Sunday, February 12, 2012

February 12, 2012 | John Bayles | The Universal Gospel (1 Timothy 2:1-7)

How often have we heard the argument for the meaning of the phrase "all men", discussed using this text as a proof from one side or the other? Despite such modern arguments, the Apostle Paul is holding to his original discussion of correcting false teachers in Ephesus. We have previously seen that they were misusing the Old Testament as a means of drawing people into a works-based pursuit of righteousness, and he describes their teaching as "not knowing what they are talking about."

In our text today Paul launches his first point of correction for Timothy. Surprisingly, it is not a teaching on the principles of effective prayer for governmental leaders or whether or not salvation is universal or limited. He instead continues to contend for the Gospel of grace over against the Gospel of works and advances his case by showing that the Gospel is not something that is reserved only for himself, Timothy, the Jews, or the church in Ephesus, but it is a universal mandate instituted by Jesus to be taken to every people group in the whole world.

It should be easy to see Paul's aversion to what these false teachers were determined to teach. They held that the Gospel was enhanced by Old Testament principles, practices, and personalities, and that such things were shared with and engaged in by the exclusive few. Paul's application is stunning for us today. How often do we find contentment in "my church," "my family," "my denomination," "my nationality?" This self-centered view of the Gospel can paralyze the spread of the message of Christ's redemption to "all mankind" and Paul will have none of it. And neither must we.

Though the content of the Gospel is specific, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (John 14:6) as Jesus said, the scope and spread of the Gospel is not, as Jesus also said, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel to every creature" (Matthew 28:19,20) -- in Paul's view it is a message that "God wants people from all nations to be saved" (v.4) and giving Himself "as a ransom for people of all nations of the world" (v.7).

Paul's message surely calls us from a self-centered, exclusive message to the true ring of a Gospel message that will finalize in a gathering in heaven from "... that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb" (Revelation 7:9).

Click to play, right-click to download:

February 12, 2012 | John Bayles | The Universal Gospel (1 Timothy 2:1-7)

No comments:

Post a Comment