The Mystery of Godliness
1 Timothy 3:14-16
Pastor John Sloan
Introduction: That notion that true Christianity boils down to doing (and not doing) certain things has turned plenty away from the faith. Others, of all ages (from Boomers to Millennials), have sought to preserve the purity of the gospel by utilizing pen and (blog) posts as a way to reiterate the sufficiency of Christ’s work. It’s not about us, we’re reminded, but about Jesus. Some even say that it doesn’t matter what we do, only what Jesus has done. But have these proponents of grace gone too far? Or, have they gone far enough? What is this “mystery of godliness” to which Paul alludes?
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
- How does the image of the church as “God’s household” (verse 15) help us to understand how we should relate to one another as believers?
- What does the way we “behave” as believers—individually and corporately—reveal about the condition of our hearts?
- In what sense is the church a “pillar and buttress of the truth” (see Colossians 1:5)?
- The “godliness” that Paul talks about in verse 16 is not a nod to a certain type of behavior but a reference to objective content. How so?
- What foundational doctrines are represented in the hymn of verse 16?
- What stirs your heart to love God more: a reminder of His love for you, OR a command to do something for Him? Why?
- Read text: 1 Timothy 3:14-15
- “The purpose of pillars is not only to hold the roof firm, but to thrust it high so that it can be clearly seen even from a distance. Just so, the church holds the truth aloft, so that it is seen and admired from the world.” – John Stott
- 01. Obedience to God offers evidence of true faith and gives credence to the gospel message.
- “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” – Matthew 5:16
- “Keep your conduct among the Gentiles honorable, so that …they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day of visitation.” – 1 Peter 2:12
- “Whatever happens, conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.” (Phil. 1:27)
- Read text: “Great, indeed, we confess is the mystery of godliness.” – Timothy 16a
- “Here, as often with ‘faith’ in these letters, [Paul] is not referring to a quality of ‘godliness’ as such but ‘the godliness,’ thought of in a more objective way as the content or basis of Christianity.” – Gordon Fee
- The ‘mystery of godliness’ is God’s plan of redemption, once hidden but now revealed, and centered on the person and work of Jesus.
- Read text: Timothy 16b
- 02. Obedience is spurred on by reminders about the person and work of Jesus—the One in whom the fullness of God’s grace resides.
- “We are brought into God’s kingdom by grace; we are sanctified by grace; we receive both temporal and spiritual blessings by grace; we are motivated to obedience by grace; we receive the strength to endure trials by grace; and finally we are glorified by grace. The entire Christian life is lived under the reign of God’s grace.” – Jerry Bridges
Servant of God
1 Timothy 3:8-13
Pastor Scott Williams
Introduction: The word deacon that is used in this morning’s passage literally means servant or attendant, one who attends to, and cares for others. Last week we learned about those who are the leaders, and today we are going to get a glimpse of those who humbly serve the church by devotedly and tenderly caring for the everyday needs of the congregation.
Note: If you miss a point or quote, visit northpointcorona.org and click on “Resources” to find today’s sermon slides or to listen to the sermon (both will be posted tomorrow afternoon).
A Deacon’s Qualities:
A Deacon’s Blessing:
Questions for Discussion & Discovery
1. Read Mark 10:42-45. The same word for servant is used here. In what ways should Jesus’ radical view of self-sacrificing service shape our relationships?
2. According to verses 8-9, what is the nature and character of a servant? Which of these qualities come easiest for you and which present more of a challenge?
3. Why is it of importance for the servants of the church to be grounded in the gospel? What are some of the implications if they are not?
4. The role of deaconess, whether it’s a deacon’s wife or another women, is described in verse 11. Why do you think Paul emphasizes this specific role? How does this role benefit the ministry of the church?
5. Verse 13 gives the blessing and benefit of being a servant in the church. What are the two blessings and what encouragement would this bring?