Sunday, February 5, 2012

February 5, 2012 | John Bayles | The Blessed Assurance (1 Timothy 1:12-20)

Does the scripture give us any hope of salvation? This seems like an easy question to answer, but only because passages such as this one not only give us an answer, but a concise and convincing answer. In truth, we need what the apostle is sharing in this text today. We have tasted salvation, the forgiveness of sins, but we have also experienced the dread of coping with sin after we first believed. We have come to the stark reality that, though we are made alive by Christ and all of our sins are forgiven, the “ALL of our sins” are not only those in our past, but continue to be committed in our present and may/will continue in our future.

Paul knows that Timothy has the potential to sin and that he is being closely scrutinized by his critics in Ephesus. The men he has just referenced in the last few verses, may be waiting in hope that Timothy will slip in some inconsistency – perhaps he already has slipped and not upheld some Old Testament standard. This examination of Timothy on things of which “...they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm” (v.7), may very well be the fodder for bolstering their false views of righteousness, and fueling their judgement of Timothy and Paul.

The result of this apologetic is that Paul brings us the distinction between grace and a works-based righteousness. In addition we can find great comfort in the teaching and great confidence that Christ’s work was eternal and delivers us into an eternal righteousness – past, present and future. As the hymn states: “I’m free from the fear of tomorrow, I’m free from the guilt of my past, I’ve traded my shackles for a glorious Son; I’m free, praise the LORD, free at last.”

Note: Unfortunately, the audio recording of today's sermon was damaged and cannot be provided at this time.

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