Sermon – A Titanic Failure: How to Shipwreck the Church (1 Timothy 1:1 – 1:20) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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1 Timothy 2023

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Sermon 2 of 18

A Titanic Failure: How to Shipwreck the Church

Pete Woodcock, 1 Timothy 1:1 - 1:20, 22 January 2023

Pete continues our series in 1 Timothy. In 1 Timothy 1:1-120, Paul shows us that the church can be shipwrecked when it takes its focus off Jesus and the gospel. How is the church to avoid shipwrecking its faith?

1 Timothy 1:1 - 1:20

1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

To Timothy, my true child in the faith:

Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

As I urged you when I was going to Macedonia, remain at Ephesus so that you may charge certain persons not to teach any different doctrine, nor to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies, which promote speculations rather than the stewardship from God that is by faith. The aim of our charge is love that issues from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. Certain persons, by swerving from these, have wandered away into vain discussion, desiring to be teachers of the law, without understanding either what they are saying or the things about which they make confident assertions.

Now we know that the law is good, if one uses it lawfully, understanding this, that the law is not laid down for the just but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who strike their fathers and mothers, for murderers, 10 the sexually immoral, men who practice homosexuality, enslavers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound doctrine, 11 in accordance with the gospel of the glory of the blessed God with which I have been entrusted.

12 I thank him who has given me strength, Christ Jesus our Lord, because he judged me faithful, appointing me to his service, 13 though formerly I was a blasphemer, persecutor, and insolent opponent. But I received mercy because I had acted ignorantly in unbelief, 14 and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. 15 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am the foremost. 16 But I received mercy for this reason, that in me, as the foremost, Jesus Christ might display his perfect patience as an example to those who were to believe in him for eternal life. 17 To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen.

18 This charge I entrust to you, Timothy, my child, in accordance with the prophecies previously made about you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, 19 holding faith and a good conscience. By rejecting this, some have made shipwreck of their faith, 20 among whom are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan that they may learn not to blaspheme.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

This transcript has been automatically generated, and therefore may not be 100% accurate.

And if you'd like to turn in your bibles to 1 Timothy chapter 1, We are continuing this new series that we began last week, looking at Paul's first letter to this young church pastor Timothy and we're learning what God's priorities are for Timothy and for the church. And our first session last week was really helpful. What kind of church do we want to be? On that's built on the apostles teaching, and we're going to be reading the whole chapter, and then Pete, the pastor of the church is going to come and preach preach God's word to us. So 1 Timothy 1.

Lord Jesus Christ, we thank you that you are worthy of all of our praise You are the dying, rising, conquering land. And we want to see your worth and your beauty in the pages of this Bible this morning. Please show us in Jesus' name, amen. Paul and the 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 to our lord.

As I urge 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. We know that the law is good if 1 uses it properly. We also know that the law is not made for the righteous But for the law breakers and the rebels, the ungodly and the sinful, the unholy and the irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and murderers, and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God which he entrusted to me. I thank Christ Jesus, our lord who has given me strength that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.

The grace of our lord was poured out on me abundantly along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Here is the trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason, I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners. Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

And now to the king, eternal, immortal, invisible, the only god the honor and glory forever and ever are men. Timothy, my son, I am 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 onto faith in a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. Among them are Jaimees and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. Well, good morning and happy New Year for those who celebrate it.

That's a better way of saying it. It's great to have you with us. I think some of us have been invited to that a meal celebration for the New Year, and I'm really looking forward to that because I know the food is always good. So great. As Tom said, this is our second in this series.

We're going to be working our way through. 1 Timothy, don't know how long it's going to take. And let's pray. Father, help us now, please as we read this, study it, think about it, apply it to our hearts. Please bear your spirit.

Speak to us. We pray in Jesus name, R. M. Now I don't know whether you noticed at the end, but Paul talked about someone ship wrecking or a couple of ship wrecking their faith. Let me let me start with that thought.

