Sermon – Eat Well, Train Hard and Remember the Saviour (1 Timothy 4:7 – 4:10) – Cornerstone Church Kingston
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1 Timothy 2023

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Sermon 11 of 18

Eat Well, Train Hard and Remember the Saviour

Tom Sweatman, 1 Timothy 4:7 - 4:10, 2 April 2023

In the next in our series in 1 Timothy, Tom preaches from 1 Timothy 4:7-10. In these verses Paul shows how godly motivations will leads to perseverance in the faith.

1 Timothy 4:7 - 4:10

Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.


Transcript (Auto-generated)

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

Okay. What we're gonna do now is we're gonna have our bible reading. We'll sing afterwards before Tom comes to preach we're going to read now from 1 timothy chapter 4. We're going to read the whole chapter from verse 1. On Timothy chapter 4 from verse 1.

The spirit clearly says that in later times, some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. Such teachings come through hypocritical lies, whose consciousness have been seers with a hot iron. They forbid people to marry, and order them to abstain from certain foods, which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and who know the truth. For everything God created is good and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer. If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you'll be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith, and of the good teaching that you have followed.

Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives tales rather. Train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.

Command and teach these things, don't there any look down on you because you were young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity. Until I can't devote yourself to the public reading of scripture, to preaching, and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given given you through the prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters. Give yourself holy to them.

So that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them because if you do, you will save both yourself and your heroes. Okay. Please have a seat and good morning.

My name is Tom. If we haven't met before, and I'm 1 of the ministers here at the church, and it's lovely to have you with us. If you are joining online or if you're with us this morning for the first time. Great to have you. We are looking again at 1 timothy.

So if you might to turn open 1 Timothy chapter 4 at that passage which Ben read to us. And if you are new to the church and if you're new to Christian things, then you may not know much about on Timothy. This is basically a letter that was written by the apostle Paul who was a follower of Jesus. And he wrote to this man Timothy who was a a pastor of a church in ephesus, and he's writing to really help Timothy to discharge those duties, to do what he's been called to do, and he's been teaching all kinds of things which we've been exploring. In this series together.

So we've arrived now at chapter 4. Just to say again about the Away Day and to encourage you to book on if you haven't already, We do want everybody to be able to come. And so if for whatever reason, financial concerns or financial worries are stopping you, then we would just love to have a conversation with you about that. We do not want that to be a barrier to anyone coming along and enjoying the day. So if that's been holding you back or something else has, do come and speak to 1 of us about being a way that we'd love to have as many people as possible.

Come and join us. The workshops last week if you were here, I mentioned about Kimbell's workshop where she's going to teach whoever turns up how to read and translate John 1 verse 1 in the original Greek and to translate it from Greek to English, which is quite an exciting prospect, isn't it? But that's not the only workshop we've got going on. There's also some musical themed workshops. So Leonard, I don't know if Leonard is here this morning.

So Leonard is going to be running a little scratch ukulele band. So on the Sai, there is this music barn, which just contains ukuleles. And he is going to be teaching people how to play the ukulele and trying to, I think, sort of, teach a a piece. And again, you you don't even have to know what a ukulele is. Let alone have used 1 before in order to go.

You just need to have a willingness to learn. That's all that's required, and you can go and join his ukulele band. And Pete is also gonna be running a workshop called a record in time And what he'd like for that is for people to bring a track or a piece of music that has meant something to them for whatever reason. To bring it, and then there'll be an opportunity to share each other's music and why particular songs are important to us, a record in time. So that's just a flavor of 2 other workshops that we're going to have.

We'd love for you to come, do come and speak to me about that if you've got any questions. Let's pray together. Father, we thank you for these words, and we pray pleased that you would give us hearts that are willing to be taught We do want to grow in godliness. We want to be nourished in the truths of the faith. And we want to follow good teaching.

