Who were the disciples really? If you boiled their job down… what was it? It’s popular in modern entertainment to refer to “The Fixer.” The person they call in to clean up a mess, to “Fix” problems others create either by neglect or malice. I would say this fits the disciples quite well, wouldn’t you?
“Preach the word; be prepared in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and encourage with every form of patient instruction.” 2 Timothy 4:2
“Guard the treasure entrusted to you, with the help of the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.” 2 Timothy 1:14
Shipwrecked Part 2 – Tangent Part 2:
Season, “A fit or suitable time; the convenient time.” – Reprove, “To refute, To blame for, To charge with a fault to the face, To excite a sense of guilt.” – Rebuke, “to chastise for the purpose of restraint and correction.” – Encourage, “To give courage to, to inspire with courage, to embolden, to animate, to incite.” – Guard, “to protect, to defend, To secure against objections or attacks” (Strong’s)
Paul’s instruction to those who would claim to be disciples is: Whether it is convenient or not, we are not to tolerate but be truthful and refute wrong claims and beliefs – that is, any that do not match the Manual – held by those who claim the Name of Christ. We are to directly charge them with error and fault so that they can correct their course. We are to show them the courage of our commitment to God and His instruction so that we might inspire the same courage in them, inciting action, a stricter “walk in Truth,” a stronger Faith, that they too will protect and defend against worldly objections and attacks.
“The reason I left you in Crete was that you would set in order what was unfinished.” Titus 1:5
What was unfinished?
“…rebuke them sternly, so that they will be sound in the faith and will pay no attention to Jewish myths or to the commands of men who have rejected the truth.” Titus 1:13,14
“…you should stay on at Ephesus to instruct certain men not to teach false doctrines.” 1 Timothy 1:3
Which brings us back to Shipwrecked. There is an idea, OK doctrine, that once you have given Christ the privilege of saving you, no more is required, you are safe, you owe Him nothing… you cannot be “Shipwrecked.” But that is not what the Holy Spirit instructed Paul, not what Paul instructed the disciples, and not what the disciples instructed… Well, those who stayed the course anyway:
“You know that everyone in the Province of Asia has deserted me, including Phygelus and Hermogenes.” 2 Timothy 1:15
We have built this entire discussion around 1 Timothy 1:19, but what does verse 20 say?
“Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme” (“defame, speak evil”). 1 Timothy 1:20
Like the Nicolaitans that we talk about in Forgotten Hope, we see that there were and are those who began as followers and disciples of Christ but lost their Moral Compass and wound up Shipwrecked, teaching “something other than Paul taught.” (2 Corinthians 11:3&4, Galatians 1:8&9) This brings us to the problem with the “Safe” doctrine, a belief that is founded on the Scriptural reference of “the elect,” those who are chosen by God for salvation. They say if God has chosen them who, including themselves, can thwart that? As you know by now, my position is that behind every false doctrine is a little “cherry-picking.” Back to Paul, the Manual, and “the elect”… in context:
“…the word of God cannot be chained! For this reason I endure all things for the sake of the elect, so that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.” 2 Timothy 2:9,10
As we are about to show, the “elect” Paul is referring to are the Jews who had beaten and imprisoned him. As he also demonstrates in Philippians 1:12-20 & Acts 16:25-34, like Peter, Stephen, and the rest of Christ’s followers, they endured persecution from the Jews so that the “elect” might see in them the Way to salvation. Which raises the question… If the “elect” refers to those guaranteed salvation, why does something guaranteed have to be “obtained”?
Well, No, that is not what we mean… we mean salvation can only come by God’s Grace and… “no one can take them from my Father’s hand.” as it says in John 10:28&29. We will address that in Part 3, but, what does John 10:27 say? “My sheep listen to My voice; I know them, and they follow Me.” My sheep, My chosen, My elect, hear my voice and they choose to follow.
First, the first uses of the word “elect,” bâchı̂yr, (1 Chronicles 16:13, Psalms 89,105&106 & Isaiah 42:1 “Behold! My Servant whom I uphold, My Elect One in whom My soul delights! I have put My Spirit upon Him…” & 45:4 “For Jacob My servant’s sake, And Israel My elect…” bâchı̂yr also means, “chosen or chosen one.” Everything we need is right here in these two verses. The “elect” are God’s “Chosen servants.” But to leave it there would be to cherry-pick.
Let me refer to an illustration used in Forgotten Hope. We use the word Manual when referring to the Bible because we are supposed to think of it as an Instruction Manual. With that in mind, we considered the instruction manual of a lawn mower. Let’s do that again. If you bought a new mower and wanted to be sure to operate it properly, you would not pick out the section on mowing and jump on. While everything you read there would be accurate, you wouldn’t get very far sitting there in the driveway. If your sincere intent is to mow the lawn, then you would read the entire manual. With that complete knowledge in mind, you are now equipped to apply it, turning it into wisdom. You wouldn’t arrogantly hop on and declare the right to mow. You would follow the manual, acquire gas, put the gas in the mower… hop on the mower… start the mower, adjust the blade height, put it in gear, engage the blades, and begin to mow. Picking out any one instruction while excluding the rest and then declaring yourself an expert mower would be ridiculous to any wise mower and would be quickly dis-proven when you attempt the action that shows it.
No, we cannot leave it there, we must search the entire Manual to get the full instruction, and, to get us started, we welcome Tozer.
This is what I would call one of Tozer’s pet peeves. He talked about it more than once and, while I am not going to try and find it, his point is useful. Tozer would go on about how Esau was the picture of everything you would want a leader of the world to have, he was strong and handsome and, from a worldly perspective, was a man of good character. Jacob, on the other hand, lived up to his name which means, “receives blessings through trickery and deceit.” From a worldly perspective, Jacob was not a man of good character. In fact, if the choice were left up to us, we would have chosen Esau. But, Jacob was “chosen” over Esau… why is that?
I know a lot of the time readers do not click the links contained within the posts. So, I made Part 2 a little short because I really want you to click on this one and read it before we continue. Understanding what is written there is crucial to understanding what we are discussing in this Series. The link: This Ship Has Sailed.
© Scott A Caughel 3/26/2021