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Proper Behavior in the Church

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Proper Behavior in the Church

1 Timothy is a book written by the Apostle Paul to the young pastor at Ephesus, Timothy to encourage and instruct him in the ministry. There would be many temptations and challenges and Paul seeks to encourage Timothy to be courageous and remain faithful.
Stuck in the middle of 1 Timothy is the purpose for Paul writing to Timothy. Three pivotal verses at the end of the first 3 chapter that contain positive instruction and before the last 3 chapters with negative warnings that give the young pastor instruction on Proper Behavior in the Church.
1 Timothy 3:14–16 HCSB
14 I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. 15 But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
1 Timothy 3:14-15
1 Timothy 3:14–15 HCSB
14 I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. 15 But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:14-16
1 Timothy is a book written by the Apostle Paul to the young pastor at Ephesus, Timothy to encourage and instruct him in the ministry. There would be many temptations and challenges and Paul seeks to encourage Timothy to be courageous and remain faithful.
Stuck in the middle of 1 Timothy is the purpose for Paul writing to Timothy. Three pivotal verses at the end of the first 3 chapter that contain positive instruction and before the last 3 chapters with negative warnings that give the young pastor instruction on Proper Behavior in the Church.
Paul introduces these crucial realities with some background information before launching into The Church’s Master, The Church’s Mission, and the Church’s Message.
Let’s look at each of these in depth.

I. The Church’s Conduct

1 Timothy 3:14–15a HCSB
14 I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. 15 But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:14a
“I have written so that you will know how people ought to act...”
I write these thing to you…I have written. With these statement Paul introduces the purpose of the epistle and really his greatest concern for them. He is writing to instruct them in how to behave.
The first question we ought to pose concerning the text is:
What things?
What does these things in verse 14 refer to?
It could be the material in chapter 3 concerning church leaders. Here Paul has given the criteria for an Overseer, this is the ἐπίσκοπος, or Bishop, which refers to the pastor or elder. This is first, a man, who is above reproach, the husband of one wife, self controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, not addicted to wine, not a bully, gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy, manages his house competently, children under control, not a new convert, and a good reputation among outsiders. Maybe that’s what these things refers to, as well as deacons.
ἐπίσκοπος
Or — It could be a reference to chapter 2, Paul’s instruction on prayer and men and women.
Or — He could be referring to chapter 1 and the false doctrine he addressed.
But since there is nothing in the context that puts limits on the phrase, when can conclude that these things is a general sense to include all his instruction in the entire epistle.
So we can understand it like this: “Timothy, I have written these things so that you will know how people should act.”
And notice the pronoun — You. It is singular. This letter is written to Timothy.
1 Timothy 1:2 HCSB
2 To Timothy, my true son in the faith. Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
Timothy, the pastor in Ephesus, must know if he is to teach the church. The word know is the Greek word οἶδα that describes “the possession of knowledge or skill necessary to accomplish a desired goal.” It’s not mere intellectual knowledge that Paul has in mind, but the practical knowledge of — practical knowledge of what? It’s the practical knowledge of how to act.
What is in view with Ought to Act?”
What is the practical knowledge of that? It’s how to conduct yourself in a consistent pattern of life. It’s a present infinitive which refers to that consistent pattern. He acts this way again and again. It becomes habit to him. He acts right.
Well, what is this right behavior?
To get that question we have to understand Three Essential Realities.
essential realities t

II. The Church’s Master

1 Timothy 3:15 HCSB
15 But if I should be delayed, I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
1 Timothy 3:
Helps us to understand Who we answer to God alone because He’s our Master.
I have written so that you will know how people ought to act “...in God’s household, which is the church of the living God...”
If there is one thing that is misunderstood both ecclesiologically and practically — it is that the church belongs to God. It is in no way a human institution. It’s God’s church. It’s His family.
It is fundamental in Proper Church Behavior to understand that the Church’s Master is God. It’s His Church. “I will build My Church and the gates of Hell will not prevail against it.”
Who’s Church is the Church?
God’s Church and He is the Church’s Master.
The word here household is a metaphor that Paul uses to refer to not a building, but a family. Believers make up God’s household. And the responsibility to conduct themselves properly is God’s mandate on them because God is the Church’s Master. God is the Church’s master because He birthed her into existence and He is growing her. The Church belongs to God. He is the Church’s Master.
Galatians 6:10 HCSB
10 Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith.
Ephesians 2:19 HCSB
19 So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household,
Hebrews 3:6 HCSB
6 But Christ was faithful as a Son over His household. And we are that household if we hold on to the courage and the confidence of our hope.
1 Peter 4:17 HCSB
17 For the time has come for judgment to begin with God’s household, and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who disobey the gospel of God?
So, we are God’s Household.
Also, Paul further defines this family of believers as the Church of the living God or more accurately — the living Gods Church.”
The absence of the definite article with Church stresses its character. The church belongs to the living God. It’s His church. In fact listen to what Paul told the Ephesian elders in :
Acts 20:28 HCSB
28 Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock that the Holy Spirit has appointed you to as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which He purchased with His own blood.
A
He clearly emphasizes this wonderful truth in his letter to the church in Ephesus.
Ephesians 1:14 NASB95
14 who is given as a pledge of our inheritance, with a view to the redemption of God’s own possession, to the praise of His glory.
This identification of the Creator as the living God has a rich OT heritage.
Joshua 3:10 HCSB
10 He said: “You will know that the living God is among you and that He will certainly dispossess before you the Canaanites, Hittites, Hivites, Perizzites, Girgashites, Amorites, and Jebusites
1 Samuel 17:26 HCSB
26 David spoke to the men who were standing with him: “What will be done for the man who kills that Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Just who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?”
1 Samuel
The Psalmist writes
Psalm 42:2 HCSB
2 I thirst for God, the living God. When can I come and appear before God?
And Jeremiah wrote.
Jeremiah 10:10 HCSB
10 But Yahweh is the true God; He is the living God and eternal King. The earth quakes at His wrath, and the nations cannot endure His rage.
So, here’s what we take from this. Crucial to behaving properly is the knowledge that the assembly of saints is the living God’s Church and the mandate comes from and is empowered by the Church’s Master — God.
Another essential reality is the Church’s Mission.