And we pray that you would help us to do that in Jesus' name, amen. So for the last couple of weeks, we've been thinking about this wonderful verse at the end of chapter 3. It's really connected to just about everything else in her and we've been taking some time to meditate on it and enjoy it. It is what Paul describes as the mystery from which true godliness Springs chapter 3 verse 16, that Christ appeared in the flesh was vindicated by the spirit was seen by angels preached among the nations believed on in the world and taken up in glory. And it is a wonderful verse.

Because in that verse, Paul is telling us that all that we need and all that will ever need to be in a right relationship with God is Christ himself. He is our mystery. He's our godliness. He's all that we're gonna need. But we've also been seeing that in the church or threatening the church at least with these law in chapter 4 verse 1 to 5.

And they were saying to people, no no. Jesus might get you halfway home. He might do half of the work for you. But the best way to really get God on your side is also to condemn the good things that he has created to reject them in order to be godly. So you've got to abstain from marriage.

You've got to abstain from certain types of food. That's what God really wants. If you can say no to them, then he'll say yes to you. Now, if that is true, that is a huge blow to the gospel than what Paul has already said in chapter 3. But just look at how he counter punches them in verses verses 4 and 5.

He says no, for everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving. And therefore, if anybody thinks that denying good things that self discipline of this kind that saying no to the good that God has created will make them right. That's what they think then they are on the same team versus 1 as the demons. That's a demonic gospel, false gospel. And actually, to be a good minister, Timothy needs to point these things out to the church.

He cannot ignore them He cannot pretend that they're not as serious as they actually are. He's got to say it as it is when it comes to false gospels. You see verse 6, If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus. If you point these things out, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus. And so when it comes to this false teaching, Timothy needs to be like a good chemist.

That's 1 way to picture him. In his job, he is gonna have to handle poisonous material. He needs to understand it. He needs to work with it. He needs to know what chemicals are within it and why they're gonna do people harm.

He needs to read about it. But in doing that, he must not, a, take it in himself or b, serve it to other people or c, mix it with anything that would be good for them. He is to be like a good chemist. He's gonna have to handle poisonous material in his job. But he must do so in order to warn and to help other people.

He needs to be a good chemist. But now, Paul is saying, And alongside that, in order to be a good minister Timothy, you also need to have a good diet You need to have a healthy training plan and you need to have the right motivation. You need to be a good chemist, but you need to also have a good diet, a good training plan, and you need to have healthy motivation. That is what you need to be and to remain a faithful minister. And actually, I hope we're gonna see that everything that Timothy needs to grow as a minister is everything we need to grow as Christians.

So although in 1 sense, chapter 4, is Timothy's job description. And we're like looking over Timothy's shoulder in order to see what Paul said to him. We are going to see that everything would be true of his growth is also going to be true of our growth. And so just 2 points this morning. First 1 is a bit longer, second 1 is a bit shorter.

First 1 is this, a godly life eat well and train hard. A godly life eat well and train hard. Now I want to start by looking at some of the foods that Timothy is gonna have to reject as part of the diet. Okay? We're gonna begin with the junk food.

It's in verse 7. And this is your high calorie high salt, low nutrition, fills you up, but makes you feel pants kind of junk food. It's the spiritual equivalent of that. In verse 7, have a look. We'll start in verse 6.

If you point these things out to the brothers and sisters, you will be a good minister of Christ Jesus, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed, have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives' tales. Godless myths and old wives' tales. That's the sort of junk food that there needs to be a tax on. K? It's total junk.

It's not true. It's godless, he says. It's minus god. It's without the true god. It is stories passed on by people with too much time.

They all sound very important but they do nothing to advance the work of God, myths and stories. I don't know if you've ever had those evenings. Where you've spent just way too long watching videos on YouTuber on your phone. You've just been at scrolling through people's feeds, chasing news threads all over the place, and that each new story that flashes up, each 1 served up by the algorithm always feels important, doesn't it? It looks good.

It's exactly the sort of hobier you're interested in or fact you need to know about or life you want to investigate, it always looks good and feels important and you scroll through and consume it But by the end of the evening, nourished is not how you feel. You feel empty and tired like you've just got a belly full of popping candy or something. It's it's There's been a sort of sweetness to it, but it's just air. Isn't it just air? That's what these stories are like.

