Date written: February 26th, 2006
Scripture ref: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
SUBJECT: Attitudes, Priorities, Devotion
TITLE: Who do you love?
PROPOSITION: To discuss the things that Paul says people will and will not love from 2 Timothy 3:1-5, namely, 1) Lovers of Self, 2) Lovers of Money, 3) No lovers of good, 4) Lovers of pleasure, 5) Lovers of God.
Objectives: Each ought to understand how love of something other than God chokes out true love for God.
Aim: To examine each of these motives and understand their consequences.
1. Read: 2 Timothy 3:1-5
2. About the Text:
1) The book of 2 Timothy is considered by many to be the last letter of Paul.
2) In the book Paul speaks concerning his near death.
3) He writes to encourage Timothy to continue to preach and teach the truth of the gospel.
4) He also writes to warn Timothy of the continued evil in the world.
5) In this chapter, Paul prophecies concerning the coming of evil men.
6) He directly alludes to the doctrines of Gnosticism.
7) One branch of Gnosticism taught their practitioners to indulge in the carnal affairs of the flesh.
8) Paul makes it clear that their motivations were to substitute for the love of God some other fleshly "love."
9) Paul tells Timothy to turn away from such.
3. Ref. to S, T, P, O, and A.
DISCUSSION: Who do you love?
I. Lovers of Self
1. To love self means to always place one's personal concerns above the concerns of others.
1) Self love often embroils us in sinful situations.
2) When Cain killed Abel, he was more concerned for himself than his brother.
3) When David committed adultery with Bathsheba and orchestrated the cover up, he was more concerned with self than with others.
4) When Ahab took Nabob's vineyard, he was completed absorbed in his own selfishness.
5) The sin of selfishness is a root to so many other sins.
2. Consider the Bible's condemnation of selfishness.
1) Numbers 15:38-40 "Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders a ribband of blue: And it shall be unto you for a fringe, that ye may look upon it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them; and that ye seek not after your own heart and your own eyes, after which ye use to go a whoring: That ye may remember, and do all my commandments, and be holy unto your God."
2) Romans 1:21-24 "Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves:"
3. The Bible teaches us to be selfless in relationships with our fellow man.
1) Philippians 2:3-4 "Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others."
2) Consider Romans 15:1-3 "We then that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak, and not to please ourselves. Let every one of us please his neighbour for his good to edification. For even Christ pleased not himself; but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee fell on me."
II. Lovers of Money
1. To love money means to always place one's concern about money above other things.
1) Balaam was a lover of money.
2) Judas was a lover of money in selling Jesus for 30 pieces of silver.
3) Simon the sorcerer was a lover of money.
4) The love of money is also a root to commit other sins.
2. Consider the Bible's condemnation of the love of money.
1) Paul told Timothy, "For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." (1 Timothy 6:10).
2) Peter warned that there were some who followed Balaam's example: 2 Peter 2:15 "Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;"
3) Jesus said in Luke 12:15 "Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
3. The Bible teaches that we ought to be content with what we have.
1) 1 Timothy 6:6-8 "But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content."
2) Hebrews 13:15 "Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee."
III. No lovers of Good
1. To be someone who doesn't love good is to love that which is evil.
1) The people before the flood were described in Genesis 6:5 "And GOD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually."
2) When one considers Ahab and Jezebel, one has a clear example of "no lovers of good."
3) The Herodian Dynasty also serve as an example of those who had no love for good.
2. The Bible condemns those who are no lovers of good.
1) Isaiah 5:20 "Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!"
2) Jeremiah 4:22 "For my people is foolish, they have not known me; they are sottish children, and they have none understanding: they are wise to do evil, but to do good they have no knowledge."
3. Christians, however, are exhorted to love that which is good.
1) 1 Thessalonians 5:21 "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good."
2) Romans 12:9 "Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good."
3) Romans 12:21 "Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good."
IV. Lovers of Pleasure
1. One who loves pleasure puts his carnal and sensual concerns above all else.
1) The men of Sodom and Gomorrah obviously loved pleasure above all else.
2) Potiphar's wife.
3) The fornicating man of 1 Corinthians 5 is another example.
2. Consider the Bible's condemnation of those who love pleasure.
1) 2 Peter 2:13 "And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you."
2) 2 Thessalonians 2:12 "That they all might be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness."
3) 1 Timothy 5:6 "But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth."
3. The Bible also extols those who do not give in to their fleshly desires.
1) Moses is one such example: Hebrews 11:25 says, "Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season;"
2) Joseph is another. He said, "…how then can I do this great wickedness, and sin against God?" (Genesis 39:9).
V. Lovers of God
1. One who loves God is one who is going to put God first in his life.
1) Abraham is a good example of someone who put God first.
2) Joseph is a good example.
3) The righteous prophets often put God first at their own peril.
4) And of course, Jesus. He always did those things that pleased His Father (John 8:29).
2. We need to love God.
1) Matthew 22:37 "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind."
2) Romans 8:28 "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."
3) Jude 1:21 "Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life."
3. We love God by putting Him first in our life above all these other "loves."
1) Matthew 6:33 "But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
2) 1 John 5:2-3 "By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous."
1. Who do you love? Are you a . . .
1) Lover of self?
2) Lover of money?
3) No lover of good?
4) Lover of pleasure?
5) Lover of God?