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Paul sees the writing on the wall. The days are short. His ministry will soon be over. He has kept the faith. He has stayed in the course. He has fought the fight. And so, he needs to know that there's a pipeline of young preachers and pastors just like Timothy, his son of the faith, who will carry on this ministry long after he's gone. In his praying and in his planning, Paul wanted to make a 4G impact. And that ought to be the prayer of every father, every elder, every man of God, every aspiring young preacher here. You want to make a 4G impact. Paul wanted to see the gospel impact the fourth generation. Paul desires that the torch of the heavenly light be transmitted, unquenched from one generation to the next. Leaders must not only produce followers, they must produce leaders. There's a lot of leaders who are producing followers, but they're not producing leaders who will produce followers and leaders. Don’t limit your influence to the day in which you live. If we only produce followers, we are limiting our impact. We are commanded to preserve the Gospel. How do we maintain the transmission of the treasure? By raising up a generation of faithful men. We need to see the distinction of this passage. Paul is telling Timothy they he needs to be the difference. Timothy was to be a man of conviction in a sea of compromise and consensus. As believers, are we willing to be an emphatic you? A standout alone witness for Jesus Christ? A man who doesn't bend and a man who doesn't buy and a man who doesn't burn? Theologically definitive, morally absolutist, gender specific, evangelistically bold? Are you the kind of man who keeps an eternal perspective in a world that lives for the moment? Are you the kind of man who's content in a world that's never got enough? The kind of man who's pure in a world obsessed with sex? The kind man who is given to holiness in a world where anything goes? The kind of man who's got an invigorating passion that drives and defines your life in a world that can't be bothered?” We also need to see the dependance Paul encourages. How can he do it? Only according to the power of God. This passage helps us understand the movement and means of grace. Lastly, we see the development Paul entrusts to Timothy. Christianity can never be silenced or silent and remain true to Christianity. Because by nature, by its Genesis and in the light of the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, Christianity is a faith that is to be propagated and perpetuated because Jesus even finishes that statement about the great commission with, "And I will be with you to the end of the edge." What we start here, man, will ripple light across the centuries as you teach men who teach other men who teach other men to remain faithful to the treasure of the Gospel. That begs the question of who is qualified to be entrusted with this treasure. Among man profiles, purposes, and processes we see that he is a man who is reliable, gifted, able to teach, studious and more.
More From This Series
Philip De Courcy (00:00):
Well, let’s turn to 2 Timothy chapter 2, as mark alluded earlier, if you’re new this morning, we’re in an exposition series on 2 Timothy. A series that I’ve called Without Apology. Because one of the keyword of 2 Timothy is unashamed, do not be ashamed. And I just think that needs to be the rallying call for man in this generation. We need to be fearless, bold, unapologetic, unashamed followers, disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ and preachers of his gospel. And Timothy’s going to encourage us.
This morning, we’re going to look at the subject leadership development. But before we get there, one of the pastors sent me this. I thought it was rather humorous and you might enjoy it. In fact, since we’re talking today about impacting the next generation through raising up godly leaders, I don’t know if you’ve seen this on the internet. It’s called homeschooled and it’s exact words of parents to their children and how we’ve all been schooled by the generation before us and what they have taught us.
Here’s how it goes. “My mother taught me to appreciate a job well done. She said, ‘If you’re going to kill each other, do it outside. I’ve just finished cleaning.’ My mother taught me religion, ‘You better pray that this comes out of the carpet.’ Number three, my father taught me time travel, ‘If you don’t straighten up, I’m going to knock you into the middle of next week.’ Four, my father taught me logic, ‘Because I said so. That’s why.’ My mother taught me foresight, ‘Make sure you were a clean underwear in case you’re in an accident.’ My father taught me irony, ‘Keep crying and I’ll give you something to cry about.’ My mother taught me stamina ‘You’ll sit there until all that spinach is gone.’ My mother taught me hypocrisy, ‘If I told you once, I told you a million times. Don’t exaggerate.’ My father taught me the circle of life, ‘I brought you into this world and I can take your life.’.
Number 14, my mother taught me about behavior modification, ‘Stop acting like your father.’ My mother taught me about anticipation, ‘Just wait till your father gets home.’ My father taught me humor, ‘When the lawnmower cuts off your toes, don’t come running to me.’ My mother taught me about my roots, ‘Shut that door behind you. You think you were born in a barn?’ My mother taught me wisdom, ‘When you get to be my age, you’ll understand.’ And my father taught me about justice, ‘One day, you’ll all have kids and I hope they turn out just like you.’.
Our parents teach us a lot. One generation impacting the next. And to get serious, here in 2 Timothy 2:1-2, Paul gives us a model of leadership development. And that’s my message. Leadership development, follow along 2 Timothy 2:1-2. And then next month we’ll look at verses 3-7 where we’ve got pictures of Christian living and leadership. But listen to verses 1 and 2, “You, therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
In his 27 years as the manager of Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson accumulated 38 trophies. That’s quite a stash, five FA cups, 13 Premier League titles, and three of them consecutively in a row, two European championship league trophies. Ferguson turned Manchester United into one of the biggest commercial soccer brands in the world. And he established himself as one of the most successful British managers of all time. But a year ago I read a book that he wrote called Leading, where he kind of shares his management style and leadership approach at Manchester United.