There's a promise that lights up. Here's the new thing, Timothy. That everyone's talking about. It's a new teaching that you've been missing. It's a new mission that you've neglected.

It's a new emphasis. That you've ignored. This is the the fad in the fashion of the evangelical world. You're gonna listen into this. And it can fill him up and it will take his time and it will make him feel like he's doing ministry, but it will not advance the work of God or nourish him or help anyone.

It's not real, he says, have nothing to do with these distractions. True, isn't it? That there are certain things in the Christian life, which even to discuss them seriously, gives them a dignity they do not deserve. Instead Timothy, you nourish them on the truths of the faith. And of the good teaching that you have followed.

You might remember Luke's gospel in his introduction Luke says this right at the beginning. He says, I have carefully investigated these things from the beginning. That you may know for certain. This is no godless myth we're dealing with here, carefully investigated from the beginning that you may know, that Christ appeared in the flesh, that he was here. And that we saw him and that he walked on real ground in real places, and he spoke to real people.

And then he was vindicated by the spirit. When Christ was resurrected from the dead, over 500 people saw him This is no godless myth. This is realities history. John says at the beginning of his letter, that the gospel is something which we have heard and which we have seen with our eyes and which we have looked at and our hands have touched This we proclaim concerning the word of life. It's not a story passed on over the garden fence.

It is anchored in reality. He was seen and he was heard and he was felt and touched. We saw him and this we proclaim. That is what people need, Paul, is saying. Not the myths and not the stories and not what is trending in the Christian world, but the Jesus of History who feeds people.

Junk food is not hard to find. But Jesus Christ and the word in which we find him is wholesome and it's good for people. Psalm 19 verse 10, your words are sweeter than honey, even than honey from the honeycomb. The word of God is a type of sugar that will do you good. It is not a candy floss factory sweetness.

It is a real natural sweetness. Peter calls it the milk by which we grow in respect to salvation. These are the images that we have of the word of God. It is living bread. It is living water.

It is meat, honey, milk, solid food. They are it's all about health and growth. So Timothy, ignore the junk. Give people that. What they need.

They don't wanna hear your take on what is fashionable in the Christian world. Don't devote yourself to that. Make sure you give people what they need, and make sure you're eating it yourself. He says, picked up 1 quote this week. That put it this way.

Every good minister must take care to nourish his own soul on the truths which he is supplying to others. It is quite possible for him to become so busy finding food for the flock that he fails to nourish his own soul on the truths with the food that he prepares. And sadly, that is very possible. To be so anxious about gathering the right stuff for the next talk that you shortcut the process of nourishing yourself that is not going to fly in the church. If the elders and those of us who teach are going to be of any use to anyone.

They need to be lifelong students as well as lifelong teachers. How are they going to be able to point out error in verse 1 to 5 if they themselves are not advancing in the truth. Doesn't work, doesn't it? If we're up here saying to everybody, This is the 5 a day that you need. The word of God has got everything you need within it.

It's got all your nutrients, all your vitamins. There's the protein that you require, there's the complex carbohydrates, there's the green veg, everything that you need. And at the same time, we are living off crispy creams and dominoes. If that's how my life is spiritually, and I simply don't believe what I'm what I'm actually telling you. That's the challenge to everybody with a teaching ministry In order to nourish others, we must nourish ourselves.

We don't want to be like those waiters who are recommending dishes that they've never tasted and would never taste. Then if you've had that experience, you know, what would you recommend? The waiter says, well, I'd go for the steak if I were, oh, have you tried it yourself? No. No.

No. No. I haven't tried it myself. I wouldn't eat somewhere like this. But I reckon someone like you should have it.

We don't want to be that sort of waiter. We want to be someone who says, I recommend a steak Oh, have you had it? Have you Yeah. I had it for lunch. It's delicious.

