New class starts October 4: The Weightier Matters Of The Law

Beginning tomorrow, October 4, we will be considering Jesus’ statement in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42 concerning “the weightier matters of the law.  For the first lesson  (1) Give some thought to Jesus use of this phrase in Matthew 23:23 and Luke 11:42. (2) List and define the specific things Jesus refers to as “the weightier matters”. (3) What was the real reason He condemned the Pharisees in these verses?

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For Wednesday March 22 – Better Churches Review

  1. Why are 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus good sources for guidance on how we can be a better church?
  2. What was Paul’s first instruction to Timothy?
  3. What kinds of things are included in “sound doctrine” (see 1 Timothy 1:9-11 and Titus 2:1-10)
  4. We often observe that the chapter and verses in our Bibles were added by men. Note the connection between the end of 2 Timothy 3 and the beginning of 2 Timothy 4. What topic connects them?
  5. The letters to Timothy and Titus repeatedly emphasize avoiding foolish and ignorant disputes such as the endless genealogies and striving about words. Why does it say we should avoid these? (1 Timothy 1:4, 2 Timothy 2:14, 23).
  6. What is our attitude to be toward those we believe to be in error or who are struggling with sin? (2 Timothy 2:24, Titus 3:1).
  7. What hope is there for those who have not heard the gospel? (1 Timothy 2:1-6)
  8. What is the purpose of the church according to 1 Timothy 3:15? What does this mean?
  9. What hope is there for Christians who have not lived honorable lives? (2 Timothy 2:20-21).
  10. What is the “faithful saying” in 1 Timothy 1:15?
  11. What is the “faithful saying” in 1 Timothy 3:1?
  12. Look at the “faithful saying” in 1 Timothy 4:8. What is godliness profitable for?
  13. How would you reconcile 1 Timothy 4:8 with 2 Timothy 3:12?
  14. How would you reconcile 2 Timothy 3:12 with our life experience today?
  15. “Bodily exercise profits a little” might refer to physical exercise (working out), but what is another possible meaning?
  16. To help with question 16,  what do these letters say about marriage (1 Timothy 4:3), eating meat (1 Timothy 4:4,5) , and money (1 Timothy 6:17)?
  17. True or False: Money is the root of all evil. (See 1 Timothy 6:10).
  18. What do these letters teach about church money?
  19. What is the final “faithful saying”? (Titus 3:8)
  20. What kind of people are we to be according to Titus 2:14?

 

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For Wednesday March 15 – “Working Up A Church Budget”

Paul is writing about conduct in the house of God (1 Timothy 3:15).  The title of this lesson, “working up a budget”, is a bit playful, but the chapter (1Timothy 5)  does address two financial obligations of the church and may shed light on the propriety of such things as a “treasury” and “budget”.

  1. 1 Timothy 5 begins with instructions about rebuking. Does this apply just to rebuking or does it relate to other aspects of Timothy’s relationships? What can we learn from these 2 verses?
  1. What additional admonition does he add to his instructions concerning Timothy’s relationship with young women? Why is this added?
  1. 1 Timothy 5:3 says to “Honor widows”. What does “honor” include in light of 1 Timothy 5:17-18?
  1. How is the act of caring for parents (or even grandparents) described in verse 4? What does this tell us about how God feels about children doing this?   (see also verse 8)
  1. Ideally who should care for widows? Note that this idea of family responsibility is stressed 3 times in this paragraph (see verse 8 and 16). What does that teach us?
  1. Verse 9 speaks of a widow being “taken into the number” (New King James Version). Note how some different translations express this. What is Paul really speaking of in this instruction?  Responding to a “one time need” or something more?
  1. What do we learn about elders from 17 and 18?  Try to list more than one idea.

 

 

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For Wednesday March 8 – Preparing For Eternity

Many verses in 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus speak about the ultimate goal of the church: helping as many as possible  secure eternal salvation in heaven.  Consider what some of these texts say about salvation.

1 Timothy 4:8

1/ What two “lives” does 1 Timothy 4:8 identify?

2/ What is the promise of the life which now is?

3/ What is the promise of that which is to come?

4/ How would you define godliness as used in this text?