Why did the Titanic sink? Why did it sink? An iceberg. Absolutely. On its maiden voyage, April 14, 19 12, It hit an iceberg.

That is absolutely true. But did you know that many of the metal rivets that made up the ship and held the ship together were actually inferior quality and were known to break when they got cold. Did you know that there was a massive fire in the cold bunker before they left port in Southampton, and the fire was still going many days in. In fact, it was just put out just before they sank. And people say that the fire was so strong in its temperature that it bent the the the bulkhead and water was already coming into the Titanic before it hit the iceberg.

Did you know that the captain received 5 warnings about icebergs, but he didn't listen and pushed nearly full steam ahead. Did you know that the captain before they hit the iceberg declined a scheduled safety drill. Did you know that there was not enough lifeboats on the Titanic? You did know that, but why? Well, because if you had too many lifeboats, it would take up the view of first class passengers and it would ruin their view.

Did you know those things? It's interesting, isn't it? Yeah. The iceberg is the thing that sank it, but actually there are all these other things going against the Titanic. They were overconfident the owners and the captains.

They were fairly arrogant. They didn't listen to warnings. And there was this horrific ship wreck that took the lives of 1514 people. Now the thing is, I know about you, but when you see a film like that or you hear those statistics, it's very easy to say why didn't they listen when you look back? It's very easy whiplash back.

Why didn't they listen to these to to these things? Well, the Titanic was unsinkable before its sank, so they said. It's It was an exciting new ship with lots of technology. It was on its maiden voyage. It was gonna, you know, break the record of getting across the Atlantic.

And so it was an exciting ship to be beyond. And so to hear those negatives was very negative. You know, we've got this lovely new ship. And the truth is that, you know, when our hearts and minds are set on something, We'll just steam ahead, whatever anybody says. And that's the warning I think I want us to take.

We'll steam ahead without listening to the warnings. We like affirmations. We don't like the negatives. We're sure that we of all people will be able to sail through the waters without a disaster. We'll be able to do it.

So don't worry and stop preaching negatives to us. But 1 reason Paul wrote this letter is at the end of our chapter, chapter 1. Look at verse 18. He wants to stop another shipwreck. Look what he says, 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 a good conscience which some have rejected and so have suffered, there's the word, shipwreck with regard to the faith. Among them is Haimenius and Alexander whom I've handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. They shipwreck their faith. So here's my first point.

How to shipwreck How to be a ship wrecker. Part 1. Drift. Drift of course. Don't listen to the warnings, don't look at the compass, drift offshore wonder is the word that Paul uses.

You just have to wander away from the truth. They ship wrecked their faith, it says there at the end. And what does that mean? It means that their trust, because that's what the word faith means. Their trust in the lord Jesus Christ is shipwrecht.

It sunk. It isn't really a trust anymore. It sunk. They don't really trust Jesus. Even though they may say, yes, I trust Jesus.

Of course, I do. They so reinterpret Jesus. They so reinterpret what Jesus says to them and how to live life that actually it's they're believing them selves, they're trusting themselves and not Jesus at all. So they shipwreck their faith. The reality of life and what they wanna do in life has got nothing to do with what Jesus says.

You shouldn't shouldn't do. So verse 1 of our chapter talks about God is our savior. God is our rescuer. I don't need to be rescued. I'm happy with the journey I'm taking.

I don't need to listen to warnings about icebergs. I don't need any rescue. In verse 1, it talks about Jesus Christ, our hope. He's our hope. He's the thing that we look towards Well, no, I don't want to look to him.

I think my way of life is the hope that I've got. This this exciting journey that I'm going on. Now, how did that happen? Did they hit an iceberg? Absolutely.

