Date: 23 April, 2020
Text: 1 Timothy 4:12-16
Title: HOPE for Godly Examples
ill. Mac was watching a school dvd downstairs this week and his teacher was teaching him to identify objects that are alike in size.
- Indians and pilgrims in 3 different sizes.
- She'd put up a 4 idian or pilgrim in one of those 3 sizes and ask which one was the same.
exp. I was reminded that children have to learn everything even logic that is used in comparisons.
God has made their little minds like a sponge to soak up understanding.
(As we get older our sponge seems to lose it's ability to absorb.)
exp. As our children grow up in our homes, churches and communities, they are constantly observing how do do different things. Although we may be unaware of it - WE ARE TEACHING THEM BY OUR EXAMPLE.
note: In a church we don't just have young people, we often have young believers. They too are learning from the example of those who are older than them in the faith.
Php 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.
def. ensample - a model or a pattern to follow.
Joe Zichterman's hymn, Be An Example
Many now are watching the footsteps that we take;
Many soon will follow in the choices that we make.
So let us then be faithful to be what we should be,
And leave a good example that they can clearly see.
Let us then be watching the weary, day by day,
Looking to encourage and to lead them in the way;
To run the race with patience;
On Jesus fix their eyes,
And challenge them with excellence, that they might win the prize.
Be an example of the believers in word and in conduct;
Be steadfast in love, in faith, in purity of life.
For those behind us, let us stand within the gap and make a difference in their lives;
Be an example to follow Christ.
Our text this morning is 1 Timothy 4:12-16.
exp. Timothy is being mentored by the Apostle Paul and Paul wants him to be a good example.
12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers,
I want to encourage us to take up Paul's challenge to Timothy
- be a good example of the believers. Are you a good example of the believers?
I have an acrostic to help us remember the message this morning.
HOPE FOR GODLY EXAMPLES
H OLD UP a good example.
O BSERVE a good example.
P RACTICE a good example
E VALUATE your example.
Be a good example of the believers!
I. Hold up a good example.
Ill. Royal Highland Show last summer. There were examples in many different categories.
3.) Livestock - horses, cows, sheep,....
exp. Paul has several categories where he wants us to place well as an example.
A. Hold up good examples of a believers speech.
v.12 Be an example of the believers, in word,
ill. Our world has changed their position on good speech. Britannia - reading the information as you get ready to go onto the boat and found that police had authority to deal with profanity.
ill. It used to be that if there was a woman present men would guard their tongues - profanity was known to be what godless sailors said.
exp. Now days - Woman and children use profanity without conscience.
exp. Sadly many even in our churches take God's name in vain without thought.
app. A believer ought to examine his words and make sure that he is setting a good example.
Psa 19:14 Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
B. Hold up good examples of a believers behaviours.
v.12 Be an example of the believers, ...in conversation,
def. conversation is our behaviour or lifestyle. It is what we do.
question: How has the church historically differed from the world in lifestyle?
- Believers opposed profaning the Lord's day.
- Believers opposed the cinema and the wickedness of Holywood.
- Believers opposed sinful habits like smoking and drinking. (Loanhead churches)
- Believers taught modesty and decency in appearance. (dressing up for church.)
- Believers lifted up and honored the Word of God as absolute authority.
ill. Sadly - many churches today - are dressing down, taking on habits, watching all entertainment, abusing the Lord's day, disrespecting the absolute authority of the Word of God.
app. Our world ought to look to Christians to set the example of good behaviour. Certainly the generation coming up in our churches deserve a good example of a Believer's behaviour.
C. Hold up good examples of a believers affections.
v.12 Be an example of the believers, ...in charity,
def. The word charity is love.
note: The greek word translated "charity" is Agape.
exp. Gotquestions.org - Agape love involves faithfulness, commitment, and an act of the will. It is distinguished from the other types of love by its lofty moral nature and strong character.
.... The type of love that characterizes God is not a sappy, sentimental feeling such as we often hear portrayed. God loves because that is His nature and the expression of His being. He loves the unlovable and the unlovely, not because we deserve to be loved or because of any excellence we possess, but because it is His nature to love and He must be true to His nature.