 

1 Timothy 2:3-6

1/ What does this verse suggest about God’s feelings for mankind?

2/ For whom did Jesus die?

3/ What does this verse say that points to our responsibility?

 

2 Timothy 3:14-15

1/ What role do the scriptures play in our salvation?

 

 

1 Timothy 4:16

1/ Wasn’t Timothy already saved?

2/ Is there a sense in which we save ourselves?

3/ What does this verse say we must do?

 

Titus 3:3-7

1/ “Not by works of righteousness which we have done”. Does this mean we don’t do anything? What is another possible meaning?

2/ We are saved by His mercy, through the washing of regeneration.   What does the washing of regeneration refer to?

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For Wednesday March 1: Better Organization

Paul wrote to Timothy and Titus instructing them concerning affairs of the churches with which they worked.

Many resist the idea that there is an organizational aspect to the church. The opposing view is that the word church simply means the people called together (which is true) and that the church is nothing more than a group of believers supporting one another like a family.

What do these verses in 1 Timothy and Titus reveal about any organization in the churches? Are these just older men who should be examples or is there a more formal organization here?

1 Timothy 3:1-13

1 Timothy 5:17-18

Titus 1:5-9

 

 

Concerning elders, note how these texts use different words to designate the same work:

Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the ________________of the church…………28 “Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you __________________ , to ____________________the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint _______________  in every city as I commanded you– 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a ________________must be blameless, as a steward of God……

1 Peter 5:1 The ___________________who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2 ______________ the flock of God which is among you, serving as ____________________ .

 

 

What might be suggested by these statements:

Titus 1:5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city….

1 Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you.

Acts 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church…..

 

 

Some of the opposition to organization is a reaction to abuses by those in authority in churches. An extreme, but  not uncommon expression of this attitude would be “The church is controlled by a bunch of men who are only interested in my attending and giving”.  What qualifications for elders help guard them against becoming abusers of authority? See also 1 Peter 5:3.

 

 

Compare the qualifications for elders in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.  Are there any differences?

 

 

How might Titus 3:1 relate to the predicament of whether or not a church should have a corporate identity?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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For Wednesday February 22 – Better Praise!

In the letters to Timothy and Titus Paul uses expressions that are somewhat poetic in nature and which are grand statements of faith and praise. Perhaps they give us a glimpse of the joy we should feel when worshiping God or they serve as reminder of how excited we should be to be Christians!

1 Timothy 3:16 kind of sums up the whole purpose of Jesus’ earthly mission.

Some have suggested that in 2 Timothy 2:11-13 Paul might have been quoting an early hymn.

We will also look at two statements in Titus that are beautiful descriptions of the gospel and are worthy of meditation!

1 Timothy 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

  1. What do you think Paul means when he says this is a “great mystery”?
  2. He lists 6 aspects of the work of Jesus.  List them and make an attempt to define each.

 

2 Timothy 2:11 This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, We shall also live with Him. 12 If we endure, We shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. 13 If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

  1. What does it mean to die with Jesus (there are two possibilities).
  2. What must we endure?
  3. What will happen if we deny Him?
  4. What comfort is there in knowing if we are faithless He still remains faithful and He cannot deny Himself?

 

Titus 2:11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.

  1. In addition to bringing salvation to all men this passage says the GRACE OF GOD teaches us how to live.   Identify (at least) 3 things we are to be doing according to this text.

 

Titus 3:3 For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and the love of God our Savior toward man appeared, 5 not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 whom He poured out on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savior, 7 that having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

  1. This text teaches us not to think we are better than other people by reminding us of how we were saved. It says we have been saved and we are heirs, but how does the text remind us that we still ought to be very humble?
  2. In a few words, how did we go from being a lost sinner to being saved?
  3. Our salvation is “not by works of righteousness which we have done”.  How do you understand that expression?

 

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For Wednesday February 15 – Zealous For Good Works

Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus frequently mention the importance of good works: See 1 Timothy 2:10, 5:10, Titus 3:1, 3:14, 6:18, Titus 2:14, 3:1, 8, 14.

  1. How would you define “good works”?
  2. What specific good works do 1 Timothy 5:9-10 and Titus 3:14 identify?

 

Titus 2:11-14 is one of the grandest texts in Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. It tells us that the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. That grace teaches us how to behave.

