Shout it From the Rooftops (1 Timothy 3:14-16)
Shout it From the Rooftops!
1 Tim 3:14-16
Today is the first Sunday we have been back together as a church family in three months! Today is the first time that I have left my pre-arranged sermon schedule in order to preach a special sermon for a special time and I think today is a special time.
When I have talked to you all and you have said “I miss being at church,” most frequently, you say you miss seeing people, visiting with people, seeing smiles. But the next most frequent comment is: “I miss the singing!”
You can easily listen to a sermon on the internet. You can pray on your own. You can take communion easily at home on your own. You can send your contribution in to the church. But the one act of worship that is simply not easy to do when you are at home is to sing. Singing is one of the most loved acts of worship among God’s people.
The song “You are the Song that I Sing” is based off a statement that the prophet Isaiah made in Isaiah 12:3 where he says, “The Lord God is my strength and song and He has become my salvation.” Isaiah says God is “my song.”
For Christians, Christ is our song. Why do we want to get together in worship? A major reason is because we want to sing about Jesus! We want to hear people, fellow Christians, sing about Jesus! We want to “shout from the rooftops” the Jesus Christ we love and serve.
So, for this special Lord’s Day today, we’re going to look at a text in the NT which many scholars believe was a song - 1 Timothy 3:16.
THE CONTEXT OF THE SONG - 3:14-15:
First, let’s take a look at the context of the song. You know that Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to continue teaching and evangelizing. Look at verse 14: Paul wanted to return to visit with Timothy and the church in Ephesus as soon as he could.
Verse 15 - But in Paul’s absence, he writes this letter so that Timothy can teach Christians how they ought to behave, how to live, being members of the church of Christ, the “household of God.”
Notice how Paul describes the “household of God” - it is the “pillar and support” of the truth. That is, the church is supposed to hold up and support the truth. We are to defend the truth, live the truth, teach the truth. We are its pillar and support. We do that in our lives, in our teachings, and in our singing.
What is the “truth” Paul specifically has in mind? That is the substance of the song we’re looking at - verse 16.
Paul identifies this song as “our common confession.” When we become Christians, we confess that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. In Romans 10:10, Paul says that with the mouth, we confess Jesus as Lord. Now, what are the details of this confession? Those are the verses of the song!
SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THAT JESUS WAS “REVEALED IN THE FLESH”:
This is obviously a reference to the virgin birth of Christ. The records of the virgin birth of Christ are found in Matthew 1 and Luke 2. Those are the only two passages which record the marvelous miracle of Jesus’ birth.
When God created man, He gave us freedom. The freedom to serve God from our own volition, our own will. But God also knew that, due to the limitations of our human nature, we would not make the right decisions all the time. But making the wrong decisions, making morally wrong decisions, violates the essence of God’s nature. The Bible word for that is “sin.” Sin repeals man out of God’s presence.
So when God made man, God also knew that He would have to become man in order to save man from sin. God would have to sacrifice Himself, in the person of Jesus Christ, in order to be tempted, to have the spiritual strength to say “no” to sin, and to be killed for sin. That’s why the virgin birth is so essential to Christianity.
The Gospels show in many ways the humanity of Jesus Christ. He got tired. He got thirsty and hungry. Of course, He also died. All these points show the humanity of Jesus. And what that means is that Jesus knows what we go through; He has experienced what we experience. The Hebrew writer reminds us of the importance of the humanity of Jesus to us in Hebrews 2:17-18 and 4:14-16. In fact, while we are in Hebrews, let’s look at 5:7. Now, how might it affect your prayers to know that Jesus knows what you are experiencing? He has experienced it Himself.
We shout from the rooftops that Jesus was revealed in the flesh!
SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THAT JESUS WAS VINDICATED IN THE SPIRIT:
When Jesus was baptized, He came up out of the waters of baptism and the Holy Spirit descended on Him. From that point, Jesus went into Galilee to preach and to perform miracles “in the power of the Spirit” (Luke 4:14). There are something like three dozen specific miracles recorded that Jesus did and we find them all exciting to contemplate.
