“Grace Be With You”
This week we conclude our study of 1 Timothy. Aaron Massey, recent DTS graduate and Friends for Good steering committee member, will be preaching on the final verses of Paul’s letter.
Looking back over our series, we’ve covered a lot of ground to say the least. Paul had much to say to this young church struggling with false teachers and doubts about the future. This letter is much like blueprints for how to build the church on the foundation of Jesus Christ and his gospel.
We like our blueprints clear, neat, and clean. We have clear boundary lines drawn to distinguish the gospel from counterfeits. We have a call for godly leaders to shepherd and protect the church. Thanks, Paul. So far so good.
But not all of these blueprints have been so straightforward. Some have been messy, and tough, and have invited us to wrestle with God’s plan for the church. Issues like the roles of men and women in worship, conflict with leadership, and handling money, to name a few. Many avoid teaching these passages because 1 Timothy tends to pull us out of our comfort zone.
Challenging, uncomfortable, yes, but an invitation to step into these issues with our loving Father, our Good Shepherd Jesus Christ, and the Spirit that indwells and unites us as a family. I trust the Word of God has been doing its work in our midst in this series.
As we come to the end of the letter, Paul’s final words are “Grace be with you” (6:21). The last word on all of this is grace. And that’s how Paul started the letter too (1:2), with a word of grace. A customary way to bookend a letter, yes, but that’s not all.
“Grace be with you” because there can be no true building of the church without the grace of Christ being a part of all we do. And even in the mess that comes with being a family, we have the abundant provision of grace. Grace from God. Grace for one another. Grace be with us as we move together into the love of Christ.