1 Timothy "Church Organization and Our Deepening Focus"
Each book in the Bible gently guides God's people into a more intimate relationship with their Creator, as He knows must occur, for His people to receive Him in the depth of the relationship that He purchased for them. Each day we are covering, in sequential order, one of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament and explaining how each of them is revealing God in a more intimate way than has been given to this point in the scriptures.
Today is the fifteenth day of the series, “The Progressive Revelation of Jesus Christ” and the book is, 1 Timothy, the fifteenth book in the New Testament as it appears in our Bible. 1 Timothy is a letter written to a young, but mature Christian. The emphasis of the letter is to instruct how the church administration team is to be structured, what the responsibilities of the church are, how the people in the church are to live, and what the focus of a believer should be.
Paul tells his disciple Timothy, “But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully; Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient,…and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;” Paul was not against the Law in his writings, but certainly explained why the Law exists. He referred to it as a schoolmaster in a previous book and has now made it clear that it is for sinners. Paul continues by telling, “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.” This is an awesome gift that God has given to His people through Paul being an example for us to understand how lovingly merciful God is to His people. If God used Paul to write almost half of the books in the New Testament, and Paul had done what he’d done in the past; then God will certainly use a lot of other people who know they are not worthy by their own works.
Paul sets the church’s administration up by writing, “A bishop then must be…” and “Likewise must the deacons be…” Paul instructing Timothy how to set the church’s leaders in place and what their qualifications should be is completely new in the New Testament church, and it tells us a lot about how It is progressing just like our revelation of the relations can be deepening as well. The one’s who qualify to lead the church are the ones who are leading lives that are pleasing to God. Paul never mentions a person’s financial status; instead, he talks about how the man’s reputation is and how he leads his family giving us insight to what the values should be in the church.
Paul then clears up some of the old legalistic ways by writing, “For it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.” This is boldly speaking what Jesus came and lived in front of everyone, but people were still misunderstanding what was spoken and shown; just like many organizations and groups of people are still today.
Paul now continues his writings from the last couple of books about working to provide for one’s own physical needs; even furthering it by writing, “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.” In the previous statement he wrote, “If a man does not work, neither shall he eat”, and now he is worse than an infidel, if he does not supply for his family, widow mother, or aunt.
In the last chapter of the book, Paul writes, “And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.” This is a bold statement against the “Prosperity Movement” that looks for signs and wonders, and health, wealth, and worldly success. Paul does not say having things is wrong, but boldly speaks out against the focus being on acquiring the things of the world.
The examples in this blog are only a limited sample of the deepening relational revelation described through the letter of “1 Timothy” which include how the church’s administration should be set up, the function of the church, how the people in the church should live in their community, and what a true believer’s focus should be.
The intent of the blog is to demonstrate the difference in the revelation that God gives to His people as they intently follow Him and focus on what He has told them through their individual lives and the revelation they’ve received through the Holy Spirit and His Holy Bible.