And in it I was interested to read a chapter entitled Assembling the Pieces. And in it talks about the pipeline. When he talks about the pipeline, he’s talking about the fact that Manchester United had a web of scouts who were out among the schools of Scotland and Ireland and England looking for the next great player. They had clinics all across the country. They had a school of soccer in Manchester where they were indeed established because Ferguson understood that he needed to find the next new player. In fact, if you read something of his history at Manchester United, he had his eye on David Beckham from David Beckham was a boy age 12. Some of his greatest players ran out for the first team at age 17 and 18. Nicky Butt, Paul Scholes, Ryan Giggs.
And in this chapter on the pipeline, he says this, “Every game requires 11 starting players and even seven substitutes. Our whole organization was designed to produce them. I always wanted to know about what the pipeline of players look like for the team that we would select three years into the future. It is so much easier to produce a consistent level of high performance when you’re nourished by young players who we help to develop along the path to success.” 27 years at the top flight of the soccer world. 38 trophies during his tenure at Manchester United. How did Alex Ferguson, Sir Alex Ferguson because he was knighted by the Queen of England, how did he pull it off? Simply the pipeline. He was never short of aspiring and amazing young soccer players. And he admits that was one of the keys to his success. He teaches us, does he not, that there can be no sustained success without succession. That’s true of a business. It’s true of a football dynasty. It’s true of a family tree. There can be no sustained success, no lasting impact apart from succession.
That’s what we see Paul concerned about here in 2 Timothy chapter 2 and verses 1 and 2. If I take the Ferguson analogy, Paul is seeking to create and establish a pipeline of young preachers and pastors who will serve into the future long after he’s gone. Remember, it’s A.D. 67. Paul’s writing from his second imprisonment in Rome to Timothy who’s in Ephesus. And Paul sees the writing on the wall. The days are short. His ministry will soon be over. He has kept the faith. He has stayed in the course. He has fought the fight. And so he needs to know that there’s a pipeline of young preachers and pastors just like Timothy he’s son on the faith who will carry on this ministry long after he’s gone.
Listen to me. In his praying and in his planning, Paul wanted to make a 4G impact. And that ought to be the prayer of every father here, every elder here, every man of God here, every aspiring young preacher here. You want to make a 4G impact. Paul wanted to see the gospel impact the fourth generation. Did you notice the language as he talks about his son in the faith and the things that he heard from Paul among many witnesses and he wants Timothy to commit them to faithful men who will be able to teach others? Generation one, Paul. Generation two, Timothy. Generation three, faithful men taught by Timothy. Generation four, the faithful man teaching other men to be faithful. Paul wanted to make a 4G impact. And that’s what you and I should aspire to.
In fact, you see this, interestingly, if you go back to Psalm 78, you’ll see that God told Israel to establish a testimony in Jacob and appointed a law in Israel. And he commanded our fathers, one generation, to teach their children, the second generation, that the next generation might know them, the children yet unborn, that’s the third generation. And that third generation will rise up and tell them to their children, the fourth generation. So here in Psalm 78, you have a parent desiring to have a 4G impact. And then 2 Timothy 2:1-2, you have a pastor desiring to have a 4G impact. You and I need to be concerned about the development and the discipling of the next generation. Paul desires that the torch of the heavenly light be transmitted, unquenched from one generation to the next.
Listen, to whoever degree you exercise leadership, there is a father in your home, there’s as an executive in business. As a board member in the community, as a leader in the local church, you and I need to understand there is no sustained success without succession. Leaders must not only produce followers, they must produce leaders. There’s a lot of leaders who are producing followers, but they’re not producing leaders who will produce followers and leaders so that their influence is not limited to the day in which they live. If you and I only produce followers, we are limiting our impact. If you and I will produce leaders, we expodentially expand the kind of impact we’re going to have either in the home, in the community and in the church. Be a 4G impact leader as Paul’s heart here.
Let’s give you a synopsis of where we’re at and then jump into the text. Paul has charged his son in the faith to keep the faith. Go back to chapter 1, verse 13, “Hold fast to the pattern of son words, which you have heard from me in faith and love, which are in Christ Jesus. That good thing.” That’s the gospel or the treasure of truth concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, “that good thing, which was committed to you keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in you.”
Now when we get to chapter 2 and verse 1, Paul is picking up where he left off in verse 14. Because in verses 15-18, he kind of gets into a little bit of a digression. Having talked about faithfulness to the gospel and Timothy’s need to stay committed to the treasure of the gospel, he kind of digresses into this thought, “Now, there are some who are disloyal. I’m calling you to loyalty, but there are many in Asia who are disloyal.” Look at verse 15. “This you know that all those in Asia have turned away from me.” But in chapter 2:1-2, he’s back on his game. He’s told Timothy to commit himself to the gospel, to keep the gospel, to preserve the gospel, to protect the gospel.
