And we're gonna turn to the word of God now. We are beginning this morning a brand new series in the letter to Timothy, the first letter to Timothy, and we're going to have the first 7 versus red. We're going to read chapter 1 versus 1 to 7. And then Pete's gonna come up and preach this opening section to us. Paul, an Apostle of Christ Jesus, by the command of god our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope.
To Timothy, my true son in the faith, Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father, and Christ Jesus, our lord. As I urged you when I went into macedonia, stay there in ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless gene allergies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God's work. Which is by faith. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm. Well, good morning. My name is Pete Woodcock. I'm 1 of the pastors of the church.
If you're new here, welcome. Good to see you. Make sure you go in to the newcomers desk there, that would be really good. Apparently, last week, Cornerstone turned 20. 20 years.
Lot lot isn't it. And we're gonna celebrate that in April. I don't know why we're putting it off, but We're going to celebrate that in April when we have our away day, so that will be good, but 20. And I guess over those years, I've often been asked, what what type of church is cornerstone? What what, you know, what type of church?
And that's been asked in very, very different ways. What time at church are you? And I guess the reason being is that there are all kinds of groups of churches and those groups of churches often, you know, put themselves into an organization or what is often called a denomination And those groups or denominations have a particular style or a particular emphasis. And so what what group are you in? What's what's your emphasis as a church?
In fact, those denominations they often pick an aspect of church life or a doctrine that they want to emphasize. And then they call themselves after that doctrine. Like, factors, or pentecostals, or charismatic, or for the more sort of modern denomination or modern movements, whatever they called. They often name themselves after the founding church, Hill Song, or bethal or grace or something like that. So what is cornerstone?
20 years have you discovered what you are yet? What is Cornerstone Church? Are we Baptist? Well, we believe the new testament teaches the baptism of believers So, yeah, we're a Baptist Church. Are we pentecostor?
Well, that's talking about the coming of the holy spirit of pentecost. On the apostles that formed the church or we pentecostals. Yep. We're a pentecostal church. Yeah?
Are we charismatic? Well, I hope so because charismatic means grace gifts. God has given grace to the church. I hope we're charismatic. Are we bread the ring?
Well, that's a bit older because it only emphasizes the male side. But actually, bread ring stood for the priesthood of all believers, male, and female. So yeah, we're brethren and sister in, as as that, or systems as I call them. We're brother and sisters, methodists. That's a harder 1 because they called methodists after being having a methodical way of approach?
Well, there's certain methodical ways that we have we have media fast every year. So yeah. We're methodist. Yeah. And we Presbyterian.
Well, that emphasizes elders in the church, and we have elders precedurians. Church of England. Well, we're a church in England, so we're a church of England. Evangelicals. Absolutely.
That means emphasizing the evangel, the gospel, the Christian message. Yep. Catholics, Well, the word Catholic means universal. So are we Catholics? Absolutely.
So we've just got a new website up And I don't know whether we put what we are under it, but Cornerstone Church, and underneath Baptist Pet Pentecostal, charismatic, reverend, methodist, Presbyterian, and evangelical church in England, Catholic church. Yeah. And there are others. United reform. Where are United and real reform?
Yeah. They will have that 1 as well. But the more and more that I'm I've taught the bible and the more and more I've thought about this. I want to say that I don't want to call any of those names I wanna be known as or our church as apostolic, an apostolic church. We wanna be apostolic And that is our prayer and our aim.
I'm not saying we're fully there, but that's our prayer and our aim. I don't want us to just emphasize a particular doctrine. We want to emphasize the apostolic doctrines. In Matthew 16, Jesus is teaching his disciples that largely became his apostles And he asks them, who do who do they think he is? Who do they believe he is?
He says, who do you say I am? And Peter on behalf of the apostle says, you are the Christ, the son of the living God. And then Jesus turns the pizza and says, on this rock, on the rock of that apostolic confession, I will build my church. You are the Christ, the son of the living God. On the apostolic confession of that, I will build my church.
In Ephesians 2, we're told that those of us that come to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ are members of God's household and listen verse 20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus as the chief cornerstone. That's where we get our name from, cornerstone. So we're built on the prophets and the apostles. In Ephesians 3, we're told the mystery of Christ, the wonderful message of Christ has now been revealed and made known by the apostles. In Revelation, you go right now to the glorified church The church universal now glorified the Catholic church there universal.