He controlled the weather. He controlled death. He controlled sickness. Jesus showed His compassion when He healed men, women, children, masters, slaves, Jews and Gentiles. Jesus healed any one. There was nothing that was brought to Jesus that He could not cure.
Now, the miracles do not make Jesus the Son of God. The miracles vindicate - show to be true - the claims that Jesus made that He was the Son of God, the Messiah, the Savior of the world, the One who has authority to forgive sins.
So the key word in this verse is “vindicated.” Jesus’ claims - like when He said “I and the Father are one” (John 10:30) - were vindicated through the miracles Jesus performed. When Jesus made that statement, the Jews picked up rocks to stone Jesus. Jesus asked them, “I showed you many good works from the Father; for which of them are you stoning me?” (vs 32). The Jews said they weren’t stoning Jesus for doing good works but because He was a mere man and was making Himself equal with God and that was blasphemy.
Well, it would have been blasphemy if Jesus had been simply a man. But the Holy Spirit vindicated Jesus through the miracles He was performing.
How does it affect your Christian life knowing that Jesus has power over nature? He still has power over death. He still has power to control diseases! That’s why we pray. We believe that Jesus changes things. We pray that Jesus will do what is best for us. We do not fear death because we know Jesus has conquered the fear of death. He will send one of His powerful angels to carry us across the threshold of death when that time comes.
We shout from the rooftops that Jesus has been vindicated by the Spirit.
SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THAT JESUS WAS SEEN BY ANGELS:
Angels are God’s servants. The Hebrew writer tells us that they were created to serve those who are heirs of salvation (Heb. 1:14). So, angels were active in the life of Jesus from the very beginning. They were the ones who announced to Joseph and Mary that they were going to have the Son of God. The angels announced the birth of Jesus to the shepherds in Luke 2. Angels strengthened Jesus after He was tempted by Satan in the wilderness.
Then, of course, angels were present at the resurrection of Jesus. The apostle Peter tells us in 1 Peter 1:12 that the Holy Spirit guided the OT prophets to preach about Jesus, things which “angels long to look.” I draw the conclusion that the angels did not know about God’s plan for saving man any more than Satan did. Which suggests that the resurrection of Christ might have taken them as much by surprise as it did the disciples.
But the power of Jehovah God that will be evidenced in heaven is the background behind the angel coming to the garden in Matthew 28 to roll away the stone from the tomb of Jesus Christ. His appearance was like lightning and his clothing as white as snow. The angel told the women who had come to finish anointing Jesus’ body for His burial, he said, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here; for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying” (28:5-6).
How did the angel know that Jesus had risen from the dead? How did the angel know that the enemies of Jesus did not steal the body? How did the angel know that the disciples had not stolen the body? Because the angels saw Jesus alive!!
Now, what does it mean to us as Christians that Jesus was “seen by angels”? It means that Jesus is still alive! It means HIs teachings are true! It means He is the Son of God and our Savior! It means we can live in the forgiveness of our sins! It means we have someone who looks out over us and cares for us! It means death can be conquered! It means there is life beyond the grave. Death is not simply annihilation. There is life after death because the angels saw Jesus alive.
We shout from the rooftops that Jesus has been seen by angels.
SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THAT JESUS IS PROCLAIMED AMONG THE NATIONS:
Jesus began His ministry preaching only to Jews. He told His disciples, at the beginning, to preach only to Jews. It’s not unlike us evangelizing here in Swartz Creek before we try to evangelize the world. Why? Because the local congregation has to be strong and active, thriving and evangelizing before we can share resources with others.
The Jews were God’s original missionaries. They had the OT which would provide the foundation of the Christian faith. They needed to become Christians.
Yet, even during Jesus’ personal ministry, He was converting non-Jews to faith in Him. They could not help it! There is an incident in the final week of Jesus on earth when John tells us (chapter 12) that people were believing in Jesus because He had raised Lazarus from the dead. It was the miracles Jesus was performing that drew people’s attention to what He was preaching. And on that occasion, two things are striking. First, the Pharisees said to each other, “You see that you are not doing any good; look, the world has gone after Him” (vs 19).
