Guidelines for the Church
Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity (1 Timothy 4:12).
Rev. Mike Jones, Minister Ministry
2434 Allen Road, Effingham, SC 29541
Mike@ministerministry.com (843) 687-4823
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The most important decision you will ever make is your decision about receiving Christ as your Savior. It’s the most important decision you’ll ever make because:
1> It’s an ETERNAL DECISION– Heb 9:15 for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance.
1 John 5:13 These things have I written unto you that believe on the name of the Son of God; that ye may know that ye have eternal life, and that ye may believe on the name of the Son of God.
The decision you make about Christ will effect you NOW and for ETERNITY. This is not something to be treated lightly or put off until a later time.
2> It’s a NECESSARY DECISION– Heb 9:27 it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment:. Every person MAKES A DECISION about Christ- Either to Accept Him as Savior or reject Him and be lost. EVERY man must Die, EVERY man must face the Judgment. Only the Blood of Christ can deliver us from Condemnation.
WHO SHOULD BE SAVED: ROM 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God;
ROM 3:10 As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one:
WHY YOU SHOULD BE SAVED: ROM 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. ROM 5:12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.
WHEN TO BE SAVED: ROM 5:8 God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
THE WAY TO BE SAVED: ROM 10:9-10 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
HOW TO LIVE AFTER YOU ARE SAVED:
ROM 12:1-2 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
Have you Accepted Christ as Savior?
If you need help or follow up booklets then contact–
2434 Allen Road
Effingham, S C 29541
I TIMOTHY: GUIDELINES FOR THE CHURCH Rev. Mike Jones
PAUL’S LAST YEARS
The Pastoral Epistles (I and II Timothy, Titus, and Philemon) were written by the Apostle Paul during the closing years of his life to guide young men he had entrusted with the leadership of Churches along the proper path. As such they are a very important part of our understanding of how the Church is to operate and need to be studied thoroughly and often.
(They were first called the Pastoral Epistles by Paul Anton in 1726)
The last years of the Apostle Paul were spent something like this:
A) First imprisonment 60-63 AD
B) Released from Roman Prison 63 or 64 AD
C) Paul remained free until 67 or 68 AD during which time the following events seem to have happened:
1. Paul sent Timothy to Philippi as he had promised (Phil 2:19-23
a. Timothy probably went by Thess. to tell them of Paul’s release.
b. Instructed to meet Paul in Ephesus
2. Paul revisited Asia
a. Briefly by Ephesus and on to Colossae as Promised (Philemon 22)
b. Visited other Churches around Colossae
3. Paul returned to Ephesus
a. Encountered heretics-expelled Hymenaeus and Alexander
b. Timothy rejoined Paul there
c. Timothy remained there to repel any further development of heretical teaching (I Tim 1:3-6)
4. Paul goes to Macedonia
a. Left Timothy in Ephesus planning to return shortly
b. Detained in Macedonia so writes I Timothy (3:14-15)
5. Paul later returns to Ephesus and then on to Crete
a. Titus was ministering in Crete
b. Paul couldn’t stay long so he left Titus there
6. Paul then goes to Corinth (Some think Titus written here)
7. Paul then goes to Spain for two years (64-66AD)
8. Paul leaves Spain and returns East
a. Some think Titus was written while Paul returned
b. Seemed to have visited Troas (II Tim 4:13), Miletus and Corinth (II Tim 4:20).
9. Final Imprisonment
a. Fact that Paul left books and parchment in Troas could indicate that he was arrested there.
b. Christianity was now officially branded as an illegal religion
c. After Paul’s arrest he was taken to Rome
d. While awaiting death there Paul wrote II Timothy (II Tim 4:6-8; 16-17
I. THE PERSON OF THE EPISTLE -TIMOTHY
A) His Ancestry
1. Native or resident of Lystra (Acts 16:1-3)
2. His father was a Greek (Acts 16:2) and his mother was a Jew name Eunice (II Tim 1:5)
3. His name means “honoring God” or “Honored by God”
B) His Character
1. Somewhat timid (I Cor 6:10-11) perhaps due to his youth (I Tim 4:12)
2. Health possibly bad (I Tim 5:23) (Pastor Problem-ulcers!)
C) His Work
1. Converted by Paul on first missionary journey (Acts 16:1)
2. Joined Paul on second journey (Acts 16:3)
3. Close to Paul- called son in the faith (I Tim 1:2) and associated with Paul in more salutations than anyone else.
II. THE PURPOSE OF THE EPISTLE
A) To help Timothy refute false teachers (1:3)
B) To give Timothy guidelines to direct the church properly (3:14-16)
C) To allow Paul to pass the “Charge” of Bible teaching to Timothy (1:18, 6:20-21). (This gave Timothy authority and helped overcome his natural timidity). (It is sad that many older Pastors hinder young Pastors instead of help them because of jealousy.)
Correct Bible teaching involves 3 areas. They may not be emphasized equally all the time but correct Bible teaching must involve each of these areas and all of these areas.
1. A Right Worship of God (So you will not become a “Spiritualist” so heavenly minded until you’re no earthly good.)
2. A Body of Truth (Principles) (So you will not become simply a Student- ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth)
3. A Way of Life (Practice) (So you will not become a Strict Legalist- laws without love)
III. THE PLAN OF THE EPISTLE [Who wrote the letter- Paul, a man with a divine call and mission. Who was the letter written to- Timothy, son in the faith.]