And in chapter 2:1-2, he tells him how to do it. How do you preserve the gospel? How do we maintain the transmission of the treasure? By raising up a generation of faithful man.That’s what this breakfast is all about. That’s what Kenwood Community Church exists to do. That’s why we established a leadership track in our church just a couple of years ago where we hand picked 30 men who will go through three years of intensive theological study and apprenticeship somewhere in the church. Because you can only preserve the gospel and ensure its impact into the next generation if you do the hard work and the important work of raising up leaders.
So let’s look at this text. Now the primary focus is the church. Make no mistake about it. I think this passage is really about raising up elders and pastors to offer leadership within the church. But it has an impact and an implication for fathers and man in general, it has principles that apply to seminary and the home and the business world. So three things if you’re taking notes, number one, I want you to see what I call the distinction Paul emphasizes, the distinction that Paul emphasizes, we’re going to begin with the first word. You. I want you to circle that because it’s justified to circle that because this word kind of draws a circle around Timothy and singles him out. It’s an emphatic. This sentence begins with this emphatic you. It erases the attention and it captures the affection of Timothy. “Hey Timothy, you, my son, be strong in the grace that comes through our Lord Jesus Christ. And raise up the next generation after you as I have indeed raised you up.”
Paul is singling out Timothy exhorting him and emphasizing certain obligations. He’s establishing a contrast because in verse 15 of chapter 1, “This you know that all those in Asia have turned from me among whom are Phygelus and Hermogenes. But you, in contrast to them, in contrast to the general drift going on in Asia, you stay the course, you stand your ground, you remain committed to the gospel as the treasure, you do the hard work of raising up young man that are cut off the same cloth as yourself so that they may be faithful to the gospel.”
In fact, if you read John’s start on 2 Timothy, he’ll say that this phrase, you, or but you, or therefore you, is one of the keys to understanding that this is a letter written to a young man to charge him. You’ll find it several times in the letter. If you scroll down to chapter 3 and verse 10, we read, “But you,” and again, he just talked about false teachers in the preceding verses who have a form of godliness, but deny its power and end by contrast by the extinction, “But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, long suffering, love, perseverance.”
Scroll down to verse 14, “But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of knowing from whom you have learned them.” And then finally in verse 5 of chapter 4, “But you in contrast to those who have itching ears, those who want to be tickled by easy believism and doctrines that suit the human palette, in contrast to them and their teachers, you be watchful in all things.” Did you notice I often this little phrase, but you, or therefore you comes in the context of a contrast, a distinctions being made. “Here’s what others are doing and they’re up to no good. Timothy, you be different. Be different. Stand out and stand up for Jesus Christ. Resist the prevailing mood of compromise fight. Even alone to drift away from the gospel. Don’t be ashamed of the master and me his messenger and the gospel message.” That’s the challenge, isn’t it, back in chapter 1, verse 8? “Therefore, do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord nor of me as prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.”
Guys, Timothy was to be a man of conviction in a sea of compromise and consensus. I got a little bit of a challenge to you this morning. It’s kind of been in my face for a couple of days. I wrote this question down to myself and I pass it on to you. Are you willing to be the emphatic you? Are you willing to be an emphatic you? A standout alone witness for Jesus Christ? a man who doesn’t bend and a man who doesn’t buy and a man who doesn’t burn? Theologically definitive, morally absolutist, gender specific, evangelistically bold?
You’re you the kind of man who keeps an eternal perspective in a world that lives for the moment? You’re the kind of man who serves in a world that looks after number one? You’re the kind of man who’s content in a world that’s never got enough? You’re the kind of man who’s pure in a world obsessed with sex? You’re the kind man who is given to holiness in a world where anything goes? You’re the kind of man who’s got a integrating passion that drives and defines your life in a world that can’t be bothered?
Are you an emphatic you? Will you stand out and you stand up? That’s challenging, isn’t it? Paul says, “Don’t be conformed, pushed around by the world, squeezed into its mold.” You know, you determine what there’s that good will of God and do it. Be an emphatic you. Be a fork in the road. I like the quote of Jim Elliott who was murdered by the Auca Indians in the Ecuadorian forest. He said this before he ever got there as a student at Wheaton College, “Father, make me a crisis man. Bring those eye contact to decision. Let me not be a mild post on a single road. Make me a fork that man must turn one way or another in facing Christ than me.”
Brilliant. And you’ve got that kind of sentiment going on here. “You, Timothy, be different. I hope you’re not caught up in this apostacy. I hope you’re staying true to your convictions in the gospel. I hope you’re living out what you profess. And you know what I need you to do, son? I need you to handpick some young man Ephesus and pour yourself into them and get them ready to carry the torch of the heavenly light unquenched.” That’s the distinction Paul emphasizes.
