Is There a Crisis of Faith or Confusion of Beliefs Around Me and What
I Do and Whom
Do I Believe?
3c. EXCERPTS FROM THE EPISTLES OF ST. PAUL
In Chapter 4, St. Paul charges Timothy: he tells him of his approaching death, and desires him to come to him.
I CHARGE thee, before God and Jesus Christ, Who shall judge the living and the dead, by His coming, and His kingdom; Preach the word: be instant in season, out of season: reprove, entreat, rebuke in all patience and doctrine. For there shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine; but, according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears: And will indeed turn away their hearing from the truth, but will be turned unto fables. But be thou vigilant, labor in all things, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill thy ministry. Be sober. For I am even now ready to be sacrificed: and the time of my dissolution is at hand.
I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith.
As to the rest, there is laid up for me a crown of justice, which the Lord the just judge will render to me in that day: and not only to me, but to them also that love His coming. Make haste to come to me quickly. . . . Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry. . . . The cloak that I left at Troas, with Carpus, when thou comest, bring with thee, and the books, especially the parchments.
Alexander the coppersmith hath done me much evil: the Lord will reward him according to his works: Whom do thou also avoid, for he hath greatly withstood our words. At my first answer no man stood with me, but all forsook me: may it not be laid to their charge.
But the Lord stood by me, and strengthened me, that by me the preaching may be accomplished, and that all the Gentiles may hear: and I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion.
The Lord hath delivered me from every evil work: and will preserve me unto His heavenly kingdom, to Whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
----------Tim. 4: 1-18
And in St. Paul to the Philippians:
For God is my witness, how I
all in the bowels of Jesus Christ. And this I pray, that your charity
more and more abound in knowledge, I and in all understanding:
That you may approve the better things, that you may be sincere and without offence unto the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of justice, through Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
Now, brethren, I desire you should know, that the things which have happened to me, have fallen out rather to the furtherance of the gospel:
So that my bands are made
in all the court, and in all other places:
And many of the brethren in the Lord, growing confident by my bands, are much more bold to speak the word of God without fear. Some indeed, even out of envy and contention; but some also for good will preach Christ. Some out of charity, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel.
And some out of contention preach Christ not sincerely: supposing that they raise affliction to my bands. But what then? So that by all means, whether by occasion, or by truth, Christ be preached: in this also I rejoice, yea, and will rejoice.
For I know that this shall fall out to me unto salvation, through your prayer, and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ, according to my expectation and the hope; that in nothing I shall be confounded, but with all confidence, as always, so now also shall Christ be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.
For to me, to live is Christ: and to die is gain. And if to live in the flesh, this is to me the fruit of labour, and what I shall choose I know not. But I am straitened between two: having a desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ, a thing by far the better.
But to abide still in the flesh, is needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide, and continue with you all, for your futherance and joy of faith:
That your rejoicing may abound in Christ Jesus for me, by my coming to you again.
Only let your conversation be worthy of the gospel of Christ: that, I whether I come and see you, or, being absent, may hear of you, that you stand: fast in one spirit, with one mind labouring together for the faith of the gospel.
And in nothing be ye terrified by the adversaries: which to them is a cause of perdition, but to you of salvation, and this from God:
For unto you it is given for Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for Him . . .