There it is. In heaven, in the new creation. And in Revelation 21 14, we're told the wall of the city had 12 foundations and on them were the names of the 12 apostles of the lamb. In other words, we could give more stuff, more versus. In other words, the true Church of Jesus Christ is built on the words and the teachings of the lord Jesus Christ come to us through the apostles.
We don't have more apostles now. We go back to the foundation to the apostles. And where do you find the apostles in the scriptures? In the bible? In the new testament, the Greek word for church is Ecclesia, Ecclesia.
And a better translation than church is assembly or gathering. So sometimes we call our our meetings, gatherings. A gathering or congregation. Now, what sort of gathering is an apostolic gathering. Well, the apostles in their letters in the scriptures describe and they illustrate what a gathering is, what a church is by using words like family, brothers and sisters, household of God, the bride of Christ, a temple of God, the flock, of god.
The body of Christ, Christ is the is the is the head and where his body, a holy nation and alien and strangers in this world. That's a description of the gathering. That's church. The word church, you've got to get away from using it for some pretty building with a spire. All that is, is a rain shelter for some religious people to to meet him.
It may be Christians. It may be people that aren't Christians. The new testament makes very clear that the gathering, the church, the congregation belongs to God, not us. The church is for the the evangelization of the nations, but ultimately for the glory of God, And the church, the gathering, the family, whatever you want to call it now, is entirely dependent upon god And it's not up to the church to do or believe what it feels thick. If it's going to be the Church of God, it has to listen to God.
So a local church is not a theologians research laboratory. It's not a pastor's experiment. It's not a church planter's playground. The Church of Jesus doesn't decide its own beliefs and foundational doctrines. It gets them from God.
So we come to 1 Timothy. Can someone just pass me that water because it's quite horses here. So we come to 1 timothy. And here's a letter from Paul to timothy. And there's a lot of instruction in it.
And it's about how timothy should live as a pastor or a minister of God and it's a sort of manual in what churches should and and and shouldn't do. So here's the purpose of the letter. Here's 1 purpose, which is quite personal. Look at 1 Timothy chapter 1 verse 18. Paul writes Timothy my son, I'm giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you so that by recalling them, you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck regarding their faith.
He's saying Timothy, look, I'm writing this and I want you to stick out what you were called to do. The calling that you had to be a pastor of the church Don't move away from that. Like somehow, don't ship right your faith. Be a true minister servant. In the Church of God, the Gathering of God.
But then look, you see 1 Timothy chapter 3, just turn over to that verses 14 and 15. So it's not just a personal letter. It says, although I hope this is Paul writing, although I hope to come to you soon, I'm writing to you these instructions So that if I'm delayed, look look, you may know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household. Which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and foundation of truth. Paul is telling Timothy and he's telling Timothy what it's like to be a Christian pastor.
And he's telling people what it's like to be a Christian church and how you should minister to them. So in 1 timothy, let's just get this. There are practices and principles and foundations and truths and behaviors and ways of managing things and rules and commands that make an apostolic church, a church. Let's think of it another way. Does the Church of Jesus Christ have worldwide rules?
Does it have worldwide rules? Or is it just a sort of cultural thing? Is church much more of a cultural thing? Or is it down to your preferences? What you like and what you don't like?
I don't like this. I like that. So I go to this church because I like this and don't like that. Or is it as vague as As long as we love Jesus, whatever that quite means, it doesn't matter what you believe or what you do or what you say or who leads the church or whatever. What are the practical workings of the church?
Worldwide? What are the parameters to work it? That's what's going on here. Most organizations or if you take sport, have have parameters and rules to work in. So tennis.
So tennis has rules that makes tennis tennis It makes tennis tennis and not squash. What is it that makes tennis tennis and not squash, well, there are rules and parameters. But you can go to different parts of the world and they have different surfaces on their courts and different colored courts and they wear different colored clothes sometimes and they win different amounts of money and But they have a general rule worldwide even though they have differences around the world culturally. There's a gen this is what tennis is. If you do that, it's not tennis.
What makes rugby rugby? What makes football football? What makes them different? Well, it's the rules. Are there any worldwide rules or instructions that make a church a church.
Yes. And if it doesn't follow those things, then you can't call it tennis, you can't call it rugby, you can't call it football, you can't really call it a church. Now I believe that, and this is why we're doing 1 timothy, that we need confidence and we need to build confidently on the apostolic teachings and keep to the instructions. And then we'll be able to ride all the cultural changes that are going on in our world and still be relevant. Will be the pillar of truth in a confused and lost and broken world.
