Father, thank You for all the ways You’ve changed me through Your gospel and Your Spirit. Please help me bless the pastors and elders of my church. Please help us as a church to safeguard the truths of the gospel and to proclaim them with clarity in our city. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Read 1 Timothy 3
Paul wants Timothy to remember the importance of strong character. The gospel rightly believed always results in strong character, and strong character should mark those in Christian community.
God’s people form a great family with a great Father who is God Himself. He has assembled them out of the world to be His church, a distinctive people who are changed by the gospel, and who will protect and proclaim that gospel. Our Father cares greatly about the behavior of those in His household.
ELDERS AND DEACONS
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What’s more, God has gifted His church with men and women who will promote His purposes in the church. They should exemplify living that’s shaped by the gospel. Overseers are those whose character demonstrates gospel change. In short, they should be above reproach, that is, they should be without glaring moral deficiencies as Christians. Additionally, they should be able to “take care of the church of God” (3:5) by faithfully teaching God’s Word to His people.
One great way to tell whether a man will be a good elder is to look at his household. Ask the question: “How has he done managing his own family and household?” The answer will help illuminate whether such a man could take care of God’s household, the church.
In the same way, those who are recognized servants (deacons) in the church should be those whose behavior and character have been affected by the gospel. Gospel-shaped living was an important concept for Paul, flowing out of and intimately connected to our daily worship (1 Tim. 3:16). Anything less is inappropriate for the church and unworthy of the great gospel of our great God and Savior.
1 Timothy 3:15
15 If I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.
- Whenever we read about the church or church leaders in Scripture, we should keep from thinking, “This passage is not for me.” All Christians should be an active part of a local church. How might these passages be important to you even if you’re not an elder/pastor?
- What are some key ways a church protects the gospel (3:15)? As you walk with Christ, how can you be a truth protector in your role as a Christian and in your relationships?
- Make a list of ways God has changed you. Ask others in your church who know you well to evaluate and add to your list. Then prayerfully write down ways you haven’t changed yet, even though you know you should.
- Explain the gospel to a friend, believing or not, especially focusing on how thankful you are for how God has transformed you.
- Paul was quick to worship, quoting a Christian hymn in this text. End your day by singing a simple hymn of praise to God.
- Call and set an appointment to meet with a mature believer to seek counsel on Scriptural principles that guide healthy relationships: conflict, forgiveness, encouragement, giving feedback, etc. [Healthy Relationships]