A) Guidelines in Patterns 1 / Intro. 1:1-2
1. The Pattern in Preaching 1:3-10
2. The Pattern of Paul 1:11-17
3. The Pattern in Perseverance 1:18-20
B) Guidelines in Prayer 2
1. Types of Prayers 2:1
2. Task of Prayers 2:2-7
3. Troubles in Prayers 2:8-15
C) Guidelines for the Presbytery 3
1. Pastors Qualifications 3:1-7
2. Deacons Qualifications 3:8-13
3. Basis for Church Guidance 3:14-16
D) Guidelines from Prophecy 4
1. False Doctrine to Come 4:1-6
2. False Teachings to Challenge 4:7-11
3. Faithful works are commended 4:12-16
E) Guidelines for Practical Church Duties 5
1. Respect for older members 5:1-2
2. Care for Widows 5:3-16
3. Dealing with ministers 5:17-20
4. Personal Admonitions for Timothy 5:21-25
F) Guidelines in Poverty and Prosperity 6
1. Faithful Duties of the Poor 6:1-2
2. Foolish Doctrines of the Rich 6:3-19
Closing Plea to Timothy 6:20-21
GUIDELINES IN PATTERN I Timothy 1:-
Intro.-1:1-2- Paul was a man with a divine call and mission who wrote to Timothy (His dear son in the faith) because he desired to Timothy to have Grace, mercy, and peace (not gold, money, and prosperity) that was to come from “God our Father and Jesus Christ our Lord” (What a difference it makes when you realize the source of your supply!)
A) The Pattern in Preaching 1:3-10
1. The Stability in the Preacher. Paul had left Timothy at Ephesus to guide the church away from false doctrine and into the proper path. Evidently Timothy had met a great deal of opposition (did people take Timothy lightly after Paul left?) and he was thinking about quitting. Paul begins by begging Timothy to stay and continue the fight (“as I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus”).
This is the most important element in successful preaching-staying until God says the job is done. A Christian (preacher or layman) is supposed to meet opposition (I Peter 4:12-14) as he stands for Christ and he must be willing to “keep on keeping on” until God says it’s time to quit.
A Preacher must know that God has called him, that he’s teaching correct doctrine, and that he’s where God wants him to be. Once he’s established on these issues then he must accept opposition and keep on doing the job God has called him to do. I wonder how many preachers or teachers have quit on the very verge of success??
2. The Steadfastness in Preaching
a> The Rejection admonished-Charge them (give them a solemn admonition) that they:
1) Teach no other doctrine-other than the Gospel of Christ. There is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus” (I Tim 2:5); Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved (Acts 4:12) and if any man preach any other gospel… let him be accursed (Gal 1:9). (This is not just the doctrine of cults but doctrine that is posing as Christian while in reality it is man thought instead of God sent. Today we see preaching which teaches success instead of service, law instead of love, and man’s happiness instead of God’s holiness).
2) Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions. Paul calls these fables “profane” and characteristic of “old wives” (I Tim 4:7). They involved such things as idol statues which “wept” and superstitions that enslaved. The endless genealogies involve ancestor worship, prejudice based on bloodline (see Tit 1:12-14), and salvation based on parent’s faith. The main thing is that these things cause us to question God instead of believe Him- “rather than godly edifying which is in faith.”
b> The Results aimed for- “the end of the commandment”
1) Pure Love- Charity out of a pure heart
2) Pure Living- A good conscience
3) Pure Labor- Faith unfeigned (not hypocritical)
Some had swerved (missed the mark of God’s purpose) and had turned aside into vain jangling (useless talk because it was not based on the correct foundation). Their desire to do good led them to become teachers but because their foundation was wrong they were ineffective- they didn’t understand what they were teaching but they felt they needed to teach something. j(Why are YOU running?? II Sam 18:19-33).
Paul now goes on to show the real meaning of the law. It is not our MEANS of righteousness but it is to show us the NEED of righteousness. A righteous man will not fear the LAW because he’s faithful to follow it. Paul then list who the LAW is for:
1. Lawless and disobedient- refusing to recognize or submit to Law
2. Ungodly and sinners- lacking reverential awe of God
3. Unholy and profane- controlled by the flesh
4. Murders of father and mother- ill treatment of parents
5. Manslayers- ill treatment of mankind
6. Whoremongers and them that defile self with mankind fornication, homosexual
7. Menstealers- putting people into slavery (Drugs, drink, debt….)
8. Liars and perjured people-untruth in lips and life
9. Any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine
The pattern in preaching means that the Preacher has the message stamped in his own heart (knows what to stand against and what to stand for) and is not afraid to name sin.
B) The Pattern of Paul 1:11-17 Having shown Timothy the pattern in preaching Paul now uses himself as a pattern for Timothy to follow in the matter of the Gospel’s importance and saving power.
1. In Safekeeping vs 11-12 The Gospel of Jesus Christ had been committed to Paul as a Trust. (See Eph 3:1-10 where Paul describes how he was commissioned to proclaim the mystery of the Church as the body of Christ.)
The enablement to fulfill this obligation is shown in Paul’s Thanksgiving Prayer:
a. The Power- Christ Jesus enabled me
b. The Picking- He counted me faithful (God trusted Paul!)
c. The Putting- Putting me into the ministry. God enabled him, trusted him, and then put him into a position to use that power and trust. God does not save us and enable us just so we can just sit; He expects us to serve.
2. In Sinning vs 13 Paul was not picked because of his righteousness but because of his faithfulness. Paul describes himself as a:
a. Blasphemer- against God
b. Persecutor- against God’s Church
c. Injurious- against God’s People
(And yet as far as the law’s righteousness was concerned, blameless! See Phil 3:1-6). God’s Mercy allowed these sins to be covered. (Ignorantly, in unbelief does not mean God excuses ignorance. It simply means that God’s mercy was given because Paul in his unbelief was ignorant about how to be accepted before God. He thought the answer was zeal for the Law but God showed him it was mercy for sins).
3. In Salvation vs 14-17 Paul uses himself as a pattern to show the greatness of God’s redemptive work.
a. The Pardon vs 14
Its means – Grace (Unmerited Favor)
Its measure- exceeding abundant
Its members- with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus
Paul rejoiced in a Pardon that was granted thru God’s Grace instead of Paul’s goodness. This pardon was completely sufficient to cover all his sins and it was joined by faith and love so that Paul was not only forgiven but also enabled to serve (Faith and desired to serve (Love). What a pardon!!
b. The Purpose vs 15 Christ came to save sinners. How plain! How necessary! How wonderful!
c. The Pattern vs 16 “Christ’s longsuffering will never undergo a more severe test than it did in my case, so that no sinner need ever despair.” God used Paul as an example of the greatness of His Grace and now whosoever will may come and drink of the water of life freely.
d. The Prayer vs 17 Paul describes God and then prays that honor and Glory would be His because of the greatness of God’s Plan of Salvation. (This is the purpose of Salvation- I Pet 2:9 Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.)
