Tuesday, September 3, 2013

CHIEF SINNER

Suggested Reading: 1 Timothy 1-2

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).

 

The Odeon (Bouleuterion) in Ephesus. This building has the shape of a small theatre. It had a double function in use. First, it was used as a Bouleuterion for the meetings of the Boulea or Senate. The second fuction was the Odeum - a concert hall for performances. It was constructed in the 2nd century A.D by the order of Publius Vedius Antonius and his wife Flavia Paiana, two wealthy citizens in Ephesus. Paul assigned Timothy to remain and minister in Ephesus (1 Timothy 1:3-4).

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.

 

Key Verse: 1 Timothy 1:15

This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief.

The first and second letters to Timothy and Titus are the last letters Paul wrote. He was in the dungeon now, not the rented house where he served time earlier under house arrest. No doubt he expected his execution any day. These are the only letters addressed specifically to individuals. History proves that all human development for good or evil can be traced to the decisions of one person.

Our key verse is the most concise statement of the mission of Jesus on earth! Yes, He did come to earth to teach and to set the highest moral example as to how we should live our lives, but first and foremost His number one reason for becoming human was to save sinners! Until we trust Jesus for our salvation, we can’t even begin to follow in His steps. If Jesus had only come to show us how to live, we would have been frustrated and doomed, wallowing in our own constant failure! In spite of Paul’s great success as the Apostle to the Gentiles, and having won many to Christ, he never lost sight of his desperate need for the Saviour.

PRAYER FOR TODAY:

O Holy God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I confess with Paul that I am the chiefest of sinners, and that You, Lord Jesus, came into the world to save me and all sinners who will believe on and in You (not just about You). As Paul wrote, Lord God, “For this reason I obtained mercy…” (1:16a). “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honour and glory forever and ever! Amen!!!” (1:17).

100 PERSONAL WORDS:

I can’t let this reading go by without reference to Paul’s words concerning women in ministry. I’ve mentioned before about Mrs. Willows from Winnipeg, whose ministry had a profound impact on my life. She was a powerful preacher/teacher. In the light of this fact, how do I understand Paul writing that women are “to be in silence” (2:12)? The golden rule of Bible interpretation is “Let the Bible interpret the Bible.” Because of Paul’s experience in Corinth with the husband and wife team of Priscilla and Aquilla, both of whom were teachers of God’s Word, we must draw the conclusion that Paul was dealing through Timothy with a circumstance culturally specific to Ephesus. In the worship of Diana, in her great temple in Ephesus, the leadership was provided by women priestesses. Also, there is the Orthodox Jewish approach to women in the Temple and in the synagogues that we should consider. In traditional Judaism women were forbidden from public ministry. Timothy had to balance these factors. Therefore, I conclude that these were not instructions for the whole Church, but specifically for the one person to whom Paul was writing, Timothy, and just for this specific congregation. In Acts 21:8 & 9 we find the four daughters of Philip were prophetesses.

My granddaughter, Sarah Stowell, has her theological degree and she has some very strong opinions on women in ministry (click here for one of Sarah’s blog postings on this topic).

Yours for ministry, public and private, by all God’s children,

David

Another view of the Odeon described in the photo above.

One of the main roads of ancient Ephesus that is just in front of the Odeon.

32 thoughts on “Tuesday, September 3, 2013

  1. Indeed Paul is correct in his statement that Jesus came into the world, first to save sinners. As I’ve mentioned before, Job knew about God but he knew nothing of a Saviour who could save him from his sin. Today we have the luxury of being able to look back through time, to read all of the Bible and be touched by the promised Redeemer who wants to save us from our sin, to make us whole. I implore you to believe on Jesus, to make a decision to include Him in your life in everything you do and say. The promises of Jesus are just and true and have been tried by men and women throughout the generations. Jesus can make a difference in your life, come to Him today in trust and take the first step of faith, He will not turn you away but will reveal Himself more fully.

    2 Corinthians 3:16 (NLT)
    “But whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.”

  2. Wow! Do I ever know that some churches do not allow women to speak (or even pray in a prayer meeting). We went to a family camp with our youngest child (the other 4 were away fom home by then). I was about to speak at a prayer meeting and was cautioned by another lady. I asked her later what would have happened if I had prayed. She said they would have stopped me outright. A surpise to me.

  3. Sara Stowell makes an excellent case for women in ministry and overall equality, while still respecting gender differences. Well stated Sara!

  4. Praise God that “Jesus came to save us sinners!!” He will never turn anyone away and thank you for sharing Sarah’ s blog with us Pastor David.

    I am truly blessed each day by your teaching and through the many things you share with us. There is always a nugget to ponder on.

    Blessings to all today.

  5. Donna…just read your comments from yesterday and I pray you had a restful night. The song was truly a blessings….thanks….I have sent it on to two special people in my life who are struggling right now. Rest under the shadow of HIS MIGHTY WINGS….you are loved.

