1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9

Time to Dream: The Struggle Behind Every Dream

Gregory C. Magruder    Parkview Baptist   Gainesville, FL    03/15/20
 
THE STRUGGLE BEHIND EVERY DREAM
Time to Dream: Trusting God to Open Doors - Part 3
 
INTRODUCTION: We are in week 3 of our Time to Dream campaign. We have looked at what dreams are and the reason why they are important in our Christian journey. Last week we looked at some of the fears that keep us from achieving God’s dream for our lives. We get stuck in the past and never move forward with our dream. That’s because there is a struggle behind every dream. God allows these struggles to take place because he wants to develop our character and prepare us to fulfill his dream for our lives. Jacob is a good biblical example of how God prepares us to receive the dream God has for our lives. God had a dream for Jacob, but Jacob had to go through a four-phase struggle to get ready for God’s dream.
 
THE DREAM - Genesis 28:11-22
 
THE STRUGGLE: 4 Phases God Takes Us through to Get Us Ready for His Dream (Genesis 32)
 
1. THE CRISIS PHASE: I Struggle with God and Others
 
“That night Jacob sent his family across the Jabbok river. Then Jacob was left all alone in the camp, and a Man came and WRESTLED with Jacob all night.” Genesis 32:22-25 (NLT)
 
“Before Jacob was born, he STRUGGLED with his brother; when he became a man, he even FOUGHT WITH GOD.” Hosea 12:3 (NLT)
 
2. THE COMMITMENT PHASE: God Tests My Faith in His Promise to Bless Me
 
“Jacob WRESTLED with this Man until dawn. When the man saw that he couldn't win the match, he struck Jacob's hip and knocked it out of joint at the socket. Then the man said, ‘Let me go, for it is dawn!’ But Jacob panted, ‘I won’t let you go unless you bless me!”’
(Genesis 32:24b-26)
 
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” Galatians 6:9 (NIV)
 
3. THE CONFESSION PHASE: I Admit that I Am My Biggest Problem
 
“The man asked him, ‘What is your name?’ ‘My name is JACOB,’ he answered.”’ Genesis 32:27 (NIV)
 
Jacob = original: “deceiver/manipulator”
 
4. THE CONVERSION PHASE: God Gives Me a New Identity and a Dream!
 
“Then the Man said, ‘Your name will no longer be Jacob. Instead you will be called ISRAEL... Then God blessed him there. So Jacob called the place Peniel, saying, ‘It is because I saw God face to face...”’ (Genesis 32:28-30 NIV)
 
Israel = “Prince with God”
 
“The sun rose as Jacob left Peniel, and he was limping because of his hip.” Genesis 32:31 (NLT)
 
“If anyone belongs to Christ, they are a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new!” 2 Corinthians 5:17 (NCV)
 
Homework:
 
Memorize 2 Corinthians 5:17
“If anyone belongs to Christ, they are a new creation!”
 

Time to Dream: Living the Dream Despite Past Poor Decisions

Gregory C. Magruder    Parkview Baptist   Gainesville, FL    03/08/20
 
LIVING GOD’S DREAM DESPITE PAST POOR DECISIONS*
Time to Dream: Trusting God to Open Doors – Part 2
 
“We all stumble in many ways.” James 3:2
 
RECOVERING GOD’S ORIGINAL DREAM FOR ME:
 
1. HONESTLY ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY FOR MY POOR
CHOICES
 
4 COMMON CAUSES
Seen in Peter's Betrayal of Jesus
 
  • PRIDE -
Peter: “Everyone else may stumble in their faith, but I won’t!” Mark 14:29
 
  • FATIGUE -
Jesus: “Could you not stay awake with me for just one hour?” Mark 14:37
 
  • FEAR OF DISAPPROVAL -
“Peter followed Jesus at a distance...” Mark 14:54a
 
  • SHORT-TERM PLEASURE -
“Peter then sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.”
                                                                                                 Mark 14:54b
 
Jesus said, “Simon Peter, Satan has asked to test you, but I have prayed for you that your faith will not fail. So WHEN you have repented and recovered, I want you to strengthen the other disciples.” Luke 22:31-32
 
