Gamma 17 – The Pastoral Epistles (Study 8)

Study 8




Please look at the questions and discuss the answers. The case histories are designed to let you apply what theoretical knowledge you have gleaned from the study. There are intentionally many more questions and case histories than you can manage in one session but this is designed to cover the many and varied needs of the individuals in the church hence please pick and choose which ones to discuss as long as it gets people sharing and applying the Word to real life situations. Never feel obligated to finish all the questions The answers will be posted on the web the next day.

Godliness is reverence for God as a creature to its Creator. It is supposed to be the natural expected response of a creature created for a specific purpose to fulfil that purpose for which it was made. We are made in the image of God and we are to multiply and live in dominion over the rest of God’s creation as His representative on His behalf and reflect who God is in our lives hence “godliness” or god likeness. That is driven by our encounter with God. In Deuteronomy 10:12-13 Israel has encountered both the miraculous power of God in saving them from their misery in Egypt and His love as they neither deserved nor in many cases wanted His intervention.

The Exodus event and His sustenance of them in the Sinai desert and encounter of glory and power at Mount Sinai with the 10 commandments given to them had established their experience of both his power and His love.

The command to obey Him comes on the heels of that salvation event. Our drive towards living a godly live is driven by our knowledge of Him, fear ..reverence or respect or awe of His power and majesty tinged with a healthy aversion to His punishment as we are sinners fully deserving of that, and love because His grace was shown and we like Israel were not abandoned and destroyed but were saved. That results in our natural reciprocation to our God and this prompts us to genuine obedience based on a whole hearted devotion and love.

The context of Deuteronomy and 1 John is not the same. John is dealing with the issue salvation, which issues from God and the fear in John is the fear of the judgment of God because of our sin.

The passage begins with the challenge to love each other because God loved us

1 John 4: 7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God

The challenge is to love each other because even our love comes from God and our love is the outward manifestation of our in ward transformation of God’s loving act in sending his Son to die for us.

1 John 4: 10 In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

God is the source. We are the recipients and we love because we have received His love.

1 John 4: 17 By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love

His love transforms us to love others and gives us confidence in the day of judgment because He loved us and saved us we do not have to fear judgement on the last day we face it with confidence. The perfected love is the love by which God has showered on us by Christ death and so transforms us to love as evidence of that transformation will cast out all fear which is the fear of judgment.

The fear of God in Deuteronomy is reverence and awe of a Holy Majestic and powerful God which drives us to submission because of His power and majesty as well as love because His power comes in love as well as such a magnificent God would consent to suffer and die to save us.

We are driven to live a God centered life because of our overwhelming conviction of His majesty and power and authority and our love for what this God has done for us. Only the full appreciation of this will result in repentance which is changing our mind and direction of our lives to live in submission to Him

The training is in the gospel (words of faith) and doctrine (teaching) of the Word of God The word gives us the sense of persistence, development of goals, discipline, effort, suffering in our endeavor to immerse ourselves into the Word so much so that it will guide our every thought and action. It takes time, planning and effort and we do it because of our love and fear of Him and not because we believe that it will earn us a place in heaven. Godliness is of benefit of all of life, life here and the hereafter

The Word is not internalised in us and remains as a concept and not an experience. We need to have believed the Word and acted upon it for it to be internalised. Need to share on how the Word is lived out

The hope upon which we place in our training is unlike natural athletes who hope in their own strength our hope is on God who saves all especially those who believe. Our part must consist on embarking on the training , striving and moving in His direction.

The reading of the Word
The preaching of the Word
The teaching of the Word