Then we'll be able to bring healing to the nations. Just look at 1 timothy chapter 4 verse 6 16. I know there's lots to look up, but look. 1 Timothy 4 16. Paul writes, watch your life and doctrine closely.
Preserve in them. Because if you do, if you do what, look, if you do, You will save both yourself and your heroes. We will be no good if we don't preserve in the apostolic teaching because we won't be the Church of God. And if we're not the Church of God, we're no use to the culture. In all, it's changing and ups ups ups and downs.
We need to save both our self and our heroes. And that's why episodic teaching is so important. Now that's my introduction. Let's get into the passage. We won't be able to go very far.
We're only going a little way. Next week, we go further. But here's the first point I want you to get. A letter from, we're in 1 Timothy now, chapter 1, a letter from. Who's the letter from?
Well, first 1, he says Paul Anopausal of Christ Jesus. So it's a letter from the apostle of Christ Jesus. Now the word apostle means sent 1. An apostle had the authority of the 1 who sent him or her. There's a Jewish proverb that says he who is sent is as he who sends.
So the sent 1 is not just standing in for the sender. He is absolutely like the sender. So a Christian apostle is someone we're told in in the bible who has to have seen and heard the resurrected Christ. And then has been given special authority by the resurrected Christ and only by the resurrected Christ to be an apostle. An apostle.
So an apostle is a person who fully represents Jesus. Look, to put it simply, this is what he's saying. But to hear Paul, here is to hear Jesus. So this could very well say, who's it from? Jesus, the Christ is writing to you Timothy.
But it he it comes through the apostle. So you can't pick and choose If you're gonna be the Church of Jesus, you can't say what I don't like what Paul says. As soon as you ever hear by the way, anyone says, I love Jesus but I don't like Paul, you know that they're not apostolic or they you you could easily question their faith at all in Christ. Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus. The words of Paul are to be received like the words of Christ.
But then he goes on look, Paul, at the apostle of Christ Jesus, by the command of God are Savior and of Christ Jesus are hoped Now the word command there, the command of God, I say, it's a it's a royal command. It it means with every possible authority. That's what the word means. He's speaking with every possible authority. And what are the greatest authorities?
Oh, God the father, got the son, and got the holy spirit. He's speaking with every possible authority To us, Paul is sovereignly dispatched from the holy trinity himself. This command of God, extraordinary because we know that when God commands things, things happen. The command of God when he speaks a world into being This is the God of the Church who commands, Paul. And that word will create the Church as that word created the universe.
None other than the command of God. There's no greater authority that he can appeal to. So it's a letter from Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus, by the command of God, our Savior, and Christ Jesus, our hope. Now, I don't want this to be negative because I think sometimes you can read something that has lots of ways that you should do things. A sort of very negative thing.
It's sort of against our liberty. But it isn't against our liberty. I mean, look at the words. This is not just God. This has got our savior and Jesus, our hope.
This isn't for our harm. This is for our salvation and hope of future. This isn't a word from some nasty dictator that wants to do us in and kill us. This is the word from a savior, a rescuer, and go home. So a letter from my second point.
A letter to Look at verse 2. Too timothy, my true son in the faith. Now true son in the faith, the word true there means legitimate. It's it's like a child born in wedlock. It's not a bastard.
It's not a illegitimate child, like a child born in in wedlock. And I think when you read the ax accounts of Paul meeting Timothy for the first time in Darby with with with barnabas when they go on a preaching tour. It's pretty obvious. And I think it's fairly alright to say that that that Paul led Timothy to Christ. I mean, he had a great foundation Timothy from his grandma and his mother, but Paul led Timothy to Christ.
And so Paul is the spiritual farther, if you like, of of Timothy. Timothy's got this genuine faith that came through the preaching of Paul. And then Timothy joined Paul, and they had many experiences together, if you read the book of acts. And Timothy pops up in all kinds of letters that pour rights to the churches. So he definitely sees Timothy as his successor.
There's this father's son relationship. There's this co worker relationship. There's this trainer trainee relationship. That's what you've got with Paul and Timothy. It's rather lovely.
Paul is probably twice his age. And as I say, let let him to Christ. And so The question I wanted to ask was why this we're so poor, so formal. Yeah. If I was writing to Tom, I I don't think I'd write Tom, senior pastor of Cornerstone Church for 20 years.
Yeah. Over you. It's slightly odd. You know, Paul and Apollo, I mean, such grand We're not just to my son Timothy. It's a bit like Charles writing to Harry in in America, isn't it?