  6. When we identify ourselves to the world as a Christian we are immediately held to a higher standard of behaviour. No one else in my family is a believer, and I have lost count the number of times, when in moments of weakness or sinfulness when my behaviour was not Christlike — those family members were quick to throw it in my face. They would say things like —you call yourself a Christian or you behave like that and go to church. In the beginning I would take it very personally, and feel guilty; believing somehow I was a lousy Christian.
    Then one time after another condemning statement about my faith and my failure to live up to Christ’s example I simply said ” I am not a Christian or go to church because I am good, I believe and go to church because I am a sinner who has enough sense to realize it and I want to seek God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness” I never heard a peep out of them since.
    Yes, we need to allow our Lord to work in our hearts, to change us; not to let the world see our goodness but His. However, we are not Him, and never can be like Him completely on this side of the grave. Like Paul said we can never give up trying to run the good race, yet at the same time we must never get discouraged when we don’t reach the level of love Jesus had for all.
    If we could be Jesus we wouldn’t need Jesus. Paul never forgot that and I hope I never will either.

    • That’s a great attitude as we all fall short of the mark at times. The thing is, as we grow closer in our relationship with Christ, people ( especially family) notice the subtle changes and sense of peace within us. Often criticism is merely projecting their own concerns about where they are in relationship with our Creator. Try and be an impartial observer and pay attention to statements made, think about it, then let it go! Enjoy this day our Lord had created!

    • Donna, I am so sorry I didn’t check back on the blog after I had posted a comment, yesterday. Some days we do that and other days we don’t, it seems. I am grateful to have read Catherine’s comment, to go back to yesterday’s blog.

      Truly sorry to read how down you were, Donna. Keep your eyes on Jesus–all the way. As the song you posted reminded you of God’s undying love for you, so too will the bible. Keep a bible in your pocket. Keep a bible in your heart. Turn to your bible rather than be pulled down, sister. Open the bible and hold it against your heart. The Lord will heal you and give you unyielding power through His open Word. He will lead you to the passage He wants you to hear and be comforted by. There is so much power in this and it will give you more of the strength you need.

      Like you, Donna, I know how hard it is to deal with family members who are not Christians; to be involved in arguments and be attacked with hateful comments from their anger and rage; to even feel their bitterness from far away, in the words they say, and neglect saying. It hurts so deeply, when we seek our family’s love and acceptance and don’t receive it. As humans, we need to be understood and validated. That is why it is so painful when we fail to receive it–a weapon of attack by the adversary.

      But the blog is here and your Christian family loves you, Donna! God’s love for us is so real and so meaningful and so very true–here, on earth, as it is in heaven. What we have to look forward to in heaven is so sublime, so unreal! We share that glory with each other on this blog!

      Stand strong in who you are and have become, Donna! You are a mighty prayer warrior! Remind yourself of what you have overcome and the road you have turned in your life–that is a huge success for you, and for Jesus! Remind yourself of the poems you write that exemplify your spirit. You are redeemed, sister, you are redeemed!!!

      Rejoice, Donna, for God is using you to glorify Himself. He loves you so, oh, how he loves you, so! Sing to Him, like Paul did in the dungeon, sister!!

      The Lord bless you and keep you;
      The Lord make His face shine upon you,
      And be gracious to you;
      The Lord lift up His countenance upon you,
      And give you peace. Nu 6:24-26

  7. When I am with my family all they know is i go to church and let me say grace
    at a meal if we are all together. I said I was a christian, but no one wants to here
    any more. I pray for salvation for them and God to change them its hard
    watching them.
    Lianne Hogg

  8. Good morning, blogging family! Thankyou David M. for your faithfulness to this blog and your words of wisdom each day….such a blessing, helping us grow in understanding of His Word. Thankyou Reynold for the wonderful photos.
    My heart is with you Donna, as that has been my experience,as well. Sometimes it’s hard to keep being kind in the face of animosity or indifference.
    Two scriptures which have encouraged me over the years are:
    Gal.6:9 Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
    Heb.10:36 For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise.
    In the meantime, He is working out His Life in us..1 Thess.5:24 The One who called you is faithful and He will do it. Please be encouraged!
    Blessings to all His family!

  9. Good work Pastor David and Sarah. I’ve read through all the reports slowly and carefully and glad that you shared all this with us. I believe the Lord Jesus wants the whole church, including children using their gifts and about their Father’s business in these last days. Just a point to ponder; the Apostle Paul said that he “obtained mercy because I did it ignorantly in unbelief.”(I Tim. 1:13). Donna, keep praying and believing for your family. I was the first child saved in my family and God has blessed as I have two grandnephews in Bible School now and not the first. Sarah, I am awed by your blogs. God bless everyone today!