Secondly, I want you to see the dependence Paul encourages. Let’s go back to our text. “You, therefore, my son,” here’s the dependence Paul encourages, “Be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” He’s just called him to be distinctive, to be bold, uncompromising. And before long, he’ll be reinforcing that with images. “If that’s going to happen, Timothy, you’re going to have to endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. You’re going to have to be like a hard working farmer.” Now, this isn’t going to come naturally to Timothy, wouldn’t you agree? From what we know, he’s rather timid by nature. He has a proclivity to be fearful. We saw that in chapter 1. I think it’s implied by the thought God has not given us a spirit of fear.
In fact, in chapter 4, I believe of the first letter, Paul will say, “Hey Timothy, let no man despise your youth.” He tended to look down as others looked down on him. He could easily be knocked off his game. In fact, that’s why Paul in chapter 1 will say, “Stir up the gift.” He’s going backwards. His foot is off the paddle. So by nature, he’s timid and boldness and a standalone, standout commitment to the gospel won’t happen naturally for Timothy. I think Paul by nature was a bit of a lion heart kind of character. Not Timothy, a little bit of a church mouse. And he would need to be encouraged to do this kind of thing. And then on top of that, guys, he knows what happens when you do what Paul has just encouraged him to do. You might end up in prison like the Apostle Paul, you know? And we see that look at verse 8 where he talks about, “Hey Tim, I think, are you willing to share with me and the sufferings for the gospel?”
Looking inside and looking outside, there’s nothing much to encourage this emphasis on boldness. There’s nothing much in Timothy that will produce it and there’s not a lot of encouragement around them that would make it easy. You might as well ask a pig to fly as ask Timothy to be strong. But then go back to verse 8 and we’ll pick it up in verses 1 of chapter 2, “Share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God.” And here he says, “Timothy, my son, be strong.” He’s not saying, “Hey, Timothy, pull yourself up by your bootstraps, son. Dig deep.” No, none of that. This isn’t a case of willpower. This is a case of Holy Spirit power.
Look at verses 1, “Be strong in by means of the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Glad to see that that’s in the text. Augustine used to pray, “Lord, ask what you will, but give what you ask.” Now Timothy is being asked to be strong, even suffer for the gospel in the midst of the drift that’s going on in Asia. But how can he do it? He can do it according to the power of God. That’s the dependence Paul encourages. Now let’s look at this verb be strong. Let me educate you. It’s an imperative mood. And if you’re in the early stages of grasping Greek, you’ll know that that means it’s a command. “This must happen. This must be you.” Strong. It’s also in the passive voice, which means that the subject is being acted upon. This is what theologians call the divine passive. The source of strengthening comes from outside Timothy. That’s beautiful. It’s a passive voice. “God will act on you, Timothy. And So fly the grace that you need and the strength that is required.”
See, God isn’t replenishing timothy’s strength. Don’t get that. It’s not like Timothy, you know, “I’m going to attempt to be strong. And what I don’t have, God will give.” No. This is a strengthening that comes completely from outside Timothy. And it’s also a present tense verb, which means it’s a continual action. Timothy was invited by Paul to become continually strong for spiritual work and warfare. Now, here’s how you might want to translate it, and I like this. “You therefore, my son, be empowered. Be empowered through the strength that God will supply to you.” Look at verse 14 of chapter 1, “That good thing which was committed to you keep by the Holy Spirit. So there’s a dependence that Paul encourages. Paul is not asking Timothy to summons up the strength. As I’ve said, this is not a “Pull yourself up by your bootstrap approach to ministry.”
Listen, guys, the greatest help in the service of God is God acting as a servant to us as we serve him. I want to say that again. The greatest help in the service of God is God himself acting as a servant and a help to those that are seeking to advance his kingdom. We need to watch out that we do not commit the sin of serving God apart from God. It’s easily done, the sin of serving God apart from God. You see, it’s never a case of, “Lord let me do that for you.” It’s a case of, “Lord, will you do that in me that I might do that for you?” It’s Philippians 2, “Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling.” And what does Paul go on to say? It’s so important, guys. “For it is God who works in you to will and to do his good pleasure.”
Anything I do for God, God must do it first in me. And that’s why prayer, humility, dependence upon God, spiritual disciplines, the throne of grace, quiet time, call it what you want, is so critical to the servant of God and the service of God. You want to measure amount of God or leader? Measure him from his knees up because Paul encourages an appendance here. And that’s the theme he will repeat, doesn’t he, in a lot of his stuff? 1 Corinthians 15 verse 10 is a good example of what we’re talking about again, “But by the grace of God, I am what I am. And his grace toward me was not in vain, but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God, which was in me.” It’s powerful. Colossians 1 verse 29, similar thought. Mark actually quoted it earlier in his intermissions where Paul says, “To this end, I also labor striving according to his working, which works in me mightily.”
Listen, we need to learn this. We need to keep reminding us of this. My ministry, your ministry, ought to be a reflex of and a reflection of God’s work in us. My ministry for God is a reflex of what he is doing in me. That’s the secret to success. Now, a couple of things quickly as we look at this dependence Paul encourages and we think about the grace of God. Now I want you to see the movement, what I call the movement of grace, the movement of grace. The movement of grace is towards weakness. The movement of grace is towards weakness. We’ve already identified Timothy in many ways is naturally unqualified to be a leader. More of a sanguine personality, timid, even naturally shy, maybe even introspective, beholding to people’s opinions too much. All of that’s clear. That’s why Paul has to say, “Hey, you need to stir up the gift that’s in you. And you need to not be driven by a spirit of fear, but power and love and a signed judgment.”