And saying your sovereign, majesty, Charles III, you know? To Harry, my son. I guess I'll never like that is on the way, but But, you know, it's like well, you know. What's he saying? I I think he's saying to Timothy.
Timothy, look, I'm telling you things here. Not just as a father to a son. However good that would be. Not just as an experienced older colleague. However good that would be.
Not just this isn't just good advice. However, good that would be. This is the word of the apostle of Christ Jesus. By the command of God. So who's the letter to Timothy?
But the letter's also to more than Timothy. Back to chapter 3 verse 15, just look at those words again. If I'm delayed, says Paul, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in god's household, which is the Church of the Living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. In other words, it's a letter not just to Timothy, but it's a letter that Timothy is instructed to instruct the churches. This is an an apostolic word from Jesus.
On the command of the triune God to cornerstone church, to die. That's very important. So it's important we take these words seriously. So when we come across a passage, perhaps in 1 timothy, perhaps at the end of 1 timothy 2. When we come across a passage that is culturally a disaster, But the culture thinks we're mad to believe.
If we've properly interpreted, which we have to do, If we've thought about it within its context, if it says stuff against the culture to believe, then who are we going to believe? And that's the faith. That's where we're going to be apostolic or not apostolic. That's the question. Isn't it?
Are we gonna listen even though culturally, it may cause us serious issues to believe, and we think it's mad culturally, then we've got to be we've got to take it seriously. As long as we've done our interpretations correctly, obviously, there are disagreements and things that we can look at. But as someone said, a church married to the spirit of the age in 1 generation is likely to be widowed in the next, because culture changes so much. So rather than listen to culture, let's listen to the foundation of the foundations of the church. The apostolic word through Jesus Christ.
But look, I don't want this just to be negative. That's the problem when you're dealing with very often with things, particularly like, you know, Paul is saying about women not teaching in the church. No, remember it in the church. It feels so negative. And when we come to that, I want to show you how positive that is.
But it's not just negative here. The words here in these few verses are not negative. Just look at the words. Look at verses 1 and 2. Look, you've got savior, hope, grace, mercy, peace from god, the father.
Jesus is lord. This is wonderful stuff. You don't get those words in the world, you get canceled, condemnation, vicious responses. You're not in our group. This is Savior.
Hope grace, mercy, peace. God is a father, not just some distant thing. This is the alternative society for a lost world. This is the way to win the world is to follow God's way and then we present a savior and an alternative society where you know the blessings of God. I've said it before, and when we were looking at Peter, I've said this, but it's the best illustration I've got.
A church must be in the world, but it mustn't be of the world. We've got to be in the world. It's like a boat. The boat has got to be in the water, but when the water's in the boat, that's the end of the boat. When the boat is in the water, it can rescue people.
It stands out as a beacon. So that brings me onto my third point. The immediate problem that Paul deals with. The immediate problem and the immediate problem is false teaching. Just have a look at verse verse 3.
Have a look at verse 3 of chapter 1. And as I urge you when I was in Macedonia, stay there in Epesys so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrine any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless uni allergies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God's word, which is by faith. There is something very important right at the beginning that's got a stop, and this is this is a matter of urgency. This is first things first.
You can't put other things right until you get this right. So first things first is urgent. And he says, in verse 3, I urge you, and that word is I beg, I beseech. I retreat. I implore.
You know, he's pleading. And then he says command these people to stop teaching. And the word command, there is a different word to the other word command we were looking at. But it it it has the sense of warning. You've got to warn these people I'm warning you to warn them that's warning here, this is seriously wrong.
So what are they teaching? Well, it says they're false teaching. But that word false could be interpreted different. Now there's something powerful because it's not just false teaching, but different teaching to the apostles. Different teaching to the apostles is false teaching.
In the church, do you see that? That's an important thing to think about. If your teach is different from the apostles. It is in fact false teaching. Then look at verse 4, myths and endless genealogy.
Stories and fables and genealogies has the sense of pedigree, who's better than I'm better than you. I'm from a better family than you and all that nonsense. It's like the mud blood stuff in Harry Potter. And then look, verse 4, controversial speculations or Entyence. Did you notice that tank had a funny shape on it, and therefore, that must be the beast.
And there's all this sort of stuff going on. An endless number counting and codes and bible codes and books about this number here and add that up there and divide it by 18 and then you've got. But We've had people come to the church with that. That's that's where I always say you're very welcome Chesapeake, Vancouver, up there, up the road there. Do you want me to drive you there?
