An Expositional Sermon
1 Timothy 3:14-16
“A Repenting Church”
Theme/Big Idea: The reason that we let the God’s Word shape the church is because the church belongs to God and is a visible display of God’s gospel.
Aim/Appropriation/Application: Pray that God would bear the fruit of unity from His Word that can only come from the hope of the glory of Christ in us as a local church.
(1) It Matters How We Live Together as a Church (1 Timothy 3:14-15a)
(2) Because of What the Church Is (1 Timothy 3:15)
(3) And Because It Is Founded Upon the Secret to the Christian Life – Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 3:16)
Questions for Further Reflection
(1) Why should a local church function the way that Paul outlines? Explain why Paul isn’t just a control-freak who doesn’t trust local churches to just make up their minds about what is best for how they order themselves.
(2) Why do we live the way we live, and what’s the “secret” to the Christian life?
(3) What does your love for the local church look like?
(4) If Christ is your treasure, then how does your affection take shape in real life regarding His body, as Ephesians 1:23 describes the church as, “his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.” How do you existentially love the church?
(5) In the Bible what is a “temple”? What’s it’s purpose in the Old Testament, how is Jesus Christ the perfect fulfillment of it, and how is it that we – both individually as believers and corporately as a local church – are now God’s temple?
(6) If you’re not a Christian how can you explain that the Christian church got started? If you could identify one thing that explains the beginning and continued existence of Christian churches, what would it be? Why isn’t this a compelling truth to at least make you consider why you wouldn’t be part of Christ’s church? If the people who knew Jesus, and saw his life, death and resurrection believed what they saw, why shouldn’t be believe who have received their eye-witness testimony? Why would the people who saw and knew Jesus die so that they could tell people about Him?
(7) What is the secret to a vibrant Christian life in the context of a local church? Hint: it’s not primarily that we should… (1) work harder, (2) improve our marketing, (3) develop great programs, ministries, and special interest groups, (4) hone in on a specific target audience, (5) contemporary or older music, (6) instrumental or a capella music, (7) great visual effects and dimming the lights at “just” the right time, (8) shorter or longer sermons, (9) the best coffee or donuts, (10) comfortable chairs and a great building, (11) huge events, (12) great power point or lack thereof, (13) cool clothes, (14) air-conditioning or fans, (15) great friendships and community, or (16) get the color of the carpet or the paint on the walls just right. Look at how verse 16 answers describes the “mystery” or the “secret” to godliness or faithful Christian living in the local church: “He”. Jesus Christ.
(8) How is it that Jesus Christ is the secret to godliness or the Christian life together in the context of a local church? What are the 6 aspects of Christ that are the mystery of our godliness?
(9) How is Christ’s incarnation applicable to our godliness? How is Christ’s vindication by the Spirit both in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension applicable to our godliness? How is the fact that Christ was seen by angels applicable to our godliness? How is the fact that Christ was proclaimed to the nations applicable to our godliness? How is the fact that Jesus Christ was believed on in the world applicable to our godliness? How was Jesus’ ascension applicable to our godliness?
(10) How can we as a local church structure ourselves, and embrace elements and circumstances of our corporate gathering and worship together in such a way that we don’t seek to add to or subtract from the source of our existence as Christians – the gospel of Jesus Christ?
(11) How does the pursuit of preaching and knowing “Christ crucified” (1 Corinthians 2:2) affect how we think about philosophical and methodological approaches to preaching, gathering, evangelism, etc.? Are there ways that we can use music, audio-visual, outreach, small groups, etc. that actually serves to distract us from the mystery of godliness?
(12) What would happen if our hope was in pragmatic knowledge from the business world and our own creative opinions about how we should live together as a church?
(13) Why shouldn’t we abandon God’s word and turn to the gimmicks of the world, trying to be cool, please people, and focus on felt needs as the driving mission of the local church?
How does the mystery of godliness in Christ relate to how we should live together as a church as Paul has outlined. How does the gospel relate to…
(1) how we should we pray for all people and those in authority over us in society? (1 Timothy 2:1-7)
(2) why men pray without getting into squabbles? (1 Timothy 2:8)
(3) why women should pursue to pray without letting clothing, jewelry and hairstyles distract? (1 Timothy 2:9-10)
(4) why should women in a local church not exercise authority in teaching in the church? (1 Timothy 2:11-12)
(5) why does the fact that God created Adam and then Eve matter for how we live as a church? (1 Timothy 2:13-14)
(6) why should women and all of us be content in the various roles God has placed us? (1 Timothy 2:15)
(7) how we think about elders oversee the church? (1 Timothy 3:1-7)
(8) how we think about deacons and women serving the church? (1 Timothy 3:8-13)