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Monday, September 01, 2008

Camp Talk 1

Colin Tamplin. Please ascribe any herecies to me and my poor note-taking, not to Colin.

Theme for the week: Galatians 5:7: "You were running well. Who hindered you from obeying the truth?"

We want to look at this not just in a "Who's stopping you altogether" way, but also in a "Who'se stopping you running REALLY well" way.

1 Timothy 4:6-10
If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God,who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Timothy is in Ephesus as Paul's assistant to 'sort out' the church. In this section Paul is encouraging Timothy in what he should teach and how he should be.

'being trained'. Same word as we get 'gymnasium' from. It's good to stay in good physical shape - but spiritual is better.

'race' - an image which is common in the Bible. Relating to ancient games - everyone at Paul and Timothy's time would have been familiar with the image of a race.

1 Timothy 3 - qualifications for elders. All seem very 'uninteresting'! None of them, except teaching, can only be applied to leaders - need to be applied to any Christian. So what Paul says to Timothy, he would say to any Christian.

1. DIET (4:6)
What you teach shows what you've digested. Athletes need a very good diet. Get fed right. You can only get away with a bad diet for a certain amount of time.

2. FOCUS (4:7-8)
Athletes get to a podium because that's all they think about for 4 years. That's not always a healthy thought - single mindedness. But for the Christian it's important. One single thought - to honour God and serve Him and get the prize. That doesn't mean you become a pastor or missionary. It means whatever you do, do it all to the glory of God.

3. TRAINING (4:7b-9)
Diet and focus alone will not be enough. Training is difficult but necessary. Train with a goal in view. Are you living for the prize of this life or the life to come? We will be much longer 'dead' than alive...

4. MOTIVATION (4:9-10).
God and the gospel!


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