Sunday, September 22, 2013

Proper 20 Pentecost I Timothy 2:1-15

So I appeal to you first of all to make entreaties, prayers, requests, thanksgivings on behalf of all humanity, on behalf of kings and all those being in high places, so that a peaceful and quiet life we may lead in all godliness and reverence. This–good and pleasing before our Savior–God, Who wants all humanity to be saved and into recognition of all truth to come. For one God, even one Mediator of God and humanity, a human–Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself a ransom on behalf of all, the witness  at the proper season. Unto this I myself was placed a proclaimer and an Apostle, I speak truth, not falsehood, a teacher of nations, in faith and in truth. So I want the husbands in all places to pray, raising devout hands without anger and argument. In the same manner wives in respectable clothing with modesty and moderation to adorn themselves, not in braids and gold and pearls, or clothing which costs much, but what fits women promised to godliness–through good works. A wife in silence learns in all subjection. And I do not permit a wife to teach nor have authority over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam–first to be created, then Eve. And Adam wasn't deceived, yet the wife was deceived, in transgression became. Yet they will be saved through the child-bearing, if ever remaining in faith and God's love and holiness with reasonableness.  

God wants all humanity to be saved and recognize the truth that Christ is the Savior of all. So Jesus teaches a weird parable about an unfaithful manager whose shrewdness is actually praised.His deception isn't commended, but his making of friends for his future is worthy of kudos. Jesus instills in us the same prudence to make future friends above. You are to store up folks as treasures in heaven.

So Paul insists that what you do matters. Not that it scores points with God, but it blesses your neighbor. You should pray for people, care about how you behave in your own household, because how you act effects others. If a wife berates her husband in bible class, how would that appear to a curious onlooker? If a husband won't even pray for the President, how does that sound to a visitor?

So in how you pray, by how you behave, and even in what you wear, you might just be making friends for eternity. Yet you think, "these people don't pray for me, so why should I pray for them?" Or, "My spouse doesn't subject himself to my needs, so why should I subject myself to his? Or, "People nowadays don't care how they look, so why should I care how I appear to them? Not the right attitude.

Jesus didn't think that way. What if He said, "You don't pray to Me much, so why should I save you?" or "You don't accept where I've placed you on earth, so why should I let you into heaven?" But He doesn't act like you. His good and gracious will is to save you, regardless of your bad attitude and conduct. So He has your pastor, week in and week out proclaim this truth to you: Jesus loved you so much that He forfeited His life as the ransom price to save you at Calvary! You acknowledge this truth by faith.

God has called you from the darkness of this sinful world to the marvelous light of this gospel promise. It promises you unto your godliness and reverence. But your attitude isn't always so reverent, is it? Nor is your behavior always so godly. Your desire to show of who you are and share what you think sadly overshadows what God desires, and who He has made you to be in Christ.

Though you are stuck in the same sin into which Eve and Adam fell, God has rescued you from it all. You have been saved through child-bearing, in particular, one child born of a virgin. The baby Jesus came into this world to be your Savior in the flesh, to one day sacrifice Himself for you. He gave His body unto death and shed His blood for your forgiveness. You eat the body and
drink the blood of your Savior in the Lord's Supper. In this way you remain in God's love, in the holiness of His  forgiveness.

Jesus says that you can even make friends with mammon which is in-and-of-itself unrighteous. But what do you do with all your mammon? You spend money on electronic gadgets that are outdated in a few months. You buy fancy clothing, jewelry, and hair products to make you look as up on the latest trends as everyone else. But this helps nobody but your own self. Repent of such mammon serving.

Instead, God has given you all your stuff to use in the most godly ways. It's given to you for a purpose, so that others may be blessed, even unto eternity! God once blessed you with the simplest stuff–water. It, with God's word, washed you clean of all your transgressions, and made you a new creation in Christ. At your baptism, God made you anew, now a holy, reverent, godly person where a former unrighteous person used to be. He gave you faith there, in which you remain in God's love.

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