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Category Archives: I Timothy 3

An Examination of I Timothy 3:12-16 (Part 9-Final): A Great Creed!

This is our last post on our study of I Timothy 3. We are looking forward to our trip to New Jersey, September 28 to October 7. For our Sunday School on October 6 we will be looking at the 2nd half of I Timothy 3. Let’s look at our passage one last time  —

Verse 16 concludes this chapter and Paul’s instructions about overseers, deacons, deaconesses, and behavior in the “household of God.” And what a marvelous concluding verse it is! Here’s what we read:

“Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”

If that doesn’t sound like an early Christian creed, I don’t know what would be! The editors of the NIV (and other translations) center the 2nd half of this verse, indicating that it was perhaps a commonly-used statement of faith which believers recited! Here’s my suggestion concerning these six great affirmations:

 

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2019 in I Timothy 3

 

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An Examination of I Timothy 3:12-16 (Part 7): Deacons as Faithful Family Managers

Let’s continue our study of I Timothy 3:12-16 as we get ready for our trip to New Jersey, September 28 to October 7. For Sunday School on October 6 we will be looking at the 2nd half of I Timothy 3. Let’s look at our passage one more time —

Paul returns to the topic of deacons for a few moments and adds one more major qualification followed by a strong commendation. The qualification is familial — he must be faithful to his wife and manage his children and his household well.

“Manage” his children?! In our culture the very idea of proactive, directive, authoritarian parenting is, in some places, ridiculed! Some today even suggest that we shouldn’t tell our children what gender they are, but leave it up to them to engage in self-discovery!

There is a world of difference between a father being a godly, committed manager of his family and a dictatorial despot who abuses his wife and kids. And deacons need to model biblical fatherhood before a confused and crazy world.

Paul also gives a promise of a great commendation. Those who serve well as deacons receive two benefits: (1) They gain an excellent standing (before God), and (2) they gain great assurance in their faith (v. 13). The faithful deacon, one might say, receives God’s external approval and an internal assurance in their service.

I certainly want an “excellent standing” and a “great assurance” before the Lord, don’t you? Pray for the deacons in your church that they would long for the same. (to be continued)

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 21, 2019 in I Timothy 3

 

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An Examination of I Timothy 3:12-16 (Part 6): Behaving Yourself!

Getting ready for our trip to New Jersey, September 28 to October 7. I get to teach Sunday School at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel on both September 29 and October 6.

We’ve looked at I Timothy 3 (vv. 1-11) in our previous five posts. Let’s begin a brief study of I Timothy 3:12-16. There we read —

A few observations as we begin thinking through this second part of I Timothy 3:

1. Paul has returned to the topic of deacons (vv. 12-13). Leadership matters in the local church — and deacons are not just table servants (as some interpret Acts 6).
2. Paul then gives his reasons for instructing these believers — they need to know how to conduct themselves in God’s household (v. 15).
3. He then provides one of the earliest creedal statements in all of Scripture in verse 16. He is speaking of the “mystery” from which true godliness springs. And that “mystery” is none other than Christ — incarnated, resurrected, preached, believed on, and glorified!

What greater foundation could Paul have for instructing us how to behave ourselves in the church than the Person and Work of the Lord Jesus?

Thank the Lord today for the solid foundation we have for conducting ourselves properly among God’s people! (to be continued)

 

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 20, 2019 in I Timothy 3

 

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An Examination of I Timothy 3:1-11 (Part 5): Deaconesses?

My, are we getting to travel this year! Three weeks in Myanmar. A week in Colorado. Two weeks in Germany. Another week in Colorado. About ten days (coming up) in New Jersey. A month or so in Africa! Wow!

Linda and I are looking forward to our NJ trip from September 28 to October 7. I will be preaching at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel and I get to teach Sunday School both September 29th and October 6th on the assigned text of I Timothy 3.  For September 29 we will look at verses 1-11; for October 6th at I Timothy 3:12-16. Let’s take one more look at this first part of I Timothy 3 (vv. 1-11):

The “task” of being an “overseer” is a noble one, one which is described by one of Paul’s six “trustworthy sayings.” The characteristics of those who would be overseers are quite high. There are positive qualities (above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach) and negative characteristics (not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money). He must be a real family man and have a good reputation with outsiders.

The qualifications for deacons are also quite high (vv. 8-10). What is interesting about the qualifications for deacons is the theological one (must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith) and the fact that a potential deacon should first be tested!

In this last post on I Timothy 3:1-11, let’s notice the category of “the women” (v. 11). These may well be the wives of the deacons. Or this could be a third category of servant leadership in the church — deaconesses. Four qualities must mark these women: worthy of respect, not malicious talkers, but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

Before we move on to I Timothy 3:12-16, may I ask you to speak some encouraging words to those who serve your church as elders, deacons, and, perhaps, deaconesses? (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2019 in I Timothy 3

 

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An Examination of I Timothy 3:1-11 (Part 4): Qualifications of DEACONS!