They hit an iceberg, but it didn't start with hitting an iceberg. It started with wandering, with drifting, We're not listening, we're not doing the safety checks. Throughout 1 Timothy, let me just take you some verses, Paul warned us about this about this wandering. So in verse 6 of chapter 1, he talks about wandered away, turned away. In chapter 4 verse 1, he talks about them abandoning the faith and then following this receiving spirits lying things.

In in chapter 5 verse 15, he talks about them turning away. And again, following Satan, who's a liar, so following lies. In chapter 6 verse 10 talks about wandering from the faith, and that will bring you many griefs says, but they still wander. In chapter 6 verse 21, again, you've got wandering drifting from the faith. So what happened?

They drifted. Did they hit an iceberg eventually? But it starts with drifting. And what made them go of course then? What made them drift?

What made them go into the ship wreck? Paul says, false teaching. False teaching. He starts off with forced teaching that is just crazy. He talks about myths.

Now we were looking at something of that last last week. Christianity is not based on myth, you know? Chinese New Year, Year of the rabbit. What are you? I'm a horse.

I'm a rabbit. It's all a lot of nonsense, isn't it? Yeah. Smith. At the lunch, I'm gonna deal with that.

And then he talks about Genie allergies. I'm Mainline China. I'm a mainline I'm from Mainline land land China. I'm from Hong Kong. Got a bit of British in there.

You know, I'm better than you. Talks about sort of genie allergies. And there there are people that are always going on about small, little nitpicky, picky things. Like, they're the trawlers of the Internet. They're always trolling the Internet.

And picking fights on matters that really don't matter. It's not the business of the church to titulate and argue over myths and genealogies and who's better than who. It's the job of the church to change people by the power of the lord Jesus Christ into lovers of individuals. Look at verse 6. Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk again, departed, swerve, drifted, turned, strayed.

Instead of keeping their hearts and their minds alive with the love of the lord Jesus Christ. They take it up with this silly stuff. So what are the myths? What are the stories that have captured your heart? That take you away, that make you wander away from the love of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What's captured your heart? That's bigger than Jesus. What are the myths? Internet advisers, TV dramas and box sets, perhaps all those myths and stories. Your heart is taken up with them.

That's what you talk about more than anything else. Conspiracy theories. It's always someone with a conspiracy theory, isn't there? You know, and it always ends up with a sort of treasure of gold and usually the Jews at the Blaine somewhere in this can this can this conspiracy theory as far as I can say. It's extraordinary, isn't it?

What are the things that are taking up your taking you away from the love of the Lord Jesus Christ? Now, it doesn't start with denial. That's the thing. It doesn't start with the iceberg. It starts with the side step.

It starts with wandering away. They've strayed from look at verse 5. Love, which comes from pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. They've strayed from love. That's a gap pay love, giving love, giving to other people.

Are you strayed from that and it's a sort of self love that goes on? See see see what it says a pure heart. So instead of a pure heart, that is washed by the word of God on a regular basis. They turn from the word. And impure thoughts come in.

And when impure thoughts come in, they want an impure message to go along with their impure thoughts. They adjust the message to their impure heart. Then the conscience, it says there, that begins to hurt. And when the pure message of the gospel of the lord Jesus Christ is preached, the cons the the conscience hurts. So they want to see their conscience quieting their conscience with a message that isn't so powerful.

And so you don't have a sincere faith. You have a shipwreck faith. That's what's going on. And Paul says, they've even turned, drifted, to follow liar's Satan himself. Chapter 6 verse 10 says they've wandered from the faith to follow Satan, and this had pierced themselves with many griefs They would rather have the griefs of the liar Satan.

Than the love of the lord Jesus Christ. Their consciences appears but they're still full steam ahead toward the iceberg. Is your heart moving away from the grace of the lord Jesus Christ? Have you been a Christian now long enough that you want to get into other little things? Myth.