Meaningless talk in verse 6, It's it's vain janglings. It's noise. It's fruitless. Then they misused the law. We're gonna come back to some of this.
Next week. So these people are lost in meaningless words, arguing over meaningless things. Yeah. Going on and on and on about things that have little importance. Instead of the great truths, that changed people's lives and builds the church, majoring on minors.
So I was talking to an anglican brother and he was saying that in his what did perish? He can say what he likes You know, he he doesn't even have to really believe in God in his preaching. And Jesus, and he can speak anything he likes. He can say what he likes. In the church.
But on these certain high days, he has to wear the certain uniform that the Anglicans wear on that day. And if you don't wear that, you can get into big trouble by the bishop. Are I met a bishop once? And and we were supposed to dress up to meet him. I dressed down.
No 1 dressing up to meet a bishop. Well, a real bishop maybe, but not a anyway, so for rather than in trouble. And this bloke all he went on about was dress and dress codes. And apparently, there's this little red sort of ribbons that you have to tie at the end of of the particular sort of dress that he was wearing. And if he didn't wear those ribbons, it would be all wrong.
And then he stood up and didn't preach the gospel. He's worried about ribbons and measuring on ridiculous things like a red ribbon man. What are you talking about man? And people majoring on minors. I spoke at a conference in Australia for ministers from a particular denomination and it was a disaster.
They all they were about were, he's written a white paper and brother things written a green paper. And if you can read the green paper, then they do the white paper. And then where it says, it's all about moral issues and this. It's moral issues. Oh, did Fred write the Fred wrote the paper.
He started off the white paper. It's now a green paper, whichever way around it is. And, you know, I'm just standing I'm saying this is all toilet roll. That's what it is. That's the paper you're talking about.
Where's the gospel in you? Majoring on mind that it's unbelievable. Look at verse 7. They want to be teachers of the law. But they do not know what they're talking about or what they so confidently affirm.
I mean, they they they spoke with that stubborn assurance that is a fruit of ignorance. There are people like this. They start upsetting the apostolic emphasis and emphasizing the wrong things and end up with a wrong gospel. That's all about them and how they look instead of Christ and how glorious he is. Look at verse 7, they do not know what they're talking about.
The word there is a continual misunderstanding. You try and correct them. There's a continual misunderstanding. They think they're talking. They're talking confidently ignorant.
If you ever met anyone like that, it's utterly embarrassing, isn't it? They just waffle on and on and on. He is a young man. He comes to see you. He wants to put the church right.
And he comes with all confidence. He's read some little article, but he hasn't read it. He's read the the in production of some article on the internet and he knows how to run a church and he comes with all the confidence of the first line of the article to tell you off. And it's so ignorant. It's so embarrassing that you have to sort of keep saying, oh, did you did you mean this?
And Did you mean that because it's just too embarrassing? They don't know anything. And all this stuff promotes strife and speculation and not love. Did you notice that? Love is the fulfillment of the law and true teaching.
And so this force teaching must be stopped. Watch out for it. You get it all over the internet. People talking unlovingly, very strongly. I watched a couple.
I'll bring them out next week probably. I watched a few. I I just put in angry American preachers. It's just unbelievable. There's a bloke shouting at people that if you don't use the King James version of the bible, you're not a Christian.
It's just and that's his gosh. It's just shout It's a I mean, you go away from that church and or you just what? It's just shouting. It's just shouting. King Jesus Jesus in the Bible.
King Jesus in the Bible. And your third point, King Jesus in the Bible. It's like, what are you talking about? You really want that version to go to Indonesia so that they don't even read English and only read that version. What are you on about?
There was a magazine I had many years ago someone gave to me. And it it advertises churches and what they expect you to do. There was a there were many in this magazine It was called sword of truth or something like that. You have to pick on the sword. Don't they?
The sword or the truth? And it was churches. It was king James version only. No mini skirts. No beards.
No beards. Right? But wouldn't don't you wanna grow a beard? Get a good news bible? And we're a minister.
And go and see the pastor just to see what happens. Anyway, we come onto that next week. I'm going into next week too. It's What what is this all about? What are you talking about?
It's it's arguing over things that never produce love. And that's my fourth point, and I have to hurry. The apostolic teaching teaches love. Look at verse 5. The goal of this command is love.
Which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. The goal of proper apostolic teaching that God wants in the church is love. And the word is a gapey love. It's a love where you choose to serve other people, even unlovable people.
