The Big Idea is Really Big (1 Timothy 6:1-5, 20-21)

It is not the usual and natural occurrence for people of opposite and varying perspectives, worldviews and circumstances to come together around an idea or event that is larger than their differences. Sometimes it happens in the midst of tragic circumstances where a larger common enemy is revealed – as in a Pearl Harbor or 9/11 event that draws disparate people together in a cause larger than their dissimilarities.

But imagine something so big and so good that it draws diverse people together. That is more difficult to find many examples. Everyone could agree that a perfect 79-degree sunny day at the beach is awesome, right? Probably not. Some would complain about the dirty sand, others would wish for winter and snow and a steep mountainside.

In search of a positive example, we might recall the Christmas Truce along the Western Front in World War 1 in 1914, where the two sides sang carols together, exchanged pleasantries and even engaged in some friendly sporting events. That stands out in history because it is so rare and unusual.

The one big idea that should be the biggest idea of all that brings differing people together is an accurate understanding of the gospel message – that we have all sinned and are condemned to separation eternally from God, but that by Christ’s work and grace alone we have been, through faith, brought back into eternal relationship with the Father.

This idea is so big that, as Paul begins in 1 Timothy 6, it should bring together even fellow Christians who are masters and slaves into a new relationship with each other …

6:1 – All who are under the yoke of slavery should consider their masters worthy of full respect, so that God’s name and our teaching may not be slandered.Those who have believing masters should not show them disrespect just because they are fellow believers. Instead, they should serve them even better because their masters are dear to them as fellow believers and are devoted to the welfare of their slaves.

Paul did not upset the societal order of things, though he might have personally wished to do so. But the gospel message was bigger than that, and this truth is what he had been called into apostleship to proclaim. The relationship that masters and slaves had with each other as brothers in Christ was bigger than the social relationship that existed in that time. The masters needed to be truly and deeply devoted to the wellbeing of their slaves, while the servants needed to view their masters in a warm and kindly way. That’s a pretty big main idea!lock_and_key

And this big idea needed to be guarded carefully and taught accurately, so that wrongful responses did not eventuate from people who would use partial truths and twist meanings to their own personal gain …

These are the things you are to teach and insist on. If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree to the sound instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ and to godly teaching, they are conceited and understand nothing. They have an unhealthy interest in controversies and quarrels about words that result in envy, strife, malicious talk, evil suspicions and constant friction between people of corrupt mind, who have been robbed of the truth and who think that godliness is a means to financial gain.

20 Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care. Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge,21 which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith.  Grace be with you all.

Over all of the centuries of the Christian church, there have been those who have taught error, often for their own gain financially or for glory in the eyes of others. A mark of these sorts of teachings is that they do not unite people whatsoever; they result rather in all sorts of strife and friction. These teachers always traffic is some sort of specialized and unique truth that only they have and understand.

If you are online at all, you surely have seen the common advertisements that hint about some heretofore unknown item that is actually being suppressed from general knowledge. It may say something like, “This one weird trick will cure your cancer” … or … “New miracle food reverses the effects of heart disease.”

That is how teachers of doctrinal error maneuver. They profess a unique teaching or twist upon the understanding of biblical truth that sets them apart in a rare and advanced group to be followed (bring your credit card).

In Paul’s day, one of these errant teachings involved what was called Gnosticism. Their favorite word was gnosis (knowledge – verse 20), and their teaching professed an educated understanding of words, mixed into a combination of Jewish, Greek, and Christian teachings that, in the end, was heretical and opposed to the true gospel.

This actual gospel truth was to be guarded by Timothy as a deposit – a word that could be used of a banking deposit of a valuable sum of money. The lexical definition is “a deposit, a trust or thing consigned to one’s faithful keeping.”  What a great, pictorial word to speak of the Scripture and the role of the minister (or any faithful and educated follow of Christ) to follow!

Yes, the gospel truth is THE BIG IDEA that can bring people together in a new and unified relationship with one another that is bigger than race, social status, gender, age, background or heritage. I think we could really use a big idea like that in American right now!

This entry was posted in Nuts and Bolts and tagged , by Randy Buchman. Bookmark the permalink.

About Randy Buchman

I live in Western Maryland, and among my too many pursuits and hobbies, I regularly feed multiple hungry blogs. I played college baseball, coached championship cross country teams at Williamsport (MD) High School, and have been a sportswriter for various publications and online venues. My main profession is as the lead pastor of a church in Hagerstown called Tri-State Fellowship. And I'm active in Civil War history and work/serve at Antietam National Battlefield with the Antietam Battlefield Guides organization. Occasionally I sleep.

1 thought on “The Big Idea is Really Big (1 Timothy 6:1-5, 20-21)

  1. It is good you pointed to the judgment to come.

    “The one big idea that should be the biggest idea of all that brings differing people together is an accurate understanding of the gospel message – that we have all sinned and are condemned to separation eternally from God, but that by Christ’s work and grace alone we have been, through faith, brought back into eternal relationship with the Father.”

    From the Old Testament to the New Testament there is consistency in how God will judge the world. Searching on the words, “judge” and “world” brings up the following verses.

    “Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns.” The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 96:10 NIV)

    “Let all creation rejoice before the LORD, for he comes, he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples in his faithfulness.” (Psalm 96:13 NIV)

    “let them sing before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness and the peoples with equity.” (Psalm 98:9 NIV)

    “”If anyone hears my words but does not keep them, I do not judge that person. For I did not come to judge the world, but to save the world.” (John 12:47 NIV)

    “For he has set a day when he will judge the world with justice by the man he has appointed. He has given proof of this to everyone by raising him from the dead.”” (Acts 17:31 NIV)

    “Certainly not! If that were so, how could God judge the world?” (Romans 3:6 NIV)

    “Or do you not know that the Lord’s people will judge the world? And if you are to judge the world, are you not competent to judge trivial cases?” (1 Corinthians 6:2 NIV)

    Oh… and the last verse, it seems to suggest “Mr. Pastor, Sir” that it is all Christians will have some rulership in the Kingdom of God. And since the first will be last and the last first … well in Christ’s Kingdom everything will be done in love “righteousness,” “faithfulness,” and “equity.”

    Those who know the most will be judged the strictest. “Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1 NIV)

    Jesus put in another way. “But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Lk. 12:48 NIV)

    Yeah, so we all are accountable to God. That is a “juge” topic sir. As you wrote yesterday the application for all of us is to be “good and humble and godly” in both leadership and in following.

    Drawing close to God has certain benefits. Though persecutions are promised also promised are some other things perhaps more easily recognizable as good things. Things like joy, a certain peace, a certain wisdom and even times of refreshing are promised. We can also add that he can provide us with wisdom, more clarity of thinking, (sound mind) purpose … even a certain power to accomplish things that he wants done.

    “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord,” (Acts 3:19 NIV)

    Also to know Jesus is a great gift. When the Apostles were punished for preaching the gospel – they considered it a good thing.
    “The apostles left the Sanhedrin, rejoicing because they had been counted worthy of suffering disgrace for the Name.” (Acts 5:41 NIV)

    It will be so necessary to have spiritual strength for times when storms will hit.

    I just got through skimming the book of Proverbs. Near the beginning of it – it is warned that those who scorn wisdom are heading into a Yuge disaster. When the disaster hits people will then seek wisdom, but won’t be able to find it. Nationally too, it is alarming how foolish people are. … Well who knows what problems lay down the road.

    It certainly is time to become “spiritually” prepped.
    “For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.” (1 Timothy 4:8 NIV)

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