Agape love is always shown by what it does. God’s love is displayed most clearly at the cross.
ill. Agape love is like the love shown by the Good Samaritan. Jesus told this story as an example to a man who questioned to whom God would have us show AGAPE love. (Who is my neighbour?")
exp. The story is of a man robbed on the road from Jerusalem to Jericho. Two religious man pass by on the other side of the road. But, then a Samarita (who the relious men would have hated) comes along and demonstrates THE LOVE GOD WANTS IN OUR LIVES AS BELIEVERS.
- He had concern for an injured stranger.
Luk 10:33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,
- He changed his plans to personally care for the stranger.
34 And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine,
- He freely gave to meet the needs of the stranger.
and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.
35 And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.
exp. That was Jesus good example of loving your neighbour and he would have us follow it.
v.37 Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.
app. We need to model the love of God and hold up good examples of a believer's affection.
D. Hold up good examples of a believers attitudes.
v.12 Be an example of the believers, ...in spirit,
exp. spirit - has to do with our attitude. They way we think or feel about it.
note: Attitude is contagious:
ill. 10 bad spied with a bad spirit kept the nation of Israel from entering the Promised Land.
exp. Nobody wanted to go into the Promised Land because these men didn't want to go.
ill. Winnie the Pooh - Eor is a fun character - but not in real life - nobody wants to be around somebody with such a poor attitude. Tigger on the other hand has a great spirit about everything.
app. question: How is your attitude as a believer? Are you holding up a good example.
Do you have to go to church or want to go to church?
"I've got to go to church" or is it "I get to go to church."
Do you have to serve the Lord or want to serve the Lord?
Do you willingly obey God or begrudgingly obey?
E. Hold up good examples of a believers convictions.
v.12 Be an example of the believers, ...in faith,
exp. Another word for faith is conviction.
It is a firm believe of the truth of God's Word and a corresponding obedience.
ill. There were 2 good spies who also went into the promised land. They came back with
A great spirit - "Let us go up at once and possess it"
and great faith - "For we are well able to overcome it."
exp. I suppose our attitude and faith often work together. (A good attitude has confidence that God is going to get it done."
ill. Gentile woman who's daughter was demon possessed had a great spirit and great faith.
22 And, behold, a woman of Canaan came out of the same coasts, and cried unto him, saying, Have mercy on me, O Lord, thou Son of David; my daughter is grievously vexed with a devil.
23 But he answered her not a word. And his disciples came and besought him, saying, Send her away; for she crieth after us.
24 But he answered and said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
25 Then came she and worshipped him, saying, Lord, help me.
26 But he answered and said, It is not meet to take the children's bread, and to cast it to dogs.
27 And she said, Truth, Lord: yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which fall from their masters' table.
28 Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.
- Her spirit was indefatigable. Her attitude was good despite the discouragement.
- Her faith was Jesus is going to meet my needs.
app. Jesus lifted her up as an example of faith. We need to hold up good examples of a believer's faith.
F. Hold up good examples of a believers chastity.
v.12 Be an example of the believers, ...in purity.
exp. This is the quality of cleanliness or specifically chastity (sexual purity). Our world is not chaste but is sexually perverse.
ill. Have you ever wished you could take someone from the 1800 and put them on a jet to see what they would think. (Times have changed dramatically from those days.) (With regard to chastity)
Women in those days covered up their skin.
If they could walk down Princess St. in Edinburgh they would blush because of the immodesty.
Public schools back then would have taught the Bible and guarding your virginity.
Now they have perverse teaching about sexuality including normalizing sexual sin.
75 years ago - Wicked music used to be veiled and use inuindoes
Now it is obscene in it's lyrics and pornographic in it's video.
Pornography 100 years ago was printed by wicked companies
Now it is available electronically to personal divices small enough to keep in your pocket.
app. How clearly in our day ought a believer's life to shine as a good example of chastity.
transition: We've been given the categories for a believer's example - word, behaviour, love, attitude, conviction, and chastity.