  10. Dear Donna thank you for your insight and personal testamony . I to have been centured out and accused of not being or acting like a perfect Christian. I’m so far from prefect I don’t even know where to begin. But I love the Lord with all of my heart and soul and I know he loves me to, and I love people all people. Weather they like me or dislike me I love them. When others speak out and are
    Honest enough to chastize me I try to put my self in their shoes and look at my self through their eyes. When there is truth in what they have said I am humbled , tears fall as they should , and it makes me pray harder and try harder to conform .You at least had an answer Donna. I was dumd founded and could not defend my self. You are write at least we Christians have the good God given
    sense to recognise sin for what it is and want to change our lives for the better.
    Your answer was wise Donna an answer like that could help a non believer
    to think about it….you planted a little seed. Well said Donna.
    If I may ? Some day I may need to quote you Donna.

    Thank God we Christians have been given the knowledge of the truth in Gods word.
    Each day non believers walk on step closer to Hell while each day Lord willing we Christians are walking one step closer to Heaven. “Praise The Lord” Amen!

    Yes …. Our goal is to be come Christ like we can learn to live like Him, love like Him , think more like Him , BUT we will never be Him. We will always be less than perfect . He is the creator we are his creations .

    Lord God I know I’m a sinner …. like young Myles I to want to be good. Lord help me to think and live and care for others more like you …..more each and every day till you call me home to be with you.

    Lord thank you for your grace, peace, love and understanding.
    In Jesus name Amen

    Any one who wants to claim that prayer please do , for it is my prayer for all of you. 🙂 Love xxoo!
    M.

  11. Dear Rev. David M.
    It is with tears of joy that I reply to our daily blog this afternoon I too is one of the only christian in all my family and friends and yes I have often been confronted and critisiced by non believers . I want to share one incident that happened to me last week while my daughter Roxanne was driving me and my husband back home . As we were rolling on the highway a man abruptly cut us off without signalling and if wouldnt been for my daughters alert response we would have been gone in to a serious accident . Her reaction and remark to me was is that what a christian is about and Ireplied what do you mean and my daughter answered this driver had a huge cross dangling on his wind shield and the only answer i was able to give her is I am so sorry and you are right ,that as christians we have a responsibility of showing Christ Love in everything we do , in everything we say but we are only human and our goal as christians is to be less us and more Him that only through His Grace and Mercey .
    Thankyou Donna and all the ather bloggers who had given so much encouragement through your testimony so lets all go on pressing on until His coming back. Amen
    Have a blessed day everyone.
    xxxx Carole.

  12. To say that Paul’s word’s about women to be meek etc are specific to his time and place is very similar to what many people say about homosexuality. Specifically, “that was then; times have changed.” I know positive examples from the Holy Bible of women as leaders. Esther, though meek, saved her people from being wiped out. Judith spoke with the same conviction as Jeremy in lamenting apostacy. Also, in modern history and personally, there are good examples. Mother Theresa is the only religious leader who has glorified God as much as John Paul II and Martin Luther King jr in recent history (yes, protestants such as Billy Graham have been very important). And personally, I met a catholic nun at a homeless shelter in Toronto called the Good Shepherd years ago who was the quiet face of the place. Many “brothers” and clergy were involved with the shelter but it was her that the clients most depended on. However, the virtues that Paul said women should have are usually what make these leaders great examples of being christian. Caring for the sick; meekness though often confident; being a mother. The pride of being the CEO instead of the mom has left a whole generation to be raised in daycare (a dream come true for Hitler). Yes, some women in public ministry have been good but talk about a female castration when women reject the virtues and behaviour that Paul said women should have and keep. He was not speaking for himself. He was speaking for God. You can’t pick and choose but don’t abuse: God’s Word is not supposed to be a trick for men to abuse women but don’t say, “that was then” to pick and choose God’s Word. I am not even close to the patient example that christians are taught to become but I don’t say that it was a different time so it is no longer true. Yes, sometimes a person needs to speak up whether they are man or woman. Yes, there are women who I actually tell people to talk to who are better examples of christians than me and they are leaders (yet, they are usually meek). However, Paul was not just speaking to please us. Like it or not, it is God’s Word in Jesus name. Though it might seem brash to contradict a better christian than me, it is God’s truth not just my own mind when I defend against that slippery slope that the whole world is choosing. Women have been very important on 100 Huntley and other christian tv shows and they are very important in the christian work of a christian church or christian cafe or shelter but Paul was speaking a truth about the role of women that is true today. A look at the modern family proves it if faith was not enough to see it.

  13. Hi David M . and all my blogger friends, yes I to was told what a christen should say
    and do , by a none christen yet… my heart was broken at times, until one Sunday
    at church on a license plate no less it said I’m NOT PERFECT BUT I’M
    FORGIVEN . that was the end of of the razzing after I quated the above statement
    have a blessed day…..R….

