Thursday, January 10, 2008

Instruction For A Young Precher #2

These are instructions that the Apostle Paul gave to the
young preacher, Timothy, in his two books to him.

The second of Paul's instructions to the young preacher, Timothy, is found in 1 Timothy 1:4, which says, Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies. These are called "Old wives' fables" in 1 Tim. 4:7 and "Jewish fables" in Titus 1:14. This includes anything that was not true, not agreeable to the inspired word of God. We seem to have an abundance of those fables in our own day and time. Paul tells Timothy in his second letter in Chapter 4 and verse 4 that . . . they shall turn away [their] ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. Peter admitted that he did not use cunningly devised fables when he made known unto his readers the power and coming of the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Peter 1:16).

These endless genealogies were kept by the Jews, especially after they came back from the 70-year captivity. They tried to identify from which tribe they sprang, and this became very important to the Jews. Those from one tribe had more privilege than those from a different tribe, so each Jew kept as good record as possible of his genealogy. This became a fable, also, in a sense, because some Jews would try to prove they were from a tribe with more distinction than the one from which they actually came.

These endless genealogies and fables engendered many questions rather than godly edifying. The fables and genealogies edified the flesh but not God. God is edified through faith, not through the flesh. Godly edifying is in faith, and faith is that channel through which God brings his sheep to the fold and keeps them with his own Spirit.

But the believers are to have charity out of a pure heart (verse 5). Charity is love, and love is at the root of all true obedience to God. Three things that believers have, which those under Jewish law do not have:

(1) A Pure Heart -- This heart is no longer a heart of stone but a heart of flesh, which God has transformed to make it usable and tender.

(2) A Good Conscience -- Those who cheated to try to be in a better Jewish tribe did not have a good conscience; and those who trusted fables did not have a good conscience, because they were skeptical of those fables. Some even knew that they were fables and not truth.

(3) A Faith Unfeigned -- This is a faith that is transparent and true, not a faith that is put on or practiced with deceit. True and pure faith is genuine in the eyes of God and will answer to a good conscience and a pure heart.

So, young preachers (as well as all believers) must be careful not to give heed (Greek PROSECHO, meaning "to turn the mind to) these fables and genealogies. It does not matter what our linage is; it matters what is the object of our faith. Preachers must preach Christ, not genealogies, not denominationalism, not personal significance. God does not look on the outward man but on the heart. He must see a pure heart that has been changed by the power of the Holy Spirit and brought under subjection to the will of God.

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