Note the attributes of God Paul uses:
1. King- Ruler over all
2. Eternal- always was and always will be
3. Immortal- uncorrupt able (Pure)
4. Invisible- Spirit
5. Only wise God- unique (Only god who is God).
What a marvel that such a God would save us and then allow us to praise Him and serve Him.
C) The Pattern in Perseverance 1:1-20
1. Faithful in the fight. Paul exhorts Timothy to be faithful in his work for God because of:
a. The Prophecies that had been given about TIMOTHY at his ordination (3:14). EVERY Christian receives a gift to help the work of the body of Christ and if they fail to use their gift then the whole body suffers (See I Corinth 12:-)
b. The War against Satan that every Christian fights (See Eph 6:10-17). A Christian cannot shed his armor or quit his post. To do so is not only dangerous for the Christian but also for fellow Christians. (If Timothy gave up the fight there was a good possibility that false doctrine would over run the Church at Ephesus. Stand, and having done all, Stand.)
2. Faithful to the Faith
a. The problem-Some had put away the Faith (the words mean to “thrust away from”. They imply willful violence against conscience). Note how faith and a good conscience are tied together. Faith produces good works and when a man rebels against his conscience and begins to do wrong works his faith also begins to waver until he loses sight of the lighthouse and crashes on the rocks of sin.
b. The Punishment- delivered unto Satan that they may learn not to Blaspheme. Some think that this was simply excommunication from the Church (I Cor 5:1-5) but more seems to be implied here than that. These two had “thrust away” their faith in Christ and were teaching Salvation by works of the Law thus making shipwreck of Faith. A most undesirable state to be in.
Paul shows Timothy the wonderful Pattern of Salvation that God had used to Save him and then warns him of the dreadful consequences of leaving this wonderful Salvation. Preachers ought to always invite Sinners to Come and warn Saints not to stray!
II. GUIDELINES IN PRAYERS Chapter 2
A) Types of Prayer 2:1
1. Supplications-prayers for one’s personal needs
2. Prayers-worship and adoration
3. Intercessions-Prayers for another’s needs
4. Giving of Thanks- appreciation for past blessings and faith in future promises.
B) Task of Prayer 2:2-7
|People to Pray For||Purpose of the Prayer|
|1) Kings, and for all that are in authority||that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty|
|The Powers that be are ordained of God and we should pray that God would guide them into a proper course. (This was written during a time of some of the most ungodly kings ever to reign. We may not like the men but we must respect their position. See Rom 13:1-7)|
|2) ALL Men||to be saved and come unto the knowledge of the truth|
|Since there is but one God, and but one mediator between God and men- the man Christ Jesus, and since Christ gave himself a ransom for ALL men then the testimony about him must be given to all men Purpose of the Prayer (men’s Salvation) and then shows God’s Way of answering that prayer ( a preacher- Rom 10:13-15).|
Paul was set apart as a Preacher, an Apostle, and a Teacher. In Paul’s case this was specifically to the Gentiles. Some men get so bogged down with ALL men until they never minister to ONE man. Minister to the whole world but do it one man at a time!
Paul states that Praying is more than Requesting certain things; it is Respecting God’s Plan and Representing God to Men!
C) Troubles in Prayers 2:8-15
1. Troubles for Men vs 8 (In the Greek the definite article “the” precedes men. Paul is saying that “the” men should take the leadership in Church Prayer. Sad to say, many times the prayer life of the Church is left to the women because the men are too “busy” to stop for Prayer.)
“without wrath and doubting” indicates the two conditions necessary to effectual prayer- freedom from irritation toward your fellowman, and confidence toward God.
Men’s troubles in Prayer are an unwillingness to accept the responsibility to pray and the hindrance of problems between themselves and / or between them and God.
2. Troubles for Women vs 9-15. Paul had been talking to young preacher Timothy about false doctrine in the Church and then about his prayer life. Suddenly he seems to “veer” off course and start talking about the appearance and position of women. . the reason for this “rabbit trail” is because Paul (like Peter) realized the a proper relationship between men and women was essential to a powerful prayer life (Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price. For after this manner in the old time the holy women also, who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands: Even as Sara obeyed Abraham, calling him lord: whose daughters ye are, as long as ye do well, and are not afraid with any amazement. Likewise, ye husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life; that your prayers be not hindered 1 Peter 3:1-7).
a. Their appearance-modest apparel. Modest here means “an ordered system, a harmonious arrangement, order”. This orderliness does not extend merely to the relationship of the various articles of clothing to one another but also to the relationship of that clothing to her Christian character and testimony. This does not mean a woman has to be a “plain Jane” to be a Christian but they do need to wear clothing which promotes their belief instead of their body. They are to wear “good works” instead of gold array.
b. Their attitude- shamefacedness and sobriety (Humility and soundness of mind). The basic idea here is that Paul is trying to show women that many times their clothing is worn because of Pride instead of because it’s Proper. This prideful attitude will hinder her prayers.
Women should dress with caution and common sense; not to inspire “lust” or just for fashionable looks.
c. Their authority- they are not to teach or usurp (take the place of) authority over the man.
– In Church: This means that women should not teach Adult men or be in a position of defining doctrine (such as a woman Pastor). (This does not mean it is wrong for women to teach unmarried young men or children. This is part of her responsibility as a mother.)
– In the Home: A woman is to be “in subjection to her own husband” and “reverence her husband” (Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing Ephesians 5:24).
This is not to make a woman a “slave” to a cruel master. She knows she can trust and follow her husband because he loves her as Christ loved the Church (Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; Ephesians 5:25) and would be willing to lay down his life for her.
Paul now lists 3 reasons why the woman should “learn in silence” (Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety 1 Timothy 2:11-15).
[This does not mean it is wrong for a woman to talk in class or take part in the lesson. Paul is specifically referring to women who want to “usurp authority” and become the “boss” of the church by replacing Biblical Doctrine with their own thoughts and desires].
Women are to learn in silence (quietness) because of:
1. Creation- Adam created first then Eve (Eve was created as a companion for Adam to fulfil a God observed need; not as an authority figure.). God had a plan and a purpose when He created man and woman. When you believe your created plan is better than God’s creation plan then you are headed for confusion.
