Make sure that your own heart is absolutely right with God — then you'll be able to share your Savior with others.
Alright, thank you very much. And hello again dear radio friends, how in the world are you? Doing alright today? Well, this is your friend Bob Cook and I’m glad to be back with you, happy to share with you from the Word of God. This is the nicest thing that God has ever done for me, is to give me the privilege of just sharing His Word. I made a deal with God many years ago, and of course I’ve been in the pastorage and in Youth for Christ, and in Christian publishing, and in Christian higher education for many years. Quarter of a century really, and that work and all, and broadcasting has been part of my ministry. But I made a deal with God years ago, when I was, I guess in my 30s, I said, “Lord, I’m gonna specialize in sharing your Word, and You bring to me the people and the money necessary to do Your work.”
And I’ve done that all through my life. I’ve tried somehow to give people something to get hold of from God’s Word and I’m still at it. It’s the best thing I know, if you get hold of God’s Word and it gets hold of you, things change, you change, people change and God gets the glory. Hallelujah. [chuckle]
That’s what we do in these broadcast, try to put a handle on God’s words so you can get hold of it for yourself and apply it to your own life. We went through 1 Timothy verse by verse and now I’m just recapping some of the high points of interest in these chapters, before we leave the book and go on to something else.
Chapter three has an interesting verse- we’ve been plagued by stories of all sorts of scandal at the legislative congressional level and in business and Wall Street and in religious matters. Your heart just breaks for the anguish of all of us, because when one person gets hurt, we all get hurt in God’s work. And the anguish and the embarrassment and the hurt and the heartbreak that comes when someone slips and falls. And after all of that, I come to this verse here, he says, “Holding… ” Talking about people in leadership, “Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.”
There is a connection between whether or not your conscience is clear before God and your ability to minister in power for His glory. Holding the mystery of the faith, what is the mystery of the faith? Christ in you, the hope of glory. Paul says in Colossians, “The mystery that we preach among the nations, is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” There’s the mystery of the church which was hid from ages and from generations, but now is revealed to us how God brought together in one all of these different ethnic and societal lines, in His church.
And so he said, “The mystery which was hid from ages and from generations but now is made manifest to His saints. And God wants to make known, the riches of the glory of this mystery among the nations, Christ in you, the hope of glory.” That’s the mystery of the faith, that God actually can come into a human life and fill it full of His Presence. If any man be in Christ, he’s a new creation.
The incarnation involved God coming down the stairways of the stars and becoming a little baby born of the virgin Mary and growing up in Joseph’s carpenter shop home. And walking this old earth for 33 years and then dying for our sins on the cross of Calvary and rising again the third day. Ascending back to the presence of God, the Father, to be the Man and the glory interceding for us. The faith of the Lord Jesus Christ, that’s the blessed Gospel story.
But if you’re gonna have any kind of ministry or any kind of leadership, Paul says in 1 Timothy 3:9, “You gotta hold the mystery of the faith, Christ in you, the hope of glory.” God comes in to a human life and lives. Divine life through you and through me, that’s the mystery of the faith. But he says, “You gotta hold it in a pure conscience.” Keep your life clean. Don’t let a minute go by, but that you come to your blessed Lord for forgiveness and cleansing; if you’re ever aware being out of line with His blessed will. Keep prayed and confessed up to date.
That’s the secret of perennial revival. Walking in the light means, immediate confession of any failure and pleading the merits of the shed blood of the Lord Jesus Christ to cleanse. If we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ, His Son, keeps on cleansing us from all sin. Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. Today, it’s not a matter of brooding over the past, that isn’t what we’re talking about, it’s not a matter of trying to judge another person’s faults. What we’re talking about is just make sure that your own heart is absolutely right with God, then you’ll be able to share your Savior with others, with confidence because you’re pointing to Him, not to yourself.
Then we go on down, just hitting the high spots, as I say, in these chapters. In chapter three, he speaks of another mystery, “Great is the mystery of Godliness.” The mystery of Godliness, now the mystery of the faith is Christ saves to the uttermost by grace through faith plus nothing. The mystery of Godliness is God manifest in the flesh and this is patterned for us by the Lord Jesus Christ Himself. God manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on of the world, received up into glory.
The wonderful thing about it is that, when the Lord Jesus Christ takes charge of your life, and the blessed indwelling Holy Spirit begins to rule and guide in your life, then all these things happen, the mystery of Godliness, which is actually the quality of God in a human life. What is it? Manifest, God manifest in the flesh. God dwelling in you, Christ in you, the hope of glory. Paul said in Galatians 2:20, “No longer I that live, but Christ liveth in me and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, Who loved me, and gave Himself for me.”
