Editor’s Note: This piece was written for The Master’s University’s winter magazine, which is releasing tomorrow.
This semester, The Master’s University had the privilege of hosting Dr. Sinclair Ferguson, a well-known pastor, author, and professor of theology, as a speaker in chapel. Ferguson taught out of 2 Timothy 1, examining Paul’s words to his disciple, Timothy. Through this passage, Ferguson unpacked what it looks like for every believer to serve Christ.
“I want to consider these words with you this morning because, in my own judgment, they are among the most important words ever written to a single individual,” Ferguson said. “There are very few sections in God’s inspired Word that are written to individuals, and this is one of them.”
Ferguson encouraged his audience to see Timothy as a Christian “everyman” — not an unreachable ideal, but “a model of what God wants to produce in us if we are to serve Him in our own generation.”
Out of this chapter, Ferguson highlighted five distinguishing marks of the life that Paul called Timothy to:
“In this kind of environment, there are pressures on us to put on a mask,” Ferguson said. “And it’s such a reassurance, as well as a challenge, to know that what God delights in — what the apostle delighted in — was faith without a mask.”
“Absolutely fundamental to your Christian service and fruitfulness is your willingness to kneel before others and say, ‘Because Jesus Christ is my Lord, I am prepared to be your bondslave for Him.’”
“In my own ministry in the church, I’m absolutely sure that the test of not being ashamed of Christ has been whether I’m not ashamed of the least and lowest in the congregation.”
“Paul sees that as the quintessential goal of what the Spirit of God is doing in Timothy’s life. He wants to make him like Jesus.”
“This is not a metallic commitment to orthodoxy — this is a commitment to the truth of the gospel that brings health, and it’s held in love for Jesus.”
As he concluded, Ferguson emphasized one last mark fundamental to all the rest: mercy.
“He’s being called to the highest conceivable calling. Who is sufficient for these things? [Paul says,] ‘Timothy, in all your weakness, all your frailty, all your self-doubt, all the challenges that face you, all that you’re going to feel because I’m not going to be there to guard you, there is mercy in God, and He will sustain you.’”
In addition to Ferguson, TMU also enjoyed chapel messages from Dr. John MacArthur, Dr. Abner Chou, and Dr. Paul Twiss this fall, among many others.
Past messages and future chapel livestreams are available through TMU’s YouTube channel.
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