1 Timothy 10
1 Timothy 5:17-6:5.
- “honour” a key word is Timothy: widows, elders and employers. Read 5:17-6:5
- ch.3 dealt with responsibility of elders - now our responsibility to them.
- 3 things elders are to do: 1. Rule; 2. Preach; 3. Teach.
- “preach” literally “labour in the Word” - It’s hard work to study God’s Word and we are to honour them for it (1 Thes 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labour among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction)
- many do not labour in the word and teach it - taken up with counselling, organising, administration etc.
- today we can all study the Word but not so available then, more dependent on someone else to do it for them.
Honour -elders serve in a leadership role - they rule - have been given authority in the church to direct and administer it. We are under their rule, government and authority (Hebrews 13:17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.).
- for their oversight elders received a stipend, double pay for those involved in preaching and teaching because of the time and labour involved.
- Teaching and preaching (cf. 6:2) are the core responsibility of an elder.
- the honour is financial - quotes Dt 26:4 to back up his case (he uses this passage in 1 Corinthians 9:7-11 Who at any time serves as a soldier at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat the fruit of it? Or who tends a flock and does not use the milk of the flock? I am not speaking these things according to human judgment, am I? Or does not the Law also say these things? For it is written in the Law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle the ox while he is threshing.” God is not concerned about oxen, is He? Or is He speaking altogether for our sake? Yes, for our sake it was written, because the plowman ought to plow in hope, and the thresher to thresh in hope of sharing the crops. If we sowed spiritual things in you, is it too much if we reap material things from you? 1 Cor 9:14 So also the Lord directed those who proclaim the gospel to get their living from the gospel) [Galatians 6:6 The one who is taught the word is to share all good things with the one who teaches him.]
- Where in Scripture does it say that “the labourer is worthy of his hire”? - Paul quotes the words of Jesus from Luke 10:7 (by AD 63 this was regarded as Scripture)
- Paul did not take advantage of this right (1 Corinthians 9:15-23 But I have used none of these things... What then is my reward? That, when I preach the gospel, I may offer the gospel without charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel. 1 Thessalonians 2:9 For you recall, brethren, our labor and hardship, how working night and day so as not to be a burden to any of you, we proclaimed to you the gospel of God. 2 Thessalonians 3:7-9 For you yourselves know how you ought to follow our example, because we did not act in an undisciplined manner among you, nor did we eat anyone’s bread without paying for it, but with labour and hardship we kept working night and day so that we would not be a burden to any of you; not because we do not have the right to this, but in order to offer ourselves as a model for you, so that you would follow our example.) which our elders do
- this should make us honour them more not less - show appreciation for the work they do (card) (honour publicly) - when financial gain available from the work of the LORD motivation can become mixed (cf. 6:5).
Protected - instead of honouring often leadership is resented, criticized and attacked - rebellion - enemy strikes the shepherds in order to scatter the flock.
- for this reason unsubstantiated accusations are not to be considered (cf. Deuteronomy 19:15 A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. Matthew 18:16 But if he does not listen to you, take one or two more with you, so that by the mouth of two or three witnesses every fact may be confirmed.)- principle also in John 8:17 and 2 Cor 13:1
Dealing with bad ones - but not beyond accusation - with dignity of office goes responsibility.
- if incontrovertible evidence the leader was to be publicly rebuked - more responsibility, harsher discipline - public office, public censure
- public rebuke serves as a deterrent to others - fear as a motive for righteousness, purity and holiness
-This instruction is not necessarily confined to elders. The reason for the rebuke is not to humiliate the offender and be harsh with him - it is not just for his sake that church discipline is exercised but for the whole flock. Public punishment or rebuke serves as a healthy deterrent to others. They see what he went through and so are strongly discouraged from sinning in like manner. Sin must be seen to have consequences. Discipline has a salutary educative effect. Unfortunately it is seldom exercised in the church today - hence the poor state of its health
- we don’t like to confront, face the issue - that is why Paul issued such a solemn charge to Timothy. God, Christ Jesus and the elect angels are all associated with righteous judgment.