2. Corruption- The woman was deceived by Satan (Many women are smarter than men but women are generally more easily swayed by emotional arguments. These emotions are their greatest assets (think Mother’s love) and yet their greatest liability.)
3. Childbearing- One of the main duties of the woman is to bear children. Doing so will save her from falling into false doctrine and allow her and her husband to continue in faith, love and holiness with a sober mind and answered prayer!
(Blame Sin for this situation: Gen 3:16 Unto the woman God said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.)
III. Guidelines for the Presbytery Chapter 3
Having shown Timothy the wonderful Salvation he proclaimed and established the pattern in Prayers Paul now gives Timothy guidelines to use in selecting leaders for the Church.
A) The Pastor’s Qualifications 3:1-7
1. The Coveting of the Position 3:1 The word Bishop here means “to oversee, to superintend, to exercise care over”. It is used for one who is charged with the responsibility of the oversight and direction of the spiritual life of the local Church. (Called Pastor (Greek-Shepherd) today.)
The word desire here means “to stretch one’s self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after something, to passionately long after something”. This means that the Pastor should be someone who is God Called and is doing the job because of an overwhelming desire in his heart (put there by God) to be a Pastor. (My advice is this, if you don’t have to be a Pastor then don’t do it!! I pastor because my heart can’t be satisfied doing anything else.)
Peter list 3 duties of a Pastor. I Pet 5:1-4 The elders which are among you I exhort who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth to away.
1. Fellowship in Christ’s suffering and Glory. You must have something to Show ( a witness) and Share (a partaker). The messages of a good Pastor are simply the overflowing of his relationship with Christ. As he enters into the Fellowship of Christ’s sufferings and marvels as he partakes of the Glory to come he will show Christ thru his life and lips.
2. Feed the Flock among you- The Pastor is both Shepherd and Sheep! As Shepherd he is responsible to see that the Sheep Grow, are Guided, and are Guarded. As a sheep he mingles with and understands the needs of the other sheep. (See Heb 2:16-18 for Christ’s example of this.) A Pastor must live with the people to know their problems and live with God in order to solve them.
3. Fulfills leadership responsibilities: Not because he’s forced to but because he wants to. (A Leader who will not lead is no leader!!)
-Not for Profit but because he realizes his responsibility
-Not as a “Boss” but as an example
-Realizing his reward will come when he meets the Lord.
(See II Corinth 6:3-10 for a practical example of such a Pastor)
2. The Character of the Pastor 3:2-7
a. Blameless- with our reproach in character of Christianity. ( His living does not get in the way of his Message)
b. Husband of one Wife- “A one woman man”. So dedicated to God’s Plan of Husband and Wife until He doesn’t even think of escape. (Forbids a divorced man from being a Pastor)
c. Vigilant- Watchful (of false doctrines or other things that would harm the Church)
d. Sober- Serious, earnest, responsible (Someone you can take serious)
e. Of good behavior- dignified, orderly (A gentleman) modest
f. Given to hospitality- Willing to put up (and put up with!) Strangers. He will be called upon to have many guests in his home.
g. Apt to teach- Willing and able to Teach. A student of the Word. A pastor who is lazy in the study is a disgrace in the pulpit.
h. Not given to wine- Not controlled by outside “crutches”, whether drink, drug, or whatever.
I. No striker- Not contentious or quarrelsome. Willing to stand to the death for the RIGHT but willing to give up his rights.
j. Not greedy of filthy lucre- Principles overrule Profit. God’s Will is more important than Wealth.
k. Patient, not a brawler- a person of reasonableness who does not go around with a “chip” on his shoulder” (He understands that people are different and accepts that).
l. Not covetous- content in whatsoever state he finds himself. Doesn’t try to “keep up with the Jones”.
m. One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity. (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)- Able to deal with his own family problems.
n. Not a Novice- (new convert) lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. He is proven before he is put in a Position lest Pride overcome any Progress.
o. Having a good report of them without, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. He’s against the Pollution of the World but not against the People of the World!! He hates Sin but loves the Sinner.
B) The Deacon’s Qualifications 3:8-13 [Deacons (Greek-Servants) were first selected by the Apostles to relieve them of physical pressure so that the Apostles could devote themselves to the Spiritual welfare of the Church (Acts 6:1-7). As the Pastor is the neck of the body of Christ (lift up the Head and communicate between head and body) so the Deacons are the hands of the body. (Serving by relieving the physical and personality problems that crop up among a body of believers.) Deacons are not the “bosses” of the church (or the pastor), rather they fulfil their leadership role by serving the church and as such are a vital part of God’s program in the Church].
1) From Original Appointment in Acts 6:3:
A> Of Honest Report- They are to handle the personality problems of the Church because people trust them. (Probably 90% of the people who deliberately leave a church do so because of a personality problem. If Deacons could and would deal with these problems then the Church would have much greater success. The sad truth is that many times a person will not tell the pastor about a personality problem until they’ve already made up their minds to leave but Deacons who are watchful can rip such a problem in the bud.)
B> Full of the Holy Ghost- Spiritually empowered so they can handle the responsibilities they assume. (Since being filled with the Spirit is not a one time experience but a continued relationship then it behooves the deacon to live a continually yielded life.)
C> Full of Wisdom- They realize that the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God (I Cor 1:20) so they cling to Christ who is our wisdom (I Cor 1:30). Deacons are not necessarily the best educated men in the Church but they give evidence of the Spiritual Gift of Wisdom. (Which is extremely necessary if they are to faithfully fulfill their responsibilities of dealing with people and problems.)
D> Full of Faith-Without Faith it is impossible to please God (Heb 11:6) and Deacons need faith to understand God’s Purpose and Plan for the Church. As leaders in the Church assembly they will have a great effect on the church’s progress according to their faith.
2) Deacon’s Characteristics by Paul:
A> Grave- serious minded about God’s work. They realize the tremendous responsibilities they have.
B> Not Double tongued-Not saying one thing to one person and another to another. (This is extremely important as they deal with people problems. It’s also vital as they deal with the people and the pastor.)
