Woodland Life Groups
Friday, May 24, 2013
doing life together
Training In Righteousness
How to “train in godliness”
based on a video by Matt Chandler, Irreverent, Silly Myths
1 Timothy 4:7-8 (NIV):
“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly. For physical training is of some value, but godliness has value for all things, holding promise for both the present life and the life to come.
There is a problem in much of modern evangelical preaching and teaching. Sometimes we only teach about the pragmatic aspects of life and don’t train our people in the larger, eternal Christ-centered “training for godliness.”
How Do We “Train in Righteousness?”
1. First, Know the difference!
The same topic can be approached two different ways:
Come up with some of your own contrasts!
Does that mean we shouldn’t teach on practical matters? Not at all. Just do what Jesus did…
2. Point to what “endures to eternal life”
Jesus did physically heal people He knew would later die anyway. He also fed people who would be hungry again a few hours later. Why did He do it if it was just going to be temporary?
The fact is, I can teach on a practical level (debt is dumb), but it needs to point that person to what is beyond, to eternal considerations—namely Christ: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life” (John 6:27).
When my teaching only centers on aspects of this life it is “of little value” and it doesn’t train people to be godly at all. It teaches them to avoid unpleasant circumstances, but never why they should put Christ in charge of their lives and live for Him and his kingdom.
Mark 12:30 “Love the Lord…with all your heart, mind, soul, strength…”
Heart – We need to train them to “set their affections on things above” (Col. 3:1-3)
Mind - We need to constantly cultivate an eternal world view based on biblical revelation.
Soul – We need to employ them to use their talents & abilities for His kingdom
Strength – We need to challenge them to invest their energies in God’s Kingdom
3. Acc ept no substitutes
a. Godless myths (spirituality w ithout God, gospel, or accountability)
Paul is saying there is a whole body of “spiritual teaching” that is “godless.” Today people call that “spirituality.” Have you heard that term lately? “Oh, I’m not a Christian but I’m spiritual.” It’s become very popular. There’s no accountability. I can be “spiritual” and live any way I please. In this view my spirituality serves me, not the God who holds claim over my life and demands my full obedience. Oprah is “spiritual.” Deepak Chopra is “spiritual.” People can be agnostic and “spiritual” under this scheme. They can pursue rampant materialism or immorality and be spiritual in that sense. Madonna is “spiritual.” Others want to be tone down Christianity’s exclusivism.
Spiritual “old wives tales” (folk religion, experience over Bible, visions, stories)
Then there are those who identify with the more traditional God of the Bible, but they make up their own teaching. Maybe they had a vision. Maybe they had an experience. They wrote a book about it. It’s a best seller. It’s folk religion, old wives tales. Or they are merely very creative people who substitute practical advice for biblical teaching and “training in righteousness.”
4. Look for the signs (fruit) of “training in righteousness”
First, don’t confuse a “good personality” with godliness .
Face it, some people were just born with a pleasant, bubbly, charming temperament. It’s in their DNA, just like some will be tall, or good looking, or have a great singing voice.
It says nothing about the heart . Absalom used his charm, looks, and people skills to undermine his father, King David.
People often credit what is mere temperament, physical attractiveness, or soulish ability as spiritual.
Here are some signs to look for:
Assuming that the Holy Spirit longs to take the gospel to the ends of the earth by making disciples, look for:
· Outward purpose (personal witness, inclusive fellowship, inviting new people)
· A growing hunger for God’s Word , and they study on their own. (It’s the sword of the Spirit after all.) Transformed mind, heart, values, life choices.
Fruit . Reproducing themselves spiritually. A fruit tree reproduces itself. Remember the “Dancing Guy.” You don’t have to be an expert, or have a title or position. Just keep dancing or follow and invite others to “dance.”
· Maturing leaders who step up to reproduce Group life in a new setting (respond to Spirit’s call). The next Dancing Guy, crazy enough to leave the comfort.