So so good. I recommend it to you. We've got to be lifelong students as well as lifelong teachers. And, wonderfully, Timothy, it looks like he's doing that. If you have a look at the end of verse 6, what Paul says about him.

Make sure you're a good minister, nourished on the truths of the faith and of the good teaching that you have followed. In other words, he's saying so far, Timothy, you've kept a good diet. So keep going. Keep going. But equally, to be a good minister, he also needs to have a good training plan.

He needs to have a good training plan. And here's the thing about those godless myths in verse 7. When it comes to things like that, they are always bad news. You notice Paul doesn't say Godless myths are of some value, but the word of God is so much better he says, have nothing to do with Godless Smith. Don't even don't enter don't list them entertain them.

Don't list them. Have nothing to do with them. But when it comes to training, it's a little bit different, isn't it? It's not either physical training or training in godliness. He doesn't set those 2 against each other in the same way.

Both are good things. They're just not equal in value. That's what he says. You have a look in verse 8. For physical training is of some value.

But Godliness has value for all things. Holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. Now physical training, that word training is the word from which we get gymnasium. And that is really what he has in mind. It's anything that we might do in order to train the body.

It doesn't have to be within the walls of a gym exactly, but anything that we might do to train the body could be going for a walk It could be climbing a hill, it could be scoring a goal, swimming a length, whack in a ball, catching a fish, lifting weights, you know, anything that people might do in order to stay healthy and keep fit and look after themselves. If we're able to and some people just can't do any of that for different health reasons, But if we're able to, he says physical training is of some value. It is of some value. And maybe in more ways than we think. I saw an article this week on the BBC called sniffing body odor is tested as an anxiety therapy.

Sniffing body odor is tested it as an anxiety therapy, which as far as clickbait goes, is irresistible. I mean, you you have to find out what that's about. Don't you? Apparently, 48 women with social anxiety agreed to sniff some sweat samples alongside receiving a more conventional therapy called mindfulness, where people are encouraged to focus on the hearing now rather than replaying negative thoughts. Some of the women were given genuine body odor to sniff, while others, the control group, were given clean air instead.

Those who were exposed to the sweat appeared to do better with the therapy. Now I'm not sure that anyone is gonna sign up for a study like that soon or whether that's a workshop we could run at the away day, you know, potentially. But maybe there is some sort of link there between the training of the body and the health of the mind. You know, we we we can't know that. Don't we?

That there is some value in physical training. We're not like the false teachers who said the body is nothing. The body is rubbish. The body is unspiritual. Only the divine.

Only what is within you is only really important. We don't degrade the body in that way. Take a little wine for your stomach. It all says to Timothy. Physical training is of some value.

Look, you know, look after the body, you know, it's it's a good gift that you've been given. You're you're in it. It's part of you. You should devote some time to it, some time. But only some time because look at what he says in verse 8.

Physical training is of some value But godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come, which is similar to what he says at the end of verse 7, have nothing to do with Godless myths, rather train yourself to be godly, which in its most literal form reads, exercise yourself unto godliness. Exercise yourself under Godliness or as he's just said there, nourish yourself in the truth. So how do you train well? You train well by eating well in the Word of God? You wanna train well?

You need to eat well in the Word of God. And of course, that is something that we do together, isn't it? If you look at versus – or look down at verse 13, which we're going to have a look at in a few weeks, Paul says until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of scripture to preaching and to teaching So here is a form of exercise which is not just you on your own with your headphones in, doing it by yourself, It's more like team training. The scripture is publicly read and preached and taught and together We train in it. So think less 1 on 1 with my PT and more in a gym class.

With other people learning together. But alongside that, you will know that for generations, it has been the practice of Christians to read the bible and to pray on their own and with their families. It might not be every day and it might not necessarily be for very long. But anybody who has made a habit of that kind of training we'll know the value of it. And look if that's something that you're not used to doing, it can take time.

