Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sun. July 5, 2009 (Henry Neufeld)

Henry spoke on 1 Timothy 1. The "Paul" in this letter rails against false teachings but we unfortunately are not told what those teachings were, and that would be interesting. The writer then decries dwelling on godless myths, endless genealogies (tracing your ancestry back to Adam, the very thing the Gospel according to St Matthew does for the ancestry of Jesus), and 'getting lost in a wilderness of words'. Stressing the importance of grace and mercy, the writer notes that he was the 'worst of sinners', yet was loved and used by God. Well, how do we identify false teachings? Luther and the Anabaptists, for example, were accused of false teaching but are now viewed as being ahead of their time. Sound teaching (in 1 Timothy) encourages us to love and help people, yet the author (chapter 1.20) publicly turns two people over to Satan, which hardly seems Christ-like to us, unless this simply implies expelling them from the fellowship until they change. What these snippets from 1 Tim 1 reveal is that as the church continued to grow in the 2nd century, it faced serious challenges, and a few of these were thought serious enough to be addressed, even if only briefly, by this writer. [JEK] Listen to the sermon audio MP3 recording from Sunday, July 5th, 2009 using your browser's preferred media player.



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