VANTAGE POINT: TIMOTHY

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1 Timothy is a young pastor in his 30 s So Paul tells Timothy, don t let any man despise your youth, but be an example to believers and unbelievers Then he instructs Timothy on how the church should be organized Now, Paul is instructing Timothy on how to pastor the different kinds of people in the church 1 Timothy 5:1 2 (NKJV) 5 Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, 2 older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. The first relationship Paul deals with is that of an older man As a younger man, Timothy is to show respect to older men But there are time when you need to confront sin in the life of an older man and thus Paul says exhort him as a father It s the same word that is used to describe the Holy Spirit Thus Timothy is not to rebuke an older man, but come alongside and encourage him, support him to make decisions that please the Lord To his peers, Timothy is to approach them like a brother To old women, as you would you mother Younger women as sisters with all purity This is something that should be emphasized because so many churches today are in trouble because a pastor has crossed a boundary with a young woman because they did not maintain a pure heart 1 Timothy 5:3 (NKJV) 3 Honor widows who are really widows. In Jewish culture, it was the responsibility for the children to take care of their mother after the father died In was also Greek law that sons and daughters were not only morally responsible but legally responsible to care for their parents. In fact, if you didn t take care of your parents you were considered unbelieving and hateful to the gods and to men It was not the purpose of the church to replace the family or become an excuse for children to evade their responsibility

2 1 Timothy 5:4 (NKJV) 4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. But there were times when a widow was truly a widow where there was no one to care for them 1 Timothy 5:5 8 (NKJV) 5 Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. 6 But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. 7 And these things command, that they may be blameless. 8 But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Paul says, if a widow has no one to care for them, let them devote themselves to prayer and trust God to provide But if the widow has a child that is not taking care of her that child has denied the faith! Strong words for those who don t care of their moms who are widows 1 Timothy 5:9 10 (NKJV) 9 Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, 10 well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. From this passage it appears the church at Ephesus had a list of widows and from this list they determined the services they qualified for If they were over 60, they were cared for if they had been the wife of one man, was a servant in the church, someone who cared for others, had children and was faithful in serving the Lord 1 Timothy 5:11 12 (NKJV) 11 But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, 12 having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.

3 Young widows, those under 60, weren t to be cared for Because they would want to remarry and find a new husband You don t want to put them in a position where they feel like they re leaving their faith or leaving the church because they want to get married And I ve seen young newly single women who were widowed or divorced and the woman is serving at church but then meets a guy and they leave the church to go to where the man is That s appropriate, so don t make it harder on them by supporting them Let their family take care of them or let them take care of themselves 1 Timothy 5:13 15 (NKJV) 13 And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. 14 Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. 15 For some have already turned aside after Satan. Young widows need to stay busy with family If they have too much time on their hands, they start causing problems Not only do they become lazy, but they become gossips and busybodies So it s better for them to get remarried, have more kids or manage their hour and not give the devil an opportunity by saying something they regret 1 Timothy 5:16 (NKJV) 16 If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows. If you re mom is widowed, and I think in our day and age divorced, then it s your job as their kids to help them It s not the churches job to do that It s the churches job to care for those who don t have family 1 Timothy 5:17 18 (NKJV) 17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture

4 says, You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain, and, The laborer is worthy of his wages. Now Paul is talking about overseers those who rule He s not talking about older men, although in the early church the oversight was primarily given to older men to the elders Timothy was considered young at 35 Recently at one of the pastor s conferences, it was said why are all the speakers old men, why aren t there speakers under 50? One of the speakers said well, go out and learn something and when you have, come and speak to us One of the problems with entrusting leadership to young leaders is they often struggle with pride and arrogance They are more likely to confuse their pride and arrogance for the leading of the Holy Spirit or the will of God and often cause unnecessary problems in their exuberance With age comes wisdom because you ve lived enough life to have something to say Those who rule well are worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine We live in an information society where everything can be googled and anyone can be challenged There was a time when the pastor was the expert on the Bible Now google is the expert on the Bible But Paul says those elders who rule well, especially who labor in the word and doctrine are worthy of double honor He s talking about supporting them financially and practically When the ox was grinding the grain, if you didn t want the ox to eat any of the grain you would put a muzzle over their mouth Paul said don t muzzle the ox let him eat while he s doing the work The laborer is worthy of his wages I ve had people come up to me and ask what I m being paid for I ve had people tell me that I m being overpaid I only work a couple hours a week I only do a couple messages a week They don t see the amount of time it takes to put a study together

5 To do a midweek study I ll often spend 15 hours on preparation To do a Sunday morning I ll spend another 8 On top of that are the ministry hours spent praying for people, caring for people, visiting people, being on call 24/7, preparing to lead worship On top of that are the administrative hours spent updating websites, making sure communication is happening, designing really bad artwork, making sure the practical needs of a building are being cared for If you were to ask my family, they would tell you that my 2 sermons a week job can keep me 6-7 days a week and long into the night Then someone comes up to me and says I went on google and google doesn t agree with your teaching so I m leaving the church It doesn t matter how much time I ve invested in someone s life, how much time away from my family it s cost me to minister to these people When something better comes along, they re down the road because it s what they do it s how they are Paul says don t be like that give honor where honor is due 1 Timothy 5:19 20 (NKJV) 19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all, that the rest also may fear. If someone comes up to you complaining about a pastor, rebuke them in the presence of all that s what Paul says Why? So that everyone will learn to respect those in leadership In fact, you are not even to receive an accusation against an elder unless it comes from 2 or 3 witnesses which means what? The first two steps of Matthew 18 has happened They approached the elder first and they went to him with 2 or 3 witnesses and now they are going to the church I was in a church where a board member who would take it on themselves to meet with people who left the church and hear their accusations Then they began to pass judgment on the pastor They eventually left the church because they had received accusations against a pastor and could no longer support the pastor Paul says we re not to do this