But I’m glad to know that God’s grace is attracted to the sinful, the weak, the disabled, bold, the defeated and the needy. Listen to Tony Merida, his commentary in 2 Timothy, “If you find yourself desperate for strength, you’re in a good place. You’re a great candidate for grace. You’re in the number of those faithful servants in Hebrews 11 who gained strength after being weak. Perhaps you’re dealing with wayward children, fatigue, discouragement, betrayal, or illness. My friend, remembered that there is a fountain of grace in Jesus. Join the prayer of Jehoshaphat, who confessed in 2 Chronicles 20 verse 12, ‘For we are powerless before this vast number that comes to fight against us. We do not know what to do, but we look to you.’ So if you’re looking for strength to endure in the midst of hardship and suffering, look in the right place and to the right person, Jesus.”
But notice his first words again. “If you find yourself desperate for a strength, you’re in a good place.” Didn’t Jesus model us in the gospels? He was attracted to the weak and the needy and the vulnerable and the outcast. Paul experienced this, didn’t he, in 2 Corinthians 12:7-10, where in his infirmities and in his weakness God proved his sufficient grace. And James argues this who says, “God resists the pride, but he gives grace to the humble.” Guys, just noticed the movement of grace. “Timothy, [inaudible 00:30:13], I know all about your weaknesses and your natural hesitancy, but Timothy be strong. Be empowered. Let God act upon you, son.” Passive voice. “Let God strengthen you.” That’s why DL moody said, didn’t he, “You cannot be too small for God to use. Only too big.” The movement of grace.
Secondly, the means of grace. Go back to our text, John MacArthur notes this in his commentary, “You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, that that could be translated by the means of grace that is in Christ Jesus.” Now, you read Reformed Theology to which I do and appreciate. The writers of Reformed Theology, and certainly come back to the reformation, love to use a little phrase called the means of grace. You ever read that? What are the means of grace or what is the means of grace? Well, it’s the disciplines or the avenues by which God supplies his grace or the environments in which his grace operates. The means of grace could be properly expressed as spiritual disciplines. So Paul is saying to Timothy, “The means of your strengthening comes through the grace that Jesus applies. He’s the means of grace and you need to go to him.”
And as we think about the fact that Jesus is the means of grace, we would have to ask ourself the question, “What are the means of grace? What are the things that the Holy Spirit uses to empower?” I come up with three, there are many more, but we’ll just quickly go there. Prayer is one of them. Prayer, Hebrews 4:14-16 where we’re told to go to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Prayer is such an important part of our lives and ought to be. It’s the means of grace. It’s a spiritual discipline that pleases us in a place where God can bless and strengthen and empower. Fellowship. Being in the company of God’s people, speaking into each other’s lives, lifting each other up when our arms begin to fly.
Look at Ephesians 4:29. “Not let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it made impart grace to the hearer.” There’s another means of grace, prayer and fellowship. Being in the company of edifying, sanctifying Christians who want to see you progress in the Christian life. And here, we’re going to speak at a fine words to you that will be indeed ministry of grace.
And the last thought is scripture, the gospel, the truth, the teaching about the Lord, Jesus Christ, look at what Paul says in Acts 20:32 as he departs from Ephesus having been there for three years, he says, “I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified. Timothy, be empowered. Be strong, son. Jesus is the means of grace, the means of empowerment.” Now, what are the means of his grace? The avenues, the things that the Holy Spirit uses. Prayer, fellowship, scripture among several others.
The story’s told about an AJ Gordon, founder of Gordon-Conwell Divinity School in Boston. And [inaudible 00:34:03] walking one day across the field, he happened to notice a farm post in the distance and the outline of a man who was feverously pumping a pump. And from what he could see, water was gushing from the pump. And as he walked along the road with this kind of in front them in light line form, the guy never led up. Several minutes went by and the guy was still hard at it. And he thought himself, “Wow, this guy’s strong.” Just out of curiosity, he moved closer to the farm yard. And as he got closer, he noticed that it was not a man at the pump. It was a wooden figure painted in the shape of a man whose arm had a hinged elbow to it that was wired to the pump handle. And the water was pouring out, but not because the figure was pumping it. It was an artesian well. The water was pumping the man. The man wasn’t pumping the water.
Mystery solved. Because in some sense, no natural man, no normal man could have pumped at that rate for so long. But as he get up close, he realized, “Hey, the pump was pumping the man. The man wasn’t pumping the pump.” My friend Mark Hitchcock who tells this story in a sermon on this very passage says, “When you see someone who is truly at work for God and producing results, recognize that it’s the artesian well of the grace of God within that, supplying that strength.”