HOLD UP a good example (in these categories)
II. Observe a good example.
ill. My children and I enjoy looking for agates - semi precious stones. I grew up finding them in Wisconsin and I was delighted when we found them in some areas of Scotland. We were able to take Blake out with us this past Autumn and he had good success finding some beautiful stones. When you first teach someone to find agates, you help them to OBSERVE a good example. (This is what you are looking for.)
ill. Just before Covid-19 our family enjoyed giving attendance to a valtentines concert (usher hall.)We were present there in the audience listening to the music being performed.
exp. Paul has some places for us to be in attendance to observe a good example of the believers.
A. Observe a good example by reading.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading,
ill. We painted our garage this past week. The paint was supposed to be touch dry in 6 hours. It took about 72 hours for the first coat to dry. I suspect it was because I thought thinning the paint was optional for the first coat. But, in reinspecting the wording on the tin it said - It should be thinned by 10 percent. (I got it wrong, because I neglected to read.)
ill. Our example is flawed until we get in the Word of God and let it show us what is wrong.
2Co 3:18 But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.
app. How was your Bible reading time this morning, last night, this past week, with your family....
If you were asked what you had read in your Bible or where you are reading - would you have an answer?
We need to observe a good example by personal Bible reading.
B. Observe a good example by hearing.
13 Till I come, give attendance ...to exhortation,
exp. Exhortation is preaching. Our example changes as the Spirit of God speaks to our hearts through the declaration of the Word of God.
ill. My father in law - got saved in his 20's. He took his young family to Pentecostal meetings, my wife remembers going to a passover service, somehow he ended up at a Sword of the Lord conference at BJU. God then led him to Faith Baptist in Fremont.
exp. His life really began to change as he got under good Bible preaching.
app. We observe a good example by hearing the preaching of God's Word, reading our Bible....
C. Observe a good example by studying.
13 Till I come, give attendance ...to doctrine.
exp. Doctrine - sounds dry and dusty - but it is not. Bible doctrine is WHAT DOES GOD'S WORD SAY ABOUT A CERTAIN TOPICE.
- tonight we are studying - Angelology - Doctrine of Angels - It is exciting truth. (I read in my Bible this past week about Gabriel telling Zacharias he would be struck dumb for unbelief.) We need a correct understanding of angels and what they do for God or some against God.
note: Doctrine, like a precious metal protects our example from being tarnished and corrupted.
app. We need to read God's Word, listen to good preaching, but we also need to be students of the Bible - comparing Scripture with Scripture and rightly dividing God's Word.
app. If you want a good example you need to OBSERVE what God says about it - by reading, by hearing by studying.
Hold up a good example (in these categories), Observe a good example....
III. Practice a good example.
exp. It's not enough to Observe what is a good example in these different categories. We need to put what we observe in these categories INTO PRACTICE.
James 1:22 But be ye doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.
23 For if any be a hearer of the word, and not a doer, he is like unto a man beholding his natural face in a glass:
24 For he beholdeth himself, and goeth his way, and straightway forgetteth what manner of man he was.
25 But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.
exp. Just because you know what a believer should be does not mean you are what a believer should be.
A. Practice spiritually.
Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
exp. There was a spiritual work for Timothy to do. (He was a preacher teacher and needed to do the work of the ministry (with good examples in those categories.)
note: Our examples are pointless if they don't contibute to spiritual work for God.
ill. Earl - speaking to him about the importance of joining the church. "Ok, but what do I do after I join? Do I mow the grass? What's my job." (There is a great attitude.)
app. If we are going to be a good example, we need to practice spiritually and do what God wants us to do in our local church.
B. Practice diligently.
ill. Olympic athletes were relieved to hear that they had moved the summer games to 2021. Until then they were having to do all their training and they train hard as they strive for victory.
exp. Paul doesn't want a half hearted effort to be a good example. He wants diligence for victory.
1. Discipline your mind.
15 Meditate upon these things;
ill. We've enjoyed watching some BMX competitions where the cyclists do perform incredible acrobatics. (Drop down a 70 foot ramp - cross a 65 foot gap, accelerate down another ramp and up a 27 foot half pipe that throughs them 20 feet into the air.)