Unproven lifestyles, feeding the idea that you are better than others in your genealogy. But Paul, he's not only talking about personal shipwreck here, he's talking about the church here, and that's the big thing he wants to go on about. He knows that false teaching that doesn't produce love, a gap a love service, He knows that that will ship Retma Church. And here's the big thing I think that Paul has in his heart. But if the Church is the rescue boat to the world, and the rescue boat is shipwrecked.

What is that? It's a disaster that's exactly what Satan wants. If the rescue boat the alternative society that's set up in this world to rescue drowning people, the ark like the knowers ark, to rescue the drowning, dying people in the world. If that can have a few holes punched in it, and if we can sink that since satan, we've done our job because there's no rescue. So look what Paul says in 1 Timothy chapter 4 verse 16.

It's a very powerful line. We saw it last week. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Watch your life and doctrine, teaching closely. Persevere in them.

Because if you do, you will save both yourself and your heroes. Watch. Look out for the iceberg. Make sure you're not going off course. Persevere.

Stay on course. Don't get distracted. In order to keep the church ship shape, and not shipwrecht. Paul is commanding Timothy to stop false and distracting teaching in the church. See, not only are we to affirm the positives, we are to be against the negatives, It's a bit like priorities in life.

You don't simply have the positives of In order to have priorities in life, you have to deny the unpriorities. It's always that case. In order for you to affirm the affirm the truth, you have to deny the false. And that's a really important thing to do. You have to see where the false is.

You have to identify it as a wolf that's coming in the church as Paul did at Ephysis in in the book of acts. Chapter 20. You have to realize that's the force and you have to, as a teacher, Paul, it's saying, banish that, stop that. Don't allow that to happen. In the church.

The myths, the genealogies. The 1 group saying I'm better than another group. That will wreck the church. So can I just say here practically? Can you pray for us elders?

The elders of the church? Find out who they are and pray for them. We're going away on a a couple of days away The next weekend, pray for us. We're gonna be praying for every member of the church. That's what we do when we go away.

We pray for every 1 of you who's a member of the church. But would you pray for us that we have the courage to stand up against that which is false so that as a church, we don't ship record. We keep it ship shape. That's the first point. Second point, you're with me.

I don't know. My mouth is going dry these days. Something to do with age, I think. It's boiling in here as well, isn't it? Yes.

And I put my rent top on for you, you know, You'll know what I mean. You know, just to celebrate this, whatever it's called. And another red 1. Red. Red.

Just to celebrate. Anyway, there we go. Here's the second point. First point is how to be a shipwrecker part 1. The second point is how to be a shipwrecker part 2.

Yeah. The first, what point was drift, wander away from the truth. The second point is be a bad bible handler. So these false teachers are not now just talking silly stuff about myths and and genealogies and those silly things. They're actually using the bible.

Look at verse 7. They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about. Or what they so confidently affirm. Yeah? They wanna and and and if you challenge them, they'll have a bible verse usually out of context to support themselves.

You can use the bible to say anything you want, of course, as you can use any literature to say anything you want. Look at verse 8. We know that the law is good if 1 uses it properly. Paul is actually doing a pun here. The law is good if you use it lawfully.

That's what he's saying. It's like 1 of his jokes. It's it's an apostolic joke. It may not be that funny. But the law is good if you use it lawfully.

Yeah? And what he's saying is it, you know, the proper use of the law is it's always good, but if you mishandle it, a knife is good. You know, we need it for chopping up all kinds of stuff. And that food that we're gonna have at lunchtime, those of us that are invited, you needed a knife, but a knife is bad if I stick it in someone's, you know, stomach, The law is good, and he's showing particularly the law of God he's talking about obviously, but particularly the 10 commandments, and I'll show you that in a minute. Versus 8 to 11 is 1 long sentence.

And it should, if you miss out the the the the inside bit, you're see how he joins the sentence up. So verse 8, it's We know that the law is good if 1 uses it properly We know that the law is good if you use it lawfully. We know the law is good if 1 uses it properly. Then go down to verse 11. That conforms or is it in in accordance with the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God.