C> Not given to much wine- (Any is too much!). Not addicted to anything. Self control. Able to proclaim liberty because he’s not under bondage.
D> Not greedy of filthy lucre- Not money hungry. Willing to sacrifice in order to serve the church.
THE CHURCH I Tim 3:14-16
Paul has been instructing young preacher Timothy in the necessary guidelines for the Church to function properly. Now in the heart of the instructions Paul tells Timothy why all this is important.
I. THE POSITION THE CHURCH OCCUPIES. Many people seem to think of the Church with “Tunnel Vision”- that is, they see only one purpose for it. They see it as either a:
1. DIET- A necessary evil. They want to do something else but they feel they must go to Church. They would rather be eating the “Onions of Egypt” but they feel they must endure the Manna of God.
2. DEBT- Payment on an “eternal life insurance” policy. They want to go to Heaven when they die so they are willing to make a “Payment” now and then. “Father” makes them go to the “Family Reunion” but they don’t have a lot in common with the “In-laws”.
3. DEATH- Place to bring someone when they die so the preacher can say good things about them. You want the Preacher to say Good and Gentle things so you can leave with a “warm feeling” inside. And you definitely don’t want him to mention those things that make you feel bad; such as sin and hell and the cross.
If either of these is your idea of the Church then I hope God will help you to see today that the church is not “a necessary evil” but Necessary to combat Evil and Promote Eternal values.
THE CHURCH IS:
A) The House of God- The meeting place of the “Family of God”. (You must be “Born” into this family). The Church is the Place where the family meets to “eat” (either Milk or Meat- 1Cor 3:1-2, Heb 5:12-14), to receive discipline or encouragement, and to worship and witness about God.
B) Church of the Living God-Church here means “called out assembly”. As such it is an example to the rest of the world about what happens when men become new creatures in Christ. [Peter said it this way, Ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praise of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. I Pet 2:9]
1. Peculiar (Chosen)- called out assembly. In the world but not of it. We are supposed to be different.
2. Priesthood- To worship and work
3. Pure (Holy)- Set Apart For God. We Avoid Defilement and “Flirting” with the World
4. Praises- Songs, Testimonies. The Light of our lives show those in darkness that we know the way.
C) Pillar and ground of the Truth- The Church is built on the Rock (Jesus) and as such is the foundation of the Truth and our guide for life. The principles proclaimed in Church should allow you to build every area of your life from the “Bed room to the Board room” (Song of Sol- Ep 6:).
II. THE MESSAGE THE CHURCH PROCLAIMS– The Gospel of Christ. The Church is right only if its message is right! The good news the Church proclaims is that Christ has set us free from Sin’s Penalty, Sin’s Power, and will one day deliver us from Sin’s Presence.
Verse 16 is possibly the verse of a Hymn used by God hereto show the Christian Message we need to proclaim- And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory (1 Timothy 3:16).
Paul begins this great confession by calling it the Mystery of godliness. A “mystery” in Scripture is a truth previously hid but able to be understood when God reveals it. Some Bible Mysteries are the Mystery of the kingdom of God Jesus revealed to his disciples (Mk 4:11), the Mystery of the rapture (1Cor 15:51), the Mystery of the church as the bride of Christ (Eph 5:32), the Mystery of iniquity (2Thess 2:7), and the Mystery Babylon (Rev 17:5).
The “Mystery of Godliness” referred to here is that God would become flesh, live as a man, die for our sins, and be resurrected from the dead. For years the Jews had the idea the Messiah would come as a conquering King to make Israel the greatest nation on earth. As a result, they rejected, and eventually crucified Christ. Be careful when you try to make God say what you think he ought to say!
Paul listed 6 aspects of this mystery:
a. Christ appeared in a body. This is the doctrine of incarnation. God, a spirit, took up residence in a human body (John 1:14), was tempted like we are yet without sin (Heb 4:15), and died to pay the sin debt for all men. As a man Christ can understand my weakness (Heb 5:1-2) and my wickedness (Heb 2:17-18) and give me the aid I need. That the great God of the universe would love lowly man is a great thought. That he would become a man and die for mankind is beyond human comprehension!
b. He was justified (vindicated) in the spirit. At his baptism the spirit descended like a dove when the father announced him as the Beloved Son. Jesus said that his miracles were the result of the power of the spirit (Matt 12:28) and Paul said he was declared to be the son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead (Rom 1:4). There can be no doubt about the deity of Christ because of the witness of the Spirit. This same Spirit, living and working in a Christian, is also an evidence of that person’s relationship with God (Eph 1:13-14).
c. He was seen of Angels. Angels announced his birth (Luke 2:8-14), ministered to him at his temptation (Matt 4:11), strengthen him during his agony in the garden (Luke 22:43), announced his resurrection (Luke 24:4-5), and took part in his ascension (Acts 1:9-11). Since man was led into sin by a fallen angel and the angels who fell had no chance of redemption (2Peter 2:4), then the angels in heaven were very interested in how God would redeem man (2Peter 1:12).
d. He was preached unto the Gentiles (Nations). The redemption Christ provided is of no use unless it is proclaimed to lost men- How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Rom 10:14). The task of the Church is to proclaim Jesus Christ so as He is lifted up He will draw all men unto Himself (John 12:32).
e. He was Believed on in the world. Men must not only hear the gospel but they must also believe it. This belief not only changes a person but it also changes the world! Multitudes of people through the years have made known their faith in Jesus Christ and this faith living and working in them has changed people, families, communities, and nations.
f. He was received up into Glory. Christ ascended to heaven victorious over death, hell, and the grave. One day he will return to claim his bride as King of Kings and Lord of lords.
Truly this is a great message the Church has the privilege to proclaim. The foundation is sure; the Message is vital; Let us get to Work.
The Purpose of a Church is to:
- Build God’s Kingdom with converts and commitment
- Manifest God’s Glory to the world
- Function as the Body of Christ on earth
- Anticipate the return of the Son of God.
