An Example to the Believers in Spirit, Faith, and Purity

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1 An Example to the Believers in Spirit, Faith, and Purity I. Introduction. A. Reference to our Series. 1. Read our text: 1 Timothy 4: Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you. 2. Let No One Despise Your Youth. - Young people are valuable. - Young people are needed. - Young people need to start serving God now. 3. An Example to the Believers in Word, Conduct, & Love. - An example in speaking the truth and speaking in a proper and beneficial manner. - An example in how we conduct ourselves as Christians. - An example in loving God and loving our Brethren. 4. Today, we are going to continue to talk about our example. - specifically our example to other Christians. - in spirit, in faith, and in purity. 5. Give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. 6. Do not neglect the gift that is in you. B. Our Example is very important. 1. We teach each other every day. 2. We are a people who mimic each other. 3. How are we influencing each other? II. An Example to the Believers in Spirit. A. God doesn t just want us to do the right things. 1. God wants us to do the right things for the right reasons. 2. God wants obedience. - but He wants obedience which is from the heart. 3. Examples. - God wants you to attend the assemblies of the saints. - but He wants you to do it because you want to. - God wants you to give to support the work of the church. - but He wants you to do it because you want to. 4. God doesn t just look at the outward actions of a man, but He

2 looks at the inward spirit of a man. - 1 Sam. 16:7, for the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart. 5. Jesus explains the expectations that God has for us. - John 4:24, God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. 6. To be acceptable before God, you can t have one without the other. - If you do all the right things, but your heart isn t right. - you re not acceptable before God. - If you have the right kind of heart, but fail to do what God has said. - you re not acceptable before God. B. Being an example in spirit. 1. Our inward spirit manifests itself through our actions. 2. We need to make sure that we are expressing a positive spirit through our day-to-day actions. 3. Let s put it this way: - You tell your teenage son to go take out the garbage. - He does it, but he grumbles all the way. - He has obeyed, but you can tell that he s not happy about it. - What would be your reaction if you tell your teenage son to take out the garbage, and he says, Sure, mom! No problem? - first, you would probably think, What does he want? Why is he acting so cheerful? 4. You see, the spirit with which we perform our responsibilities is just as important as performing the responsibilities themselves. 5. In Romans 12, Paul describes several different characteristics that we should have as Christians. - One of those is recorded in vs. 11, fervent in spirit. - the way I read that is someone who is energetic and enthusiastic about their responsibilities as a servant of God. - if you look back in Acts 18:25, Apollos is described with this way. C. Our spirit can have an effect on our brethren. 1. We need to be an example of obedience. - doing and saying the right things. 2. But the way in which we do these things can have an even greater impact on people s lives. - our main responsibility toward each other is to encourage each other. 3. The question we must ask is:

3 - Are we encouraging our brethren or are we discouraging them? 4. Listen to these proverbs about the practical benefit of an energetic and enthusiastic spirit. - Proverbs 15:13, A merry heart makes a cheerful countenance, but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken. - Proverbs 17:22, A merry heart does good, like medicine, but a broken spirit dries the bones. 5. I think these proverbs make two points. - the benefit to ourselves of keeping a positive spirit. - the benefit to others of keeping a positive spirit. 6. How is your spirit? - What impact is your attitude having on your brethren? 7. Energy and enthusiasm are contagious. - young people often have a lot of energy and enthusiasm. - Timothy was a young person, and this was one way in which he could help the church. III. An Example to the Believers in Faith. A. The definition of our faith. 1. What do you have faith in? - There is a God. - Jesus died, was buried, and rose again. - There is a heaven, and there is a hell. 2. You have faith in things that you cannot see, yet there is evidence that they exist. - Hebrews 11:1, Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 3. Faith is the support on which our hopes are based. 4. Why are you here today? - because you have faith. - because you believe that there is a God, and that He wants you to be here. B. Faith is the backbone of our spiritual lives. 1. Our lives would be totally different if we didn t have faith. 2. If we believe that there is no God, then why would we live so rigidly? 3. But what I want to talk to you today is whether our faith is really faith. - Is our faith more than simple belief? - James 2:19, even the demons believe. - We re talking about more than a simple acknowledgment that there is a God. - Luke 18:8, when the Son of Man comes, will He

