Wednesday, August 26, 2009

It Will All Become Obvious

1 Timothy 5:11-17

I. Treat Widows Properly

A. Unless widows are treated properly, there is no point to the rest of sound doctrine; John Wesley argued, “Put first things first.” Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.” (James 1:27)

B. Paul is not talking about creating a class of perhaps useful dependents; using unhappy situations to impose impossible restrictions on people is fundamentally wrong. “But the younger widows refuse: for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry; Having damnation, because they have cast off their first faith.” (1 Timothy 5:11-12)

C. Imperfect solutions can transform into major problems; do it right the first time. “And withal they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house; and not only idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.” (1 Timothy 5:13) She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.” (Proverbs 31:27) “Out of the same mouth proceedeth blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not so to be.” (James 3:10)

D. The right solution to challenges prevents making the church vulnerable to attacks from enemies. “I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some are already turned aside after Satan.” (1 Timothy 5:14-15) “Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumblingblock or an occasion to fall in his brother’s way.” (Romans 14:13)

E. Avoid behavior which even looks questionable. Abstain from all appearance of evil.” (1 Thessalonians 5:22)

F. Christian families must do their duty rather than throw challenges at the church. If any man or woman that believeth have widows, let them relieve them, and let not the church be charged; that it may relieve them that are widows indeed.” (1 Timothy 5:16)

II. Enable the Ministry

A. Do what must be done so that ministers can do their work; churches benefit from full-time ministers. Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.” (1 Timothy 5:17)

B. People cannot sustain themselves on voluntary, unpaid work; extrapolate from the rest of working life. “For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.” (1 Timothy 5:18)

C. One of the most important assets a minister brings to his work is his reputation; weakening the pastor inherently weakens the congregation. “Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.” (1 Timothy 5:19)

D. Transparency, not cover-up, intimidates potential sinners. Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear. (1 Timothy 5:20)

III. Believers Must Behave Faithfully

A. Demanding godly behavior is a critical part of leadership; good leaders will be faithful and impartial. I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality. (1 Timothy 5:21)

B. Going by the book excludes shortcuts and the pitfalls they conceal. Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.” (1 Timothy 5:22)

C. Good behavior will not lead a person to neglect basic life necessities; God is not expecting us to do His work for Him. “Drink no longer water, but use a little wine for thy stomach’s sake and thine often infirmities.” (1 Timothy 5:23)

D. Everything will become obvious in the end. Some men’s sins are open beforehand, going before to judgment; and some men they follow after. Likewise also the good works of some are manifest beforehand; and they that are otherwise cannot be hid.” (1 Timothy 5:24-25)

E. The church will not escape the judgment sweeping the world; in fact, account settling will begin with the church. “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17)

Blog Archive