CUSTODIANS OF THE TRUTH
A. Romans 2:11-16
B. Now and then we hear of someone falling heir to some priceless treasure without having any concept of the importance or value of what he has, and then proceeding to be irresponsible in his custodianship of the thing.
C. Or, we may be in someone’s home who beams with pride as he shows off his expensive library of books – all of which are evidently unused!
D. The people of Ephesus apparently were proud of their custodianship of the temple and the image of Diana © Acts 19:35
E. The Jews were proud of their “custodianship” of the oracles of
1. Romans 3:1-2
2. Deuteronomy 4:5-8
3. Romans 9:4-5
4. The Jews did not do with the word of God what they should have … Romans 2:17-24
F. Do we have this same problem of seeing ourselves as the :custodians of the truth” without acceptance of the attendant responsibilities?
A. IN A SENSE, WE ARE “CUSTODIANS” OF GOD’S TRUTH
1. This thought is seen on the Gospel Hymn – “Swiftly We’re Turning” … the chorus: “Into our hands the gospel is given”
2. We are not apostles, and hence not “stewards” of the gospel in the strictest sense … 1 Corinthians 4:1-2
3. But there is a secondary sense in which we have been “entrusted” with God’s word – and we need to be faithful in keeping that trust … 2 Timothy 2:2
4. In a world where the Bible is twisted and bent to fit every imaginable religious idea, we must determine to be those who reverently and accurately handle the saving truth of the gospel
a. 1 Timothy 3:15
b. Titus 2:10
c. 2 Timothy 2:15
5. It is our duty to maintain and continuously teach genuine respect for the truth and authority of the Scriptures.
B. BUT WE ARE NOT TO BE ONLY CUSTODIANS OF THE TRUTH
1. We must not be lifted up with pride about our relationship to the truth … Romans 2:17-20
2. We must not “guard” the truth without doing the truth
a. We must not be hypocrites who preach but do not practice … Matthew 23:1-4
b. We must be doers, as well as hearers, of God’s word.
1) James 1:22
2) James 4:17
3) Matthew 7:21-23
3. We must not “guard” the truth without using it
a. Truth is not a museum relic to be preserved.
b. It is a tool – a useful utensil – meant to be used.
c. We are to use “the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Eph. 6:17).
4. We must not keep the truth to ourselves and not share it
a. Psalm 40:9-10
b. 1 Thessalonians 1:8
c. 2 Kings 7:9
5. In sharing the truth, we must not expect the lost to come and get it from us – we must take it to those who need it.
a. The conscientious shepherd goes out to look for the sheep that are lost … Luke 15:4-7
b. Luke 19:10
C. WE MUST ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITIES INHERENT IN WHAT WE KNOW
1. The more we are privileged to know about God’s truth, the more responsibility we have as a result … Luke 12:47-48
a. Item: We believe we possess the truth about the work of the church and the proper method of doing benevolent work.
1) But how much do we actually help others?
2) Galatians 6:10
3) Many will be lost because of what they did not do
a) Matthew 25:31-46
b) James 2:14-17
b. Item: We believe we have correct notions about the subject of morality, Christian living, true spirituality, etc.
1) But what do we personally do to encourage and strengthen the spiritually weak?
2) 1 Thessalonians 5:14
c. Item: We believe we have right concepts about how to worship God correctly.
1) But how often do we worship God as we know to do?
2) And when we worship, do we truly worship from the heart?
3) 1 Samuel 15:22-23
d. Item: We believe we understand the truth about God’s plan of salvation.
1) But how much personal evangelism are we engaging in?
2) Are we withholding the true plan of salvation from our neighbors?
a) Acts 20:20
b) Acts 20:26-27
3) And when we do share the gospel, are we doing so with an arrogant, condescending spirit?
a) Do we have the attitude of the Jewish leaders? … John 7:49
b) John 9:34
2. In all spiritual concerns, the privilege of possessing the truth is vain if we do not do what we should as a consequence of possessing it … Romans 2:13, 25-29
A. On the positive side, there is a wonderful “blessedness” in doing the Lord’s will … James 1:25
B. We are wise if we not only hear, but do … Luke 6:46-49
C. God had a quite practical reason for revealing everything He did to us … Deuteronomy 29:29
D. May we have the disposition of Ezra to “eek the Law of the Lord, and to do it, and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel”(Ezra 7:10).