1 Timothy 3:14-4:5 – False Teachers Beware

Read 1 Timothy 3:14-4:5

It seems to me Chapter 3 ends abruptly and flows nicely into Chapter 4, so let’s reflect on the overlapped passages.  This happens frequently in the Bible where a thought continues from one chapter to the next. The chapter divisions commonly used today were developed by Stephen Langton, an Archbishop of Canterbury in the 1200s. But let’s set that observation aside, there are much greater insights to explore here today.

The last couple of days we’ve been looking at the conduct Paul was prescribing for leaders and deacons.  Today it encompasses everyone. That is, “how people” must conduct themselves.  It is the responsibility of the church then to nurture and feed the people with truth, self-discipline to resist evil, and education to know right from wrong. 

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1 Timothy 3:8-13 – Church Deacons

1 Timothy 3:8-13

And now we address deacons.  The expectation for deacons extends to their wives as well.  What is a deacon? I’ve heard that used by some churches today, but not in the church I grew up in.  For purposes of thinking through this passage, let’s take it back to its roots. At the time Paul wrote this, a deacon would be a servant, anyone who serves the body of Christ.  A deacon can certainly be a “leader”, too, as in our previous reflection, but deacons are servants. Note, that according to Paul, wives (or spouses) of these “deacons” are also held accountable.

Should we all strive to be deacons?  If we have the servant heart of Jesus, then our answer should be yes!  Does this list of requirements seem reasonable or do you have trouble with any of them?  Are you doing well in terms of being a Biblical deacon?  

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1 Timothy 3:1-7 – Church Leadership

Read 1 Timothy 3:1-7

For those in church leadership, this passage speaks volumes.  Not all church leaders are necessarily “elders,” but let’s not split hairs here on semantics.  Paul is setting the bar high for people with authority in the church.  These expectations are all attainable, and quite honestly, it would be good if we held our leaders to these standards.  Some churches do!

The true character of a person is reflected in all areas of their life, not just who we see in church on Sunday mornings.  Why is this important?

Consider this: we are called to a life in Christ, in other words, life with Christ in our lives. What does this look like?  We should look different, and we need to show that to the world.  Be a sermon with no words. I’ve heard it said, people may not remember what you say, but they will remember what you did.

What do you think about this list of prerequisites Paul sets out here?  What qualities would you add to it?  If you are currently in church leadership, how are you doing in terms of this list?

Let’s pray.  Lord give our church leaders courage and boldness to follow closely to you and not falter. Cleanse us of our sinful nature and help us to  be more like you in all we say and do. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

1 Timothy 2:1-15 – What About Worship?

Read 1 Timothy 2:1-15

How fitting that as I reflect on today’s passage I have just watched the inauguration of the 45th president of the United States.  Never in history has such a transfer of power caused such controversy, rise in hatred and fear in people.  The wisdom of these first few verses I hope will set our hearts on a healthy course, realizing that all we need to do is pray.

Recall verses 1 and 2, “I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity.”  So pray for President Trump and his new administration.  That our duty as followers of Christ and as Americans.

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1 Timothy 1:12-20 – Cling to Your Faith

Read 1 Timothy 1:12-20

Here is a prayer we can pray daily in verse 17.  “All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.” It will ground us, remind us who is in charge, and identify who should be king of our lives.  

Paul is in awe of a God who rescued him from the darkness.  If God did it for Paul, he will certainly do it for us as well. I love how Paul recognizes his sinfulness and gives glory to God for using him to show others of God’s faithfulness and intention to use even people broken and blinded by sin.

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Read 1 Timothy 1:12-20

Here is a prayer we can pray daily in verse 17.  “All honor and glory to God forever and ever! He is the eternal King, the unseen one who never dies; he alone is God. Amen.” It will ground us, remind us who is in charge, and identify who should be king of our lives.  

Paul is in awe of a God who rescued him from the darkness.  If God did it for Paul, he will certainly do it for us as well. I love how Paul recognizes his sinfulness and gives glory to God for using him to show others of God’s faithfulness and intention to use even people broken and blinded by sin.

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