All Christians are called by God to Christlike, Spirit-empowered ministry.
Anointed by God with the Holy Spirit, Jesus went about doing good (Acts 10:38). Christian ministry is not simply doing good. Any person saved or not can show actions of kindness by helping others. But, if we want to change the heart of man, our actions must be powered by the Holy Spirit! When we are anointed in our work, the effect on others lives is not only more than temporary but places an imprint on the heart. The way we speak, greet and love others is the characteristic of salvation. While good people may continue to do good, the unction from the Spirit will cause the difference that points people directly to the one true helper Jesus Christ. I don’t want to miss one divine appointment!
GOLDEN TEXT: 1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee…….Paul instructed Timothy to take heed or get a firm grip on self, and unto instruction! In order to follow the commands of Christ we must first get control of ourselves, and the only way to do that is give all control into Christ! Think about that word control. When you are driving a car you have full control of not only the direction of the vehicle, but the speed that Powers it! The amazing thing about control is the fact that no person can take it from you. Control is a choice in life that cannot be diverted by any person unless we lay it down. Our relationship with Christ is the same way. When we take the proper steps and continue in them, we give Christ full control and nothing can change it!…….Think about the word doctrine, the meaning is instruction. Too many times in my life I’ve tried to put things together without instructions and the end result was either incomplete or a total mess. It’s the same way with trying to live and walk in a Christian life without following instruction! The Word of God has everything we need for every direction in our life. As long as we follow His instruction we will not fail!
EXEMPLIFY CHRISTIAN CHARACTER
A. Instruction for Pastoral Leaders
1Ti 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop (pastor or overseer), he desireth a good work.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
1Ti 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1Ti 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
1Ti 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
…….Paul said that the office of a bishop is a good work. While the work is good and very rewarding at times, it also comes with the greatest battles. To see ones who continue to fall no matter how much time has been spent in counseling and conversation, through the prayers, love and concern, this must be the hardest calling to fulfill. This is why a pastor or any church leader must be qualified for the work. It’s not always how to take action before a situation, but how you react to situations. A pastor must strive to be patient and display temperance through all situations. Just as it is a good work, it may equally be a hard and tiring work. This is why it is important to love and always show appreciation to our pastor!
1Ti 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
…….It is easy for beginner ministers to be overtaken by self pride when ministry is having positive outcomes. This is why it is important that the church be careful in appointing the right ministers at the right spiritual age. The most effective minister is a humble minister.
1Ti 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
…….We must with all personal ability, Fight to have a good name amongst all men. I pray to the Lord that when my life is over, even by my worst enemies, all men can say that I was a good man who loved his God and others, and served the Lord.
B. Instructions for Lay Leaders
1Ti 3:8 Likewise must the deacons (pastoral helpers) be grave (balanced), not doubletongued (telling two different stories), not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre (gain, of worldly possessions);
…….What a controversy people get caught into with this scripture alone. Wine in the Greek (oinos) means “the blood of the grape” which is either fermented or non fermented grape juice. Too many times in scripture it is instructed to remain sober and avoid strong drink. Wine and it’s alcoholic content was nothing back then as it is today, but even then it was instructed to be careful of its intoxicating effects.
1Ti 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
…….Every Christian should have a pure and sound conscience.
1Ti 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
1Ti 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
1Ti 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
1Ti 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
…….Living a Godly life and doing Christian Ministry with integrity is, first of all, and most of all, about doing what is right and pleasing to God. Any Christian leader who does this will gain respect and trust from others, and will have from God all the faith and spiritual power needed to serve successfully. When those who minister to us have the qualifications set forth in the New Testament, we ought to affirm their ministry by giving them our support in every way we can. We need spiritual leaders who will minister effectively to us, and they also need us to minister to them with our prayers and moral support.
DEVOTE YOURSELF TO MINISTRY
A. Perpetuate the Truth
1Ti 4:8 For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
……. The “bodily exercise” mentioned in verse 8 should not be confused with physical exercise. The bodily exercise which Paul described as being almost worthless, consisted of various ritualistic activities, such as washing of the body, dietary practices, and punishments of the body, all done in vain attempt to make one sale holy. These practices were useless for cultivating a holy life.
1Ti 4:9 This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation.
1Ti 4:10 For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe.
1Ti 4:11 These things command and teach.
……. Paul instructed Timothy not to waste time on worthless fleshy and ritual practices, but to devote himself to obtaining godliness by faith in Christ and obedience to the word of God. Godliness is beneficial to us, not only in our life here, but also for our eternal life to come.
B. Be a Good Example
1Ti 4:12 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.
…….In Timothy’s time frame, much value was placed on age and experience. But Paul here encouraged Timothy to prove himself in the Lord by the characteristics that come only through living and abiding by the Spirit. God doesn’t determine his stamp of approval by age, but by allowing the Spirit to prove itself inside of you.
1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
1Ti 4:14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
1Ti 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
…….Paul here encourages Timothy to have discipline in everything that compliments being a member of the Body of Christ. Our dedication and attendance in everything we do has one of the greatest affects on the outcome of our Spiritual walk and example to others.
MINISTER TO FELLOW CHRISTIANS
A. Provide for Your Own
…….These following scriptures sum up the meaning of mutual respect amongst the church body.
1Ti 5:1 Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
1Ti 5:2 The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
1Ti 5:3 Honour widows that are widows indeed.
1Ti 5:4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
1Ti 5:5 Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
1Ti 5:6 But she that liveth in pleasure is dead while she liveth.
1Ti 5:7 And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.
1Ti 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.
B. Deal Justly With Others
1Ti 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
1Ti 5:18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward.
……. The elders mentioned in these verses were not old are Christians. The elder was one whom we today call a pastor. While the church today labels church leaders differently, any ministry leader then was considered a pastor, while what we today call the pastor was then a bishop.
1Ti 5:19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.
1Ti 5:20 Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.
1Ti 5:21 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.
1Ti 5:22 Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.
The church is composed of believers in Christ with many different backgrounds-ethnic, social, cultural, economic, educational, occupational, and professional. Nevertheless, in the church we all have one Savior and Lord who is Christ one father in heaven who is God, and we are brothers and sisters in the great family of God. Respecting these facts and our relationships, we are to reverence God, honor Christ, and minister to one another according to our needs. The Bible condemns Christians who pronounce blessings on needy fellow Christians, but then do nothing substantive to help them. The church is a family of believers in Christ, and as such it must be a friend to all the individuals and families of the congregation.