In other words, the law and the gospel go together. The gospel confirms the law and the law confirms and it is in accordance with the gospel. Don't put them as separate things. The whole point of the law of God is the point you to the gospel. The whole point of the law of God is to show you who you really are, a sinner and to point you to the only rescue ship around the lord Jesus Christ and the Church of God That's what it's to do.

The law isn't for me to look good and look better than you. The law is there to show you you're a sinner. In fact, look what he does. Sorry, before I get on to what he does. But just these false teachers are using the law to make themselves look good.

Look how they did it in Jesus Day. Jesus is speaking and he says about these people that preach the law wrongly. He says, They tie up heavy cumbersome loads and put them on other people's shoulders. They're always making up laws to put on your shoulders. Other people's shoulders.

But they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. There's no gap he love there It's rules to make me look. And then Jesus says everything they do is done for people to see. It's all about me looking good, making you have a load of laws, and hopefully your trip up so I can say, well, I didn't. It says they make their flatteries with little boxes with bible verses in, wired and their tassels on their garments long Anyone that's got flatterism tasslers on avoid them.

They love the place of honor at banquets. And the most important seats in the synagogues. They love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces. And to be called rabbi by others. And then he goes on woe to the teachers of the law and the Pharisees, you hear secrets.

You travel over land and sea to win a single convert And when you succeed, you're making twice as much a chart of hell as you are. Woe to you blind guides. It's pretty straight preaching, isn't it? They spend their time on all kinds of things to basically put you down to make them look good As I said last week, I watched this. It's extraordinary.

There's a blood just shouting out that if you don't use the King James version of the bible, you're hardly a Christian. But this week, popped up something, I said, oh, where it came from. I don't know whether 1 of you sent it to me. It was a bloke talking about beads, and he was shouting. I'll shout what he shouted.

Facial hair is not episodic. Now this bloke was as bold as it could and wouldn't wouldn't be able to grow facial hair. So he obviously had an issue. And he wanted everybody else to have an issue. If you've got a beard, You.

Darcy person. Yeah. What are you? But not on Oh, lovely. So I'm better than you.

And why that that making up rules that have got nothing to do with the bible at all, even though it says that they plucked the beard of Jesus. So I don't know why he Anyway, there we go. But they're puffed up and they're arrogant. Instead, the law should crush them, not other people, and make them run to the savior and bring glory to the savior and say, I'm a sinner, but he's my savior, not I'm better than you. And in verse 9 of chapter 1, I think that's what they're doing here.

In verse 9. They're somehow using the law against the righteous if you read that. In other words, their evangelism is not with sinners and we need Jesus. Their evangelism is follow my rules about beads and whatever it is, and you might be as good as I am. They're using the law to evangelize other believers, and there's always something wrong about that.

Instead of using the law to evangelize the world to bring them to Christ. It's all about me. And not about Christ in the end. So Paul says there's something you've got to stop Timothy. You've got to stop that type of false preaching.

It doesn't bring love. It only I mean, it doesn't it doesn't bring love. I haven't appeared. I mean, in normal life, if someone came up and shouted that at you, you'd think they were eluney, wouldn't you? Oh, yes.

Well, lovely. Lovely. Yeah. I have. It's strange, isn't it?

Which leads me to my third point. And this is this is where I really want to leave you with. The rescue ship in all its beauty Let's just have a look at this. Look at what the gospel does, and then you'll see it's worth fighting for. And then your mind will be taken up with big things and not little things.

The law shows you need rescue. You are far from God. You are a drowning person. If you don't think you're drowning, you're not yet on the rescue boat. But the law shows you how serious your sin is.

Now look what Paul does. You sin versus 9 to 11. He's basically going to the extremes of the 10 Commandment. That's what he's doing. He wants to go to the extremes.