Now let’s move on to the last thought. We’ve looked at the distinction, Paul emphasizes, “You.” We’ve looked at the dependence, Paul encourages, “Be strong.” Now I want to look at the development Paul entrusts, the development Paul entrusts to Timothy, and that’s the development of a new and next generation of preachers and pastors. Verse 2, “And the things that you’ve heard from me among many witnesses commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others.” Timothy is to perpetuate the great commission to put it honestly. In some ways, chapter 2 and verse 2 is an aspect of the great commission where Jesus said to his apostles to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. And when someone comes to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ command them to do whatever Jesus commanded them to do.
You see guys, it is the nature of Christianity to propagate itself. Christianity can never be silenced or silent and remain true to Christianity. Because by nature, by its Genesis and in the light of the commission of the Lord Jesus Christ, Christianity is a faith that is to be propagated and perpetuated because Jesus even finishes that statement about the great commission with, “And I will be with you to the end of the edge.” What we start here, man, will ripple light across the centuries as you teach men who teach other men who teach other men to remain faithful to the treasure of the gospel. And Paul picks up that theme.
Now, it’s a pressing priority here, by the way. Let me just step back. Why is this such an urgent commission and call? Because number one, Timothy’s going to Paul. Chapter 4, verse nine, we learn that Paul invites Timothy to be diligent to come to him quickly. Now, Paul then is going to leave Ephesus for Rome. There’ll be a vacuum of leadership. Timothy will not be there. The apostolic delegate will not be there. So there’s this urgent need to make sure that there a man there who will step into the breach and fill the gap in the hedge and be faithful like Timothy was faithful and preach the same message that Timothy heard from Paul and they heard from Timothy. That’s why this is important. Timothy’s going to Paul.
Secondly, there’s apostacy in Asia. There’s a departure from the faith going on, chapter 1 and verse 15. Then you’ve got Paul’s impending death. I mean, he’s looking at things from the edge of eternity. He knows he’s kept the faith. He knows he’s fought the fight. Now, the issue is will the generation coming up from behind him remain as faithful? Or will you deal with the second generation syndrome you see in the Book of Judges? There was a generation that grew up who didn’t remember the miracles of the Lord. They weren’t as passionate as the first generation. They didn’t have to pay the same price as the first generation. They’re taking things for granted. They’re not as committed as the first generation. And so Paul’s worried about that. He wants to know that his impact will continue through Timothy and through others whom Timothy will impact.
And then frankly, this is an essential pastoral task. This is what pastor ought to be about. Leaders don’t just make followers, they create other leaders. So let’s look at this quickly. There’s three things about this development I’ll just quickly touch on, the purpose. We kind of touched on this the last time we were together, but let me just underscore what is the goal of this leadership development that Timothy is to give himself to? Quite simply guys, it’s the careful transmission of gospel truth. The careful transmission of gospel truth. Verse 14, chapter 1, “That good thing which was committed to you keep.” Guard the deposit. Keep the gospel. Protect the treasure. How do we do it? We made this argument right at the beginning. We do it by multiplying ourselves so that the gospel is put into the hands of men who are faithful and able to teach, who will carry on the task.
So that’s the purpose of this leadership development. Leaders are teachers. I mean, look at verse 2, “Pick men who are able to teach.” Go back the 1 Timothy three and verse 2, and that’s one of the qualifications of an elder. “Our pastor are able to teach.” The pastoral ministry is a teaching office. Leaders are to teach and they’re to teach signed doctrine. Verse 13 of chapter 1, “Hold fast the pattern of signed words, healthy words.” You get that again repeated in chapter 4 and verse 3, “For the time will come when they will not endure signed doctrine.” The church needs teachers who are committed to faithful proclamation and the protection of signed doctrine. The gospel must not be allowed to be diluted as time goes by. The next generation of preachers need to preach the old time religion. They need to be old school in their theology.
What was good enough for Paul and Silas, good enough for Timothy. What was good enough for Timothy was good enough for the man that followed Timothy and those they would impact. That’s the purpose, to raise up men who are not given to that, which is new and that which is novel. Be weary of preachers that use words like creativity, innovative, new and novel, because you and I are to indeed keep the faith. Not change it. Not dilute it. Not play with it. Not tinker with it. What’s the purpose here? It’s to make sure that the man that come up after Timothy and those after them are preaching the faith ones delivered to the sins. That’s what it’s about. That’s what it’s about.
That’s why when I was given a choice between another school and becoming a board member at the Master’s Seminary, I chose the Master’s Seminary. Not that the other school wasn’t a good choice, but one, I had a natural affinity with Dr. MacArthur. And two, I just love the philosophy at the Master’s Seminary. I’m not saying it’s not going on at other schools, but John just makes it very pronounced and very upfront. He’ll tell the incoming student body at the Master’s Seminary each and every time you can, “Our approach here at the Master’s Seminary is indoctrination. We’re going to tell you how to think. We’re going to tell you what to think. And we’re going to encourage you to keep thinking it, regardless of what everybody else thinks.” Because the job of the Master’s Seminary and the job of the local church is what? The careful transmission of truth that has remained and abided true across the centuries.