The Seven DUTIES OF A CHURCH
- Preach the Word of God- Evangelism –
- Teach the word of God- Christian Growth
- Live the Word of God- Discipleship
- Believe the Word of God- Prayer
- Defeat the devil with the Word of God- Victorious Living
- Claim the promises of the Word of God- Fellowship with God
- Prepare to meet the author of the Word of God- Deveolp an eternal Relationship with God
TURNING A STAGNET CHURCH INTO A SUCCESSFUL CHURCH
- Change the Preacher (Either Spiritually or Physically!)
- Change the Perception of the Church
- Remain Firm in the Fundamentals
- Know what you believe and believe what you believe.
- Evaluate “fad” beliefs before you jump on board
- Pray about giving $1,000 a month to help God’s work in India (Move the focus from our need to God’s Kingdom).
- Assign one person each service to give a testimony about how God is working in their life
- Understand that YOU are important to the work of God and the function of His Body. Be here and serve.
- Live so that people know you are expecting your Master to return at any moment- And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure (1 John 3:3).
IV. Guidelines from Prophecy Chapter 4
Having shown Timothy the qualification for pastors and deacons; and having shown him the foundation to build on, Paul now gives a prophecy about future false doctrines that Timothy should prepare for. (Isn’t it great that God gives us His word to lean on and a warning to look for? Sadly, many people look at the word and ignore the warnings and so find themselves in trouble).
A) False Doctrine to come.
1. The Source of the False Doctrines- Fallen Christians! (“Some shall depart from the Faith”). One of the saddest and most heartbreaking occurrences is when one of our own turns from God and attempts to lead us in “another way” instead of God’s Way (Satan once used Peter to try to lead Christ away from God’s Plan- Matt 16:23).
Paul warned these same Ephesians that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Acts 20:29-30. What a tremendous ripple effect it has on a denomination when key men have family or personal problems. What a devastating effect it has on a church when a pastor disobeys God in morals. What a tragedy it is when a church hangs fruitless on the vine year after year because members leave God’s plan for their lives and insist on their way instead of God’s way (Remember that Israel wandered in the wilderness for 40 years waiting on those that departed from the faith to die!)
The problem is that men depart from the faith (The teachings of Christ) and build a system of teaching that allows them to justify what they want to do. Somehow men feel more secure in their sin when they get others to follow their path (This just compounds the problem as many are now following the wrong path instead of the right one!) How sad it is when people follow personalities instead of the word of God (Be aware of this in the local church. Every church has “powerful personality people”and if they began to go astray they are generally able to carry a segment of the church with them).
This false doctrine is not always the case of the deity of Christ. It may be a question of whether the pastor will be the servant of the people or a slave to a person. It may be a question of whether the “Greeks” are getting less attention than the “Jews” (Acts 6). Or it may be that one of the church leaders has decided that their particular weakness (Sin) is not as bad as the preacher declares and so he builds a following to feel more confident.
Why would Christians allow this to happen? Paul tells Timothy that the problem is because they pay attention to:
A) Deceitful Spirits–Paul had earlier warned the Ephesians that we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places (Ephesians 6:12). Now he shows why the whole armor of God is needed to defeat these enemas. These deceitful spirits were leading Christians away from the service of God by seducing them with promises of more pleasure, and easier road, or our greater prestige. It is made to sound so good until the person looks, then lust, then leaves the way of faith to follow the broad road to destruction. (How easy it is to listen to the seducing spirit on Sunday morning when he says sleep in instead of go to church. Then you feel guilty so you began to say you not really enjoy the teaching or preaching anyway. Finally, you find someone who hurt your feelings and you cannot possibly go to a church where the people aren’t perfect!)
B) Doctrine of Devils- What are these Doctrines of Devils? Are they individuals who proclaim sex, murder, and drugs? No, they are people who proclaim salvation by self-effort instead of faith in the finished work of Christ. 1John 4:2-3 Hereby know ye the Spirit of God; every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God; and every spirit that confesses not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is the spirit of antichrist).
2. The Signs of the Doctrine.
A) Hypocritical Unconscionable liars- Having listened to the Seducing spirits and Doctrines of Devils, and having departed from the faith these people now seek to maintain outward appearance of righteousness so they resort to “Religion”. This form of religion produces homosexual preachers, social gospel, and Christians you cannot tell from the world. Paul told the Romans that God would give this type person over to a reprobate mind (Romans 1:28). It is such a mind (coupled with a seared conscience) that approve s murdering babies through abortion, being a drunken adulterer on Saturday night and teach a Sunday school class on Sunday, or crucified a man with slander behind his back and smilingly say that you love him to his face.
B) Substituting works of the Flesh for Faith. Paul gives 2 illustrations of things that sound good but are not what God wants.
(1) Forbidding to Marry- The Hypocrites disregarded marriage because of lust but these do so because of law. (Notice that the foundation of the Family is under attack from both sides). In Jesus’ day the Essenes felt that marriage was wrong. Then came the monks, Catholic Priest, and nuns. These feel that denying the flesh makes one righteous (Disregarding the fact that God ordained Marriage!). This will indeed make a person proud of his will power but it does not honor God (Col 2:23).
(2) Commanding to abstain from meats (Food in general; not just animal flesh as we know it today). The Jewish diet laws were being incorporated back into the plan of salvation and Paul wanted to warn Timothy about this. He gives some guidelines for food:
1. Food is God given; therefore it is not wrong to eat it! (Every creature of God is good and nothing to be refused).
2. What you eat should not be a stumbling block to others (It should be received with Thanksgiving by them who believe and know the truth). Your right to eat should not wound your weaker brother’s conscience (! Cor 8).
3. And Food should be received with a thankful attitude and dedicated to God by prayer and God’s word.
The thing to remember is that you can overstate what God has said and cause as much damage as the hypocritical liar does. The cause of Christ in our day has been hurt by some who, in their zeal, have made it a “Sin” to do almost everything. The Christian life for them is not an abundant life to live but a set of laws to keep.
Is it important that this type of false doctrine be exposed? If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained (1 Tim 4:6).
