Continue Thou! - Dr.Arthur Maricle
July 14, 2022, 8:42 AM

CONTINUE THOU

D r . A r t h u r M a r i c l e

 

The difficult times in which we live were foretold in the Bible, and should neither shock nor take any Christian by surprise.

& 2nd Timothy 3:

1 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

Paul described to Timothy the Christian life and ministry as it needs to be engaged in these last days. He did so by emphasizing 7 characteristics that Timothy would have witnessed in Paul’s own life and ministry.

10 But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience...

These are 7 great blessings that come from living for Jesus consistently and faithfully over a long span of time.

10 But thou hast fully known my  doctrine...

Doctrine is what we are to believe. It represents the “nuts and bolts” of our faith as it is delineated in the Bible.

10 But thou hast fully known my ‚ manner of life...

Manner of life is how we are to live. There is a right way and a wrong way to do everything. Over time, the Holy Spirit will reveal to a sincere soul the best way to accomplish his spiritual objectives.

10 But thou hast fully known my ƒ purpose...

Our purpose is why we strive to overcome the world, the flesh, and the Devil to fulfill the Great Commandment (Matthew 22:36-40) and the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20).

10 But thou hast fully known my „ faith...

Our faith informs us for whom we strive. Everything is about our Lord Jesus Christ, who is our Allin-All. We believe and do testify that our Lord will greatly reward those who attempt much for Him, even in “perilous times”. As Paul reassured the members of one church: “…ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.” {1st Corinthians 15:58 } 10 But thou hast fully known my … longsuffering...

Longsuffering represents the strength to help others live for Christ, though they be all too often difficult to live with and work with, even when you’re trying to be a help to them.

 

 

 

10 But thou hast fully known my † charity...

Do not automatically translate the word charity to mean “love”; rather, it is love in action, and can be manifested toward those for whom you may have no emotional ties or particular feelings at all. Charity is the means whereby you can help others continue to serve the Lord. A prime servant of Christ helps a lot of people whom he may not even know personally, but whom he serves intentionally.

  1. But thou hast fully known my ‡ patience...

Patience is the ability to continue serving the Lord ourselves despite persecutions and afflictions.

It is wonderful that with Christian maturity will come these 7 prime characteristics. But with all that positive comes a counterbalancing negative, which serves to keep us humble, dependent on the Lord, and growing yet more in our faith. Notice:

  1. Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra...

These are 2 negative factors of life in this present wicked world with which all Christians must contend.

  1. Persecutions”. These are outer pressures you can expect from guilty sinners who recoil in the presence of your righteousness.
  1. Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

Second, “afflictions”. These are inner pressures, such as ill health, poverty, interpersonal strifes, etc.

It’s because of those persecutions and afflictions that you need the patience that Paul referenced at the of verse 10.

As we are encouraged in another New Testament passage: “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.” {Hebrews 10:35-39}

We learned that with the positive comes the negative, but we must also understand that with the negative comes more positive that God sends to offset those negative factors.

11 ...what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

This is how the Lord balances the Christian life: positive / negative / positive. He gives us something positive, which is offset by something negative that keeps us humble and dependent on Him; and when we respond properly to that negativity, He bestows more positive blessings upon us.

The situation is bad now (“in the last days perilous times shall come”), but it will only become increasingly worse until Jesus returns.

  1. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

Knowing these realities, how are we then to live?

 

 

Continue Thou

 

  1. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of...

Continue thou! Don’t quit on God.

Don’t waver on your convictions and standards, nor on the traditions of your church (speaking of traditions such as Sunday School, midweek services, prayer meetings, soulwinning outreaches, and missions programs — however your church supports missions and missionaries).

Don’t retreat from your commitments. Continue thou!

& 2nd Timothy 3:

  1. But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of;
  2. And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Paul’s exhortation to Timothy was “…continue thou…” He didn’t want his younger protégé to quit believing, quit preaching, or quit doing that which is right.

Likewise, the Holy Spirit’s exhortation to you is “…continue thou…” He doesn’t want you as a son of God to quit believing, quit speaking, or quit doing that which is right. How are we to continue? I have for you 7 thoughts.

 Learn the Bible from trusted sources

14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them...

The most trustworthy source of Biblical instruction is not found on the internet, nor in a Christian bookstore. It is your pastor and your church.

‚ Read the Bible for yourself

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable...

ƒ Learn Bible doctrine

Know what you believe, learn what the Bible says about it, discern the practical reasons for it, and train yourself to be able to explain it to others.

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine...

„ Be open to reproof

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for [what else?] reproof...

Reproof is being told you are wrong. Develop the thick skin and teachable spirit necessary for true spiritual growth that often comes as a result of being informed that there is something about yourself that is in error and must be fixed.

 

Arthur William Maricle

 

 

… Allow yourself to be corrected

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction...

Correction is being told how to do something right, or how to do it better. Allow your spiritual elders to instruct you in how to do things more effectively and efficiently.

† Never stop learning spiritual truths

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness...

‡ Never stop growing in your capacity to serve the Lord

  1. All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
  2. That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.
  1. refers to maturity. Maturity is evidenced by reproduction — in the spiritual sense, it is leading souls to Christ, training personal disciples, and helping existing believers serve the Lord better.

Good works are the evidence of enhanced perfection. Every Christian needs to belong to a local church where he may exercise good works. Within the context of that church, and under the leadership of his pastor, every church member needs to be involved in a ministry of outreach (taking the Gospel out of the church and into the community), and a ministry of in-reach (serving the church family). Once you are involved in a church ministry, get the training you need to perform there at an ever higher level of excellence.

In this wicked age, you must decide to serve the Lord on purpose. “But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of...”

 Continue to learn the Bible at church

‚ Continue to read the Bible for yourself

ƒ Continue to learn Bible doctrine

„ Continue to respond properly to reproof

… Continue to allow yourself to be corrected

† Continue to learn spiritual truths

‡ Continue growing in your capacity to serve the Lord

 

Continue Thou

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