1 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the
true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2
These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.
3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God
created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. 4
Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with
thanks. 5 For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.
6 If you explain these things to the brothers and sisters, Timothy, you will be a worthy
servant of Christ Jesus, one who is nourished by the message of faith and the good
teaching you have followed. 7 Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old
wives’ tales. Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is good, but training
for godliness is much better, promising benefits in this life and in the life to come.” 9
This is a trustworthy saying, and everyone should accept it. 10 This is why we work hard
and continue to struggle, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Saviour of all
people and particularly of all believers.
I was feeling like a drink so I pulled up at a dairy, got out of the car, stepped onto the
footpath, stopped, turned around, got back into the car and drove off.
You have three guesses as to why I didn’t go in to buy that drink…
Verse one, in the last times some followers will fall away or turn away from following
Jesus because they listen to deceptive spirits and doctrines of demons. Others will fall
away verse two because of liars. In verse three and eight still others will fall because of
false teaching and on verse seven because of superstitions or ‘old wives tales’. All these
things take us further away from true faith, true faith which really is the focus here isn’t
Why are you a Christian? What keeps you keeping on? Why am I a Christian is what I had
to ask myself as I studied this passage, what is this true faith? Am I keeping to it or am I
also being distracted by liars, demons and superstitions?
What I value about faith, that is following Jesus, is a rich and full life. I don’t believe it
is possible for an unbeliever to have a rich and full life to the extent you can as a
Christian. I mean I’ve been on holidays, I’ve had a year off on full pay, I’ve done my
own things, but when these things are only about fulfilling our needs wants and desires
it just stays empty. When you live in the reality of a God who loves you who wants the
best for you and who wants some attention from you it all becomes radically different,
it becomes rich an full. Look at me know, I‘ve got to admit I’m just loving this job,
there is nothing I’d rather be doing, it is fulfilling me, my life now because I am
following the plan God has for me is so rich. Yes I could have been a Principal
somewhere, could have been working for D.o.C., could have been landscaping but that
wasn’t God’s plan for me, and I’m so glad I trusted him and following Him in this path
because I know that these other things would have at the end of the day left me empty.
True faith also involves dependence and risk. It was a huge risk to go to Baptist College,
what if I did get it wrong, that God didn’t actually care about me, that He wasn’t
leading me into full time pastoring. And you know risk involves depending on God. Over
the last four year the difficult situations I’ve been in the things I’ve felt I had to do have
meant I’ve had to depend very much on God. Sometimes it’s as silly as feeling God
nudging me towards visiting someone in hospital, or writing a letter or and this might
seem silly, making a phone call. Sometimes for me this has involved much dependence
on God, it’s something that sometimes I find very challenging.
Simon Barnett talked at the Regent last week, a very honest lot of sharing. He talked
abut similar things with visiting people. He’d have a nudge to go and see someone,
someone dying of cancer, a guy in prison, a very poor older woman. He’d want to drive
on home and mow the lawns but he felt God nudging him to do what he didn’t want to
do because it didn’t feel comfortable. But because he was determined to follow Jesus,
to stay loyal to his God, he’d obey the prompt, go not in his own strength but in God’s
with God’s courage and what a blessing he has been to so many people because of his
John Laing one of the evangelists from OAC that we had here last week shared at the
men’s breakfast what he didn’t want to say. He had worked out what he was going to
say but felt God nudge him towards another topic. It wasn’t easy for him to share and
in doing so he had to rely on and trust God.
Taking risks causes us to depend on God, it also gives the Holy Spirit room or even
opportunity to move in our lives and in the lives of others and situations. The
exhilaration of coming out the other side, when you look back on how God was with you
as you stepped out is something very special and a feeling of joy that , well, when else
are you in awe of God to the same extent?
Nigel Wright talked about faith being experiential, it should feel good to follow Jesus!
True faith also includes freedom and grace. Christianity is not about rules which is what
verse three refers to, ‘3 They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain
foods…’ I suspect many people think it is and that’s a bit sad. (Continuum – Yes! at one
One of the assignments I had to do at college was to look at Baptist attitudes to alcohol
in the years 1935 to ’42. Now I was to find as I looked through the Baptist magazines
from that time three very evil things in society – what were they? Alcohol, dancing,
Now as I understand it the dancing one was a bit of a Pharisee’s rule. Imagine a well, a
big hole in the ground, you see the Pharisees realised that if you got too close to the
well you might fall in, so they would put the fence way back, don’t go within 10m of the
The Christian abhorrence or fear of sex outside marriage meant that young people
needed to be kept apart and of course if they were dancing they’d be touching each
other and being so young it would be all on, they wouldn’t be able to stop themselves.
