Paul writing to Timothy
In the following epistle, Paul tells Timothy how to deal with false teachers and false doctrines that was being taught in the church…
The Apostle Paul tells Timothy, in 2 Timothy 3:13-17 (MSG)…
Keep the Message Alive
“You’ve been a good apprentice to me, a part of my teaching, my manner of life, direction, faith, steadiness, love, patience, troubles, sufferings—suffering along with me in all the grief I had to put up with in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra.
And you also well know that God rescued me!
Anyone who wants to live all out for Christ is in for a lot of trouble; there’s no getting around it.
Unscrupulous con men will continue to exploit the faith.
They’re as deceived as the people they lead astray.
As long as they are out there, things can only get worse.
In the above verses, Paul is saying that those who neglect the truth of God and His Word will inevitably become enmeshed in a confusing web of deception.
Their consciences and reasoning capabilities suffer damage through sin, and they become incapable of extricating themselves from Satan’s delusions.
Only God’s Truth possesses the power to free such persons.
Each of us is susceptible to this dangerous trap of deception unless we obey Scripture vigilantly.
Following Christ is more than a one-time decision or an occasional church service or kind act.
True Christianity involves continual dependence and obedience to Christ the king.
Paul told Timothy to continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of.
Our faith is proved by its endurance.
Two elements are necessary for faithful living.
First, we must possess knowledge of the Truth.
Truth enlightens a person about what is right and wrong, what constitutes purpose and happiness.
We cannot trust or love what we do not know.
The second element is conviction or belief.
We express our belief system in the daily decisions we make and the behaviors in which we engage.
No one acts contrary to belief (though we may act contrary to our professions of belief).
Paul also wanted Timothy to consider those from whom you learned [truth], and how from infancy you have known the holy Scriptures.
Once again he had Timothy’s mother and grandmother in mind (see 2 Tim. 1:5).
Timothy was schooled in the Old Testament writings and had learned the need for forgiveness, the provision of God, and the necessity of faith.
He had also been discipled by Paul, learning about Christ and the church.
In each case, Timothy had not only been given knowledge; he had been a witness to godly lives.
These people served as examples to Timothy about the truth of God, the need for endurance, and the reward of faithfulness.
Each person had staked his or her life on the revelation of the Scriptures which, according to Paul, are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
In Luke 24:36-49, Jesus Reveals Himself and the Meaning of Scripture to the Disciples…
In His resurrected body, Jesus revealed Himself, not only as One with the physical ability to eat, but also as the One whose life, death, and resurrection was a fulfillment of Scripture.
You’re the Witnesses
44 Then he said, “Everything I told you while I was with you comes to this: All the things written about me in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets, and in the Psalms have to be fulfilled.”
45-49 He went on to open their understanding of the Word of God, showing them how to read their Bibles this way.
He said, “You can see now how it is written that the Messiah suffers, rises from the dead on the third day, and then a total life-change through the forgiveness of sins is proclaimed in his name to all nations—starting from here, from Jerusalem!
You’re the first to hear and see it. You’re the witnesses.
What comes next is very important: I am sending what my Father promised to you, so stay here in the city until he arrives, until you’re equipped with power from on high.”
(Verse 44) “The law of Moses and the prophets and in the Psalms” means the entire Old Testament.
In other words, the entire Old Testament points to the Messiah.
For example, His role as prophet was foretold in Deuteronomy 18:15-20; His sufferings were prophesied in Psalm 22 and Isaiah 53; and His resurrection was predicted in Psalm 16:10 and Isaiah 53:10-11.
As with the two followers going to Emmaus, so it was with the crowd in Jerusalem.
Jesus opened Scripture (Old Testament) and referred back to the passion predictions in the OT.
Resurrection was a surprise, but it should not have been, had they listened and absorbed His teachings.
Scripture did not paint the kingdom the way they had been taught.
Scripture did not paint Messiah in terms they expected.
Scripture could be misread and misapplied.
They had to read Scripture carefully and find what God wanted to say to them through it.
Scripture read correctly points to Jesus, to all that Jesus experienced, especially His death, burial, and resurrection.
Can you read? Can you hear the voice of God as you read?
Do you see Christ as you read?
Check how you read and understand Scripture.
The first telling point is always this: Does it point you to Christ?
24:45. Scripture cannot be understood by the simple human mind.
God has to open the mind to understand Scripture.
Reading Scripture is not like any other reading assignment you might undertake.
Reading Scripture must begin with a dedication of your mind and heart to God and with a willingness to listen to God as He speaks to you through Scripture.
We understand Scripture only as God’s Holy Spirit opens our minds and becomes our teacher.
Again, Jesus went back to His passion predictions.
Old Testament Scriptures such as Isaiah 53 showed that the expected Messiah must suffer and die.
They also indicated that He must be raised on the third day.
