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Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God

Faith Clings to the word and promises of God

Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God
2 Timothy 3:14-4:5
Pentecost 19C

Philippians 1:2 (ESV) 2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Most people don’t like to be told what to do, especially if they are wrong. A standard joke about this is that there are two ways of doing something, the right way and the husband way. To which I usually respond, yes dear. From teenagers who rolls the eyes, to the yes dear, we really like our way of doing it, until it fails. Keep this in mind as St. Paul tells Timothy and us:

2 Timothy 3:16 (ESV) 16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,

We may tolerate teaching as long as it is exciting, but reproof, correction, those words are very challenging to us.

Why would the Holy Spirit lead St. Paul to say these things, if everyone knows we don’t like it. Because there is something more important at stake. What is more important? Eternal Salvation.

Consider St. Paul writing to the Romans 10:17 (ESV) 17 So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.

Faith is a gift from God, how do we receive this gift, through the Word of God. Hearing that word of God, being watered in the Word of God and eating the Word of God. So if Faith comes from the Word of God, faith is maintained in us because of its source. Likewise Faith naturally will Cling to the Word and Promises of God.

Just like the refrigerator in your home which keeps your food lasting longer. When it is installed, it does nothing until it is plugged into the source of electricity. Without that gift of electricity your food will spoil much faster. But with that gift, food lasts longers. Would we ever say, I feel bored tonight, for some fun lets up plug the refrigerator for a bit of excitement. No, but yet this is exactly what some people do with the gift of faith. So St. Paul tells Timothy and us, don’t unplug from the gift of Faith, even if there is a cost. Electricity does have a cost, and being connected to Christ through His Word, the Word will correct us, rebuke us. Are we willing to admit that we need these things to continue to be connected to Christ or do our own ideas refuse to allow it.

Where was the disconnect? St. Pauls continues by saying 2 Timothy 4:1–2 (ESV) 1 I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: 2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.

This was Timothy and every pastor’s marching orders. Proclaim the word of God, because the Word of God is powerful, maintaining God’s Gift of faith in us. So was it Timothy’s sermons that needed to be improved, no. This charge was not necessarily for Timothy’s benefit. Sure he like all pastors could use the reminder, but the next verses tell us who these words are intended for.

2 Timothy 4:3–4 (ESV) 3 For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

This is the unplugging from God’s Word. Not enduring sound teaching and having itching ears, that say honey let’s unplug the refrigerator for this week we can plug it in again next week, but only for an hour, for we don’t want to waste the electricity.

Who would say and do anything like this? We do. We want some excitement, we want something special, we want something different. We are looking for the great spiritual mountain top experience, and we are afraid we not getting it here at Peace Lutheran Church in Plainfield. So our ear get itchy and we start looking elsewhere. God knows who we are and our natural reactions, so let’s look to Jesus again for the answer.

Matthew 17:1–5 (ESV) 1 And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. 2 And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. 3 And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. 4 And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.”

You can’t get a better spiritual mountain top experience than this. Jesus, shining along with Moses and Elijah. No wonder why St. Peter wanted to make tents and stay there, but as the words were coming out St. Peter’s mouth, God the Father redirects St. Peter and us from the mountain top, God says

5 He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”

God redirects our itching ears back to Jesus, back to listening to Jesus, just as St. Paul directs Timothy to redirects the hears back to Jesus and God’s Word, for Faith clings to the Word and Promises of God, not to the great mountain top experiences.

But are we willing to come away from the great mountain, and cling to the words and promises of Jesus. Where else would we go?

2 Timothy 4:4 (ESV) 4 and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.

Like the previous follows of Jesus in John chapter 6 when Jesus gave them sound teaching:

John 6:66–68 (ESV) 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life,

Simon Peter got it right, faith clings to the words and promises of God. I don’t know if this was one of the many accounts that Luther had in mind when he wrote the explanation to the

The Third Commandment

Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.

What does this mean? We should fear and love God so that we do not despise preaching and His Word, but hold it sacred and gladly hear and learn it.

But it seems to fit our text for today. Faith Clings to the Word and Promises of God. For it is in the Word and Promises of God that we see our Savior Jesus being delivered for you.

Philippians 4:7 (ESV) 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Written by dballa

October 19, 2019 at 1:50 pm

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