2. HUMBLY ASK FOR GOD’S MERCY & FORGIVENESS
 
David: “Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love. In your great compassion, please wipe out the stain of all my wrongdoing. Wash away all my guilt and cleanse me from my sins. For I am haunted by my failures and I can’t forget the evil things I’ve done... I know you love complete honesty from my heart so help me see what’s deep inside me... Then create a new, pure heart in me and renew my spirit with the right desires and restore the joy of your salvation! Then I’ll help bring others back to you too.” Psalm 51:1-3, 6, 10
 
3. GRATEFULLY ACCEPT GOD’S AMAZING GRACE!

“Christ sacrificed his life's blood (on the Cross) to set us free, which means that ALL our sins are now forgiven! God did this because of his generous grace to us.” Ephesians 1:7
 
So now there is no condemnation for those who belong to Christ Jesus!”
Romans 8:1 (NLT)
 
WHY DOES SIN NOT INVALIDATE GOD’S DREAM FOR ME? BECAUSE . . .
 
*JESUS ALREADY PAID FOR ALL MY SINS!
 
“When Jesus served as a sacrifice for our sins, He solved the sin problem for God -- not only ours, but the whole worlds.” 1 John 2:2 (MSG)
 
*GOD’S GOODNESS ISN’T BASED ON MY PERFORMANCE
 
“He saved us, not because of the good things we did, but because of his mercy.” Titus 3:5 (NLT)
 
*GOD’S CALLING & GIFTS ARE GIVEN UNCONDITIONALLY
 
“For God's gifts and his call are irrevocable. They can’t be withdrawn.”
Romans 11:29
 
4. GENEROUSLY FORGIVE THOSE WHO’VE HURT ME
 
“If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15 (NLT)
 
5. COURAGEOUSLY FACE THE FUTURE WITH FAITH
 
“Devote your whole heart to God and reach out to Him in prayer for help. If you get rid of the sins in your heart and your home you will face the world again without shame and you’ll be strong and free of fear! Then you’ll forget your past troubles, like water under a bridge. Your life will be brighter than noonday, and even in darkness you’ll shine like the morning. And now you’ll have courage because you will have hope!” Job 11:13-18
 
“Forget the former thing and do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it is springing up; do you not perceive it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness and I will create streams where there has been wasteland!” Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
 
Memorize: “There is no condemnation for those in Christ Jesus.” Rom. 8:1

*this sermon is based on material by Rick Warren and Saddleback Community Church

 

Time to Dream: Dreaming the Future God Wants for You

Gregory C. Magruder    Parkview Baptist   Gainesville, FL    03/01/20

 

DREAMING THE FUTURE GOD WANTS FOR YOU

Time to Dream: Trusting God to Open Doors – Part 1*

 

WHAT IS A SPIRITUAL GROWTH CAMPAIGN?

 

A concentrated 40-day spiritual boost to your life that we commit to doing together using multiple learning styles to equip & energize us for our future!

 

“God can do anything -- far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request or dream in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working gently within us.” Ephesians 3:20 (MSG)

 

12 REASONS I MUST KNOW GOD’S DREAM FOR MY LIFE!

 

1. GOD GAVE ME THE CAPACITY TO DEAM.

 

God: “Let us make human beings in our image and likeness.” Genesis 1:26

 

2. WITHOUT A DREAM I’M DYING

 

Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18 (KJV)

 

3. EVERYTHING STARTS WITH A DREAM

 

“I pray that your hearts will be flooded with light so that you can see something of the future that God has called you to share!” Ephesians 1:18 (LB)

 

4. DREAMS SHOW WHAT GOD WANTS TO DO THROUGH ME  

 

Joseph told Pharaoh: “God has given you two dreams to let you know what he has definitely decided to do AND that he WILL do it in your future.”

