It’s a little after 4 a.m. my time…
And I have some thoughts on this big idea that Paul says… “Hey, TEACH THIS”… in I TIM 4:11.
Of course Paul has a lot to say to the saints in Rome, Corinth, Galatia, etc… He tells them to behave. He gives them excuses to believe God. He reveals what’s going to happen in the oncoming eons. He peels back the layers of the story so we can see the love God has for Christ and how moved God is and was with what Christ did on the cross.
But… to tell you the truth, rarely does Paul specifically tell the saints or any of his co-workers to “TEACH THIS”.
But he does just that in I TIM 4:11.
So, before we peel this onion back… I dare suggest to you that there is one thing that Paul does say “DON’T TEACH THIS”… He does not want you teaching a mixture of law and works and grace. You get that clearly from Galatians… in fact… in chapter two… (hang on, I’ll look it up) (it’s Galatians 2:5) Paul says… “I don’t let those James Gangers even teach this crap for an hour,” before I call them out, and maybe even punches them out. Here’s the verse:
Galatians 2: 5 to whom, not even for an hour do we simulate by subjection, that the truth of the evangel should be continuing with you.
I know, you’ll need more of this verse to see the context…. But I’ll give you a nutshell as to what’s going on… You see… God gave Paul a unique message… one that was for the gentiles (not the jews) and it was a message of falling in love with God apart from the law. (See Acts 18:13)
Well, some boys from Jerusalem heard about Paul’s work down in Antioch and they were suspicious that Paul was not “doing it right” that Paul was not bringing in the boys in the right way… in a manner that fits with THE LAW… So, these guys infiltrated Paul’s meetings and brought in ideas that matched with LAW/WORKS/ OBEY/ and all that bondage crap. They were against little ole “freedom”.
And Paul did not put up with them. Not even for an hour. Here is a bit more of the context of that big argument from Galatians:
Chapter 21 Thereupon, after the lapse of fourteen years, I again went up to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also along with me.2 Now I went up in accord with a revelation, and submitted to them the evangel which I am heralding among the nations, yet privately to those of repute, lest somehow I should be racing or ran for naught.3 But not even Titus, who is with me, being a Greek, is compelled to be circumcised.4 Yet, it was because of the false brethren who were smuggled in, who came in by the way to spy out our freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they shall be enslaving us-5 to whom, not even for an hour do we simulate by subjection, that the truth of the evangel should be continuing with you.
As you can see there is a lot to unpack here.
- Paul went up to Jerusalem “in accord with a revelation.” — That’s kinda special language, right? He did not “feel obligated” to go up… no… he went up in accord with a revelation. We don’t use such language today… but we can understand that his were weighty words, right?
- The dudes he had to deal with were “false” brethren. — now get this… these dudes were clearly part of the ecclesia in Jerusalem, right. They were known, recognized, and were able to sneak into the meeting where Paul was presenting his unique, special, message, to get the tacit approval of Peter, James and John. Well, these “false brethren” snuck in and caused all kinds of havoc. They wanted to enslave the gentile saints of God. And Paul wouldn’t put up with it for more that 59 minutes and 59 seconds.
You see, God’s grace, shown to the gentiles is WAY special… and you’re not going to ruin it with a bunch of rules, law, and an endless list of THINGS YOU MUST do… to please this “unpleasable” God.
You see, according to Paul’s message of Grace, God is happy with mankind right now… not because mankind has done anything deserving of kindness, no… we’re still the stinkers we’ve always been. But due to the work that was accomplished on the cross of Christ… God is now happy with us all.
And Paul is not going to let those “judaizers” (how do you spell that dang word, I don’t use it much, hang on). Found it. Thanks bing.
So, anyway… we don’t want to be teaching anything that hints of law and works. Instead we want to be teaching that which harmonized with God’s love and grace — Grace, get it?: the favor of God shown to anyone who doesn’t deserve it, and in fact, actually deserves the OPPOSITE of favor.
So, what are we to “teach”?????????
We, we find instruction in I TIMOTHY 4: 11 where Paul says “TEACH THIS” boys and girls.
In fact, he says “Command and teach these things”
What are “these things”…
Well… hop up to the previous verse… and we see….
“We rely on the living God, who is the savior of all mankind, especially of believers.”
That’s the stuff we should be teaching on every occasion… we should teach it and unpack it. There’s a lot there. You won’t find “christian” preachers out there teaching this. Why? Because they tend to be like those judaizers who — hate our freedom in Christ. They want to “enslave us” to the law… and works… and “the list of do’s and don’ts.”
The real punch of I TIM 4:10 is that GOD IS THE SAVIOR. We are not our own savior. And if we were our own savior, we have much to worry about. There’s no peace in that thought. But if God is the savior, then we can relax, and trust the great God of heaven, to be THE SAVIOR. God is the Creator of all, and the Savior of all.
No only should we “trust” in the living God… but we should count this as a FAITHFUL SAYING and WORTHY OF ALL WELCOME… as Verse 9 says.
But you won’t find many christian preachers or churches who tell you this is a “faithful saying” and tell you that this is “worth of all acceptance”… and for sure they won’t tell you that GOD IS THE SAVIOR … much less THE SAVIOR OF ALL.
You see it goes over their heads. The are caught up in self-worship and trying, trying, trying, to be good, and keep the law, and prove to God that God owes them something. (Like salvation).
Any way, THIS is what we should TEACH… I know it’s wildly foreign to most “christian” minds… but it’s right there in I TIMOTHY 4: 9-10-11.
And don’t be teaching guilt-tripping works and law.
You’ll actually get a much better result if you teach the truth of God in it’s appropriate dispensation.
You see the Law and Works have their place, but not NOW… not during God’s dealings of Grace with the gentiles. Don’t mix the two messages. TEACH THIS.
And if the law guys sneak in to SPY OUT YOUR FREEDOM… smack em good, for me.
Don’t put up with them for even one hour.
Grace is a serious thing. Stick to Paul’s letters. Ignore the rest of the “bible” at least until you get established in the evangel of Grace… then you can take a peak at what was delivered to the Jews concerning their kingdom era.
This is a message of peace. And grace.
Grace to you.
Early morning musings.