  14. Thank you to all my brothers and sisters in Christ who have offer me so much encouragement and understanding these last two days. I will take all your words and advice and like the Lord’s mother I will pondered them in my heart. I wasn’t even going to say anything yesterday because I thought no one wants to hear about my fight with a loved one, but as I was reading Scripture yesterday I came across 2 Corinthians 12:10 ” I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and difficulties for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” I felt the Lord was trying to tell me that perhaps by sharing it He could take something the enemy meant to wound me and turn it into something that will help others.
    I am not proud of that fight and like young Myles feel frustrated when I don’t choose the higher path. But I know what I need to work on and I know God has used it for good, not only in my life, but in others. Again, thank you for reminding me I do have a Christian family even if my earthly family are not yet a part of it, because I haven’t stopped praying for their salvation. Thank you all so very much and God bless you all

  15. Thanks David for today’s word. I have not been regular in reading the 100 words but I am glad I am back…I see that today the blog has a vibrant life of its own !

  16. I found Sarah’s tone in her blog rather troublesome e.g. the pointed barbs thrown at John McArthur is typical of the snob-like attitude usually taken by the world when they disagree with someone. I would suggest a greater respect for different points of view.
    I also think that Sarah’s arguments are flimsy at best. I don’t have time to take them one by one, but for example, Sarah says that Phoebe was a woman deacon. I’m sorry but the King James and the NIV simply refer to her as a servant and not a deacon in Romans 16:1. Yes, Paul refers to many women by name as “hard workers”, well that can mean anything we want it to mean.
    Also it’s a slippery slope to say that the scripture verses re women as elders or in teaching roles as written in 1 Timothy only applied to that particular church: “that was then, this is now.” The same argument is now being applied to endorsing homosexuality and divorce in evangelical churches.
    Frankly, as a woman who has raised a family and had a career, I am concerned at the way men are being minimized in society today. Women, what does the future for your sons look like? Many men, when the church becomes feminized, simply back off and disappear off the radar. “Women, do we really want to end up doing all the work, like in e.g. African cultures?” That is why I like the idea of male elders and preachers. To think that half of seminary students are women nowadays may mean the loss of many men from our future churches. Generally women are too “touchy feely” for guys.

  17. Thank you David, You have, by including your granddaughter’s BLOG, vindicated me. We have a new pastor who is young and ambitous. He sounds like that pastor on the YOUtube clip rigid and anti women. He is so bad that he even forbade a woman in our church to hold a Bible Study/ Prayer Meeting on our church premesis. She and her husband are ministers to the Native Community up North. They are church members.
    Please pray for us as a church in our community of Ingersoll.
    Shalom
    Bonnie Rae-Hunt

  18. It is good to not abuse God’s Word but Paul was speaking God’s truth and not a corporate memo. Paul spoke of a danger to our souls and he showed that we should be careful against corruption to God’s ways. I would take guidance from a woman as if she were a wise mother. I do have an open heart to truth. However, we should be aware of the ways of Satan who is trying to tempt the church into dismantling Jesus’ Word (consider other churches that have done this). I have listened to Moira and Ann and the Full Circle bunch. 100 Huntley is better with them. I Have also seen and appreciated women on other christian tv shows. However, don’t underestimate the truth of Paul’s words. David Mainse, you have built an important ministry. You are a faithful christian and servant of God. You have been faithful to God your whole long life. In these, I can’t compare myself to you but I know that Paul’s words should not be discounted in this way. Should christian women be always silent in an evil and foolish world? No, but sometimes there is wisdom in silence and a role in true meekness that Satan does not easily defeat. It is not one that I practice well but in the end Paul actually did not tell women anything that Jesus did not tell all christians. Still, God set an order to things and we should be careful not to take it lightly.

  19. I confused Judith with another person in Bible that lamented about sins. The book of Judith does not match what I was thinking. Still, my point is that although there are biblical and modern examples of christian female leaders, Paul’s words are not just a memo to that one church but a protection against apostacy that we should still be careful about. I might be able to speak truth to David Mainse but I can’t lead his church. Likewise, their are women who I know who are greater than me but they are not greater than Paul’s words.

  20. David, thank you for including Sarah’s comments and blog address. She has a gift for explaining scripture and expressing her thoughts verbally. What a blessing her blog is! Thanks again for advising us of her blog.

  21. dear mr mainse
    a cousin of mine will be celebrating his (their) 65th wedding anniversary on the 18th of this month. i know this isn’t a comment on any of your great blogs…just thought you might like to know it happens. probably because he is a retired United Church minister. they live in Delta, on. and he plays the fiddle. he’s in his mid to late 80’s and went zip lining last month:-) crazy ay!?
    I pray to our heavenly father daily for your recovery. Your wife and family must be a tremendous comfort to you. may God bless you all.
    Lynda

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