Genesis 41:32

 

5. MY DREAMS DEFINE ME  

 

Jesus: “Your eye is the light for your body. If your vision is good, your whole body will be full of light. But if your vision is evil, your whole life will be full of darkness.” Matthew 6:22-23

 6. A DREAM KEEPS ME GROWING  

 

Paul: “I know that I am not yet what God wants me to be. I haven’t reached that goal, but I keep moving toward it to make it mine because Christ made me and saved me for this. I know that I haven’t yet reached my goal, but there’s one thing I always do. Forgetting the past and straining toward what is ahead, I keep my eyes focused on the goal so that I may one day win the prize that God has called me to receive through Christ in the life above. All of you who are spiritually mature should think this same way.” Philippians 3:12-15

 

7. A DREAM FOCUSES MY ENERGY  

 

“I run straight to the goal with purpose in every step. I fight to win. I’m not like some boxer punching the air or playing around.” 1 Corinthians 9:26 (LB)

 

8. A DREAM STRETCHES MY FAITH  

 

“According to your faith will it be done to you.” Matthew 9:29

 

9. A DREAM KEEPS ME GOING IN TOUGH TIMES  

 

Job: “I do not have the strength to endure. I do not have a goal that encourages me to carry on.” Job 6:11 (NLT)

 

10. A GREAT DREAM INSPIRES OTHERS TO DREAM  

 

“If your goals are good, you will be respected.” Proverbs 11:27 (TEV)

 

11. MY SELF-DISCIPLINE WILL BE REWARDED IN HEAVEN  

 

“All athletes practice strict self-control. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.” 1 Corinthians 9:25 (NLT)

 

12. GOD-GIVEN DREAMS ARE A GIFT OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

 

GOD: “In the last days I will pour out my Spirit on ALL people. Your SONS and DAUGHTERS will proclaim my message. Your YOUNG men will see VISIONS and your OLD men will DREAM DREAMS. Yes, on ALL my servants, both MEN and WOMEN, I will pour out my Spirit in those days and they will proclaim my message!” Acts 2:17-18

*this sermon is based on material by Rick Warren and Saddleback Community Church 

JUDE: Contend for the Faith

Gregory C. Magruder    Parkview Baptist   Gainesville, FL    02/23/20   
 
“Contend for the Faith”
Jude 1-25
 
INTRODUCTION: Jude, the brother of James and the half-brother of Jesus, writes his short letter to warn the growing Christian community of infiltrators who are trying to lead the church away from the truth. Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints (1-3). The truth is worth fighting for. Jude exposes the problem, reveals the deceivers, and provides the best ways to contend for the faith. The church of Jesus Christ must always be on guard against apostasy and resist it with unrelenting vigor.
 
WHAT IS APOSTASY?
 
*Apostasy means falling away from or deserting what was once believed. It is a complete rejection of what was once held to be true. In religion, it is either denying what was once believed or it is turning to another faith like a -Christian becoming a Muslim. Heresy is holding a different belief from what is normally accepted in the same religion.
 
WHO ARE THE APOSTATES?
 
*Jude warned against apostates who had infiltrated the church. They are deceptive, immoral and deny Jesus Christ as Lord.  For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ (4).
 
*They are doomed for judgment and punishment like the Israelites in the wilderness. the rebellious angels, and the people of Sodom and Gomorrah.
Now I want to remind you, although you once fully knew it, that Jesus, who saved a people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe…(5-7).
 
*The apostates claim to be spiritual but are sexually perverted, reject authority, and make fun of spiritual realities. Yet in like manner these people also, relying on their dreams, defile the flesh, reject authority, and blaspheme the glorious ones (8).
 
*Their religion is self-centered, greedy, divisive, and rejects God’s law. Woe to them! For they walked in the way of Cain and abandoned themselves for the sake of gain to Balaam's error and perished in Korah's rebellion. These are hidden reefs at your love feasts, as they feast with you without fear, shepherds feeding themselves (11-12).
 
*Apostates are godless, arrogant, sensual and worldly. They disrupt and divide the true church. These are grumblers, malcontents, following their own sinful desires; they are loud-mouthed boasters, showing favoritism to gain advantage…It is these who cause divisions, worldly people, devoid of the Spirit (16-19).
 
HOW DO WE FIGHT APOSTASY?
 