So put the fence back far enough and you’re okay, don’t even dance. Okay there was
often alcohol at those things too, so double vice.
Putting up fences isn’t freedom or grace. This is truth, it’s too strong. We need to
Castle Street provides an illustration. Clearly we should ban all alcohol, go back to
prohibition. Now that wouldn’t worry me, I probably haven’t drunk more in my life than
what would fill my sock. But that doesn’t mean I won’t taste alcohol of some sort in the
future, though it’s not likely to be beer, it don’t like the smell of that.
Numbers chapter six is rather interesting when it comes to alcohol, only the Nazarites
were to completely refrain. And Paul tells Timothy to take a little wine for his health.
True faith involves freedom and grace. We can’t have a categorical no to alcohol, we
have to find the ground in between truth and grace. More importantly though, what is it
for you? Some of you have had lifestyles that have involved much drinking and say now
that you’re glad to be free of it. That’s good. You need to choose for you, we can’t
have a blanket rule, but we need to keep one or two things in mind. And this brings us
to verses seven and eight ‘Instead, train yourself to be godly. 8 “Physical training is
good, but training for godliness is much better.’
Paul makes it clear that God doesn’t want us deceived by liars, false teachers or strange
ideas. He wants as verse seven says for us to train ourselves to be godly, for godliness.
This is not just going around doing good works, that’s why he says in verse eight that
physical effort isn’t worth much, getting good works out of quilta also eliminates the
need for grace, that’s earning our salvation through good works. Godliness is what we
do in response to what we know. We have to think about our actions and whether what
we’re doing is in line with God’s love for us. Let’s go back to alcohol, is having none
part of God’s plan, is being drunk part of God’s plan for you? That the Bible makes
Paul sees godliness as an ethical portrait of authentic Christianity. The manner that life
is lived in response to genuine faith, the integration of outward and inward dimensions
of life that is live actively and intentionally
Describes in one term authentic Christian existence
The interplay of the knowledge of God and its observable outworking in behaviour that is
God loves you so much that He sends Jesus to die on the Cross for us to set us free from
death and penalty for our wrongs, this is good stuff, great stuff, pretty amazing.
So is having a drink ok? Getting drunk ok? Dancing ok?
In buying alcohol are we supporting a liquor industry that isn’t overly concerned with
drunken revelry on Castle street? I don’t know what the answer is, I don’t know where
the line is, because I don’t know what your experience of God is, I don’t know what you
know about God. And I’m not going to direct what you should do, this is like the
election, you have to weigh up the pro’s and con’s and make your choice, as you have to
for gambling, dancing and many other things. The danger is in all this, is that we start
living a life of do’s and don’ts and not living in the freedom and grace that Jesus
intends. These verses make it pretty clear that God intends good things, but some
people turn church and religion into something that is so tasteless, like a filled roll with
I started by talking about being thirsty. I was driving up North East Valley. I stopped at
a dairy, got out of the car, stepped onto the footpath and realised the dairy was also a
Lotto agency. I returned to the car and drove on to the next dairy. Was this being
prudish? Does this stop me from going to Countdown or Pak N Save? Well no, maybe it
I don’t believe God wants this sort of thing happening in His world and I don’t want to
In light of what you know, how should you live?
This passage isn’t about pointing out stuff you shouldn’t do or can do or even stuff to be
wary of, this passage should cause us to think about True faith, what this mean to us,
and whether it has a richness, a fullness, a freedom that it actually should.
It isn’t so much about what we do it’s about who you are.
It’s about character, about being, rather than doing. What you do must come from the
heart, verse ten, this is what we are to work hard and continue to struggle for,
outworking our true faith because our hope is in the living God, who is the Saviour of all
people and particularly of all believers. You know that Jesus loves you, you know that
you are saved, you know that nothing is impossible for God, you know that Jesus is
dependable, reliable, trustworthy. So how will you live?
2. How does this influence the way you make decisions?
3. Do your actions cause others to stumble? Try this web page for discussion
4. And if you get into the discussion about being able to do all things in moderation, this
isn’t a biblical principle but one from Aristotle, so be careful.
Homework - Paper Assigned: 11-19-10 12-09-10 Note: Preferably, this would be collected at the start of class on 12-09-10, but I will accept it electronically until 12-10-10. This article originally appeared in Mother Jones in 2002, and has been making some noise ever since then. Assignment: Read the article below, and write a 2-3 page response in which you address the fol
Discussion with an Accomplished Silicon Valley Venture Capitalist Geneva, and Zong in Menlo Park, California. Dr. Hassanein is the Willard Brown Distinguished Visiting Professor at AUC (American University in Cairo) member of the Board of Advisors. He lectured on Management Science and Dr. Hassanein’s Biography Engineering at Stanford University and the University of Sa