And so there’s the first parallel, God manifest in the flesh. And then what else? He says, “Justified in the Spirit, justified in the Spirit,” the Holy Spirit of God is the one that implements the righteousness of God in your life. “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of His.” Paul says, “But know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which you have of God and you’re not your own, for you’re brought with a price. Therefore glorify God in your body and your spirit, both of which belong to God,” says Paul in 1 Corinthians 6. He says, “Justified in the Spirit.”
Now the Lord Jesus Christ saw the Holy Spirit descending upon Him in form of a dove at His baptism when John the Baptist baptized our Blessed Lord in the waters of the river Jordan. And that was the public attestation to the messianic ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ and this was done by the Holy Spirit. The verification of His messianic ministry was done by the Holy Spirit wasn’t it?
Now what happens with you and with me is that the indwelling Spirit of God verifies to other people the fact that we belong to the Lord Jesus and that what we’re saying about Him is true. Interestingly enough, unless the Spirit of God is speaking through you, all of your talk about Jesus only comes to other people as being a religious opinion.
But when what you say about the Lord Jesus is backed up by the power of the Holy Spirit of God then there’s an entirely different reaction- you have authority because you’re justified in the Spirit. That is to say, the Holy Spirit of God implements to you the righteousness of God. Paul says, “Which is unto and upon all of them that believe even in the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ.” The Holy Spirit of God does that, but He also authenticates which is what this verse is talking about. He authenticates your ministry as being of God. And seen of angels and we have to stop here long enough to realize that not only is it true that our Lord Jesus was ministered to by the angelic spirits on a number of occasions in His life after His temptation, for example, and in the the Garden of Gethsemane, for another example. But it’s also true of you and of me.
Over in the book of Hebrews, we read that the angels are ministering spirits send forth to minister for them which shall be heirs of salvation. And so it’s true, that every part of all of your life is observed by angelic beings. You’re always on stage. If this bothers you well may be it ought to bother you, because our lives should be so transparent and so yielded to our blessed Lord, that there’s never a moment, but when we could look up and say, “Lord, I’m yours.”
Seen of angels- you can depend upon the angels, my friend. God’s ministering spirits sent forth to minister for you, you can depend on them. As you’re in the will of God, in the will of God, you’re immortal till your work is done, the angels will see to that. It’s a great truth, I believe in God’s ministering angels. The Psalmist said, “The angel of the Lord encampeth round about them that fear Him and delivereth them. He shall give His angels charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways.” And I depend… I don’t pray to the angels, I pray to the Heavenly Father, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and enabled by the Holy Spirit. I don’t pray to the angels, but I depend on them because God sends them forth to minister for us and we ought to thank Him for it.
And then our job is to give out the Gospel, preached unto the nations, preached unto the Gentiles. See, here’s the parallel between you and your blessed Lord, God manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles. And part of your job and mine is to get the Gospel out to all the world. The supreme task of the church is the evangelization of the world- everybody in the world deserves to hear the Gospel more that anybody deserves to hear it more than once.
And so, there you have the parallel in terms of the work that we have to do and then believed on in the world, and that’s the joy of leading people to Jesus Christ. It’s been my joy to minister recently at the Cavalry Baptist Church in New York City. And I am thrilled to be able to preach from this great pulpit. They’re in the heart of Manhattan. But the thing that thrills my heart most of all is to see people coming to the Lord Jesus Christ after the Gospel’s preached. To see the tears on people’s faces. Know that God is dealing with the hurts, and the failures and the sins and the lostness of human nature. Oh, this is part of the wonderful provision of God, for every believer. You can have the joy of winning people to Jesus Christ if you just let the Holy Spirit speak through you.
Then he says, “Received up into Glory.” And that hasn’t happened with you and me yet but it will. And either we’ll go by way of the undertaker as Dr. Pettengill used to say, “Either the undertaker or the Upper-Taker.” Either our physical life will end in death and our spirit will go to be with the Lord Jesus, or else we’ll hear the sound of the trumpet and the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ for His saints. In either case, received up into glory. I look forward to that time of meeting my blessed Lord, don’t you? What a joy it will be when His face we shall see.
Well, there you have it, one of the high spots in the third chapter of 1 Timothy.
Father God today, may we be living examples of God working in a human life, in Jesus name. Amen.
Till I meet you once again by way of radio, walk with the King today and be a blessing!
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