*Remember the words and warnings of the prophets and apostles about the ungodly scoffers who would come in the last days. It was also about these that Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied, saying, “Behold, the Lord comes with ten thousands of his holy ones, to execute judgment on all and to convict all the ungodly of all their deeds of ungodliness that they have committed in such an ungodly way, and of all the harsh things that ungodly sinners have spoken against him” (14-15).
 
But you must remember, beloved, the predictions of the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ. They said to you, “In the last time there will be scoffers, following their own ungodly passions.” (17-18).
 
*Stay at the center of God’s love by building up your faith, praying in the Spirit, and looking forward in hope to the coming of Christ. But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, waiting for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life (20-21).
 
*Rescue the weak and weary who have been deceived by the apostates. And have mercy on those who doubt; save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh (22-23).
 
*Trust God to bring you through.  Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen (24-25).
 

Philemon - Christ Above All

Gregory C. Magruder    Parkview Baptist   Gainesville, FL    02/16/20   
 
“Christ Above All”
Philemon 1-25
 
INTRODUCTION: Philemon is a prison letter from Paul to Philemon, the wealthy Christian leader and host of the church at Colossae. Paul appeals to Philemon to receive Onesimus, the runaway slave, “as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord” (v. 16).  The letter is an appeal to treat Onesimus gently, but Paul begins the letter with kind words about Philemon’s faith and love. The common bond of faith, fellowship, and love in Jesus brings people together. Our commitment to Jesus Christ overcomes any barriers that may separate us from one another. Christ is above all that divides us.
 
CHRIST CREATES THE BOND OF LOVE & FELLOWSHIP.
 
*All followers of Jesus become part of the family of God. The gospel tears down all social, economic, racial, educational, and gender barriers. We have a common bond in Christ. Philemon demonstrated this unity. The church at Colossae met in Philemon’s home. To Philemon our beloved fellow worker and Apphia our sister and Archippus our fellow soldier, and the church in your house (1-2).
 
*The Good News of Jesus Christ transforms lives. Philemon’s Christian life was marked by faith and loveI thank my God always when I remember you in my prayers, because I hear of your love and of the faith that you have toward the Lord Jesus and for all the saints (4-5).
 
*As we share our faith, we deepen our relationship with Christ. God’s people can encourage others through warm and generous acts of kindness. Paul told Philemon: I pray that the sharing of your faith may become effective for the full knowledge of every good thing that is in us for the sake of Christ. For I have derived much joy and comfort from your love, my brother, because the hearts of the saints have been refreshed through you. (6-7).


*Because we have a common bond of love and faith in Christ, we can discuss difficult things and look for solutions to challenging problems. Paul’s appeal to Philemon is a picture of the gospel in action. Accordingly, though I am bold enough in Christ to command you to do what is required, yet for love's sake I prefer to appeal to you—I, Paul, an old man and now a prisoner also for Christ Jesus— I appeal to you for my child, Onesimus,  whose father I became in my imprisonment. (Formerly he was useless to you, but now he is indeed useful to you and to me.) (8-11).
 
CHRIST MAKES PARDON & RECONCILIATION POSSIBLE.
 
*Paul became an advocate for Onesimus, the runaway slave, just like Jesus became an advocate for us, rebellious sinners.
  • Paul: I am sending him…back to you. I would have liked to keep him with me so that he could take your place in helping me while I am in chains for the gospel. But I did not want to do anything without your consent, so that any favor you do would not seem forced but would be voluntary…He is very dear to me but even dearer to you, both as a fellow man and as a brother in the Lord (12-16).
 
  • Jesus: But if anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous (1 John 2:1).
 
*Paul was willing to substitute himself for Onesimus and pay the penalty for his wrongdoing. Jesus paid the penalty for our sin on the cross and exchanged his life for our life so we may have eternal life.
  • Paul: So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me. If he has wronged you at all, or owes you anything, charge that to my account. I, Paul, write this with my own hand: I will repay it (17-19).
  • Jesus: in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them… For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:19-21).
 
