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Random thoughts from our pastor on church life, discipleship, web design, and other topics.

An Important Text

Posted by Raif Turner on February 19, 2013 @ 10:16 PM

Most books on discipleship begin with an empahsis on the importance of 2 Timothy 2:2:
"And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also."

Several words in this verse yield significance for discipleship:

  • “You” indicates the importance of the individual.
  • “You . . . me” indicates the importance of personal relationships and mutual confidence.
  • “Commit” suggests transferring something from one person to another; the deposit of a sacred trust. When we invest in the lives of another person, we transfer not only what we know, but what we are.
  • “Faithful men” Discipleship stands or falls with the importance of these two little words. Proverbs 20:6 teaches that "most men will proclaim each his own goodness, but who can find a faithful man?" 2 Chronicles 16:9 declares that "the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.
  • “Teach others also” Teaching others entails the imparting of a life--the same, in-depth transformation that occurred between Paul and Timothy

In the next post I hope to discuss more fully what it means for someone to be considered  "faithful."

Always?

Posted by Raif Turner on February 11, 2013 @ 9:50 PM

Most believers who have attended church services for a sufficient period of time are aware of Jesus' promise, "Lo, I will be with you always" (Matthew 28:20).

If you're like me, you probably have attended church with a few wise guys who will tell you that this promise means that believers should not fly in airplanes. You might have even heard from some tall, churchgoing wise guys that the promise applies only to short people. In fact, you might even have heard some of these types of comments from me, but please do not expect me to mention the obvious conclusion concerning my own character.

No, the point I want to emphasize in this post relates to the context of Jesus' statement. You have probably heard that, "A text without a context is a pretext." Although that quip is not particularly biblical, it does convey an important nugget of truth, and it is particularly interesting for Matthew 28:20. This verse concludes the segment of Scripture commonly referred to as The Great Commission, Jesus' instruction to His apostles to make disciples as they travel throughout the world. If we interpret Jesus' promise to be with His apostles always, within the immediate context of the passage, it becomes difficult to separate the promise from the process. Or, stated differently, Jesus' promise to be with them always refers to their work in discipling other believers. 

Let each of us be diligent to "present [ourself] approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth" (2 Timothy 2:15). 

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