4 really find faith on the earth? 4. Faith, as described in the New Testament, controls and drives our entire lives. - 2 Corinthians 5:7, we walk by faith, not by sight. C. Do you have the kind of faith that the Bible describes? 1. Faith that is built upon the word of God. Rom. 10:17; 1 Cor. 2:5 2. Faith in Jesus Christ our Lord. Gal. 2:16; Heb. 12:2 3. Faith that is built upon evidence. Heb. 11:1 4. Faith that trusts in God to take care of you. Mt. 6:33 5. Faith that is confident, that doesn t doubt. Eph. 3:12; Eph. 3:12 6. Faith that is sincere, deep-down, and genuine. 1 Tim. 1:5; 2 Tim. 1:5 7. Faith that is solid, steadfast, and cannot be shaken. Titus 1:3; 2:2; 1 Thess. 3:2-3; 1 Pet. 5:9 8. Faith that others can see. 1 Thess. 1:8 9. Faith that is active and working. Gal. 5:6; 1 Thess. 1:3; James 2: Faith that is always growing. 2 Thess. 1:3 11. Faith that is worth fighting for. 1 Tim. 6:12; 2 Tim. 4:7 12. Faith that is obedient. Rom. 1:5; Rom. 16: Faith that lasts. Acts 14:22; Col. 1:21-23; 1 Tim. 1:19 D. Evaluating our Faith. 1. If I asked everyone in the audience individually, Do you have faith? - each answer would probably be yes, of course. 2. But, do we really have the kind of faith that we need? 3. Do we have the kind of faith that.. - David exhibited in facing Goliath? - Abraham demonstrated in sacrificing Isaac? - Jesus showed us in trusting His Father s plan in coming to this earth as a man? - Paul had in facing his upcoming death? 4. Will our faith hold up... - when we re lying on our deathbed? - if we lost our child? - if we lose our job and our home? - if our friends turn against us? - if our nation crumbles? E. Faith can do so much for us if we will let it. 1. Eph. 6:16, above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. 2. Think about it. 3. We can also show each other what faith can do in our lives.

5 IV. An Example to the Believers in Purity. A. I think that this description may be a summary description of the type of example that Paul wants Timothy to be. 1. Paul directs Timothy to be an example to the believers in purity. - show them how to be pure. 2. Thayer s simply defines the Greek word here as purity, sinlessness of life. - show them how to live without sin. 3. Be a pure Christian. - free from the snares of sin. B. There are not many things in life that are pure. 1. And what I mean by that is that there are not many things that are in their pure form. 2. Most everything has been modified, combined, or polluted by something else. 3. Something that is pure is something that is exactly what it was in the beginning and what it was intended to be. - nothing more, nothing less. 4. That s essentially what Paul is instructing Christians to be. - be exactly what you were created to be. - be pure, nothing more than what God made you to be. 5. Christians are part of God s creation. - we are His workmanship according to Ephesians 2:10. - He wants us to keep ourselves pure. C. Pure from what? What kinds of things will defile us? 1. Evil thoughts. Mk. 7:21-23; Phil. 4:8 2. Other people s sins. 1 Tim. 5:22; Gal. 6:1 3. Selfish lusts and desires. 2 Tim. 2:22; 1 Cor. 6:18 4. Our tongue. James 3:6 5. The wrong kinds of people. 1 Cor. 15:33 D. Are we pure? 1. Do we strive to keep our bodies pure? 2. Do we make an effort to protect our minds and keep them pure? 3. Are we pure people? - but before you answer those questions, I want you to consider a couple of Proverbs from Solomon. 4. Prov. 30:12, there is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, yet is not washed from its filthiness. 5. Prov. 16:2, All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the Lord weighs the spirits. 6. Both of these proverbs point out that it doesn t matter what we think, but it matters what God says.

6 E. This is an area in which young people can have an impact. 1. Taking a stand on movies and music. 2. Can influence your friends in a positive way. V. Conclusion: 1 John 3:1-3 - Read verses Do you have that hope? - Is that what you want? - Read verse 3. - You need to purify yourself.

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