*Because of the common bond of faith in Jesus Christ, the master Philemon and the slave Onesimus were now brothers in Christ. Paul becomes the mediator between the two so that forgiveness and reconciliation take place.
  • Paul: So if you consider me your partner, receive him as you would receive me… I will repay it—to say nothing of your owing me even your own self. Yes, brother, I want some benefit from you in the Lord. Refresh my heart in Christ (17-20).
  • Jesus: For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus (1 Timothy 2:5).
 
*Historical note: Fifty years after Philemon was written, Ignatius of Antioch wrote a letter to the church at Ephesus praising their Bishop, Onesimus. Philemon must have forgiven his slave and Onesimus went on to faithfully serve Christ as a pastor and leader.
 

TITUS: Christian Living

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      02/09/20
 
"Christian Living”
Titus 2 & 3
 
INTRODUCTION: Paul sent Titus to select elders to serve in the churches on the island of Crete: This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you (Titus 1:5). The selection of a pastor requires careful evaluation of the character and the conduct of the candidate. Paul gives Titus the guidelines in selecting a pastor and warns him of danger signs to look for in the candidate. Paul also challenges every Christian to live in such a way that Jesus is honored, and the gospel is advanced. The way we live confirms what we teach. Paul explains that our behavior, our testimony, and our actions are all needed to lead others to follow Jesus.
 
GOD’S PEOPLE MUST REPRESENT CHRIST WELL.
 
*Christian doctrine is judged by Christian living. We must live our lives in such a way that we bring honor to Jesus and the gospel. Our walk must match our talk. But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine (Titus 2:1).
  • Our family relationships bring respect to God’s Word: that the word of God may not be reviled (2:5).
  • We are to do good works so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us” (2:7-8).
  • Workers are to serve well “so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior” (2:10).
 
*Christian teaching is best expressed through godly living.
  • Older men are to be mature examples of faith, love, and endurance. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness (2:3).
  • Older women are to live holy lives and teach the younger  how to raise a godly family. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children (2:3-4).
  • Younger women are to make their homes places of love and goodness. Train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled (2:4-5).
  • Younger men are to be self-controlled and models of Christian integrity. Likewise, urge the younger men to be self-controlled. Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity, and sound speech that cannot be condemned, so that an opponent may be put to shame, having nothing evil to say about us (2:6-8).
  • Slaves are to be obedient and honest as they serve their masters so that Christ’s name is honored. Bondservants are to be submissive to their own masters in everything; they are to be well-pleasing, not argumentative, not pilfering, but showing all good faith, so that in everything they may adorn the doctrine of God our Savior (2:9-10).
 
GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE A MARVELOUS STORY TO TELL.
 
*God’s grace came into the world through his son Jesus Christ.
  • Grace brought us salvation so we can live godly lives and have hope until Jesus comes again. For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ (2:11-13).
  • Jesus redeemed us, purified us, and made us useful for God’s purposes in this world. Jesus “gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works” (2:14).
 
GOD’S PEOPLE MUST DO GOOD TO ALL PEOPLE.
 
*We are to be good citizens and treat everyone with love and respect.
Remind them to be submissive to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready for every good work, to speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people (3:1-2).
 
*We were once rebellious sinners, but God showed us mercy and grace. We can do good to others because we are now born again and filled with God’s Spirit. For we ourselves were once foolish… But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us… according to his own mercy, by the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit…through Jesus Christ our Savior…The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works (3:3-8).
 

TITUS: Church Leadership

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      02/02/20
 
"Church Leadership”
Titus 1
 
INTRODUCTION: Paul was released from prison in A.D. 64 and wrote letters to the young pastors Timothy and Titus whom he had mentored. His goal was to give them encouragement and guidelines on leading a local church. Timothy was a Jew and Titus was a Gentile and both were converts of Paul. They also had served with Paul on his missionary journeys. Paul sent Titus to select elders to serve in the churches on the island of Crete: This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you (Titus 1:5). The selection of a pastor requires careful evaluation of the character and the conduct of the candidate. Paul gives Titus the guidelines in selecting a pastor and warns him of danger signs to look for in the candidate.
 
WHAT ARE SOME GUIDELINES FOR CHOOSING A PASTOR?
 
*A pastoral candidate should have a good family. Appoint elders in every town as I directed you—if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination (5-6).
 
