Passage: 1 Timothy 4:1-5
Speaker: Mitch Kim
Series: Truth Over Spin
Character Of Spin
Do you ever struggle to receive gifts? I do. We don’t feel worthy or don’t want to feel obligated or just feel bad. Yet when we do not receive gifts that we ought to receive, we end up struggling in many other ways! God is a lavish gift giver, so we need to receive the gifts that he gives. When we reject God’s gifts, we are led astray, so we gratefully receive God’s gifts and make them holy with God’s Word and prayer.
First, when we reject God’s gifts, we are led astray (1 Tim 1:1–3a). False teaching that leads us astray looks impressive; in Ephesus the false teachers “forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods” (4:3a). Such asceticism may seem impressive. Yet this rejection marks a departure from the faith. Sometimes we downplay the importance of the things that we do or think, but clearly this teaching came from “deceitful spirits and teachings of demons” (4:1). Yet this demonic source does not downplay human responsibility, for such teaching comes through “the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared” (4:3). Seared consciences leads to lying insincerity that opens us up to demonic influence that can lead others astray. We must not minimize attention to what we believe and do, lest we in so doing reject God’s gifts.
Since rejecting God’s gifts leads us astray, we gratefully receive God’s gifts (1 Tim 1:3–4). Instead of rejecting these gifts, we should see what God has created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth (1:3). When we know the truth of God as the Creator, we can gratefully and joyfully receive his gifts. And we affirm the truth that everything created by God is good (1:4).
Even as we gratefully receive God’s gifts, we also make them holy with God’s Word and prayer (1 Tim 1:4–5). The words “made holy” are intriguing here. God’s gifts can become idols; the gift of marriage can become the idol of lust, and the gift of food can become an idol of gluttony. Yet the danger of excess should not turn us away from the gifts that God has given. Instead we should make these gifts holy, finding their proper use. How? We we make them holy with God’s Word; we must believe and know the truth and trust what God says about His gifts. And we receive those gifts simply by faith. We also make them holy by prayer; as we dedicate these gifts to the Lord, they are used for His glory.
So what? May we be a church who gratefully and delightfully receive all of God’s gifts, making them holy with God’s Word and prayer. May we not reject any of His good gifts, but may we allow these gifts to be an expression of our worship to our Savior.