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Culloden Baptist Church SC027503 | CBC Blog

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men’s breakfast talk: What does it mean to be a ‘man of God’?

June 27, 2015
27 Jun 2015

Man of God

The church has a ‘man’ crisis on it’s hands. And by that no-one means that there are no human beings over a certain age who happen to be male. The crisis is a lack of what the bible refers to as ‘men of God.’ At the same time this is posted I’m delivering the bulk of this material to a group of guys who I hope are all striving to be a ‘man of God.’

‘Man of God’ is such and interesting and intriguing title. Sometimes applied in the Old Testament to unknown individuals who just turn up and declare the will or word of God into a situation. Like the guy in 1 Samuel where it says, ‘And there came a man of God to Eli and said to him,…’ And then he proceeds to speak the word of God into the situation. We’ve no idea who he was but we know what he was, ‘a man of God.’

None doubts the fact that believers are urged to pursue maturity.  If the believer is male then surely that means striving to become a man of God. But what does that look like? The New Testament only ever ascribes that title to one man. Intentionally I believe, that we might look to him to learn from him.

His name is actually formed by taking the Greek word for ‘honour’, and crashing it into the Greek word for ‘God.’ So his name means something akin to ‘the one who honours God.’ Not surprising maybe that this one guy gets referred to as ‘man of God.’ His name is of course Timothy.

Exploding the modern myth of manhood

 The thing about Timothy, this man of God, is that he kind of doesn’t quite live up to modern standards of manliness. Maybe not even to some standards of manliness that have been propagated by some contemporary churches.

Our cultural understanding of a man is often portrayed as someone who is robust, strong and has a commanding presence. The alpha male type who when he walks into a room people notice. A tough and rugged individual that others might aspire to be like.

The fact that in the New Testament Timothy alone receives the title of ‘man of God’ immediately causes the modern myth to be undone. Timothy was not really all that rugged. In actual fact Paul lets slip that he had frequent ailments  and that there was something wrong with his stomach. Hardly the modern tough and rugged type!  After all who would really want to be the patron saint against stomach ailments like Timothy? Paul also when writing to Timothy commanded him to not let people despise his youth (although he was probably around 40. that makes me happy being 41!!).

When Paul wrote to the Corinthian church he explained that Timothy would be visiting them soon. Then being carried along by the Spirit he wrote the following; “When Timothy comes, see that you put him at ease among you. For he is doing the work of the Lord as I am. So let no-one despise him. Help him on his way with peace…” 1 Cor 16: 10-11

You are left with the impression that Timothy was physically weak and was often unwell. He didn’t have that commanding presence that some have, in actual fact it would be easy for people to despise him. And he probably was a little nervous and needed some help to be put at ease. But this man alone is referred to with the title ‘man of God’ in the New Testament. But why?

From boy to man

Darrin Patrick in his book ‘Church Planter: The man, The message, The mission’ describes a certain category of adult male as a ‘ban.’ Meaning ‘a hybrid of both boy and man,’ hence ban. Timothy was not a ‘ban.’ He had made the transition, that some never make, from boyhood to manhood.

His childhood is actually described for us rather well in Scripture. Both his grandmother and mother were believers. Both of them were commended by Paul as having a sincere faith dwelling within them. Paul also makes it clear that it was clearly their custom of reading and teaching the Scriptures to Timothy as he grew. Paul says to Timothy, “… from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings…” Little wonder then that when Rembrandt decided to paint a picture of Timothy as a child he portrayed him leaning against the skirt of his grandmother gazing into the Scriptures that lay on her lap.

Yet this boy went from leaning on and learning from his mother and grandmother to allowing the church to lean on him whilst he taught her. Finally proclaiming the gospel to a crowd of pagans as they made their way to their false worship and idolatry in Ephesus. They then turned on him and beat him to death with their clubs such was the hatred they had for him and his Redeemer.

What caused a timid and unassuming boy to become this stalwart in the church, a  martyr and the sole beneficiary of the title ‘man of God’ in the New Testament?

Man of God

His move from one stage to the other is recorded for us in Scripture. Just have a read of Acts 16: 1-3.  Paul turns up in Derbe and Lystra again and he keeps hearing about this Timothy. Everyone is speaking well of him both at Lystra and Iconium. Paul had already fallen out with Barnabas by this stage so he decided that as well as Silas this Timothy would be a fitting companion for the work.