*A pastoral candidate should have good character. For an overseer, as God's steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined (7-8).
 
*A pastoral candidate should have good doctrine. He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it (9).
 
WHAT ARE SOME DANGERS TO AVOID IN CHOOSING A PASTOR?
 
*Check the pastoral candidate’s doctrinal beliefs and see what he teaches.
For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach…Therefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith, not devoting themselves to Jewish myths and the commands of people who turn away from the truth (10-14).

*Look for hidden agendas in his motives and behavior. For there are many who are insubordinate, empty talkers and deceivers, especially those of the circumcision party. They must be silenced, since they are upsetting whole families by teaching for shameful gain what they ought not to teach (10-11).
 
*Observe if the candidate is hypocritical in his actions and conduct. To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled. They profess to know God, but they deny him by their works. They are detestable, disobedient, unfit for any good work (15-16).
 
Church leadership must be led by a person of good character and conduct. Choose well when selecting leaders, especially a pastor.
 

The Presence of Hope in Hopeless Times

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      01/26/20
 
"The Presence of Hope in Hopeless Times”
2 Timothy 4:6-8
 
INTRODUCTION: Paul was in prison in Rome. He knew his time was short. Second Timothy is his swan song, his final farewell. Paul writes, “For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come” (2 Timothy 4:6). Paul saw his life as a sacrifice for God. The Jewish sacrifices on the altar ended with a drink offering being poured out on the altar. Romans ended their meals with a libation poured out to the gods. Sailors would offer a libation to the gods before they set sail. Paul knew his departure was close at hand and knew his ultimate sacrifice would be death for Christ.
 
He writes, “the time of my departure has come.”  Paul’s word departure in 2 Timothy 4:6 is important. It means "loosing" or "unmooring." It’s a word he uses again when he sighs, "I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ" (Phil. 1:23). Departure is a nautical term that suggests "shipping out"—weighing anchor, slipping the lines that tether us to this world and getting underway. It’s a marvelous metaphor for dying. For believers in Christ, death is not an end but a beginning. It means leaving this old world behind and getting to a better place, completing the purpose for which we were made.
 
Paul’s final message to Timothy is clear: be a person of faith in faithless times. God’s Word will instruct, protect, and guide God’s people through perilous times. Therefore, Paul has hope for the present and hope for the future. The Lord’s presence always gives God’s people hope. Paul uses three metaphors from the games to show how we can face life and death.
 
GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE HOPE IN THE PRESENT STRUGGLE.
 
*Life is like a combat sport, like boxing or wrestling. It is a contest, a fight. Paul writes, “I have fought the good fight” (4:7).
 
*Paul’s life was a prime example of the struggle (see 2 Corinthians 2:23-28).
 
There are some things worth fighting for as God’s people.
 
GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE HOPE IN FUTURE SEASONS OF LIFE.
 
*Paul also said that he “finished the race” (4:7). Like the marathon in the Greek games, it is vital that we not only run the race well but also that we cross the finish line.
 
*We aim to reach the goal and the prize awaiting us at the end of the race. As Paul told the Philippians, “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14).
 
God’s people need to run the race well and finish strong.
 
GOD’S PEOPLE HAVE HOPE IN AN ETERNAL SAVIOR.
 
*Finally, Paul told Timothy that he “kept the faith” (4:7). Participants in the Greek games promised to do their best and abide by the rules. Paul says that he was faithful to his commitment to Christ and to his calling. He not only believed, he also obeyed to the end.
 
*Participants in the Greek games endeavored to win the crown, the laurel wreath that was placed on the head of the winner. Paul looked forward to receiving an eternal reward, the crown of righteousness. All followers of Christ will receive this prize, the gift of eternal life. “Henceforth there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will award to me on that day, and not only to me but also to all who have loved his appearing” (4:8-9).
 
*The apostle Paul was very open about his death (2 Timothy 4:6). He knew that its sting had been removed because Christ paid sin's penalty on the cross (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). Death would give way to victory (v.54); he would fully experience Christ's righteousness; and he would be with Christ (2 Corinthians 5:8). Jesus gives that same confidence to all who trust Him as Savior and Lord.
 