(They close their eyes and go through every actions of their two jumbs.)
exp. Paul wants what we need to do for victory to be our constant meditation.
Psa 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me.
Psa 119:32 I will run the way of thy commandments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart.
Jas 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
app. Is your mind on what you need to do for victory in your example?
2. Discipline your body.
...give thyself wholly to them;
exp. This wasn't practice as in learning - this is practice like Dentist practice.
ill. I really went to a dentist practice once when I had my teeth cleaned by a dental student. Thankfully an instructor was there and I wasn't getting a root cannal.
exp. You want a dentist who is giving their very best professionally in dentistry as their career.
app. Have you given yourself wholly to doing what God says to do? The example God wants is not half hearted - but a professional believer who is making a career of Christianity.
C. Practice openly.
...that thy profiting may appear to all.
exp. Jesus instruction on tithing (not letting your right hand know what your left hand was doing) prayer (praying in a closet) and fasting (washing your face) was TO KEEP US FROM DOING WHAT WE DO FOR THE PRAISE OF MEN.
note: But, Jesus was not teaching that we should hide what we do for God from men.
Mat 5:16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.
ill. Daniel's walk with God was transparent. The law was signed that you couldn't pray.
Dan 6:10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went into his house; and his windows being open in his chamber toward Jerusalem, he kneeled upon his knees three times a day, and prayed, and gave thanks before his God, as he did aforetime.
app. If we are practicing being the example God wants us to be, other should see it! Hold up good examples (categories), Observe good examples , Practice good examples....
IV. Evaluate your example.
1. Hold up (categories)
2. Observe (what does God say is a good example.)
3. Practice (put down your example of the believer.)
A. Evaluate your example by position. (Are you correct?)
1. Are you correct practically?
16 Take heed unto thyself,
exp. Christianity is not just a creed.
ill. Bob Jones University creed - We believe in the inspiration of the Bible (both the Old and the New Testaments); the creation of man by the direct act of God; the incarnation and virgin birth of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ; His identification as the Son of God; His vicarious atonement for the sins of mankind by the shedding of His blood on the cross; the resurrection of His body from the tomb; His power to save men from sin; the new birth through the regeneration by the Holy Spirit; and the gift of eternal life by the grace of God.
ill. Imagine a church where someone says, the music is bad but the preaching is good.
exp. The example set by that church is that IT IS OK TO BE PRACTICALY A BAD EXAMPLE AS LONG AS YOU ARE A GOOD EXAMPLE DOCTRINALLY.
app. God's Word teaches us that WHAT WE DO MATTERS as much as WHAT WE BELIEVE.
2. Are you correct doctrinally?
...and unto the doctrine;
question: Do you stand where the Word of God stands?
2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
app. EVERY WORD OF GOD is important. We do not to stand in judgment upon God, but His Word is going to judge us some day.
transition: Evaluate - are you right practically/ doctrinally?
B. Evaluate your example by constancy. (Are you staying the course?)
...continue in them:
exp. You aren't a good example because you had a good week as an example. It is day in day out, week in, week out.... It's not your past - but your future.
13 Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
14 I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
ill. Do you enjoy fireworks? Did a professional show once/ Nobody likes a dud. It fizzles and sputters and goes out.
app. Evalutate your example - Are you a growing, maturing believer or have you fizzled?
C. Evaluate your example by impact. (Are you motivating others to follow you?)
...for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
exp. a good example will have a good impact on those around you.
ill. Dan Hassman - 5 years older than me - my counselor when God called me to surrender my life - great friend - we are now both serving God as missionaries. He was a good example to me.
app. Evaluate your example - If your example is good, it will be having an impact on someone's life.
Mac's teacher reminded me that kids need to be taught everything and that they learn by example.
We don't just have children in our church but new believers as well.
They need good examples of the believers to follow.
What is the HOPE for Godly examples?
Hold up good examples (in these categories)
Observe good examples
read your bible
attend preaching services
Study Bible doctrine
Practice good examples
Evalute your example
Is it correct - practically/ doctrinally?
Is it constant?
Is it having a good impact?
May God help us to obtain good HOPE for Godly Examples!