And he wants to show extreme cases and he's building up to himself actually. But if you look at verses 9 to 11, you see the Law breakers lead to rebellious. And basically, you've got the tank commandments. The first tablet of the tank commandments are to do with laws against God. Love the Lord, your God with all your heart and how we do and don't do that.

And the second tablet is love your neighbor is yourself and how we do and don't do that. So look at it. Law breakers leads to rebellious. That's against God. Ungodly leads to sinners.

Unholy leads to irreligious or profound, but profane, which is to is to trample on the sacred. They're to do with God. The law shows you you don't love God. You don't love God and you should. But then the second tablet of the law of the thank you moments.

Look, kill your fathers and mothers. That's the fifth commandment. Should honor your father and mother. Murderers. That's the sixth commandment.

You shouldn't kill. Sexually immoral and those practicing homosexuality. And the word there is, you know, in bed with the same sex. That's the seventh commandment about sex and commitment in marriage. Slave traders or kidnappers you might get in some versions.

That's stealing. That's the eighth command 1. And then Lias and purgeras, that's the ninth command 1. The only commandment here is not the tenth, which is coveting. So when you look at the law, you're meant to look at the law according to the rescue plan.

And I want you to notice that even there in 9 to 11, where people are exposed to be sinners, the whole point of it is that you'll see your drowning and you'll get into the rescue boat. It's all about rescue. So he deliberately pushes the law breaking to the extremes because he wants to show you the power of the message of Jesus can save even these people. And so he then tells his testimony. Did you notice that?

From verse 12 onwards. I want you to know that I am an extreme sinner. Those practicing homosexuals, those killing their their fathers and mothers, those who are murderers, those who are slave trainers, those who are liars and purgers, their extreme sins that break the 10 commandments, but I want you to know, that I am the extreme sinner. And if I can be saved, then they can. Look at verse 13.

Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecuted and a violent man, this is the apostle Paul. Yeah? Imagine wanting to give a job for him. You know, we need a new pastor at Cornerstone Church Let's interview them. Tell me 3 things about yourself.

Yeah. Well, I'm a blasphemer. I'm a personnel here and a violent man. Okay? He says he's the worst of sinners on the old version chief of sinners.

You can read his story by the way in in the book of acts. Look at verse 14. Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I'm the worst I'm the foremost blasphemer in sin. He was the 1 that was attacking the very man of god, the Savior himself, Jesus.

You know his story. He was a prosecutor of the very people that Jesus came to save. He attacked the rescue boat. He was a violent man. Steven was put to death.

He's the chief of sinners opposing the very son of god denouncing Jesus as a liar destroying the people of God, ignorance as well, saying, I'm following God in doing this. If you had said to Paul, Paul, you've just killed Stephen. Are you following God? He said, I've never I've never known the experience of God with me more ever before. He was an ignorant liar.

But look at verse 12. I thank Christ Jesus our lord. Who has given me strength and that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service. I just can't get over what Christ did for me. Everything I am Everything I live for is Christ shaped.

Look at verse 13. Even though I was once a blasphemer, and a perseformer and a violent man. I was shown what? What is it? Nursing because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.

Look at what I was. I went on in ignorance thinking I wasn't ignorant. I went on in ignorance but I was overtaken by mercy. I eagerly thought I was following god. But I was an unbeliever.

The gospel is about mercy. It's the gospel of the lord Jesus Christ dying on that cross that changed me. Look at verse 14 again. The grace of our lord was poured out on me abundantly along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Mercy.

What does that mean? It means God does not give me what I deserve. Mercy. I'm not given what I deserve. Grace, what does that mean?

That god gives me what I don't deserve. Mercy doesn't give me what I deserve. Grace gives me Well, I don't deserve. Amazing thing that this executing hater of Jesus has now been given mercy and grace by the love of Jesus. See, Jesus doesn't just except people for who they are.

He lays his life down for sinful people to change them. He accepts the massive judgment that they deserve upon his own head. That's how he accepts people. He accepts the massive clean up job that he has to do with a sinner and sends the holy spirit to work in our hearts. Look at verse 15.