So Timothy is circumcised!!

The amazing thing about what happened is the context. The chapter before this records the first ever church council. It is called because some folk claimed that in order to be saved one needed to be circumcised as well as have faith in Christ. The church council is gathered and the result is this, “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us not to lay on you a greater burden that these requirements: that you abstain from meat sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality..”  The point being; that circumcision is not required, faith alone is enough.

Yet in the very next chapter Paul takes Timothy and circumcises him, because of the Jews. Christian liberty meant that Timothy didn’t need to be circumcised, he was freed from that by faith in Christ. Christ fulfilled all the law on his behalf. But therein lies the heart of why Timothy is referred to as a ‘man of God.’ He was willing to sacrifice even his christian liberty for the sake of the gospel and the mission of God. He didn’t have too, but he willingly did.

In that very action what we have displayed before us by the Spirit, is a heart which is moulded to a likeness of it’s redeemer. Remember where it says about the Christ, ‘Have this mind among yourselves which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself taking the form of a servant… ‘

Timothy had his christian liberty. It was earned for him by his Redeemer, confirmed by the church but when he submitted to being circumcised he was actually allowing his christian liberty to be sacrificed for the sake of the gospel. No wonder he is referred to as a ‘man of God.’

That man crisis then

So back to my lead point, the man crisis within the church. If only the men in churches could humble their hearts in submission to God on account of all that he has done for us in Christ. Holding an open bible in our hands. A bible which is given according to 2 Timothy 3: 17 “that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.”

Imagine what that would look like. Men willingly sacrificing even their christian liberty for the sake of the gospel and the mission of God.  Imagine what that would like within the bonds of marriage, within the parent-child dynamic, within the workplace, and of course within the church. Men stepping up to take a lead in the spiritual direction of both home and church.

Our villages, towns and cities would be given a display of what it truly means to be a man of God. In a culture where men have a crisis of identity on their hands they need to see this.

Borneo trip

June 26, 2015
26 Jun 2015

On the 11th of October a team of 11 from the church will be heading over to the jungle in Borneo. We’re going to help out with the work of Living Waters Village. A little more info about the village is contained in the video attached.

God, drugs and sexuality: a prodigal son story

June 25, 2015
25 Jun 2015

I came across an online video offering help to believers on how to engage in the debate surrounding gay marriage. Whilst the video and information was good, the greater part was the sensitivity that the speaker, a guy called Christopher Yuan, showed in applying biblical principles to the discussion in hand. So I looked him up and have downloaded his book entitled ‘Out of a far country: A gay son’s journey to God. A broken mother’s search for hope.’ I appreciate that simply commending the book to you won’t get you to read it, so how about just listening to him tell his story?  Yes it’s 37 minutes long, but I think it is worth it to hear about the transforming work of the Redeemer! But you be the judge.

 

 

An interesting article on the state of the church in Scotland

June 24, 2015
24 Jun 2015

https://www.e-n.org.uk/2015/07/features/wheres-the-scottish-church/

 

Elevate

April 27, 2015
27 Apr 2015

https://www.facebook.com/events/966234563417249/

Some of our youth will be going to this, and helping to lead it, so prayers would be appreciated for the event, that it goes well and the young people’s lives will be changed by the Holy Spirit!

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An inspiring song!

April 21, 2015
21 Apr 2015

We now have a Facebook Page. Check it out!

April 18, 2015
18 Apr 2015

Click here to visit our facebook page.

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Lunch!

April 6, 2015
06 Apr 2015

The church runs a lunch at Balloch Hall, Culloden Road, Balloch, Inverness IV27HQ.
12-2pm on the first Friday of every month.

Come along and bring a friend to enjoy soup, scones and a selection of home baking!

Here’s a small taste of what we enjoyed this month so mark up the date in your diary for May!

 

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What do you think of our New Website?

March 24, 2015
24 Mar 2015

www.cullodenbaptist.com-

 

Men’s Breakfast

March 23, 2015
23 Mar 2015

Saturday 28th March is our men’s breakfast at 8.30am at the CYC on Bank street, Inverness. Come along for a bit of chat, hear some word being shared and a time to pray together. Bacons rolls and coffee will be available so bring £2 for the CYC! Any questions please e.mail the church office at culloden.baptist@btconnect.com

Look forward to seeing you there!

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