This much is past happening. But all the Hebrew Scripture is not yet fulfilled.
The mission is just beginning.
What Messiah did must be proclaimed.
This is why silent witnesses who knew Jesus well had to be at the cross.
Eyewitness proclamation was in order.
The result of Messiah’s suffering, dying, and rising is forgiveness of sins.
That is available only through repentance of sins.
This comes only one way—by God’s witnesses preaching all this in the name of Jesus.
Preach the name of Jesus, He told them.
Call for repentance.
This is what the Scriptures said would happen.
This is what you must do.
This is your mission. The mission is worldwide.
You cannot accomplish this immediately. You must have a starting point.
That is right here where you are, here in Jerusalem.
Start where you are and preach the name of Jesus, calling for repentance and promising forgiveness.
Then Scripture will continue being fulfilled.
Not yet. You are not ready to go on mission yet, Jesus continued.
One ingredient is lacking. You must have power to do it.
The Father has promised that power. It is the power of the Spirit of God.
It will come to you. Just wait. When God sends His power from on high to you, then you can begin the mission.
Then Scripture will be fulfilled.
As Believers, we must learn to rightly divide the entire Council of God’s Word, including Old Testament and New Testament; as the New Testament is enfolded in the Old and the Old Testament unfolds in the New.
Tuesday, June 14
Daily Verse and Comment for
2 Timothy 3:15
“…and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
44 Then He said to them,
‘These are the words which I spoke to you while I was still with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me.’
45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.
A local radio preacher says that the book of Proverbs is in “the Jewish Testament.”
What is that? There is no such thing!
We could call the Old Testament “the Hebrew Testament” with some legitimacy because it was written in Hebrew, but what would make it Jewish?
Was he trying to say that, if we read only the Old Testament, we would become followers of Judaism?
Or, that the Jews somehow own the Old Testament? Or, that because the Old Testament is revered by Jews as their holy book, it is somehow inferior to “the Christian Testament?”
Certainly, the Bible never calls the Old Testament “the Jewish Testament.”
Paul calls it “the Holy Scriptures” in 2 Timothy 3:15.
Jesus calls it “the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms” in Luke 24:44.
In many places, the writers simply refer to it as “the Word [of God or of the Lord]” or “the Scripture(s).”
The only hint that the Old Testament “belongs” to the Jews is a misinterpretation of Romans 3:2,
“to them were committed the oracles of God.”
This means only that the Jews are responsible for their accurate transmission throughout history, not that they apply only to Jews or that Jews possess them in some way.
No, this all stems from the mistaken idea that the Old Testament is the Old Covenant,
“becoming obsolete and growing old . . . ready to vanish away” (Hebrews 8:13),
while the New Testament is the New Covenant.
Thus, to a “Christian” under the New Covenant, anything that appears in the Old Testament is of lesser value than what appears in the New Testament.
This error has led to countless misunderstandings and misinterpretations of the message Jesus brought to mankind.
In fact, the New Testament cannot be understood without the foundation of the Old Testament—and not just in historical terms.
Paul is not overstating things when he says the church is “built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone” (Ephesians 2:20).
After His resurrection, Jesus “beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, . . . expounded to [the disciples] in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself” (Luke 24:27).
Later, “He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures” (verse 45).
Which Scriptures? The Old Testament, of course!
Just these few verses say that we New Covenant Christians cannot understand Jesus Christ, His doctrine, His church, and God’s plan without the Old Testament.
We can see this by how frequently the apostles quote from the writings of Moses, David, and the prophets to support and fill out their doctrinal teachings.
There is hardly a page in the New Testament that does not have a quotation or allusion to the Old Testament on it.
It is a vital part of the New Covenant—New Testament—Christianity!
Lack of space does not permit an explanation of the differences between the Old Covenant and the New.
However, let it suffice to say that the major problem in the Old Covenant was the people with whom God made it (see Hebrews 8:7-12; Romans 8:3).
The New Covenant is modeled after the Old with its basic law, the Ten Commandments, retained in all its force and wisdom.
In fact, Jesus makes it plain that He added intent to the law’s scope so that it is now stricter under the New Covenant (Matthew 5:17-48)!
In the end, we must conclude that the Bible is a whole with two parts, which came as a result of the ministry of Jesus Christ and the languages in which the two parts were penned.
The theology and the goal of the instruction in the two are the same.
The same God who never changes rules, acts, and speaks in both.
Those who believed and lived by faith in both areas will receive the same gift of eternal life (I Thessalonians 4:14-17; Hebrews 11:40).
Please be aware of this false notion of the Old Testament’s inferiority to the New, as it colors a great deal of “Christian” biblical commentary.
The Word of God is God’s Word, whether spoken in 1400 BC or AD 60.
Above all, remember our Savior’s instruction, quoting from Deuteronomy 8:3, “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).
— Richard T. Ritenbaugh
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