6 1 Timothy 5:21 22 (NKJV) 21 I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality. 22 Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people s sins; keep yourself pure. What Paul is saying is extremely important I charge you before God and if that s not enough, before the Lord Jesus and if that s not enough before the elect angels this is heavy stuff He says observe these things without prejudice and do nothing without partiality In other words, don t treat something differently based on what you see, the color of their skin, their race And don t give preferential treatment because of their wealth, their status, their gifts, their talents, their connections God is no respecter of persons He doesn t give anyone special treatment And then the warning do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people s sins; keep yourself pure When a person was appointed to an office within the church, they would lay hands on that person and pray for them Paul says, don t lay hands on someone too soon Don t promote a novice into a position of Spiritual authority too soon Now this is often ignored and much of the problems we see in the church today is because someone had hands laid on them too suddenly and they became proud and arrogant Churches that raise up famous Hollywood personalities or sports figures because they ll draw a crowd and they destroy them by raising them up too quickly If they fall, because you raised them up too soon you share in their sin Paul says give them time to mature, to develop and grow 1 Timothy 5:23 (NKJV) 23 No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach s sake and your frequent infirmities. Obviously this isn t talking about drinking, this is talking about medicinal purposes

7 1 Timothy 5:24 25 (NKJV) 24 Some men s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. 25 Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden. Some sins are out in the open and some are hidden, but all will be judged Same with good works some are out in the open and some are hidden but all will be rewarded 1 Timothy 6:1 2 (NKJV) 6 Let as many bondservants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed. 2 And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things. Now Paul is addressing how Christians in the work place are to deal with each other Employees are to respect their bosses so they will not blaspheme God I ve heard employers say they will never hire a Christian because of their poor work ethic that should never be true of a Christian If your boss is a Christian, then be even more diligent in serving them because you re blessing another Christian so be a blessing 1 Timothy 6:3 5 (NKJV) 3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, 4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions, 5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself. Godliness teaches us honesty It teaches fairness, diligence, consideration, kindness, sensitivity These are the godly characteristics that we are to possess

8 Christians are to be upstanding citizens, an honor and credit to a community The community should be better off because of the presence of Christians And if any man teaches otherwise If they don t encourage wholesome living or living that is in agreement with the teachings of Jesus and to godly living That person is proud and knows nothing even though he professes to know much They get involved in all kinds of disputes and arguments over words They get caught up in envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions oh those people are talking about me, the useless arguments and discussion of people with corrupt minds, who are destitute of the truth They are obsessed with whatever will give them prominence, prestige, power or money using ministry for personal gain Paul says withdraw yourself from such people 1 Timothy 6:6 10 (NKJV) 6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain. 7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. Godliness brings contentment We brought nothing in, we carry nothing out Everything we have been entrusted with is provided by God to live a life of contentment, to bless our families and to bless others God gives man the ability to make wealth We re not to be greedy for something God has not provide Because the love of money is the root of all evil It s the door that has led many people away from the faith and it fill their life with many sorrows 1 Timothy 6:11 16 (NKJV)

9 11 But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness. 12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses. 13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate, 14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ s appearing, 15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords, 16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen. Instead of being greedy pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness Instead of being greedy Fight the good fight without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ s appearing 1 Timothy 6:17 19 (NKJV) 17 Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. 18 Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, 19 storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life. Paul began the chapter addressing employees, servants Now he ends by exhorting the rich people He says don t let the rich people think their riches elevate them of put them above others when we stand before God People who receive wealth get it from wise investments or a large inheritance God is the one who blesses investments God is the one who blesses a family to be able to pass on a large inheritance Thus, all riches come from God and God gives us riches to enjoy Since God has blessed you with riches, use them for good, be willing to share, use your riches to store up treasures in heaven, invest in eternal things, invest in ministry If you ve your riches come from wise investments, make the wisest investment you can make and invest in the Kingdom of God

10 1 Timothy 6:20 21 (NKJV) 20 O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge 21 by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen. Science is the study of facts True science deals with facts, not theories, especially unproven theories Modern scientists wrongly call unproven theories science and although they can t prove their theories if you disagree you re unscientific They are defending idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge Unfortunately, there are Christians who find unproven theories more truthful than actual facts and by embracing these lies they stray from the faith One of those lies that is gaining ground is people are born homosexual, it s genetic Even though there is no scientific evidence to support such a claim However, the facts show that all homosexuality can be traced to seduction, coercion, abuse or neglect whether intentional or unintentional The gospel doesn t ignore reality The gospel confronts reality with a greater reality and provides the answer Jesus Christ As Christians we are to guard what was committed to our trust Don t let the influences of the Gnostics cause you to doubt your faith or cause others to doubt their faith

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