  1. What does it say we are to do, first negatively, then positively?
  2. Why according to Titus 2:14 did Jesus give Himself for us?
  3. Why do you think God wants us to be a people who are zealous for good works?

 

 

1 Timothy 6:17-19

  1. Who addressed with these commands?
  2. Are they to sell everything they have?
  3. What blessing is promised to those who share in this manner?

 

1 Timothy 2:9-10

  1. How does a woman “adorn herself” with good works?

 

Titus 3:8-9

  1. How does Titus 3:8 describe the command to do good works?
  2. What did we say previously about the “faithful sayings” in Timothy and Titus?
  3. What are some of the other “faithful sayings”.
  4. Compare verse 8 with verse 9.  What does it say about the kind of people we ought to be?

 

 

 

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For Wednesday February 8 – Women In Church

Give some thought to what 1 Timothy 3:14-15 is saying: “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth”.

Why does Paul say he wrote to Timothy?

How does he describe the church in verse 15?  It is the “__________ of God”.

What topics had Paul addressed immediately prior to this statement?

  1. In 2:1-10?
  2. In 2:11-15?
  3. In 3:1-7?
  4. In 3:8-13?

In light of what Paul says in 3:15 how should we take the instructions he gives regarding women, elders, and deacons?  Is there any reason to disregard his instructions here?

 

THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN CHURCH – 1 Timothy 2:8-15

Verse 11 says , “Let a woman learn in ________________________”.    Compare how some different translations translate this.

What are women actually prohibited from doing in this text? (12)

What reasons does Paul give for this restricted role of women?

  1. V13
  2. V14 –

 

How do you understand verse 15?

 

According to the qualifications in chapter 3, can women serve as elders?

 

Browse through 1, 2 Timothy and Titus. What else do you learn about Christian women and their role in the church?

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For Wednesday February 1 – Churches Should Be Compassionate Without Compromising Truth

How should a church respond to those who are struggling with sin or who are in error regarding the faith? Paul’s letters to Titus and Timothy speak of a need to clearly confront sin and error, but also talk about the importance of being gentle and patient.

 

A common complaint against churches and Christians is that they are angry and too argumentative. What are the negative effects of such an impression?

 

Study the scriptures below considering these two questions:

1/  Do they emphasize the strong, forceful response to sin and error or do they emphasize the compassionate, patient response?

2/  Also, consider if the immediate context might suggest why one attitude is emphasized over the other.

  1. 1 Timothy 3:3 (an elder must be….) not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous.
  2. 1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
  3. 1 Timothy 1:18 This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.
  4. 2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering and teaching.
  5. 2 Timothy 2:24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth.
  6. Titus 1:13 This testimony is true. Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith.

Consider Titus 3:1-7.

  1. What attitude does it say we should have?
  2. What is the reason given for why we should show all humility to all men?
  3. In light of these passages how would you respond to the following question?  Is Lakeshore a “gay-friendly” church?  (This is quite common — we need to be ready with a good answer.)

 

What other scriptures come to mind when pondering these questions?

 

 

 

 

 

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For Wednesday January 25 – Churches Should Share The Good News

Friday’s inauguration was called the most prayerful inauguration in US presidential history because it included six prayers.  For his part, Franklin Graham wrapped it up by quoting 1 Timothy 2:1-6 which is part of Paul’s instructions to Timothy about how to lead the church.

1. What does this passage tell churches to do?

2. To have peace is “good and acceptable in the sight of God”.  Why does the text suggest peace is good and acceptable to God?

3. What motivations do you see there for why churches should be concerned for the lost?

4. What is “the truth” in verse 4?

5. What does 1 Timothy 3:15 say about the truth and the purpose of the church?

A FAITHFUL SAYING

6. The expression “a faithful saying” is used 5 times in Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus. What does that expression suggest to you?  What are a few of the “faithful sayings”?

7. Read 1 Timothy 1:12-17.  What is the “faithful saying” in this text?

8. What example do we have in this context of God saving sinners?

9. What does 2 Timothy 2:1 say about WHO should be involved in teaching?

 

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