Another trip to New Jersey! Linda and I will be there from September 28 to October 7. I will be preaching at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel and I get to teach Sunday School both September 29th and October 6th! My assigned passage is I Timothy 3. We’ll look at verses 1-11 for September 29 and then later at I Timothy 3:12-16 for the October 6th Sunday School. Let’s take a further look at this first part of I Timothy 3 (vv. 1-11):

We’ve seen that the “task” of being an “overseer” is a noble one, one which is described by one of Paul’s six “trustworthy sayings.”

This passage divides nicely into (1) qualifications for overseers (vv. 1-7); (2) qualifications for deacons (vv. 8-10); and (3) a comment about either the wives of the deacons or a 3rd category of leadership: deaconesses (v. 11).

The qualifications for overseers, if one examines them closely, could be divided into (1) personal qualities; (2) relational qualities; (3) family qualities; and (4) external qualities.

Satan is deeply invested in messing up the leadership in the local church — we read that one aspiring to be an overseer must not be a “recent convert” because of the temptation of becoming conceited & falling “under the same judgment as the devil” (v. 6). The one aspiring to leadership must have a good reputation with “outsiders” so that “he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap” (v. 7).

We then read of the qualifications of those who wish to serve as deacons (vv. 8-10). Their qualifications are personal (“worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain”) and theological (“must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience”). A TEST is required before such a person serves as a deacon (v. 10)! [Interesting that such a “test” is not mentioned about the overseers. But is assumed?].

Would you pray for those who serve as deacons in your church? I just did.

(to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 18, 2019 in I Timothy 3

 

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An Examination of I Timothy 3:1-11 (Part 3):What’s THE DEVIL Got to Do with It?

Linda and I are looking forward to our New Jersey visit September 28 to October 7. I get to preach at Cedarcroft Bible Chapel — and — teach Sunday School both Sundays! My assigned passage is I Timothy 3. We’ll look at verses 1-11 for September 29 and then later at I Timothy 3:12-16 for the October 6th Sunday School. Let’s take a third look at this first part of I Timothy 3 (vv. 1-11):

1. We saw in our last post that the “task” of being an “overseer” is a noble one, one which is described by one of Paul’s six “trustworthy sayings.”

2. The passage divides nicely into (1) qualifications for overseers (vv. 1-7); (2) qualifications for deacons (vv. 8-10); and (3) a comment about either the wives of the deacons or a 3rd category of leadership: deaconesses (v. 11).

3. The qualifications for overseers are quite high, aren’t they? Examining those characteristics closely, one could divide them into (1) personal qualities; (2) relational qualities; (3) family qualities; and (4) external qualities.

4. I am particularly intrigued by the references to the devil in verses 6-7. One aspiring to be an overseer must not be a “recent convert” because of the temptation of becoming conceited and falling “under the same judgment as the devil.” And his external reputation with “outsiders” must be praiseworthy so that “he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.” Wow. Satan is deeply invested in messing up the leadership of the local church, isn’t he? (to be continued)

 

 

 
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Posted by on September 17, 2019 in I Timothy 3

 

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An Examination of I Timothy 3:1-11 (Part 2): TRUSTWORTHY Sayings!

As Linda and I plan on visiting New Jersey September 28 to October 7, I’ll be teaching Sunday School both Sundays and my assigned passage is I Timothy 3.

We’ll look at I Timothy 3:1-11 for September 29 and then later at I Timothy 3:12-16 for the October 6th Sunday School. Let’s continue thinking through that first part of I Timothy 3 (vv. 1-11):

What do we learn here about “overseers”:

1. First, it would be helpful to collect all the “trustworthy sayings” to which Paul refers. The Apostle uses that expression in the following passages: I Tim. 1:15; 3:1; 4:9; II Tim. 2:11; Titus 1:9; and Titus 3:8. Here’s a simple chart I put together of those “trustworthy sayings”:

At the very least, we have to say that aspiring to be an overseer in the church is a God-honoring, worthy desire!

 
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Posted by on September 16, 2019 in I Timothy 3

 

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An Examination of I Timothy 3:1-11 (Part 1): God’s Concern for LEADERS!

Friends: Some of you know that Linda and I will be traveling to the pagan land of New Jersey September 28 to October 7. Cedarcroft Bible Chapel is having me speak on the two Sundays September 29 and October 6. I also get to teach Sunday School both Sundays and I’ve been assigned I Timothy 3 as my text. This morning let’s begin a multi-part study of that passage.

We’ll look at I Timothy 3:1-11 for September 29 and then later at I Timothy 3:12-16 for the October 6th Sunday School.

Let’s begin with a few observations of this text:

1. First, this passage is clearly a discussion of leadership in the church. Verses 1-7 are about overseers and verses 8-10 concern deacons. Verse 11 may be speaking about deaconesses.
2.The qualifications for both these offices (overseers and deacons) are quite extensive.

May I ask you this morning to take a few minutes to pray specifically for the leaders in your church — the elders and deacons who seek to serve Christ as they serve you?

I just did this. Join me? (to be continued)

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2019 in I Timothy 3

 

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