The Christ Church Wednesday Bible Study Group is studying Paul's pastoral Epistles (Letters) to his proteges, Timothy and Titus.
1 Timothy 4:11-12 NIV  Command and teach these things.  Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
Here are some areas of life in which you and I should be examples.
In word, or speech. Our speech should always be honest and loving,
In conduct (The KJV’s “conversation” means “walk,” not “talk.)
This suggests that our lives are to be controlled by the Word of God or as we said Sunday by the Holy Spirit.
When we talked about the qualifications for deacon, we said that he had to be sincere.
1 Timothy 3:8 NIV  In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.
You can depend on them to do and mean what they say. The pastor can’t be a hypocrite like the ones Paul describes in Titus
Titus 1:16 NIV  They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
We will talk about them when we study Paul’s letter to him.
We should be examples in In love (charity). Love should be the motivation of our lives. We do not obey God to be applauded by men, but because we love God and love God’s people.
“In spirit” (only in King James) Describes the enthusiasm with which we would show the love of God.
In faith implies that we trust God and are faithful to Him. Faith and love often go together. We have seen them linked in our study already.
1 Timothy 1:14 NIV  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. Faith always leads to faithfulness.
The example of purity that we show is very important today.
Ephesus was a center for sexual impurity, and the young man Timothy was faced with temptations. He must have a chaste relationship to the women in the church and keep himself pure in mind, heart, and body.
But godly living not only helps us and other believers; it also has its influence on the lost.
Because we put our hope in Jesus as our Savior we work to be good examples.
1 Timothy 4:10 NIV  That is why we labor and strive, because we have put our hope in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and especially of those who believe.
That is the trustworthy saying that Paul mentions in
1 Timothy 4:9 NIV  This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance.
In fact, he was to “command” these things, and this is our military word “charge”
These faithful sayings made up a summary of truth for the early church.
1 Timothy 1:15 NIV  Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners—of whom I am the worst.
1 Timothy 3:1 NIV  Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.
2 Timothy 2:11 NIV  Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;
Titus 3:8 NIV  This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.
It’s our responsibility as believers to share that good news with the lost. “We Christians have fixed our hope in the living God, but the lost have no hope and do not know the living God.
The title “Saviour of all men” does not imply that everybody will be saved (universalism), or that God saves people in spite of themselves; you will notice that Paul added “specially of those that believe.”
We pray for all me because we know that God wants them all to believe and be saved because of their faith in God and His promises.
As we said earlier in our study when we talked about praying for all men. God want all men to be saved.
1 Timothy 2:1-4 NIV  I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people—  for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.  This is good, and pleases God our Savior,  who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.
That is faith that saves.
Ephesians 2:8-10 NIV  For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
And as it says in 1 Tim. 2:6, He gave Himself as a ransom for all
So, any lost sinner can trust Christ and be saved.
Romans 10:9-10 NIV  If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.  For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.
Paul encouraged Timothy to be courageous as he led the church in Ephesus.
The fact that Timothy was a young man (the word then applied to a person from youth to forty) should not deter him from practicing what he was preaching. Timothy should not fear to practice the Word of God and apply it to the life of the church.
The local church is a unit in God’s spiritual army, and its leaders are to pass God’s orders along to the people with authority and conviction.
The Pastor Must Continue the Grow
1 Timothy 4:13-16 NIV  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.  Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.  Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.  Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
A godly pastor must grow spiritually so that the whole church could see his spiritual progress and imitate it.
The pastor, or church member for that matter, who is not growing is actually going backward, for it is impossible to stand still in the Christian life. In his living, teaching, preaching, and leading, the pastor must give evidence of spiritual growth.
How Does He Do That?
Emphasize God’s Word (v. 13).
1 Timothy 4:13 NIV  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
Ministering the Word is the most important thing. Reading means the public reading of Scripture in the local assembly.
Jesus did it.
