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Heresy vs. Happiness

1 Timothy 6:3-19

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. In this concluding section Paul returns to his concern for Timothy and the believers in Ephesus. The main theme of this letter has been the effect of the gospel on the hearts of those who are true Christians. A saved heart wants to become like the Christ Who redeemed it. It longs to be completely new in holiness and righteousness. Paul closes this letter to Timothy by comparing 2 of the most defining characteristics of the continuing battle between salvation and sin! Paul shows us how

I. HERESY IS PRACTICED. He defines it by exposing 2 traits of all heretics and commands Timothy to teach his congregation to recognize them. Since this is Biblical truth, it is just as valid for us today, as it was for Timothy. The 1st trait of a heretic is teaching false doctrine. You will remember from a few weeks ago that false doctrine is any teaching that is contrary to Scripture in any way! In vs. 4-5 Paul defines in detail what a heretic is. It is important to notice that everything about such a person is infected by the desire to be wrong! One of the most revealing truths about heretics and their heresy is that their false doctrines never point people to Christ as Redeemer. Neither do they ever talk to people about their need of salvation by grace. They are not aware of Proverbs! Look at v. 9-10. The 2nd trait of a heretic is their false deity! False doctrines always leads to a false deity! Notice in v. 10 it is the “love” of money that is the root of all kinds of evil! Not money but the love of money, or establishing money as what is worshipped, sought after with all one’s h/m/s/s. To a heretic “enough” is always “just a little more.” Two key words in these verses are “harmful desires…” A harmful desire is any inward feeling or thought that drawsa person into themselves. An ungodly or unsaved person begins to focus on whatever desire might come to mind, and because their heart is controlled by the sin nature, they naturally begin to expand and exalt their own self-image into whatever is being desired. You can read how that process works beginning in Rom. 1:18. You will see the ultimate end of sinful or harmful desires is that God gives them up to a reprobate mind to do what ought not to be done! Now under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit Paul tells us how
II. HAPPINESS IS PROMISED. How many of you can say – from your heart – you are happy with your life right now? I don’t mean there are no flaws, or things you can and want to do better, we all have those issues, don’t we! I mean, when you consider your life as a whole, you know God has blessed every part of your life and you are joyful or happy with the way God has blessed you.

Paul tells Timothy to focus on 3 activities that result in steadfast happiness and joy in a Christian’s life.

Paul is telling us here, as he tells us in all his letters, 1. “true sufficiency is Christ-sufficiency.” Is that how you look at this life? Do you find your greatest contentment in Christ; in all things God; in being who God

wants you to be; doing what God wants you to do? So how does one learn to be content with godliness?

Look at v. 11-16. When we find our contentment in those things God expects of us, we find we learn by making those activities the focus of our lives we are in active Pursuit of Christ-likeness! You will notice 2. God clearly tells us we cannot pursue anything God until we flee all the ungodliness addressed in various parts of this letter. The word “flee” means to run from as though running for your life. Look at v. 11. Notice how Paul says “flee these things; what is the next word? “Pursue!” Here is another example of how God is telling us we cannot take something evil out of our life without replacing it with something righteous! Flee sin, run from sin; pursue, run to those virtues in v. 11 – and all other virtues given throughout the Scriptures. There are only 2 reasons a person would think their life is not happy! 1 = they are not really saved! They are pretending to be saved, and perhaps even know some of the language. However, in their heart they are unhappy and unsettled! No one, I don’t care how smart or cunning they think they are, can fool God! An unsaved heart cannot be consistently joyful and happy with all of life, including the occasional confrontation God allows for spiritual growth.

The 2nd reason a person is not happy of joyful in their heart is because their salvation is nothing more to them that a way to stay out of hell! They are saved, but that’s all they are! You can testify to the fact there is great gain/benefit in contentment as a result of your pursuit to be Christ-like! May God grant that we, His adopted children, find our contentment in Him and Him only!

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

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