“A Noble Task” May 18, 2014 1 Timothy 3:1-16
Introduction • Good Morning! • What kind of person did Paul suggest to Timothy makes a good leader in the church • What kind of person did Paul suggest to Timothy makes a good deacon in the church (and what is a deacon exactly?) • What motivated Paul to pursue this line of discussion with Timothy, and more specifically, was Paul intending to write some sort of church operating manual, or was he pursuing an altogether different goal. • Non-inclusive language
Overseer • What is an overseer? • Episkopē • Bishop, superintendent, elder, leader, overseer • Acts 20 – terms interchangeable • Acknowledging existing leadership structure • Commenting on current and future leaders • Overseer – “keep watch over the flock” and “Be shepherds of the church of God”, knowing that “savage wolves will come in and not spare the flock” (Acts 20:28-29)
Overseer • Someone who receives the call to participate in the leadership of God’s people, for the good of God’s kingdom. • Our church – Leadership Team (also Pastors) • We’ll call them overseers • Their qualifications, their character, or their duties? • A noble task (v1), “Here is a trustworthy saying” • Paul creating his own lingo
Overseer • Someone who receives the call to participate in the leadership of God’s people, for the good of God’s kingdom. • Our church – Leadership Team (also Pastors) • We’ll call them overseers • Their qualifications, their character, or their duties? • A noble task (v1), “Here is a trustworthy saying” • Paul creating his own lingo • I try to do this but wife.
Overseer to Be: • Above reproach, blameless, fortified against moral assault • We (the whole church) often choose poorly on this characteristic alone.
Overseer • My friend Happy • We don’t leaders who are simply above others in society. We want leaders who are above reproach. • Husband of one wife • One woman man – not a “2 – or – more woman man” • The overseer ought to be temperate, self-controlled, respectable, and able to teach. • A Picture of stability
Overseer • Come to in a crisis • Not intentionally hurtful or abusive • Able to teach • Key word “able” • Small groups, individual discussions, etc.
An Overseer is Not: • He is Not given to drunkenness (v3), Not violent, but gentle, Not quarrelsome, and Not a lover of money. Not intentionally hurtful or abusive • Things that draw us away from God • Drunkenness corrupts (Eph 5:18) • “A Bruiser” • Not a lover of Money (ch 5).
An Overseer: • Finally, Paul leaves us with three more detailed categories. The overseer must: Manage his own family well (v4-5), not be a recent convert (v6), and have a Good reputation with outsiders (v7). • Seen the church act poorly on the concept of “Manage one’s family” • “If anyone does not know how to manage his only family, how can he take care of God’s church?”)(v5) • A leader has to be “on it” • Qualification, Character, or Duty?
A Deacon: • What is a Deacon? • A role of significance (see Geoff, last week) • Common role in early church, a type of servant-leader • Less leading, more serving • Irony: Goal of leader – more servant • Qualities necessary are similar to the Overseer
A Deacon: • They are to be Worthy of respect (v8), Sincere, Not indulging in much wine, Not pursuing dishonest gain. • Likely responsible for the money (not pursuing dishonest gain important then) • They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience (v9). • Not required to teach though. • Faithful to wives • Tested (see, Fee, 1987) – meaning looking for those who might pass the test.
Woman Deacons • Not Deacons wives (mentioned in the next verse) • Paul pushing boundaries • They, in addition to the previous qualities, ought to be not malicious talkers and temperate and trustworthy in everything (v11)
Deacons • Excellent standing and great assurance (speaking boldly) • Pillar?
Purpose? • Qualification, Character, or, Duty? • Character • NIV – “Qualifications for Overseers…” unfortunate • Nearly nothing about duties, less about structure short of its existence • PE often treated as “church manual” • But if it’s a “church manual” it’s terribly incomplete. • Real and Living situation
Purpose? • Major issue: False teachers • (1:3) stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. • Who? • Often outsiders
Purpose? • Be shepherds of the church of God,[a] which he bought with his own blood.[b] 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! (Acts 20:29-31a) • Why address the character? • A Crisis of Leadership • Not a manual at all..
Purpose? • Ammunition • Ok, that’s an overstatement • Polemic, Criticism • Letter sent along with a delgate • Grants Timothy authority, a mandate letter • Timothy at the house meeting – Timid, but not afraid (1 Tim 1:7)
Conclusion • Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. • Paul is concerned with the household of God • The Pillar and foundation of the truth, and we need to act like it.
Conclusion • Pillar of Truth – Luke Timothy Johnson (Geoff’s favorite commentator) • “But, if I am delayed, you should know how it is necessaryto behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God – a pillar and support for the truth. • We are the pillars
Conclusion • The great mystery of God • He appeared in the flesh,He was made righteous by spiritHe appeared to angels;He was preached among the nations;He was believed in by the worldHe was glorified.