In the Pastoral Epistles (1 and 2 Timothy, Titus), the apostle Paul is essentially passing the torch of gospel ministry to a new generation of preachers and pastors, those being who the letters are surnamed: Timothy and Titus. Once pupils, they are now the primary doctrinal voices in the church. Such is why Paul stubbornly appeals for these young preachers to keep the faith and hold fast to “sound teaching.”
A few weeks ago, I shared a few comments on the stunning story of the “overcrowding epidemic” that is currently happening on the slopes of Mount Everest. Overcrowding on Mount Everest betrays what our culture worships. We bow down at the altar of the impossible so as to be seen as the conquerors, the champions. We seek out the unattainable and unachievable goal in hopes of ascending the hero’s stage. Such is why the reckless Everest climbers serve as living parables of the human heart.
In 2018, Ligonier Ministries released an updated version of their “State of Theology” survey, in which participants were asked to respond to numerous statements regarding the Bible, theology, and ethics, with the goal of uncovering the “theological temperature” of the modern evangelical landscape. Perusing the findings of the survey left me dumbfounded and startled and burdened.
The opening verses of Ephesians 2 are among the most significant in all the pages of Scripture. In a mere ten verses, the apostle Paul upends nearly every presupposed notion about religion, the church, and the believer’s life in Christ. In this text, the Spirit of God, through the pen of a stubborn apostle, single-handedly dismantles any and all preconceived notions about how the Christian life is supposed to work.
There is found sublime truth and testimony to not only God’s gracious choice of us but also our function as his children in the often overlooked letter of 3rd John. A book of only fourteen verses, making it the shortest of the New Testament books, and yet within its sentiments lies a candid message about the local church.