Sinclair Ferguson compared studying Romans to climbing Mount Everest. We are in the midst of the book's third section discussing how we become more like Christ in our character: sanctification. This chapter will be like a base camp as we prepare to take on the next ascent. The content of Romans 6-7 help us to avoid extremism on two counts: spiritual license and legalism. In Jesus Christ, we have died to both sin and the law. We are free from the power of sin, though not yet of its presence.
Romans 6-7 tells believers how we daily become more like God. God's grace allows us to understand and apply God's Word. We can reflect God's character in our lives only to the extent that we know His Word.
God's Word has tremendous protective value in the development of our spirit. Many places in Scripture affirm its transformative power and stress the importance of memorizing and applying the Bible.
The context of Hebrews is the superiority of Jesus Christ. The writer pauses to give a parenthesis of warning in Hebrews 5:11-6:3. He assumes that his audience is saved, but has instruction to give regarding how they handle the Word of God. We can learn five aspects of growth from this passage.
At worst, the doctrine of legalism teaches we can save ourselves. At best, it teaches what we can do ourselves to gain favor with God. Either way, the source is one of darkness. Those who know the Lord Jesus as their Savior no longer have to worry about pleasing God. Because of our position in Christ, pleasing God becomes natural to us.
In 1 Timothy 4:1-5, Paul has explained legalism's attempts to earn approval with God. Next, he outlines the contrasting virtues of godly servants.
1 Timothy 1:3-11 begins the body of Paul's letter to his mentor Timothy. Paul wrote to assure and strengthen Ephesian believers who were unsettled and scared by unbelief. Fearful people need to be encouraged, instructed, and emboldened to take action. Paul urged Timothy to take action against unbelief and help his flock become protectors of the church.
Paul wrote the book of 1 Timothy as a mentor to his tutor. Pastor Timothy oversaw the largest of the first-century churches. This letter was a tool in Timothy's continued discipleship by Paul. No church is strengthened without disciple-making. It is a work of the church that every member must be involved in, not just the pastors.
Carbon fiber is ten times as strong as steel and one third the weight. Because of these properties, the airplane industry is using it to make more lightweight, durable jets. Likewise, the church is much stronger and can move forward with much less burden when it is well-taught and holds to proper doctrine. The Christian life can be hard, but it would be much more difficult if we didn't preach a proper Gospel.
Corporate purity in a church comes from the personal purity of its people. In God's divine order, people will become like their leaders. Paul wrote Timothy to watch his own life and doctrine so he could lead the church of Ephesus well. When it comes to doctrine, there is no "wiggle room." Even though Paul spent the most time establishing the Ephesian church, some people there were okay with deviating slightly from biblical doctrine. A thread of falsehood can creep into the most well-taught church. We are all prone to this error in our fallen natures, but the Word of God acts like a hammer to correct both our doctrine and our practice of it.
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