III. The Church’s Mission

Helps us to understand what is most importantGods Word.
I have written so that you will know how people ought to act in God’s household, which is the church of the living God the pillar and foundation of the truth.”
The imagery Paul paints here would not have been lost on the church at Ephesus. They knew well the impressive temples of the goddess Diana, one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient world — was located in Ephesus.
One of the outstanding features to the Temple to Diana was its pillars. There were 127 pillars — each one a gift of the king. They were made of marble, overlaid with gold, and studded with jewels. They were amazingly elaborate, but they were functional. They held the immense roof of the temple.
The foundation or support appears only here in the NT and refers to the foundation on which the entire structure is built. Paul’s metaphor is that the Church is the pillar and foundation of the truth or holds up the truth.
The truth is God’s revelation, the Gospel. So, the Church’s Mission is to solidly, immovably, unshakably uphold the truth of God’s Word. The truth is God’s truth and therefore the Church does not invent it or alter it. Rather, the Church supports it, safeguards it. The Church has stewardship of God’s Word.
How does the Church uphold the truth?
First, by believing it. The Church cannot uphold the truth, if it doesn’t believe it. , Paul tells Felix — I worship my fathers’ God according to the Way, which they call a sect, believing all the things that are written in the Law and in the Prophets.”
Memorize it. I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.”
Meditate on it. “This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to meditate on it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it.”
Psalm 119:11 HCSB
11 I have treasured Your word in my heart so that I may not sin against You.
Study it. “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.”
Certainly, Obeying it. “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed!”
Defending it. “I am appointed for the defense of the gospel.”
Living it. — “demonstrating utter faithfulness, so that they may adorn the teaching of God our Savior in everything.” “Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you.”
Finally, Proclaiming it. In obedience to our Lord’s command in “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Acts 24:14 HCSB
14 But I confess this to you: I worship my fathers’ God according to the Way, which they call a sect, believing all the things that are written in the Law and in the Prophets.
Titus 2:10 HCSB
10 or stealing, but demonstrating utter faithfulness, so that they may adorn the teaching of God our Savior in everything.
Philippians 1:16 HCSB
16 These do so out of love, knowing that I am appointed for the defense of the gospel;
That is the Supreme Mission of the Church — to uphold the wondrous truth of God’s Word.
2 Timothy 2:15 HCSB
15 Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who doesn’t need to be ashamed, correctly teaching the word of truth.
2 Timothy
Colossians 3:16 HCSB
16 Let the message about the Messiah dwell richly among you, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, and singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, with gratitude in your hearts to God.
colossians
Luke 11:28 HCSB
28 He said, “Even more, those who hear the word of God and keep it are blessed!”
Joshua 1:8 HCSB
8 This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.
Matthew 28:19–20 HCSB
19 Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
And the final Essential Reality is the Church’s Message.