Luke 4:16-19 NIV  He went to Nazareth, where he had been brought up, and on the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom. He stood up to read,  and the scroll of the prophet Isaiah was handed to him. Unrolling it, he found the place where it is written:  “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free,  to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”
Paul often did it
Acts 13:13-15 NIV  From Paphos, Paul and his companions sailed to Perga in Pamphylia, where John left them to return to Jerusalem.  From Perga they went on to Pisidian Antioch. On the Sabbath they entered the synagogue and sat down.  After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the leaders of the synagogue sent word to them, saying, “Brothers, if you have a word of exhortation for the people, please speak.”
Exhortation or preaching.
1 Timothy 4:13 NIV  Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
In this instance literally means encouragement and suggests the applying of the Word to the lives of the people.
That means the pastor must teach. There are at least twenty-two references to “teaching” or “doctrine” in the letters to Timothy and Titus. Remember one of the qualifications for the bishop, elder and pastor was the ability to teach.
1 Timothy 3:2 NIV  Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
A Pastor Must Use His Spiritual Gifts
1 Timothy 4:14 NIV  Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through prophecy when the body of elders laid their hands on you.
Paul tells Timothy not to allow himself to become careless and neglect the calling, the wonderful opportunity that had been given to him. He instructs him to meditate on what a remarkable thing had been given to him. He tells him to fasten it deeply in his heart, to give himself to it, and to be absorbed by it.
We talked about the fact that every believer has at least one spiritual gift, but if God calls a person into a special place of ministry, He gives gifts for that special place. Timothy, for example received an enabling gift from God when the elders laid hands on him. This prayer or ordination event must have been memorable, as Paul twice referred to it to encourage Timothy's leadership based on an event that happened around 15 years earlier.
It appears that for some reason, Timothy had neglected to cultivate this gift that was so necessary to his spiritual progress and ministry. Paul had to admonish him again in his second letter to him.
2 Timothy 1:6 NIV  For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands.
It is encouraging to know that the God who calls us also equips us to do His work. We have nothing in ourselves that enables us to serve Him; the ministry must all come from God.
Here’s what Paul said about that
1 Timothy 1:12-14 NIV  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me trustworthy, appointing me to his service.  Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief.  The grace of our Lord was poured out on me abundantly, along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
1 Corinthians 15:9-10 NIV  For I am the least of the apostles and do not even deserve to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God.  But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me was not without effect. No, I worked harder than all of them—yet not I, but the grace of God that was with me.
However, we must not be passive; we must cultivate God’s gifts, use them, and develop them in the ministry of the local church and wherever God puts us.
The Pastor must Devote Himself Fully to Christ
1 Timothy 4:15 NIV  Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress.
Meditate, or be diligent, carried the idea of giving yourself totally. Timothy’s spiritual life and ministry were to be the absorbing, controlling things in his life, not merely sidelines that he occasionally practiced. You can’t advance in ministry without total dedication.
Too many pastors and Christian workers divide their time and interest between the church and some sideline activities.
Lastly Take a Spiritual Inventory of Yourself
1 Timothy 4:16 NIV  Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.
Examine your own heart in the light of the Word of God.
A servant of God can be so busy helping others that he neglects himself and his own spiritual walk. Moral problems, divorces, and other kinds of shameful conduct have destroyed many of God’s servants.
1 Corinthians 10:1-13 NIV  For I do not want you to be ignorant of the fact, brothers and sisters, that our ancestors were all under the cloud and that they all passed through the sea.  They were all baptized into Moses in the cloud and in the sea.  They all ate the same spiritual food  and drank the same spiritual drink; for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.  Nevertheless, God was not pleased with most of them; their bodies were scattered in the wilderness.  Now these things occurred as examples to keep us from setting our hearts on evil things as they did.  Do not be idolaters, as some of them were; as it is written: “The people sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.”  We should not commit sexual immorality, as some of them did—and in one day twenty-three thousand of them died.  And do not grumble, as some of them did—and were killed by the destroying angel.  These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us, on whom the culmination of the ages has come.  So, if you think you are standing firm, be careful that you don’t fall!  No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.
The building up of the saved and the winning of the lost are the purposes for our ministry, to the glory of God. But God must work in us before He can effectively work through us.
Philippians 2:12-13 NIV  Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,  for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.
As good ministers, we preach the Word; as godly ministers, we practice the Word; as growing ministers, we progress in the Word.