That’s why I like the words of P.T. Forsyth. “The preacher is not to be original in the sense of being absolutely new, but in the sense of being fresh, of appropriating for his own personality or his own age what is the standing possession of the church in its perennial trust from Christ. I love this phrase, “He makes discovery in the gospel, but not of the gospel.” Some preachers spoil their work by an incessant strain after novelty and a morbid dread of the common place. Is that not the language of today? “We’re not the church of your grandmother. And we do it this way and we’re new and fresh and innovative.”
I don’t mind being fresh in the sense of making a fresh discovery in the gospel. But today it seems to have spilled over into new discoveries beyond the gospel or apart from the gospel. Pastors have this morbid dread of being seen as traditional in common place. And they give themselves and break their necks straining after novelty. No, not according to Paul.
I’ve told you this story. When I was at DTS with my friend Mark Hitchcock, he took me over to meet Dr. Dwight Pentecost, the man I’ve admired from a distance and whose books lined my shelves. He was in his 90s. He’s now with the Lord. We enjoyed a half an hour with him. And at the end I said, “Dr. Pentecost, I’ve admired you for years, read your books. Mark and I have, God willing, of still have some time to affect our ministry, what would be your words of encouragement to us as younger pastors? His words were, “It’s out on the front sign of the seminary.” And we went out and the front sign of Dallas Seminary says, “Dallas Theological Seminary.” And under it, “Preach the word.” He’s saying, “Hey, do what I’ve done. Preach the word. Don’t try to be novel. Don’t try to be cute. Don’t try and think outside the box of the faith once delivered to the sins.”
Okay, that’s the purpose. What about the profile? Who qualifies to be entrusted with the gospel? As I said, this is the sermon in itself. I am going to run down this in a popcorn style, but I would suggest that the profile of a candidate to be trained to be this kind of leader is one. They need to be reliable man. Okay, faithful. You can count on them. They’ve proven their worth within the local church. They’d have to be gifted man, wouldn’t they? Paul acknowledges Timothy, “What about the gift given to you by the Holy Spirit? Stir it up. Plus, they’ve got to be able to teach.” So they’ve got to be reliable and they’ve got to be able. They’ve got to be proven and they must have a proven track record of effectiveness in ministry to go to another level of impact.
I think they’ve also got to be single minded. I think that’s the import of verse 4, “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life.” When you get drafted, the thought of marriage, the thought of owning a house, the thought of buying that soft top sports car, it all gets relegated because it’s life and death on the battlefield. The draft, warfare, the battlefield, it’s singularly focuses a man’s mind, doesn’t it? He got one thing in his mind, to get home to that girlfriend. Maybe some day to own a house and drive that car. But right now it’s one thing, me and my buddies surviving this.
The man called by God to 4G impact as a single minded man, he’s got one thing in his mind, the careful transmission of truth. He’s hardworking. Hardworking. We see that in verse 6, the hardworking farmer. We see in verse 3, the soldier who endures hardship. We see in chapter 2, verse 15, that when it comes to the study of God’s word, which he must be able to teach that he will indeed be someone who aspires to be diligent to present themself approved to God a Workman that need not be a SHM. He will be godly. That’s a given, but might as well put it out there because in chapter 2, Paul will talk about, “Hey, we need to be vessels, clean and fit and usable for God.”
He needs to be studious. If he’s going to be able to teach the word, he must be a diligent student of it. He’ll love theology. He’ll read books. He’ll talk about preaching. He’ll give himself to an understanding of the text. If he’s a working man who hasn’t yet been released into full-time ministry, so to speak, he’ll do that work. After a long day’s work, you’ll find him into the small hours of the morning under a dimly lit room studying the scriptures, getting ready for Bible study or Sunday morning. He’s reliable, gifted, single minded, hardworking, godly, studious, and his old school. Old school. He believes that he is not there to reinvent the church or to tamper with the gospel, because what was received by Timothy came from Paul by means of many witnesses. And no, it’s with him. And it’s his job to carefully transmit the truth. He’s old school. He’s not trying to be new or novel. That’s the profile, guys.
And we just underscore this thought that the selection process is so critical when it comes to leadership development. Jesus spent the night in prayer before deciding on the 12. Picking the right person for the job is half the job. And that’s a good principle if you’re in business or you’re a coach. I’d rather be without the person I wished I had than have the person I wished I didn’t have. And selection’s important. Lou Holtz, the famous Notre Dame coach said, “You got to have great athletes to win. You cannot win without good players, but you can lose with them. And that’s where coaching comes in.” Love that quote. See what he’s saying? Look, you can’t win without good players, but sometimes you don’t win with good players, but that’s then your role as a coach, to make them better. But you want to go from good to best. It’s much harder to go from bad to good. Selection’s important. And this profile’s important. Dr. Ivor Oakley said [inaudible 00:49:52] at the Irish Baptist College where I was initially trained, “We can make you a better preacher, but we cannot make you a preacher.”