IV. The Church’s Message

Helps us to understand what we’re to say — Preach Christ.
1 Timothy 3:16 HCSB
16 And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.
What the Church upholds is also its Message.
What is the Message?
Succinctly, it is the Message of Jesus Christ.
That is the core of what we teach and preach. And the theme of the Message of Jesus Christ is this:
Luke 24:46–47 HCSB
46 He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah would suffer and rise from the dead the third day, 47 and repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
We see it immediately as the message of the apostles in Acts.
Acts 10:37–43 HCSB
37 You know the events that took place throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee after the baptism that John preached: 38 how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, and how He went about doing good and healing all who were under the tyranny of the Devil, because God was with Him. 39 We ourselves are witnesses of everything He did in both the Judean country and in Jerusalem, yet they killed Him by hanging Him on a tree. 40 God raised up this man on the third day and permitted Him to be seen, 41 not by all the people, but by us, witnesses appointed beforehand by God, who ate and drank with Him after He rose from the dead. 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to solemnly testify that He is the One appointed by God to be the Judge of the living and the dead. 43 All the prophets testify about Him that through His name everyone who believes in Him will receive forgiveness of sins.”
Acts
It’s Paul’s central theme as we see in — “We preach Christ crucified.” And he reiterates his theme in “For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.”
1 Corinthians 1:23 HCSB
23 but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to the Jews and foolishness to the Gentiles.
Galatians
Galatians 6:14 HCSB
14 But as for me, I will never boast about anything except the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world has been crucified to me through the cross, and I to the world.
1 Corinthians 2:2 ESV
2 For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
Paul emphasizes the person and work of Christ in this magnificent six-line hymn.
Common Confession
The phrase translated — “And most certainly” means, a matter on which there is general agreement, incontestable, undeniably, most certainly, and beyond question. Simply stated — to say the same thing. In other words this is the truth everyone agrees upon. In other words it is the unanimous conviction of all the believers that the mystery of godliness is great.
a matter on which there is general agreement, incontestable, undeniably, most certainly, and beyond question
And so this hymns reveals these 6 truths concerning the Lord Jesus Christ.
Arndt, W., Danker, F. W., Bauer, W., & Gingrich, F. W. (2000). A Greek-English lexicon of the New Testament and other early Christian literature (3rd ed., p. 709). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
He was manifested in the flesh — God came in human flesh. He was manifested, not created or brought into existence — but made visible, revealed. This affirms His preexistence. “who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form.” Our Lord Jesus Christ made the invisible God visible to human eyes.
Vindicated in the Spirit — The translators capitalize the word Spirit, but it could also refer to Jesus, that He was vindicated or and the word means declared righteous with respect to His spiritual nature. The Father declared, “This is My Son in whom I am well-pleased.” calls Him “Jesus Christ the righteous.” says — “After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him.” Our Lord was the perfect sacrifice, fully accepted by His Father, the substitute for us. He was the God-Man, truly God and truly man. And if capitalizing the word Spirit is correct, then declares — “and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.” Certainly it could be both and encompass both realities. Jesus Christ lived a sinless life of obedience to His Father which declared His righteousness and the testimony of the Holy Spirit affirmed His righteousness by raising Him from the dead.
Philippians 2:6–7 HCSB
6 who, existing in the form of God, did not consider equality with God as something to be used for His own advantage. 7 Instead He emptied Himself by assuming the form of a slave, taking on the likeness of men. And when He had come as a man in His external form,
O
Seen by angels — Throughout His earthly ministry, angels observed Him, attended to Him. They were at His birth to announce it to Joseph and shepherds. They ministered to Him at his temptation and strengthened Him at Gethsemane. Angels observed Him at His death and resurrection.
Romans 1:4 HCSB
4 and who has been declared to be the powerful Son of God by the resurrection from the dead according to the Spirit of holiness.
Preached among the nations — He gave His disciples the command to go and make disciples of all nations. In — He told them they would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” There would be no nation left without the Gospel message.
Believed on in the world — God’s plan was fulfilled as the apostles preached, saving faith was the result in many lives. 3,000 saved at the first preaching of the Gospel message, thousands more believed in the following days — throughout Judea, to the Samaritans, to an Ethiopian eunuch, to a Gentile named Cornelius, and ultimately across the Gentile world by Paul.
Taken up in glory —
Acts 1:9–10 HCSB
9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them.
Acts 1:10 HCSB
10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them.
Acts 1:9–11 HCSB
9 After He had said this, He was taken up as they were watching, and a cloud took Him out of their sight. 10 While He was going, they were gazing into heaven, and suddenly two men in white clothes stood by them. 11 They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up into heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken from you into heaven, will come in the same way that you have seen Him going into heaven.”
Hebrews 1:3 HCSB
3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact expression of His nature, sustaining all things by His powerful word. After making purification for sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
Hebrews
Acts 1:10
Philippians 2:8–11 HCSB
8 He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death— even to death on a cross. 9 For this reason God highly exalted Him and gave Him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow — of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth — 11 and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Hebrews 5:9 HCSB
9 After He was perfected, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him,
In 6 short lines — this Common Confession summarizes the Gospel concerning Jesus Christ. God became a man, died for our sins, triumphed over death, was honored by angels, feared by demons, and ascended to heaven where He sits on the throne of heaven.
Philippians 2:
Well, that’s the overview of 1 Timothy. Proper Behavior in the Church is dependent upon our understanding of the Church, Who the Church belongs to, What the Church’s mission is, and What the Church’s message is — Her Master, Mission, and Message. To understand those essential realities helps us in our behavior.
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