Sunday, March 11, 2012

March 11, 2012 | John Bayles | Listening to the Text (1 Timothy 1 & 2)

There is a problem when interpreting a text of scripture: we bring ourselves to the process! Does it surprise us how often a scripture is used to underline our viewpoint of an issue? We believe in something: for example, the role of women, husband and wife relationships, end times issues, or a theological orientation. In these familiar subjects most everyone has his/her view of what they believe about the subject and then the Scriptures are applied which reinforce our opinions. This is unfortunate because this means that interpretation brings forth the dynamic between "my view," "your other/wrong view," or sometimes "my pastor's view," verses again, "your or your pastor's other/wrong view."

The force of this sermon is to present the case for what is hopefully a more reliable position, namely, that the Apostle Paul and the scriptures themselves has his/its OWN message to share. This is the task we are seeking to fulfill: finding out what the message of the Bible is first, and then considering if I believe it and if I will obey it. Of course everyone believes that their view is the Bible's view, so how do we accurately come to the Bible's conclusions on any given subject?

Well, we have the amazing benefit of a written account handed down to us. One which we can carefully read and study to glean its message. The biggest problem is not one of knowing what the Bible says - in most cases the message is clear. Our greater goal is to embrace what the Bible itself states, no matter what my preconditions and precognitions might be.

This is the task of the message today. Does Paul have a stated purpose for writing Timothy? Is it clear from what Paul wrote? Will we receive the message? And will we obey its truths? If we will not so much as listen to this kind of rationale, then we are left with our own personal viewpoints and preconceived notions of what 1 Timothy (in this case) is about. Like the good Bareans of the Book of Acts, let us listen and then examine for ourselves the truthfulness of what is taught.

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March 11, 2012 | John Bayles | Listening to the Text (1 Timothy 1 & 2)

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