When you sign up for a couch to 5 k, you don't start by running 5 k. You start by buying a pair of trainers, making sure you own some shorts, you might walk a bit, then jog a bit, then rest a bit, then jog a bit, then walk a bit more, then start to run a bit, and eventually, over time, you can run 5 k. That's the idea anyway. Well, look, in the same way, if you're not used to reading the bible, it's unlikely that tomorrow morning, you will wake up at 4 30 AM for 4 hours of prayer. Okay?

Very unlikely. But if we commit to 10 minutes a day, a short devotional, a some and stick with it, then we might find that over time, our muscles begin to grow just as they do with physical training. So I'm not wanting to be prescriptive about that and what people must do. But however we do it, the command is there in verse 7. We must take exercise in the word of God.

Exercise yourself under Godliness. He says, nourish yourself in the truth. That is the training that you need. And the reason for it is in verse 8. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things.

Holding promise for both the present life and the life to come. And it may well be that in Paul's own mind, the life to come was becoming more and more important to him. People think that these were some of the last letters that he ever wrote, 1 and 2 timothy. In fact, in 2 timothy, he can even look back on his life and say, I have run the race. I have finished the course.

And now in store for me, is a crown of righteousness. He knows as he writes this letter that his earthly life will soon be over. And I guess the thought of being with Jesus face to face was becoming more and more clarifying for him. In later life. Physical training is of some value for a time But godliness has value in all things, both in the present life and the life to come, the life that I'm soon to enter, And therefore, I want that to be my focus in Timothy or to be yours as well.

It's a question that emphasis, isn't it? You see training for hours to run a fast half marathon or to beat my neighbor at squash or to reach a certain goal, it has has some value. It would get me something small in this life for a short time. I might end up being the fastest on my road on Strava or something like that. I'll have I'll have something for a time.

But training in godliness will make me healthy now and it will stay with me into eternity. It holds promise not just for a few short hours in this life, but for all the hours that I'm ever gonna live, in the presence of God. It's a striking thought, isn't it? Or it it it was to me at least. That whatever progress we make in physical training is interrupted by death.

Isn't it? Whatever progress we make in physical training is interrupted by death. When I die It puts an end to my physical progress. But with godliness, my progress is completed by death. When I close my eyes for the last time and when I wake up with Jesus, I will be like him for I will see him as he is, and my training is gonna be complete.

It's like 2 flowers. You imagine the 1 flower is going to blossom in this life for a little bit and I'll be able to enjoy it. But I won't have the beauty for very long. In fact, by the time it's at its best, It's already getting worse. It's it's it's dying.

But the other flower is gonna blossom now and it's gonna move from fruit to fruit to fruit to fruit on into eternity. It's like those plants you see, you know, their their sort of stems or their vines are all wound up. And as they grow, they unwind, and they unwind, and they unwind, and they stretch off and off into eternity. That is the perspective that we need When we have been with Jesus for 10000 years, bright shining as the sun, the miles that we ran and the goals that we scored in this life will be a pleasant but very distant memory. But to train in godliness is to grow in the things that are going to be celebrated and blessed on into eternity forever.

3 times in this letter, Paul gives us a trustworthy saying. Chapter 1 verse 15, chapter 3 verse 1. And lastly here in chapter 4 verse 9. Everything in the letter is important, but some things have been put in bold print, and you can bet your life on this 1. Godliness holds promise both for this life and the life to come.

That deserves your full acceptance in this life and the life to come. So at the end of those first point, it's worth asking, how is your spiritual diet? And how is your training going? It's interesting, isn't it that when people get taken up with a goal, they can put hundreds of hours into it, learning a new language, mastering a new instrument, becoming very competent or fit in a certain form of exercise. They can put hundreds of that.

And it's good. They will they will reap the benefits of that. But the question is why would we then hesitate to do that with godliness? Why would we not apply the same attitude and ethic to those things which hold promise for the life to come. And the answer for honest has got to be unbelief, isn't it?

We have been convinced by millions of different adverts just drip fed into our bloodstream that this world and how we are and how we appear and the progress that we make and the physical training and how we look is the big thing, worthy of full investment, worthy of our best hours And that the life to come is exactly that. It's just to come. It's irrelevant now. Doesn't hold promise for look at what I could get now. And so this is a helpful reminder both for timothy and for us all.