It's a self denial. You choose to self deny your to deny yourself. You choose to sacrifice yourself on behalf of other people. John Piper says this, love is the outflow of joy in God, which gladly meets the others. The needs of others.
Love is the overflow of joy in God that gladly meets the needs of others. That's love. That's true, an episodic doctrine. In this letter, Paul uses the word doctrine because it's very important 8 times 8 times, he shows you that doctoring teaching is important. There is a dynamic and absolute dynamic reality between our doctrine and the way we live.
There is not a disconnect between doctor and and practice. If you don't love You don't have the right doctrine. That's the way it goes. If you have a gap pay love, then you have the right doctrine. Doctoring is the heart of true living.
It's not shouting King James version of someone. Font Stockton promotes division. You must use a King James version. Why why is the person saying that? Because I know more than you and I am better than you.
It promotes the person. Full doctrine makes elitism, snobbery, nasty groups. That just shout at each other. But this is a command to love. But gapayla, proper love.
Verse 5. The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. People change their doctrine because their hearts are impure. That's what they do. If they have an impure doctrine, they may have an impure heart.
If they have an impure heart, you'll listen, oh, we don't really believe that. Oh, the culture says this. Oh, no, we must Do you see that? People will change their doctrine if they have an impure heart. But if you have pure doctrine, you'll have a pure heart.
When a sinner is drawn to Christ, the heart is first regenerated. The result of a regenerated heart is the conscience feels sin. The result of feeling sin is that it pushes us to Jesus, the rescuer of sinners. It's a wonderful picture of the effects of the Apple astolic gospel on a human heart. The goal of this is love, which comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
When you know God, your savior, when you know Christ, our hope, When you know the grace and mercy and peace of God, when you know God your father, When you know that the law properly taught shows your sin and pushes you to Christ, ah, hope. When you know that, love grows in you. Your heart knows the purifying work of God. Your love for god and your neighbor grows. Your conscience, you'd have to pretend it's clean.
You know you're a sinner. You know you're a failure and you've come to God who cleanses us. So let me wrap it up. What type of church does Cornerstone wanna be in the next 20 years? What type of church does it wanna be?
Apastolic, which means that we will love god and love each other. Does it doesn't mean that we don't stand up against error. Paul's telling me, them to to throw out these false teachers. Love doesn't mean to say that we accept everything. That's not love.
A cafe love says, No. No. There's truth. We stand with truth, and that is love to the world. Our goal is to be great lovers that take unpleasant truth as people might see it, to a lost world to rescue them.
In Revelation 2 and 3, the last book of the Bible, Jesus walks amongst the churches. He comes to see what how they're doing. Are they a real church? Are they apostolic? He comes to the church in chapter 2 of emphasis, very 1 that Timothy had to go to.
And he said a number of things, And amongst them is this. This is Jesus saying, I hold this against you. You've forsaken the love You had it first. Consider how far you've fallen. Repent and do the things you did at first.
If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove the lamp stand from its place. You'll ship right your faith. You won't be a church. True doctrine, apostolic doctrine makes us lovers of God and of each other. So can I encourage you to do your job?
Get into the teaching in the bible. And as you do that, you'll become a lover If you understand it right, and we love each other. So what type of church is cornerstone? We love each other. We're family.
We call each other out when someone's going astray. Don't go astray. Come back to the floor. Come on. That's not the way to live.
The savior says don't live like that. Come back to the floor. This is our hope. This is our hope for the future. Follow the apostolic teaching.
Let's bow our heads and pray. And if there's anything to repental, we've been unloving to each other, then we need to think that through and wonder if our doctrine's right and I'll hand over to Tom. Father, we do thank you that you are god our savior and that Christ Jesus is our hope. And we thank you that from you heavenly father, we have an endless supply of mercy and peace and grace. That comes to us through Christ Jesus, our lord.
And we pray father that you would help us as a church corporately, but as individuals here this morning to be committed to the teaching of the apostles. That we wouldn't be those who listen firstly to what our culture says or to what we think and then to reinterpret your word to make it acceptable and believable in our age. But the we would be those who listen firstly to what your timeless truth says for every generation. Help us lord to commit to and to submit to and to see the joy of the Apostle's teaching here in this letter. And we pray lord that you would help us not to grow cold and lifeless with our right teaching.
But that we would be loving, that we would have truth that leads to love, both for 1 another and for the world around us. And we prayed as we work our way through this letter that we would never lose sight of these foundational truths about your words and this call to love in Jesus' name. Our men