Finally, guys, the purpose, the profile, the process, we know we ought to be doing this. Timothy’s called to it. And while it’s not explicit, I think there are several things that are implicit about the process, how we go about developing leaders. Again, a message in itself, popcorn style. I think the process has to be open. This is not a behind the doors secretive thing where you’ve got a few insiders, training a few insiders. This was done before many witnesses, this process. There was many witnesses involved in this. It was open. It was intimate. My son. There’s an affection between the trainer and the trainee. There’s a love between these men. There’s a bond. It’s a bond of brothers, committed to the careful transmission of truth. It’s open. It’s intimate. It’s theological. “The things you heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, now you pass onto others.” Things heard. Theological doctrine. It’s book oriented. It’s not only theological. It’s integrated. It’s integrated with the body life of the church.
This doesn’t go on in isolation. The local church is the laboratory for this kind of leadership development. Because look what Paul says, “In the presence of many witnesses, all of this took place.” It was open. It was intimate. It was theological and it was integrated. It was rigorous. It wasn’t for namby-pamby man. If they don’t want to do the hard work of studying, if they don’t want to put in the draft, they’re going to [inaudible 00:51:39] about tasks and papers and demands. No, that’s why he says be strong, because the ministry’s not easy. It’s progressive. Timothy didn’t get all that he needed from Paul in one session. And it wasn’t just Paul. Many witnesses were involved. Other men were involved in the process. And so to me it was progressive. Many people and many occasions across time. Convectional. Commit to faithful man. They need to be man of conviction.
Well, it may take time for some of them to come to certain convictions, but they will be man of convictions committed to the gospel. And it’s focused. We’re back to the purpose. This leadership development fundamentally is to produce men able to teach. Not innovative, not creative. Leaders, but faithful expositors of the truth.
Guys, were done with this story. Just a few weeks ago, I was in Dallas at the Pre-Trib conference that I go to each year. The Lord used prophecy to bring me to faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Matthew 24:44, “In such an hour you think not the son of man comes.” I’ve always had a love for the second coming of the Lord Jesus. I have a passion for it. That bothers me that it’s being relegated today as a kind of optional doctrine. A faith of the Bible is prophetic. The crane in book of the revelation of God is all about the future. I’ve always had a love for prophecy.
And so for several years, I’ve gone with my friend who’s ministered here, Dr. Mark Hitchcock, who pastors in Oklahoma and teaches at Dallas Seminary. He is an author of 25 books on the area of prophecy. So this year we went. Part of this year’s kind of focus was on the fact that the Pre-Trib Conference started 25 years ago under the auspices of Tim LaHaye and man like Ed Hindson and Tommy Ice. In 2016, we marked the fact that that was the 25th year of the Pre-Trib Conference in think tank. And it was the year that we saw the passing of Dr. Tim LaHaye. His wife was there. We honored her. A couple of young men who had been impacted by him spoke.
And then at the end of it, Ed Hindson, he get up, shared that. And he get off on a little kind of a thing about Elijah and Elisha and the mantle. Remember that scene in the Old Testament? Elijah’s ministries wrapping up Elisha. “Hey, what do you want?” “I want to double portion. Whatever he did, I want to do it more.” And as he’s going to heaven, you know that the kind of the mantle of the cloak of Elijah falls on Elisha and he picks it up.
In the meeting, Dr. Hindson had a Jewish prayer shawl. And as he shared his passion for prophecy and that the young man of the next generation pick up the mantle that he and the [inaudible 00:54:48] of this world are living, dying, that they would pick that up. And in a dramatic moment before us all, he took that prayer shawl and he dropped it on the floor from the platform. And then he said, “I dare any young man under 40 to come up and pick it up.” Several young men from Chino Hills Calvary Chapel were there, they went up. A couple of young men from Mike Faber’s church went up along with others.
It was a dramatic moment. “Are you going to pick this mantle up? Am I going to go to my grave realizing that the next generation has no passion for this? The blessed hope of the glorious appearing of our great God and savior the Lord Jesus.” Guys, that’s just one mantle of many mantles that this generation needs to pick up. And 2 Timothy 2:1-2 has dropped a challenge at every man’s feet. Every father, every man who’s got an influence for Jesus Christ in the community, every man who aspires to have some kind of impact in local church leadership, pick up the mantle. Be faithful to the gospel. Guard the treasure. Pray and work passionately towards a 4G, a four generation impact.
Let’s pray. Lord, we don’t want to be man of the moment. We want to be man like Abraham Lincoln, it was said of him at his death. Now he belongs to the ages. We want to belong to the ages. We want to be part of this eternal enterprise that started in the death burial in resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Lord, we want to be faithful to your great commission. Thank you for these men that are a joy to my heart. They’re a blessing to this church. I pray that it’s we go through 2017, May this thought of 4G impact really grab hold of us. And whether we end up in pastoral ministry or not, we’ve got the challenge ourselves, “Am I doing this with my children? Am I doing this within my country? Am I carefully transmitting the truth? Am I modeling it? Am I standing boldly for it?” Because the church is only one generation away from apostacy and apathy and trouble. Lord, may this breakfast supply a pipeline of godly men and godly ministers who are making an impact for Jesus Christ. And everybody said amen.