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BUILD A LEGACY



BUILD A LEGACY

Part 1 of What Your Church Can Do For You. 2 Timothy 1:13-2:3.

Peter Foxwell. The Cornerstone Church. July 1, 2018.

INTRODUCTION

A couple of months ago, I had a "moment" - an existential crisis. I was asking myself what my legacy will be. Have I left my mark on the world? Will anyone remember me when I'm gone? That's when the lion showed up, "seeking someone to devour." It was awful: "No one will remember you. You haven't done anything worth remembering. You''re a total failure." It was all lies of course. I snapped out of it and got back to work. The devil doesn't get to tell me the legacy I'm building.

Maybe you're concerned about your legacy. I've got good news: The Cornerstone Church is here to help you build a legacy that lasts long after you are gone. That's one thing this church can do for you.

Today, I want to show you how to be very intentional about that. Turn in your Bible to 2 Timothy 1 and I will show you how to build a legacy. Let's begin by looking at what kind of legacy we can help you with ...

MY LEGACY

1. MY LEGACY IS A TEACHING

(2 Timothy 1:13) What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching.

Paul taught and Timothy listened to the "sound teaching" It's the core message of the Christian faith. Paul called it "sound" because he received it from Jesus himself. It was a true word from God:

(Galatians 1:11-12) I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel I preached is not of human origin. 12 I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ.

It was a powerful, life-changing word:

(Romans 1:16) I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes.

The best legacy to leave is not money or land. The best legacy is the teaching that leads us into salvation life in Jesus. Money can't buy that.

2. MY LEGACY IS A TREASURE

(2 Timothy 1:14) Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

The good deposit is the sound teaching Paul passed on to Timothy. Paul calls it "good" - it can be translated beautiful or excellent - because it is a treasure. The most valuable gift we can pass on is the sound teaching of the Christian faith.

(Matthew 13:44) The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.

(Psalms 119:72) The law from your mouth is more precious (good, pleasing) to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.

3. MY LEGACY IS A TEMPLATE

(2 Timothy 1:13) What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching.

"Pattern" means a fixed standard - a template that all Christian teaching is based on. That means: the core message of the Christian faith doesn't change. Our methods can change, but our message stays the same. It's the template for today and the blueprint tomorrow.

People debate how to interpret the Bible. Some say we need to change its message to fit in today. The apostle Paul knew all about this. He wrote in Galatians:

(Galatians 1:8) Even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God's curse!

Yes, we might have disagreements about some non-essential issues, but we agree on the core - the pattern, the template. And that never changes.

Now let's ask how we can all build that legacy. The first thing I need to say is this: The primary focus of this passage is on training leaders in the church. Timothy was the leader in Ephesus. BUT ... the principles can apply to all of us. That's what we're focused on today.

HOW I BUILD MY LEGACY

1. I DOWNLOAD THE TEACHING

(2 Timothy 2:2) The things you heard me say in the presence of many witnesses ...

Timothy studied in Paul's "classroom" - he "heard" his teachings and downloaded them into his life. He was a student of God's word.

You can't pass on what you don't have. So, the first thing is to be a student of the Bible yourself. Read it. Study it. Nail it down. And receive all the sound teaching you can get.

When I was a new Christian, I was given this little New Testament. It fit in the back pocket of my jeans. I took it everywhere and read it every chance I got. I loved the Gospels and the insights into Jesus. It's as if I had found "hidden" treasure.

(Psalms 119:16) I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.

The Bible is available. Teachers are accessible. Take responsibility to download it all into your own life.

2. I DEFEND THE TEACHING

2 Timothy 1:14 (NIV-WS) Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

We are to "guard" the good deposit - the core message. That means: some teaching isn't good. We have to sort out the biblical from the not-so-biblical. We all have three-step responsibility: Detect, accept or reject.

You can't build a legacy by receiving every teaching that's offered. You've got to keep your grip on the pattern of sound teaching - that's what "guard" means.

Then you'll have an amazing legacy to pass on.

3. I DEPOSIT THE TEACHING

(2 Timothy 2:2) The things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified (competent) to teach others.

This verse is focused on church leaders developing new church leaders. But the principle can be applied to all of us. The principle is simple: Pass it on. The pattern of sound teaching was passed on to you, now pass it on. It doesn't end with you. Pass it on.

This is why I came to church today, to tell you this: Pass it on.

Jesus passed it on to Paul. Paul passed it on to Timothy. Timothy passed it on to his church and potential leaders. They passed it on. The only reason we're here today, trusting in Jesus and full of his salvation life, is because someone passed it on.

Sound teaching changes the world when we all pass it on. What we download, we deposit. What we receive, we release into someone else. It's God's very simple and very effective plan to make disciples of all nations.

  • This is my philosophy of church: God brought us together to pass it on.

  • This is my philosophy of youth ministry: we're having a blast and passing it on.

  • This is my philosophy of family: we do life together and pass it on.

That's how you build a legacy: you pass it on. Deposit the sound teaching in someone else's life. Imagine the impact if we all do this - on our neighbors, coworkers, our kids, our church.

My two pastors - Mr. Still and Mr. Carmichael - are both with Jesus now. But they left a legacy to me. They passed it on. And here I am passing it on to you. Their legacy has lasted long after their lives ended. And so, I pray, will mine.

CONCLUSION

An excellent way to pass it on is in a small group. It's a great way to leave a legacy - depositing the sound teaching in person-to-person contact.

We all need to be in some kind of a group like that. It's the key to our spiritual health. We need healthy connections. We need support. We need accountability. The best place for that is a small group. The least effective way to grow in your faith is to go it alone.

You can have a small group as small as three - in fact, that may be the most impactful group of all. It can be done in an hour. And you don't need anything fancy. Find a table at the coffee shop and read the Bible together and talk about it, apply it, pray over it. You'll be passing it on.

My goal is this: Everyone in a small group of some kind, passing it on. Handing on the good deposit, the sound teaching, the treasure of the Word.

Let me tell you about one of the most effective "small" groups in the church is the Monday night youth group worship band meeting. They practice music. But they also sit in a circle and pass it on. They read the Bible and they pray. And those kids maybe don't know it, but they are growing strong in the faith. What's happened is students graduate and they form new bands and they meet and they pass it on and they're staying strong in faith.

Next Sunday after worship, I'm having an orientation meeting for small group leaders. If you have any interest at all in small groups, I think you should be there. I'm excited about the new material I have to share with you.

Small groups are crucial to our future. So, when we announce the new small group season later this summer, jump in. Start a group. Join a group. AND PASS IT ON!!!!

Leave a legacy that outlasts you. Pass it on!


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