Here's a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. I am the prototype of the power of the gospel. Look at verse 16. But for that very reason, I was shown mercy so that in me the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life.

I'm the prototype. I'm the example. You can't get a worse sooner than me. You who have killed your mother and father. You have practiced homosexuality.

You can't get a worse sitter than me. You have been involved in slave trade. You who have kidnapped, you who have lied. Can't get a word sooner than me. And if Christ saves me, he's a trust what are they saying?

He came to save you. So do you see what happens? Paul's heart goes up with God the Savior King. Look at verse 17. He suddenly bursts in Now to the king, eternally, immortal, invisible.

The only God be honor and glory and ever and ever our men. He's he's just taken up with praise because that's what the gospel does. When you understand the gospel, you have to praise the 1 that brings the gospel, the Lord Jesus Christ. God himself, you're taken up with praise when you don't understand the gospel. You're worried about geney allergies and who's better than who and myths and teachings to show me my myself is good.

But when you're taken up with the gospel and you know that you're a sinner and you're the chief of sinners, that that's what I am a sinner, but I'm saved by grace and you're taken up with praise. And not only are you taken up with praise, you're taken up with serving the world. Look at verse 12. I thank Christ Jesus, our lord, who has given me strength that he considered me trustworthy to point me to appointing me in his service I'm in the service of God. A servant of Christ.

A servant of the gospel. A servant of the church. And his soul is gripped with the gospel. And so he doesn't shipwreck his faith. It's gripped with the gospel.

Look at who I was and what I am. I'm even a chief of sinners. I'm the chief of sinners. I did that, but now I can serve God. And so Timothy says, Paul, fight for this message.

It is the only message that can rescue the chief of sinners. It's the only message that can rescue the worst of sinners. Don't move from it. Don't ship right at the church. Don't get distracted into all kinds of lovely little wonderful conspiracy theories and internet thoughts.

Keep the heart and mind of the church that you lead Timothy. Keep the heart and mind of the church on the love of the lord Jesus Christ for you, his grace, his mercy, his love for you as sinner. Stop people saying I'm better than anybody else. Stop the little laws that come into the church that separate us. Stop the genie allergists that say that my my group is better than your group.

Stop stop that. T taken up with all of us a sentence but a saved by grace, show the world that it has rebelled against God. And when it knows it's rebelled, sinners are saying. Look at verse 15 again, here's a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Timothy Church, cornerstone.

This is full acceptance. Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I'm the worst. Do you know what? I think for the first time in my life, I felt absolutely sad and slightly teary for the archbishop of York. It's pathetic.

It's tragic. He was crying about how how exciting it is that the Anglican Church are changing their laws. And I know what he's trying to do. He wants a society that accepts people with different lifestyles. And don't we all But he doesn't understand there's a difference between accepting and tolerating people and seeing people saved from their sin.

His message is just acceptance. That's like the drowning people at the Titanic in saying, I accept you. I'll tell you what. As a church, we're synced down to you. We can be in the same sunk boat together, and I accept you.

It's tragic. It's pathetic. You don't accept sin. You show sin. But you show that there is a savior, the magnificent lord Jesus Christ.

Preach him. Preach him that you need saving. And listen, does that make me saying I'm better than other people and the life solves the other no. We are sinners. The law says we're all drowning.

We're all sinners. We're all broken the law. In fact, we're worse than we think. And the worst of sinners, but I can be saved. That's our message.

The rescue ship is here And it's very interesting because even the people that are causing trouble in the church, Haiminusus, and Alexander right at the end in verse 20, Even they, he's saying, throw them out of the church, shock them out of the rescue boat so that they'll see that they're doing harm that they may see their bless bless for me, but I was the chief blasphemer remember, and I was saved. And if they could see their blasphemers, then they might want to crawl back into the rescue boat. Even Church discipline, all of this is done for the patience of the lord Jesus Christ with sinners. So let me finish. What is your life?

