Speak O Lord – 2 Timothy 3:10-17 – Pastor Eric
A healthy church desperately needs to hear from God’s Word in order to grow in Christ.
Therefore, expository preaching is an essential practice for our spiritual growth.
What makes up a good sermon? What really matters in preaching? Does it matter that the preacher is dynamic or funny? Does it matter if the preacher tells good stories? Does it matter if the preacher has a certain theological framework? Does it matter that the preacher addresses the latest current events?
These things can be good things for a sermon, but they aren’t essential. The simply answer is faithfulness to the Word of God, the Bible, so one can hear God speak. Thus, a healthy church desperately needs to hear from God’s Word in order to grow more in love with God. Therefore, expository preaching is an essential practice of the church for spiritual growth.
Here are three reasons why from 2 Timothy 3:10-17.
(1) Discerner of the Word - The church desperately needs to know what God is NOT saying from His Word.
(2 Timothy 3:10-13)
The context is Paul writing to Timothy, his young apprentice, and he is toward the end of his life. Paul is writing his final instructions to his disciple Timothy in order to pass on the baton of faith and ministry.
In verses 10-11, Paul provides a testimonial of his life and ministry, where he faithfully served the Lord with character and conduct fitting of a pastor. Paul provides his faithful testimony in light of verse 13, where he warns Timothy about evil people and impostors, who have penetrated the church. Paul is vigilantly impressing upon Timothy about their destruction and deceptive ways. This warning validates the greater need for the Word and faithful preaching in the church.
Sadly, there are many false teachings, prophecies, and movements even in the church today. In America, it has gone from bad to worse in many regards. Therefore, the church must never stop having a discerning spirit and mind. The church must never stop reading and studying the Word of God. The church must always test what it hears against and with the Bible.
(2) Listener of the Word - The church desperately needs to hear what God is saying from His Word. Hear and listen to what God is saying in His Word. (2 Timothy 3:14-16)
A. Listen for the sufficiency of God and the Gospel. Hear the preacher talk more about God and the gospel. For God is the hero of the Bible!
Paul reminds Timothy of how he learned God’s Word from the sacred writings. The sacred writings are the Old Testament Scriptures. It can cast the image of the sacred place in the Holy Temple, where God dwelt for Old Testament believers. And these sacred writings have always been pointing toward Christ and the gospel.
Paul teaches us that the Bible is the most valuable word in the world, because it offers us the best and most exciting news in the world, salvation in Jesus Christ. The Word of God leads us to our Lord and Savior for He planned our salvation before the beginning of time. He died for our sin and He rose from the dead to offer us an eternal relationship with Himself.
B. Listen for the sufficiency of scripture. Know that there is no truth like the Bible. Come to understand that the only timeless and absolute truth is the Bible. For the Word comes from the very mouth of God and inspiration of the Holy Spirit. It is all breathed out from God and inspired and written by the Holy Spirit.
Paul teaches us that the Spirit worked through the human authors to pen exactly and entirely as God intended things to be written down in the Bible. The Holy Spirit worked in the lives of Moses, David, the disciples, Paul, and others in order to write exactly what God intended to be written and recorded. Thus, there are no errors, because God does not error.
The Bible is reliable, profitable, and true and we ought to be careful listeners of the Word. To be people of the Word, everyday, day and night, not just Sunday. Let His Word be the first thought of the day and final moment of the night. Church, we are desperate for the Lord to speak to us. His voice is the voice we need to hear among all the competing voices in the world today.
(3) Disciple of the Word - the church desperately needs to live out what God is saying from His Word. Not only must the church preach and teach from the Word of God, but there must be exhortation and transformation. There must be character change and spiritual development to be more in love with Jesus and more like Him. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)
In verse 16 Paul joins teaching and reproof together and then correction and training in righteousness together. The Word of God and the preaching of God’s Word should reprove you in order to shape your beliefs about God and the Gospel. The emphasis here is about right and sound doctrine. Next, the Word of God should correct and train your conduct, your actions and behavior.
If you have right beliefs, then those right beliefs will hopefully lead to right behavior. But if you have wrong beliefs, then they will sadly lead you to wrong behavior. The tension though, for many especially Christians, I’m speaking to you, church, is you can still have right beliefs and wrong behavior. That’s why Paul emphasized the need for both truth and grace, doctrine and love. The Word equips and readies a person for a complete and good work. Thus, serving God is not an obligation, but a joy and honor to serve the King of Kings and Lord of lords.
God is always speaking from His Word and He is always calling us into action.
The question becomes, will you listen and answer His call? Will you listen to God’s call and answer it to help someone in need like He has helped you? Will you listen to God’s call and answer God’s call to be patient as He has been patient with you? Will you answer God’s call to forgive someone like God has forgiven you?
God has never ceased to be speaking from His Word, because it is living and active. Let us come to the Lord and say, “Speak O Lord!”
Praise Songs: Cannons, The Church’s One Foundation, Speak O Lord, Doxology