God’s people have an eternal reward because they trust an eternal Savior.
 

THE POWER OF SCRIPTURE IN THE END TIMES

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      01/19/20
 
"The Power of Scripture in the End Times”
2 Timothy 3:1 – 4:5
 
INTRODUCTION: Paul was in prison in Rome. He knew his time was short. Second Timothy is his swan song, his final farewell. He wants to prepare Timothy to be a strong leader for the coming struggle. Paul’s final message to Timothy is clear: be a person of faith in faithless times. God’s Word will instruct, protect, and guide God’s people through perilous times. Scripture has the power to combat error and transform lives. God’s people must recognize the problems, depend on God’s Word, and boldly proclaim the Good News in order to resist the end time darkness.
 
PROTECT THE WORD OF GOD IN THE END TIMES (3:1-9).
 
But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people…Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith. But they will not get very far, for their folly will be plain to all, as was that of those two men (3:1-9).
 
*Perilous times are coming so
 
  • defend the word from ungodliness (1-5).
  • defend the word from false prophets (6-9).
 
PERSIST IN THE WORD OF GOD IN THE END TIMES (3:10-17).
 
You, however, have followed my teaching, my conduct, my aim in life, my faith, my patience, my love, my steadfastness, my persecutions and sufferings…Indeed, all who desire to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evil people and impostors will go on from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work (3:10-17).
 
*Continue to uphold the word of God
 
  • by following the example of faithful leaders (10-11).
  • by being willing to endure persecution (12-13).
  • by trusting your teachers and the truth of Scripture (14-15).
  • by using the Scripture to correct, encourage, and instruct other believers (16-17).
 
 
PREACH THE WORD OF GOD IN THE END TIMES (4:1-5).
 
I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching. For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (4:1-5).
 
*The Lord Jesus is coming soon to set up his kingdom so
 
  • proclaim the message of salvation (1-2).
  • be ready at all times to share the Good News (2).
  • correct false teaching with gospel truth (2-4).
  • be willing to suffer as you evangelize (5).
 
Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed, rightly handling the word of truth.
                                                                                     (2 Timothy 2:15)
 

2 Timothy - A Person of Faith in Faithless Times

Gregory Magruder        Parkview Baptist     Gainesville, FL      01/12/20
 
"A Person of Faith in Faithless Times”
2 Timothy 1 & 2
 
INTRODUCTION: The second letter to Timothy was written to encourage Timothy to carry on the work of the ministry after Paul was gone. Paul was in prison in Rome. He knew his time was short. The letter is his swan song, his final farewell. He wants to prepare Timothy to be a strong leader for the coming struggle. Paul’s final message to Timothy is clear. Be a person of faith in faithless times.
 
A PERSON OF FAITH HAS A SINCERE FAITH.
 
I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well (1:5).
 
*A sincere faith is
 
  • nurtured in family influence (1:5).
  • rooted in the full gospel (1:6-11).
  • encouraged by faithful friends (1:3-4, 12-18).
 
A PERSON OF FAITH IS A GOOD SOLDIER.
 
Share in suffering as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No soldier gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim is to please the one who enlisted him (2:3-4).
 
*A good soldier is
 
  • loyal and focused (2:3-4).
  • fully committed and disciplined like an athlete (2:5).
  • hard working and patient like a farmer (2:6).
 
*The person of enduring faith will receive a reward. Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory (2:10).
 
A PERSON OF FAITH IS THE LORD’S SERVANT.
 
And the Lord's servant must not be quarrelsome but kind to everyone, able to teach, patiently enduring evil, correcting his opponents with gentleness (2:24-25).
 
*The Lord’s servant
 
  • presents himself or herself to God for service and uses God’s word appropriately (2:14-19).
  • purifies his life and is useful for the Lord’s work (2:20-21).
  • flees the impulses of youthful lusts and pursues love, peace, faith and fellowship (2:22).
  • avoids controversies and arguments and instead tries to gently persuade opponents to turn to the truth of the gospel (2:23-26).
1 - 2 - 3 - 4 - 5 - 6 - 7 - 8 - 9