Next time you're in a cafe and you're drinking a flat white and a pastry and You see someone outside the cafe running past you or cycling past you, you can think Okay. Well, I might do some some of that. A bit of that's okay. But thank you, Lord, for the reminder, to keep going with my spiritual training. Holding promise for this life and the life to come.

So that's the godly life. Eat well. Train hard. Secondly, let's look at the godly motivation saved in order to strive. The godly motivation?

Or in other words, how do we actually get off the sofa? Saved in order to strive Apparently, when you do the couch to 5 k thing, if you've ever done that, you'll know that as you're setting up in the app, you can choose a celebrity to encourage you in your headphones, a celebrity who is gonna speak into you while you're training In order to give you the motivation that you need, then you can even have Michael Johnson, apparently, who's the 4 time Olympic champion. You can have him as you're running through Tolworth. Yeah. A 4 time Olympic champion speaking into my ears, telling me, come on, Tom, you can do it, you know, That's my worst American accent.

You can do it. You know, come on. Get keep keep going. Job, Tom, breathe. Take the you know, I can have Michael Johnson in my ears.

And we know that for physical physical training, some kind of motivation does help slightly further back in time. That was what mister motivator was all about. Wasn't it? You know, there in his colorful spandex, encouraging a generation of people to get off the sofa, and to motivate themselves may not be an image you really want to entertain this morning, mister Motivator in his spandex. But help we know that we motivation can be helpful.

And yet so often we know that even the best Michael Johnson like motivators can't do the job for us. With the best will in the world, sometimes we need more than even him. You know, we've got an idea of how we'd like to look or how fit we'd like to become, but then we realized, look, even with Michael Johnson's help, I just can't do it. And I end up feeling crushed and deflated. And so the question is, how are we going to avoid that?

With our spiritual training. What kind of motivation do we need that is really gonna get the job done for We'll have a look at the motivation Paul gives us in verse 9 and 10. This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. That is why we labor and strive. Come on, tell us.

Tell us, why do you labor and strive? Why do you get off the sofa? Why do you eat well? Why do you train hard? Because we have put our hope in the living god who is the savior of all people and especially of those who believe.

Now I want to swing back to the way in which that motivates us in a minute. But firstly, we do need to ask what does he mean by the end of verse 10. The savior of all people and especially of those who believe because it sounds like, doesn't it? But in the end, God is at actually going to save all people. And in a special way, he's going to save those who believe.

So if you imagine it like London with its zones, you've got 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 with 6 zones. Are we now to think if those were zones of salvation? Are we now to think that in zone 6 is everyone, even those who didn't believe, but in zone 1 closer to the throne are those who did believe. In other words, is he saying that everyone is in? Everyone is saved.

Just believers are gonna be that little bit closer to the middle. Well, we know that that can be ruled out straight away. On the youth weekend last month, we looked at Matthew 25, and we looked at 3 stories, which Jesus tells about eternity. And in every single 1, there is a final forever separation. The unfaithful servant and the foolish bridesmaids and the goats are cut off from God forever.

But the faithful servants the wise bridesmaids and the sheep are wonderfully saved forever. And that is a final verdict Matthew 25 46, Jesus says, the curse will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life. That is just 1 place to find a teaching. That is all over the place. Not everyone is gonna be saved.

Okay. So in what sense then, 1 Timothy 4 verse 10, is Jesus the Savior of all? Well, look with me again at that beautiful poem at the end of chapter 3. He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the spirit was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world was taken up into glory. Now what's he saying?

He's telling us that this 1 man Jesus Christ who appeared in the flesh and was born in a little town in Bethlehem is to be proclaimed where. Where is he to be proclaimed? To who? To just 1 nation? To just his family and galilee?

To just 1 type of people. Or to every nation. And in all the towns and the villages of the world, it's massive in its scale, isn't it? Jesus Christ, he is telling us, is the Savior who is offered to all and for all, and must be presented to all because there is enough mercy in him for all. But we'll only truly save those who believe.