- but when exercising discipline absolute impartiality is required - don’t pre-judge the case or favour the leader who you know well.
Appointing elders - it is best for the situation not to arise in the first place and this is to be done by careful selection
- leaders are appointed, not elected - commissioned by laying on of hands
- once laid they cannot be un-laid - you carry the responsibility for the leadership you delegate
- now understand the reason for the strict charges that Paul gave Timothy - he had laid hands on him (2 Tim 1:6) he was his responsibility
- There is a spiritual impartation through the laying on of hands - Heb 6:1,2 calls laying on hands a basic doctrine Tedder Ave doesn’t do it enough (Lisa for KOK) but charismatics do it too much, it becomes a light thing
- there is a spiritual linkage between the one laying on of hands, it must not be regarded lightly (John Marshall)
- you share in the sin of the one you appoint - we must keep ourselves pure - One cannot deal with sin in another if one’s own life is not pure (hagnon) - but it was not the asceticism of gnostics
- v.23 a delight - not because it instructs wine drinking but it shows the genuineness of the letter: even amongst all this church business there is a real man, concern for personal situation - God of details, not just theology but upset tummy!
- trouble is in appointing leaders you cannot always tell the bad ones - Paul had several colleagues who went off the rails
- but all will ultimately be revealed - you cannot fool God! - some think they will get away with it
- All people are heading toward judgment, carrying with them either their sins or their good works. For some, their sins or good works go before them and are obvious to all observers. For others their sins or good works trail behind, hidden from view, becoming known only after the individual has passed away.
- So Paul emphasized the difficulties inherent in appointing leaders. Hasty, superficial assessments, whether positive or negative, are sometimes inaccurate, leading to the enlistment of unqualified men or the overlooking of those whose fine qualities are less obvious. With time, however, a man’s true colors will emerge to an astute observer. So v. 24-25 are designed to underline the warning of verse 22: do not rush to ordain someone.
- don’t make hasty judgments first impressions are not always accurate - don’t be pressured into a decision (Neil Struthers) - (Acts 13:3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them)
worthy of honour -widows are to be honoured, elders are to be honoured, so too are employers - they are worthy of all honour
- we fight for our rights, not satisfied with pay - Paul exhorts slaves to submit to the position they are in not fight against it (Colossians 3:22-4:1 Slaves, in all things obey those who are your masters on earth, not with external service, as those who merely please men, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve)
- practical stuff! - asks you to do something do you resent it? Give less than your best in retaliation? (1 Peter 2:18-20 Servants, be submissive to your masters with all respect, not only to those who are good and gentle, but also to those who are unreasonable. For this finds favour, if for the sake of conscience toward God a person bears up under sorrows when suffering unjustly. For what credit is there if, when you sin and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience? But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favour with God.)
- very easy to bad mouth the boss, criticize - that’s the atmosphere of work - it takes real strength of character to stand against that overwhelming tide
- ? Boss making unwise decisions - are you praying for God to give him wisdom?
- why are we to honour them? So that the name of God and our doctrine may not be spoken against - the reputation of God’s name is at stake!
- our practical daily living in the secular work place affects the reputation of God’s name! - Christian are a watched people (we are all witnesses it’s just a question of whether we are a good one or a bad one - Christine Hicton)
- church involved in social action criticizing the govt benefits for the poor - is that honouring our masters? - social goals should always be subordinate to spiritual values
Christian boss - Christianity broke down social barriers, neither slave nor free - slaves and masters were brothers
- this new relationship is not to be taken advantage of - it is not to bring disrespect
- because of the close and equal relationship they share in the church context does not mean that this pallyness, that this brother relationship, is to be carried into the work place so that they have an advantage over the non-believer who is not so close to the boss. They are not to be disrespectful because of the closeness of their relationship (cf. we still fear God even though He is our Father, at school Dad was still "sir" even though he was my father).