B) False Teachings to Challenge 4:7-11
The fables of “old wives” (Preference that sound good replace Biblical Principals). My home church used to think it was sinful to have a bulletin because that did not allow the spirit to lead but they always had to follow the same order of service. I was almost fired from a church once because I prayed a spontaneous prayer at the end of Sunday school instead of the Lord’s Prayer. Through the years I have heard sermons on “The sin of having insurance” (at a church that is now insurance poor!), “The sin of preaching from notes” (preached from notes!), and “A God called man does not need to study” (And it was obvious he had no!). The problem with fables is that they make common sense but not scriptural sense.
The folly of physical exercise: In a day when physical exercise has become a cult we need to heed Paul’s statements. Bodily exercise does a little good and therefore should not be abandoned but real discipleship ship includes godly exercise because godly exercise will help you in this life and in the life to come (Examples of godly exercises are found in vs 12-16). Just as physical exercises require discipline and sacrifice so godly exercises require discipline and sacrifice. You must set goals, make time, do it whether you feel like it or not, and accept the change it will make in your life.
The reason we stand against false teaching is because the purpose of our lives and teaching should be Jesus Christ. We should labor and suffer for him because he is the only hope of mankind. The salvation he offers is available to all but they must accept it by faith. We are to command and teach the true doctrine in order that men may believe (Rom 10). Don’t get caught up in seducing spirits that lead to false teaching.
C) Faithful Works are commanded 4:15-16. Paul now exhorts Timothy to some practical things for him to do that will enable him to withstand false teaching and false doctrines.
1) Be an Example vs 12 (Timothy was probably 35 to 40 years old. Some were disregarding his authority because they were older. Paul tells Timothy to stop letting them “push you around”. It is not your age that is in question but your authority). As a person who was licensed to preach at 14 years old and ordained at 16 I can relate to this. It was just recently that I finally had a Deacon younger than myself. I realized early that I not only had to display my authority but also show that I was worthy of being followed. This is why Paul tells Timothy to being an example in:
a. Word (speech)- Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man (Colossians 4:6).
b. Conversation (Manner of Life)- Live like a Christian
c. Charity (Love)- Know they are Christians by their Love.
d. Spirit (attitude)- Humble, serving spirit
e. Faith (Christian Living)- Show Christ.
f. Purity (Holiness)- Remember your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and the Display of your Discipleship.
2) Devote yourself to your task vs 13
a. In public reading of the Word (Church Attendance)
b. In exhortation (Preaching)
c. In doctrine (Teaching).
3) D not neglect our gifts vs 14. The divine enablement which was prophesied about you at your ordination.
4) Continually look at where you are going and what you are doing vs 15. When you lose sight of the goal you need to stop until you get your “vision” back. Do not run around in the dark making all kind of mistakes (Keep evaluating your work).
5. Realize your responsibility vs 16 What you preach will impact your faith and the Faith of those who hear you. Make sure it is the Gospel.
V. GUIDELINES FOR PRACTICAL CHURCH DUTIES- Chapter 5:1-16
Paul now goes from Principles to Practical Christian Living. Every one of his epistles is like this. He realizes that what you believe determines what you do and so he builds practice on Principles.
A) Relationships with various Ages vs 1-2
1. Elder Men: They are to be treated with respect even when they err. Learn not to disregard and criticize the counsel of the elderly. If they do make a mistake deal with them as you would with your own father.
2. Younger Men: As brothers in Christ we should respect one another, love one another, and accept one another’s differences.
3. Elder Women: Treat them with love and respect as you would your own mother.
4. Younger Women: Let your relationship be as if they were a sister; with the strictest regard to purity.
Intra-personal relationships probably cause more church problems that anything else. Christians need to realize their responsibilities to one another and live together as the Body of Christ.
B) Rules for Normal Help vs 3-8 Paul is specifically referring to widows here but the basic guidelines are such that the Church can follow them today in its help for the needy.
1. Family- The family of the person in need should care for that person if at all possible (If she is a “widow indeed”- therefore no family- then support should be given to her). Paul lists first the children and then the grandchildren (Nephews in Old English usage). The family is God’s basic unit and they should draw support from each other.
2. Faith- A widow deserving help is one who doesn’t have Family help (either because they can’t or won’t). She looks now to God for help (and He helps thru His People!), she prays, and she adjusts her lifestyle to her condition (to live in pleasure means to live delicately: therefore expecting life’s luxuries).
3. Folly- When a Christian fails to provide for his own family (when able) he has denied the very foundation of Christianity- I John 3:17 whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? (Jesus even condemned those who gave their possessions to the Church instead of caring for their family as they were supposed to- Matt 15:3-9 (Not normal tithes).
NOTE– The words “provide for” here carry the idea of future consideration. They mean that the person should not only care for the immediate needs of the family but should also plan for future needs- Retirement, School, illness, etc. (Which means it’s alright for it to frustrate me when a family calls and says they are on the way from “Point A” to “Point B” and have run out of money but when I question them find they didn’t have enough to make the trip when they started!! Or find that people have just bought an expensive Luxury and then need help paying their light bill that they knew was coming).
The Church should have an ACTIVE program of help for those who are truly in need. But any program should not foster Laziness (II Thess 3:10), take advantage of people’s goodness, or breakdown family responsibility.
C) Requirements of a Church Aid Program vs 9-16 There was no Social Security or Government aid program in Paul’s day so it was very difficult for Widows to provide their own living.
1. The Qualifications for enrollment (Evidently the Church had a program of aid that allowed Widows to minister in and for the Church and in turn the Church would take care of them. These widows were enrolled on a list and help was given to everyone on the list– the original reason for Deacons was to make sure each Widow was cared for).
a. A Widow over 60 years old
b. Must have a good reputation
c. Must have had a good Home Life
1) Not Divorced (this leads some to believe that these women served as some form of Deaconess. But it’s probably just God’s way of re-affirming the sanctity of marriage).
2) Raised Children- If she is to “teach young women” proper home life (Tit 2:4) then she must have had a proper home life
d. Hospitable- “Lodged Strangers”. Willing to be sociable (Her circumstances may force her to live with others)
e. Serving- “Washed the saints’ feet”. Not just a Free Will Baptist!!! Willing to serve for Christ’s sake.
f. Caring- “Relieved the afflicted”
g. Faith- “DILIGENTLY followed every good work”
2. Those to Refuse:
a. Younger Widows. They can and should remarry. If they join with the older widows problems will result because:
1) The younger Widows will become restless and want to remarry thus nullifying their commitment to full time service for Christ.