That's the idea. Christ is the savior of all people potentially. He's potentially the savior of all people. But he is only the savior of those who believe definitely, actually, especially. Potentially all, definitely those who believe.

We've seen this in chapter 1 verse 15, We've seen it in chapter 2 verse 4. God has a huge concern for the unsaved people of the world. And for them all, Jesus has come. But to be saved, we must believe. We must believe.

And you see for Paul, that was behind all of his ministry He's told us so much about the what, but here he gives us the why. Why do we do it? This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance. Here is why we labor and strive Timothy. Here is why we labor and strive to teach the truth.

Here is why we labor and strive for a good diet. This is why we labor and strive to be good trainers. This is why we labor and strive to be good ministers. This is why we labor and strive for the life to come. This is what's in our fuel tank.

This is what powers us that we have put our hope in the living God who is the savior of all people and especially of those who believe. That word strive is the word from which we get agonized. So this is the image of the athlete in the last hundred meters pushing for the record. The lungs are busting. And every bit of energy and every blood cell and every muscle is being recruited to get them over the line.

Now what could power such an effort? We have put our hope in the living God. Who is the savior of all people. In verse 1 to 5, the legalist says, you need to train in order to impress God. Paul says it's all wrong.

He says we labor because we're loved, and we strive because we're saved. And we agonize because there is 1 who agonized for us. Who went to a place of agony across in order to save us. We eat well and we train hard because we have hope in the living God. This is not like tryouts for the team.

You know, when coach is there on the touch line and you run onto the pitch and you've gotta perform well and you've gotta stand out or you're never gonna be picked by him, You've already been picked by him because of the performance that Jesus gave when he was out on the pitch. You've already been picked, and therefore you can run out into your life. And with everything you've got, you can represent him. Not to get selected by him, but because in Christ, you've already been selected. How does Paul and how should Timothy, and how do we get the energy that we need to eat and to train like this?

We put our hope in the living god who is the savior of all people, especially of those who believe. That godly diet says no to junk food and gets nourished on the word. The godly athlete does some bodily training, but they take exercise in the word. And they do it all, not to impress God or to earn his favor. But because they know the gospel, that Christ is their savior, and in him they have put their hope.

So let's pray that as we think about our own eating and our own training, we might have that same healthy motivation. Why don't I give you a moment of quiet just to reflect on what we've looked at together? Further, we thank you that in a few moments time, we will have the opportunity to take the Lord's supper together. We thank you for the bread and the juice that we take, which reminds us of the great sacrifice that Christ made for us. And as we take that meal, we say to 1 another, here is the savior of all.

Especially of those who believe. We thank you that as we take the juice and the bread together, we remind ourselves in a very physical way that we have put our hope in the living God. And Lord Jesus, we want to say, sorry to you and we want to confess the times where we have failed to believe the promises in your word, where we have thought that godless myths and stories are of more used to us than the truths of the faith and the good teaching that we must follow. We're sorry for when we have believed that this world and all then it can offer us is truly life. And when the life to come has weighed so lightly upon us, for when we have devoted so much time to the bodily training, just improving ourselves in this life.

And not thought about the things which are gonna stay with us forever and ever and ever. And we pray that you would just readdress that balance in our hearts. Help us, lord, to devote some time to things that are good for us now. But help us to put our energy and to take our exercise in the Word of God, which will be with us forever. We thank you for Jesus, our great example.

Our great athlete. We thank you that he ate very healthily, living off your words all of his life. We thank you that he trained hard and that his training even took him to a cross, which he endured for the joy set before him. And we pray that we would consider him who suffered so much for us that we might not grow weary in our battle. Against sin, the world, and the devil.

Help us lord to really apply these truths in a way that makes a difference. In Jesus 9. I mean,

Preached by Tom Sweatman
Tom Sweatman photo

Tom is an Assistant Pastor at Cornerstone and lives in Kingston with his wife Laura and their two children.

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