- the Christian master is to be served even better
- our hard work makes his business prosper and that profit will be invested in God’s kingdom - far greater motive to work hard because it is believers who benefit
- believers who are bound to each other by love devote themselves to kindness - because we are believers we devote ourselves to working hard for our boss because we love him It is the faithful and beloved who devote themselves to working well for their boss. God approves, loves such as do thus.
- Our faith and love is seen by our attitude in our work - here our Christian virtues, the life of Christ is seen, or revealed as being absent. The work place is the place where the rubber meets the road in Christian living. How is your witness in relation to your boss?
- we are to have an attitude of service (cf. Mark 10:42-45“You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them. But it is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant; and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all. For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” ).
- Timothy is commanded once again to teach and preach (cf. 1 Tim 5:17) these things - the church has the right and responsibility to instruct us regarding our conduct of our everyday business - how would I respond if Brian told me I needed to pull my weight more at work?
- the number one issue is not our rights or well-being but the honour of God’s name - having our motive “the glory of God” “the honour of His name” would transform the way we live in this world.
- If anyone advocates a different teaching to the one of service and submission outlined above, he is not to be tolerated, he is opposed to Christ. Paul denounces such false teachers in the strongest of terms. Like many today, they are in Christianity for what they can get out of it.
- Timothy is to teach and preach (1 Tim 6:2; 5:17) - guard the doctrine (v.1) - maintain the honour of the teaching we hold to by taking a firm stand against any teaching that is different.
- all through Timothy again and again teaching is emphasised. Does not specifically mention honouring doctrine but instructs to deal with those who don’t honour and respect the teaching handed down.
- this doctrine conforms to godliness, anything else does not but is based on human pride, intellectual pride, spiritual pride, gaining followers for themselves, for their clever esoteric teaching
- they depart from sound/healthy doctrine and teach what is false
- false teachers have 1. Corrupt minds; 2. Robbed of the truth; 3. Motive is selfish
- truth and godliness go together - error and moral deficiency go together
- again and again Paul returns to the issue of false teaching - it is a vital matter and relevant for today
- false teaching is not to be tolerated!
- encountered a firm stance against corruption in 1 Cor 5 - here it is again - ? gentle words! Read v.4,5! -What a catalogue of evil! Paul does not have a good word for them. He would not tolerate false teaching! Why then do we?! We understand, sympathize, listen to their opinion - after all "everyone has a right to his own opinion."!
- not so Paul! He spares nothing in his harsh and unequivocal condemnation
- Doctrinal error is seldom merely a case of being innocently mistaken. There is almost always some degree of culpability.
- what is the motive behind false teaching? Self! - pride and monetary gain!
- attack against mere intellectual mind games - philosophical discussion, theology as an intellectual exercise but not affecting your life
- Bible colleges, even evangelical ones, are full of it - all in the mind - our minds are involved but it must be renewed by the Spirit to affect our lives “be transformed by the renewing of your mind” - life transformed not just a mind game
- they think they know so much but Paul says that they understand NOTHING!
- people enjoying debate for its own sake and glorying in their insight - spiritual pride!
- beware of getting into theological debates - they stir up strife and division and do not produce spiritual life or growth - controversies, disputes, strife (eg. Version, time of Christ’s return, Orthodox RC split over the date of Easter at the beginning of the 11th century) What does it profit?
- remember the goal! (1 Tim 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.)
- some people are in the church as a means of earning and income - TV evangelists, Christian music - it’s big business - there is money to be made
- motive is utterly wrong so what is taught is utterly false - be suspicious of any ministry operating on a big budget because money corrupts motives (cf. 1 Peter 5:2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to the will of God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness;
- elders were to be chosen for their freedom from the love of money (1 Tim 3:3,8) by contrast the moral corruption so often associated with false teaching produced just the opposite
- we have a responsibility to preserve the honour of the true doctrine and honour those who labour among us to that end - that doctrine transforms our lives so that we should honour those that are set over especially our employers.