2) They will allow their free time to become idle time and fill it with gossip instead of spreading the Gospel. (Today we would say that women who spend time gossiping on the phone or watching “soap operas” need to find something constructive to do).
3) Advice for Younger Widows:
Guide the house (Manage the house as a Ministry)
Don’t allow your life to help Satan’s cause.
b. Those who have Family to support them. If those who can support their widows would do so then the Church would be more able to help those truly in need.
The idea is to help the person Spiritually as well as Physically. Don’t let your help cause the person to develop a careless Spiritual outlook or manner of life.
Things to Think on:
1. The Lord’s Rules for help seem to be harder than most people’s rules (Remember that it was 3 days before Jesus decided to feed the 4000- Mark 8:2-3).
2. The main condemnation of the Rich man was that he fared sumptuously every day while Lazarus did without at the gate-Lu 16:19 3. God provided the Children of Israel Manna but He required them to harvest it; and that on a set schedule.
VI. GUIDELINES IN POVERTY AND PROSPERITY Chapter 6
From whence come wars and fightings among you? Come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? (James 4:1).Most Church (and family) problems are caused by Discontent among people, wrong Doctrines, or bad Debts. Paul tells Timothy how to deal with all 3 in chapter 6 and in so doing shows us the kind of life we ought to have as a Christian.
A) THE PEACEFUL LIFE vs 1-5
1. Content with your Situation. 1-2 Paul told the Philippians he had LEARNED to be content in whatever state he found himself? (Phil 4:11). This means that if you’re a “slave” or a “master” use your situation to bring Glory to God (See I cor 7:20-24). Too many people never do anything for God because they’re too busy telling what they could do IF their situation were different. It’s not your situation but your attitude that determines your effectiveness. Are you dissatisfied with yourself (and with others) because you aren’t-willing to accept your place of Service? Remember that (Luke 16:10) He that is faithful in that which is least is faithful also in much: and he that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.
2. Content with God’s Salvation 3-5 (Based on turning from sin and trusting in Christ as Savior). Those who are discontent with God’s way try to revise or improve God’s Plan because they are:
a. Proud of Human Wisdom (See I Cor 1:19-20). They are really ever learning but never able to come to the knowledge of the truth (II Tim 3:7). Some people just will not accept what they can’t understand and Salvation is not by understanding but by FAITH.
b. passionate (Dote= excessive love) about “nit picking” questions.
These questions produce:
—ENVY- they that compare themselves among themselves are not wise (II Cor 10:12). Sometimes people question God’s Salvation because they envy the Sin of the Sinner or the Service of other Saints.
—STRIFE- Free Will Baptist believe in at least 3 major doctrines on when the rapture will take place and we can quarrel over that but we’d better KNOW how a person is saved! (It should cause strife if I tell people that their goodness or church membership will save them!)
—RAILING- (abuse, insults, and slander). Why I heard that he did “so and so”. He’s not saved! All of us have made mistakes but sometimes we forget how much we were forgiven when it comes to judging others (see Matt 18:22-35).
—EVIL SURMISING (Base suspicions)- I’m just as good as he isl He must be compromising to be so successful. (Some gain 5 talents, and some gain 2 talents but both are called faithful)
—All of this culminates in the PERVERSE DISPUTING of men (constantly quarreling and causing trouble) because they think that accumulating THINGS will satisfy the ache of their heart; not realizing that their heart will only be satisfied when they bow in submission to God.
Paul tells Timothy to “withdraw thyself” from these. Jesus did not argue with Satan. He simply showed him the Word. If a man will not accept God’s Word on Salvation then arguing won’t help.
B) THE PROFITABLE LIFE 6-10 Is serving God your goal? Or is Gold your God??
1. Godliness is commended 6-8
-The Profitable Life learns that true Contentment (an inner sufficiency that keeps us at peace in spite of outward circumstances) comes from godliness in the heart, not wealth in the hand.
-It seeks after Godlikeness in the spiritual while trusting with contented faith in God’s provision for the Physical (Mat 6:33) But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
-It learns to enjoy the luxuries of life, while knowing the real basics of life. Food and clothes are the only necessary things.. It’s when you begin to think everything else is necessary that you get in trouble.
2. Greediness is condemned 9-10 You don’t have to have a lot Of money to be greedy. The desire for Riches (“will be rich” “love of money”) is the problem.
This desire leads to TEMPTATION (to use ANY means to get gain) a SNARE (you make your own trap), and foolish and hurtful LUSTS (The. Desire for “things’ feeds off of itself and you just want more and more). It causes you to err from the Faith (By making gold your god) and pierces you with many sorrows (You lose your peace, you forsake your friends, and you turn from God. Now that’s sorrow!!)
NOTE–This does not mean that it’s wrong to try to improve your situation. If you can remain in God’s will and accumulate goods that’s fine. Just be sure it is in God’s will (Remember Lot in Gen 13 and the Rich Fool with the bigger barns in Luke 12:18
C) THE PURPOSEFUL LIFE 11-21
1. The Goal is Godliness 11-16 Godliness means:
a. Fleeing from some things. (In this case the snares of the Love of Money). Turning TO God means you turn FROM some things.
b. Follow (pursue) some things: Righteousness, Godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness (What are you aiming for in your Christian life? Happiness or Holiness??)
c. Fight the good fight of Faith- contend for the really worthwhile prize in life- a productive life for Christ. Keep the example of Christ ever before you and strive to match it.
2. The Gain is for God 17-i9. When God does Bless you with material possessions then keep this purpose in mind. Do not allow yourself to begin trusting in the false security of money. God has allowed you to have these things that you may enjoy Life. Don’t get caught up in the things; Live Life
And the secret of really living is learning to share what you have with others in need. (Paul says to share our works, our Wealth, and ourselves with others.)
3- The Godly are to be on Guard 20-21 We are to guard as a sacred trust the Truth of the Gospel against attacks from unholy and worthless words (Is your preaching or teaching words to fill an hour or a message to change a heart?) and from opposition from some who have substituted wisdom for Faith (Do you try to convince people or convert them??)