“If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.” 1 Timothy 4:6-10
Our third Friday focus is Bible Study Tools. Today I want to discuss ways to train yourself for godliness from Paul’s words here to Timothy.
Many times you heard me tell you to take advantage of the means of grace that God has given to us in our lives: the reading, but especially the preaching of God’s Word, the Sacraments, and prayer. We have many opportunities as a Church to learn together.
There is a public aspect to our faith where we as a corporate body learn and grow together. There is also a private aspect of our faith where we read Scripture and pray alone as well. Both are good. We are also blessed with many resources and opportunities to learn from others as well. As we learn from others, we do have to be careful in what we learn and who we learn it from.
While we consider Christians all of those who believe in Jesus Christ for their salvation, that does not mean that we believe everyone who claims to speak for God on the radio or television or podcast. There are those who may follow irreverent silly myths that can distract us from our training in godliness. Some differences in theology can be harmless and others can lead us astray in our faith.
What do you do when you hear doctrine being taught outside of the local church that contradicts what is being taught at Faith Bible Church? Is Scripture to be a smorgasbord for us to pick and choose what we want to believe or what we prefer? Or do we trust the leaders that God has placed over us to help us when questions of differing belief arise?
I would like to encourage you to come to myself, as the Pastor of our congregation, or to our Ruling Elders when you hear different doctrine being taught elsewhere. The questions of, ‘Why does our Church teach this?’ And, ‘other Churches teach that?’ are always welcome. Asking questions helps us to grow in our knowledge of Scripture and in our obedience. Take advantage of and use for your benefit, the leaders that God has given to you.
“Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.” Hebrews 13:7