a goal to live up to! Love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. I listed it twice for a reason!

Love we can do, at least, in part. But the pure heart? The good conscience? The sincere faith? Whew? What lofty goals!

I have a couple of some funny examples of what getting along a loving your siblings: Ahh Siblings!

Jack’s mother ran into the bedroom when she heard him scream and found his two-year old sister pulling his hair. She gently released the little girl’s grip and said comfortingly to Jack, "There, there. She didn’t mean it. She doesn’t know that hurts."

She was barely out of the room when the little girl screamed. Rushing back in, she asked, "What happened?"

"She knows now," Jack replied.

 

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 A little boy’s new baby brother was screaming up a storm. "Where’d we get him?" he asked his mom. "He came from heaven," his mother replied

"WOW!" said the little boy. "I can see why they threw him out!"  

There are times when it’s hard for brothers and sisters to love one another...when they’re little and even when they’re adults! Some people never learn to get along or demonstrate love.

It seems like often our love for others is based on their good behavior, more than our good behavior. That is, if they are good, do well, behave well, then we will exhibit our love to them. If they don’t, we won’t.

But God says we are to love one another from a pure heart. What a tall order, because only He has a pure heart! His motives and intentions are always pure. Ours are not.

How can we acquire that pure heart? FROM HIM WHO HAS ONE!

II Cor. 3:18 “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”

We become like that which we admire, study, and behold. And we need to do this with our God.

 Some people drool over Hollywood actors and actresses. They buy clothes to dress like them. They may even imitate some of their characteristics. In their heart of hearts, they may want to become like them. They read and devour publications that are devoted to them.

If people do this for people, why don’t we do this for our God?

 

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I believe that the more we study God in scripture, the more we see God in scripture, the more He can transform us, remake us and purify us. This should be our goal in life...to become more like Him. And the more we become like Him, the more we will love others!                                      

John says to love from a pure heart, a good conscience and a sincere faith. How can we get a good conscience? Again, it can only come from the Lord. It comes through confession, cleansing and concentration. Concentration on His Word.

Heb. 4:12 “For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.”

The Word of God is powerful. It can mold us and make us. It can remodel our thinking and our lives. It can give us a good conscience and a sincere faith and from there, we will proceed to loving others!

The goal - God’s command to love others.

II. THE PROBLEM - MEN’S CONTROVERSIES

We always encounter a problem when it comes to men’s thinking.

Verse 3: As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain men not to teach false doctrines any longer.

 Verse 4: “nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. These promote controversies rather than God’s work—which is by faith.

 Jump to verse 6: Some have wandered away from these and turned to meaningless talk.

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 Verse 7: They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm”.

The problem for us is men’s controversies, which are damning and misleading. In other words, false doctrine.                        

Myths and endless genealogies versus God’s work, which would certainly include God’s Word. Listen to this myth:

A myth gives a religious explanation for something: how the world or a particular custom began.

ILL.- Zeus was the god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods. Zeus overthrew his Father Cronus. He then drew lots with his brothers Poseidon and Hades. Zeus won the draw and became the supreme ruler of the gods. He is lord of the sky, the rain god. His weapon is a thunderbolt which he hurls at those who displease him.

DO YOU BELIEVE THIS STUFF? No, and I don’t either. I don’t believe this myth any more than I believe some of the false doctrines that are being preaching in the name of God and sometimes, in the name of Christ.                                           

If you don’t believe in myths, then what about these teachings or doctrines:

- Everybody’s going to heaven, just by different routes.

- God is so loving that He would never send anyone to a place called hell.

- There is not just one God. There are many gods.

- Man evolved from the lower species and he is still evolving. And some day he’ll be perfect.

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- There is no life beyond the grave. When you die that’s the end. Period. There is nothing else.

- Jesus was just a nice person in ages gone by, nothing more. Or Jesus may have been a prophet.

- We can’t live by faith, only by sight. The only thing real is what you can see.

- All religions are good.

- There is nothing really evil or sinful in this world. It’s just that some people have bad Karma.

Do you believe any of this stuff? If you don’t, can you refute it? Can you refute them with the Word of God?

There are all kinds of false doctrines that are being preached, present, taught, and proclaimed as truth.

What can we do? What should we do? We can speak the truth of God’s Word. We can take our stand on the Word of God, but, of course, be nice about it.

I Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

II Timothy 2:23-25 “Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels. And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead, he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful. Those who oppose him he must gently instruct, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth.”

 

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Acts 17:11 “Now the Bereans were of more noble character than the Thessalonians, for they received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.”                      

We must hold to the Word of God and uphold the Word of God! Not only should we believe it, stand on it, but we must also speak its truths!

III. THE TRUTH - GOD’S LAW

Verse 8: “We know that the law is good if one uses it properly.

Verse 9”We also know that law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious; for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers,

Verse 10: for adulterers and perverts, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine

 Verse 11: that conforms to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.”

God’s law is good. It’s good for lawbreakers.

Don’t you wish we had Autobahn here in the US? In Germany they have the Autobahn where you can drive as fast as you want. I have been on it!  Many drivers will see how fast they can drive and it is not unusually for folks in their high performance cars to drive way over 120 mph and probably close to 160 mph on the Autobahn.

Wouldn’t that be fun? More like scary. And if you do that here in the US you would be in a heap of trouble. Why is that? Because a person would get a BIG TICKET!

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In fact, I had many a fast car when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. One of them was the Goat! A 1970 Pontiac GTO Ram air 400CI 360 HP engine.  This was a scary fast car! I will not tell how fast I had this up to, but know I broke the speed limit every time I had this out! Until the day my Dad passed me coming home from work. I wished I was pull over and given a ticket! I lost the car and grounded! 

The point is this: the law is for those who break the law. This is true for man’s laws and it’s especially true for God’s law. God gave His law for lawbreakers, so that they would know they had broken His law. In this way, God’s law is truth and it’s good.

II Tim. 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”

Scripture is the word of truth by which we live and/or govern our lives. OR SHOULD.

II Tim. 3:16-17 “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

When I use to travel all over this country for work. I liked to stay at a Marriott Hotels. Every time I checked in to the room, I would check the nightstand for a Bible. Even though I always traveled with one I was curious to see if that hotel would keep them in their rooms. Sadly,  most times I would find them untouched never opened. Even more sad to finding more hotels that would not longer have them in the rooms. I asked the manager why and he stated that lately he was getting complaints as to why there were even in the room! 

It seems to me that today this is what some people do or want to do with the Word of God.

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People reject God’s Word as the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. BUT WE BELIEVE IT AND DESIRE TO LIVE BY IT!

God’s Word is good. It’s the truth above all other truths. And it’s the truth that will lead us to eternal life.

CONCLUSION-----------------------

II Corinthians 5:9 “So we make it our goal to please him, whether we are at home in the body or away from it.”

Our ultimate goal in life should be to please God and obey Him. When we come to the end of life’s road nothing else will matter. Not our education, not our looks, not our material possessions or money, etc. All that will matter is that we are in Christ and have sought to please Him in all things.

Glory be to God!

Amen!