LivingTruth.cc — The Preaching and Teaching Ministry of Kevin A. Pierpont

The Church of the Living God – 1 Timothy 3:13-16

 

13  For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

14  These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;

15  but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.

In our study of 1 Timothy, we have been learning about the guidelines God has for leaders in the church. Today we are going to look at the church itself – who are we as a church? What is our mission?

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God’s Design for Deacons – 1 Timothy 3:8-12

Higgins Lake Baptist Church
Kevin A. Pierpont
10/5/03

8  Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

9  holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

10  But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.

11  Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

12  Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Last week we examined the office of pastor. Today we arrive at the Biblical guidelines for deacons. It will be helpful for us to look at Acts for a little background on what was probably the first appointment of deacons to the church. Acts 6:1-6

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God’s Design For the Pastor – 1 Timothy 3:1-7

Church leaders were largely to blame for Mark Twain becoming hostile to the Bible and the Christian faith. As he grew up, he knew elders and deacons who owned slaves and abused them. He heard men using foul language and saw them practice dishonesty during the week after speaking piously in church on Sunday. He listened to ministers use the Bible to justify slavery. Although he saw genuine love for the Lord Jesus in some people, including his mother and his wife, he was so disturbed by the bad teaching and poor example of church leaders that he became bitter toward the things of God. 1

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Peace in Acceptance – 1 Timothy 2:11-15

This is a poem of Amy Carmichael’s,

“He said..’I will forget the dying faces, the empty places. They shall be filled again. Oh, voices moaning deep within me cease.’ But vain the word, vain, vain. Not in forgetting lieth Peace…

He said..’I will crowd action upon action. The strife of faction shall stir me and sustain. Oh, tears that drown the fire of manhood cease.’ But vain the word, vain, vain. Not in endeavor lieth Peace…

‘I will withdraw me and be quiet. Why meddle in life’s riot? Shut be my door to pain. Desire, thou doest befool me. Thou shall cease.’ But vain the word, vain, vain. Not in aloofness lieth Peace…

He said..’I will submit, I am defeated. God hath depleted my life of it’s rich gain. Oh futile murmurrings, why will you not cease?’ But vain the word, vain, vain. Not in submission lieth Peace…

He said..’I will accept the breaking sorrow which God tomorrow will to His son explain.’ Then did the turmoil deep within him cease. Not vain the word, not vain. For in Acceptance lieth Peace” (Amy Carmichael)

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It’s the Heart – 1 Timothy 2:9-10

An ad appeared in a newspaper that read: “Farmer wants to marry woman, age 35, with tractor. Send picture of tractor.”

We laugh at this but it ought to cause us to think about just what kind of traits do make a woman attractive? In a moment we’ll begin to consider what God’s Word says about the qualities that God thinks are important women who profess to know Him.

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Essential Teaching on Prayer – 1 Timothy 2:8

John R. Greening, says this about the concerns Timothy faced in the church that Paul addressed in the book of 1 Timothy that we’ve been studying in recent weeks.

Essential Teaching on Prayer
Photo by: Peyman (Creative Commons)

“A quick survey of the first epistle to [Timothy] will reveal what [he] was up against in the Church at Ephesus:

  • He had contemplated resigning his ministry in Ephesus (1 Tim. 1:3; Paul had urged Timothy to remain in Ephesus).
  • Problems existed in the educational ministries (1:3-7, 4:1-3, 6:3-5).
  • Modesty in wardrobe was an issue (2:9, 10).
  • Women were usurping authority from men (2:11-15).
  • Some were distorting the process of spiritual development (4:4-10).
  • People complained about the worship services (4:11-16).
  • Pastoral staff salaries were substandard (5:17, 18).
  • People were criticizing the pastoral staff (5:19-25).
  • Labor-relations issues were dividing the congregation (6:1-5).
  • Materialism was influencing the lifestyle of some believers (6:6-19).” (Back to the Basics of Ministry, pgs. 29-30 — John R. Greening is President of the General Association of Regular Baptist Churches)

These were some of the problems Timothy faced and today the church still must deal with some of these same problems.

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The Power of Prayer – 1 Timothy 2:1-7

I just love the faith that children bring to prayer.

I read about a little 8-year-old boy that came home from school with a stuffed animal he had won at the class Valentine’s party.

His dad asked him that happened. “Well,” the little guy explained, “the teacher put all our names together, and then picked one out. I cheated, though, — I prayed!” (Davy Troxel, New Albany, Ind. Christian Reader, “Kids of the Kingdom.”)

We need that kind of faith in prayer don’t we?

The Power of Prayer
Photo by: anoldent (Creative Commons)

As we come to the second chapter of 1 Timothy we’ll find some essential teaching on prayer in the life of the church. Paul has direction from God about prayer that is especially important for us. This timely passage is found in the first seven verse of 1 Timothy 2.

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Fight The Good Fight – 1 Timothy 1:18-20

A few weeks ago we began a study of 1 Timothy and as we approach our passage for study today we will discover, I believe, the unifying theme of this letter to Timothy from Paul. As you study a passage it is usually a good idea to look for the big idea. I think we’ll discover this big idea as we study the remainder of the first chapter of 1 Timothy beginning with verse 18…

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Serving With Purpose – 1 Timothy 1:12-17

In the early 1900’s a London newspaper carried an advertisement that read: “Men wanted for hazardous journey, small wages, bitter cold, long months of complete darkness, constant danger, safe return doubtful. Honor and recognition in case of success.” The ad, signed by famous Arctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, brought Inquiries from thousands of men. Commenting on this in his book Be Faithful, Warren W. Wiersbe said, “If Jesus Christ had advertised for workers, the announcement might have read something like this: ‘Men and women wanted for difficult task of helping to build My church. You will often be misunderstood, even by those working with you. You will face constant attack from an invisible enemy. You may not see the results of your labor, and your full reward will not come till after all your work is completed. It may cost you your home, your ambitions, even your life.’” 1

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Teach Sound Doctrine – 1 Timothy 1:3-11

As we began last Sunday the study of 1 Timothy, we established the author of the book, Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ. We noted the importance of understanding the kind of authority Paul had as an Apostle. Jesus Christ himself appointed the Apostles. Paul’s authority to speak on matters of the church comes from Jesus Christ. We would do well to take these words seriously and not dismiss them as irrelevant to us today but as Scripture that is to be understood and adhered to in our conduct as believers in the body of Christ. I think we can agree that it should be our aim as a church to test and approve all that we do by the standard of God’s Word.

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