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The Apostle Paul dearly loved his son of the faith and wrote to him a letter of encouragement. The Apostle was concerned that Timothy was becoming discouraged and fearful.
“Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:6-7 NKJV).
Timothy had been raised in a household of faith; “when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5 NKJV).
The constant cultural and political attacks against the Christian faith was causing him to question and maybe even waver some in his faith.
“Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us… You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 1:13-14, 2:1 NKJV).
The Apostle reminded his spiritual son such spiritual attacks were normal Christian living and as the last days approached closer the culture and political attacks would be greater.
“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will surer persecution. But evil men and imposters will grow worse and worse, deceiving and be being deceived” (2 Timothy 3:12-13 NKJV).
How did the Apostle encourage Timothy to stand under the pressures of a culture that was growing more and more anti-Christ and corrupt political leadership persecution?
“But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, 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. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work” (2Timothy 3:14-17 NKJV).
Paul encouraged Timothy to “continue” the Word of God.
Literally, in the Greek” Paul is saying, “Stand fast” in the Holy Scriptures.”
The Apostle believed the Word of God was the foundation of the Christian faith.
The Holy Scriptures would be a source of instruction and equipping that would enable his spiritual son to stand strong and victorious in the face of a culture and political climate that was anti-Christ and persecuting believers.
The United States of America has rapidly moved from a post-modern, post-christian culture to a post-modern, secular, and anti-christian culture.
From the Scopes trial in 1925 to the removal of prayer and Bible reading from public schools in June of 1962 and June 1963, the American culture was systematically unplugging from the Holy Scriptures.
The Word of God had been the very source of truth upon which the Founding Fathers had established the Mayflower Compact, The Declaration of Independence, and The Constitution.
However, the growing influence of the Progressive movement that began in the United States in 1890’s, became a major influence in the universities and halls of congress by the 1960’s.
Founded upon the Enlightenment and the writings of Charles Darwin and Karl Marx, Progressivism is at the very least agnostic and in many ways profoundly atheistic.
The growing influence of Progressivism has led to secularization of American culture; legalized abortion, gave birth to the sexual revolution; social engineering and dismissal of the nuclear family; and embraced the LGBTQ agenda.
A secular culture is humanistic denying the significance of the Holy Scripture as the infallible Word.
This sets up a natural collision with the Kingdom of God that insists the Holy Scripture is the infallible truth with a static set of moral absolutes. Mankind does not have the option to arbitrarily adjust nor to deny their existence and choose to live by the moral values they decide.
That is the junction at which the Christian community finds itself in the United States of America. Adversity and persecution are on the rise as cultural and political voices declare Christianity to be in tolerant and homophobic.
How should Christians respond?
We must respond exactly as the Apostle Paul encouraged Timothy.
4 Anchors In the Midst of Cultural and Political Storms
1. Stir up the spiritual gift that is within you.
2. Do not give into a spirit of fear. Seek God daily for a fresh baptism of the Holy Spirit power, love, and disciplined thinking.
3. Secure faith in your heart. Do not permit doubt to plague your mind and emotion.
4. Hold securely to the Word of God as the foundation of your faith.
Yet, this flies in the face of some of the major influencers in the Christian church in the USA.
One of the major voices in the Christian church and a very popular keynote speaker at conferences for pastors, encourages pastors to stop saying, “The Bible says.”
Why would he make such an assertion?
He says it comes out of his extensive study of atheistic writers who attack the validity of the Holy Bible and his concern Millennials and Gen “Z” no longer trust the infallibility of God’s Word.
There is a significant flaw in Christianity, he declares, that for centuries people have believed the Bible is the foundation of our faith.
He boldly proclaims, “It never has been.”
We must seriously ask, “Is that an accurate statement?”
Well, how did the Apostle Paul instruct Timothy to deal with the very difficult culture and political climate in which he was living?
- “[Y]ou have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.
- “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness…”
- “[T]hat the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”
Doesn’t this sound like the Apostle believed the Holy Scriptures, the Bible, is the foundation of the Christian’s faith?
Hebrews 4:11-12 “Let us therefore be diligent to enter that rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (NKJV).
How is a believer going to anchor their heart and their walk? It is by the Word of God that is “living and powerful, sharper than any two-edged sword.”
The Word of God is the foundation of our faith and it must be safeguarded against alteration and compromise.
Jesus promised Holy Spirit would teach and guide us in the study of God’s Word. “But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you” (John 14:26 NKJV)
“However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore, I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you” (John 16:13-15 NKJV).
If there has ever been a time when Christians needed to anchor their faith in the Word of God, it is now!
We will take a further look at this important issue in our next blog.
Read more of this series on my daughter’s blog: A Little R & R
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