What is your heart taken up with? Are you moving away from Are you a bit bored with Jesus? Are you a bit bored with Christ? You want something spicier? Myths about lifestyles that are better.

Are you believing the myths? Have you drifted? Remember who you are? You are a sinner saved by grace. Remember what you were.

Remember your hope. And brothers and sisters at Cornerstone, let's keep our heads. Let's keep the apostolic gospel. Because it's this gospel that saves the worst of sinners. It's this gospel that we can go and say come.

Come on board. Give me a hand. Come on board. Come on board the rescue boat. We've got to remember when you see those boats coming over the channel, and then they sink and they're or it's so sad.

And all of those refugees are just sunk in the in the water. It doesn't matter whether 1 of them is a king and the other is a porter. Whether one's highly educated or the other's got no education, It doesn't matter whether they're a man or a woman. It doesn't matter whether they're they're a powerful person or they're weak. Doesn't matter their age.

When they're in the water drowning, they're all the same. And then a rescue boat comes. Than they all cling to the rescue. But that's us. I'm not better than you.

You're not better than me. And what a wonderful boat to be on? We should be glory and praising the king eternal immortal invisible, the only god to be honored, glory forever and ever glory be. That I, the drowning 1, was saved, and my brothers and sisters are saved too. Lot of stuff there, but let's have a think about it.

Well, to reflect on that together, the band are gonna come up and they're actually they're gonna sing a song to us this morning. So instead of us all, standing and joining in. They're gonna sing to us, which is a song rubbing in all that we've just heard from the Word of God. That if he, if the lord Jesus Christ, can save the chief of sinners, then he can save us whoever we are and wherever we're drifting, he can save us and he wants to and we can turn to him. So this song is gonna help us and you might just like to use this time for a bit of reflection and prayer.

And then afterwards, we're gonna go and get the kids. So if you've got kids in the in the Sunday will do stay in because this is an important point and moment to reflect on what we've heard. And then after that, we'll have them rejoin. Okay? At the cross of Jesus.

I would take my place. Joined by such a marriage. Oh, redeeming grace. Feel my heart with soul, room, live my eyes to see. Jesus Christ, my Savior, crucified for me.

At the cross of Jesus. Patiently, he bore. Beauty shame and soul. Great, fun done, wish, soul. Through return, ladies.

I shall never know. What he had to suffer. Why he loved me so. At the cross of Jesus even though I be. Chief of all the soonest.

There is hope for me. Gotcha, dawg and guilty. Jesus died instead. But the cross of Jesus meets my deepest need. At the cross of Jesus.

Parden is complete. Love and justice, mango, truth, and mercy, mate. Though my lungs condemn me. Jesus died instead. There is full forgiveness in the blood he showed.

At the cross of Jesus. You have said me free. So I come to save you. Yielding all to the Let your love possess me. So that's all amazing.

What your death accomplished on the crows for me. Father, we thank you for the words. That you have spoken to us in that song and through the scriptures this morning and we thank you that whoever we are, we can come to the cross of Jesus. And know that he has died for sinners like us, for law breakers and rebels, he has paid for our sins. So that we can come and be rescued.

Some of us might be feeling that by God's grace things are going well in our walk of faith others might be feeling that we're beginning to drift, beginning to turn and that things are starting to go wrong. Others might be feeling if we're honest that there is water coming aboard and there's a fire in the basement and we're going down. And others might not even be in the boat at all yet. But whoever we are, Lord Jesus help us to come to that 1 place to cross. And see that there is mercy wide and rich enough for all of us in Jesus' name.

Our men

Preached by Pete Woodcock
Pete Woodcock photo

Pete is Senior Pastor of Cornerstone and lives in Chessington with his wife Anne who helps oversee the women’s ministry in the church.

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