Then, to illustrate the point, John records that some Greeks, Gentiles, had come to Jerusalem to worship in the Feast of Passover. They came to one of Jesus’ apostles, Philip, to ask if they could see Jesus. Philip wasn’t sure about it, so he went to talk to Andrew. Andrew knew there was nothing wrong and everything right about bringing anyone - even Gentiles - to Jesus.
Once Jesus went back to heaven, with the aid of the Spirit of God, these apostles went everywhere, preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. Thousands, no tens of thousands of Jews and Gentiles were believing in Jesus Christ, repenting of their sins, and being immersed into Christ for the forgiveness of their sins!
What does it mean to us that Jesus was proclaimed among the nations? It means that you can trace from the apostle Peter down through the centuries, if you could see from God’s perspective, and you could know every single person who has heard the gospel and then taught the gospel to someone else until eventually someone taught you the gospel! You can be saved because you have decided to follow Jesus Christ. And we need to do the same thing. We need to continue proclaiming Christ to others so they can know the benefits and joys of being a Christian.
We shout from the rooftops that Jesus was proclaimed among the nations.
SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THAT JESUS WAS BELIEVED ON IN THE WORLD:
This is the world’s reaction to Jesus Christ. The reaction of those who have good and honest hearts. They believe. We all know that the book of Acts records the first 30 years of church history. The word “believe” is used 37 times in that book.
People were “believing,” that is, they were obeying in faith the commands of the apostles of Christ, left and right. As I said, thousands and tens of thousands of people were believing in Jesus Christ and entrusting their souls into His hands.
The great joy of this statement is that more and more people are believing in Jesus Christ so more and more people have the opportunity to enjoy the blessings of heaven. God wants heaven as populated as possible. You and I, because we love God, also want heaven as populated as possible.
Think for a moment about this pandemic that we’re in. We’re all sick of hearing about it, I know, but it provides many excellent illustrations. We all have been praying that people who have the virus can overcome it. We pray that people can get the medication they need, if not the vaccine because it is not available. If a vaccine becomes available, we will probably really start getting back to normal. We can stop worrying so much. Why? Because there is a vaccine available for this deadly disease.
Sin separates man from God and there is a vaccine available - the blood of Jesus Christ. We sing for joy when more and more people come to knowledge about Jesus Christ. It puts a song in our hearts!
We shout from the rooftops that Jesus was believed in the world.
SHOUT FROM THE ROOFTOPS THAT JESUS WAS TAKEN UP IN GLORY:
The death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of Jesus Christ are all essential to Christian teaching. In Matthew’s gospel, Matthew does not record the ascension but he does record that Jesus gave the great commission to the apostles and then said, “I am with you, always, even to the end of the age” (28:20).
The “end of the age” is coming. The end of this physical life is coming. Jesus returned to heaven to prepare our mansion for us (John 14) and He is coming again!
Jesus’ ascension pulls together several ideas important in Christianity. At the end of Mark’s gospel, Mark writes that Jesus was “received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God” (Mark 16:19). Jesus rules from heaven. This imagery pictures Jesus as King! He reigns from heaven, made possible because He ascended back into heaven.
Then, Luke records the ascension of Jesus in Acts 1:9-11. What is important about the ascension of Jesus in that text is the message of the angels: “This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in just the same way as you have watched Him go into heaven.”
Why is it important to us that Jesus ascended? 1.) It reenforces God’s approval of the life of Jesus. God received Him back into heaven. 2.) It shows there is a reward, an awesome, reward for being faithful to Jehovah God on earth. 3.) Jesus is now preparing a place for us, for our reward. 4.) He is coming again. We must be faithful and we must be ready when He comes again.
We shout from the rooftops that Jesus was taken into glory.
Take home message: Jesus is the “song that we sing!” He was revealed in the flesh. He was vindicated in the Spirit. He was seen by angels. He was proclaimed among the nations. He was believed on in the world. He was taken up into glory.