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February 14, 2021 7:00 am
Paul first instructed Timothy on the importance of sound doctrine and how that doctrine affects our godliness. After addressing those two foundational pillars of the phrase. The apostle turns his attention to relationships and welcome to the Bible study our radio and Internet broadcast with Dr. James Boyce preparing you to think and act biblically.
It's a natural sequence drawn biological mind doctrine affects godliness, and godliness impacts our relationships both determine how we see others in the church and how we relate to them. Join Dr. Boyce as he examines a topic that is as much an issue today as it was in Timothy's day one that can still make or break a church from first Timothy chapter 5.
Return to first Timothy five and the long section that deals with Christian relationships. We talked about doctrine. First of all that is major concern is the point at which he starts. He wants Timothy to be faithful in his adherence to the doctor not to adopt another doctrine because are many false doctrines are going around and when he gets to his second letter to Timothy's going to stress that even more guard the gospel that's going to be asleep but is aware that you can have a kind of orthodoxy in regard to doctrine that has very little to do with the way you live in is a discredit to Christianity, though it may be theologically precise and Zoey moves in the next major section of the letter to talk about godliness or piety.
The Christian life is really saying there is if you understand the doctrines right will affect how you live your change. You don't understand them properly. I haven't sunk down into your heart be done to make a difference in this section as he begins to talk about relationships.
It seems to me he moves on to authority logical extension of the thing, he began to do and he began to talk about doctrine. Doctrine will affect life and life will inevitably affect our relations with other people. Godliness is a is to be expressed in human relationships.
I don't mean to say by that that it's not expressed in our relationship to God. Of course it is with the two always go together. So I think Paul would be the first one to say somebody comes to you and says well I'm living a very holy life. I bought by myself somewhere. I never talk to anybody. You never see anybody.
I never do anything. I'm just there for God and I'm serving God.
Paul would say well what kind of godliness is that you have to put it to work and it's got to express itself in the interchanges of life to be seen in the family to be seen in business to be seen in our relationships with people we just chance to meet.
How do we deal with them. We look at them as somebody beneath our attention. Somebody that we shouldn't even bother to spend time, whether we recognize them as men and women and children made in the image of God.
All of these things you see are expressions of our relationship to God, which is our God likeness if by his grace we really are becoming like the Lord Jesus Christ.
So Paul in these verses be getting really with first Timothy 51 and extending in the chapter 6 notice the new international version puts them together. It doesn't make the break until after the second verse of chapter 6 in these verses Paul talks about our relationship to those who were older and those were younger men, women, widows, elders even has a few words about slavery and those will because of the system of the day found themselves slaves, and so is a very practical, I think he gives a very significant introduction to this whole section on the first two verses where he begins to put this whole thing in terms of family relationships, we read that pass over it easily, but it's much more significant than we might think of is what he says do not rebuke an older man harshly but exhort him as if he were your father see the comparison is telling us how to act toward older man and that is giving us a pattern in the pattern is that of the family were to regard the older men as fathers treat younger men as brothers stole a family relationship.
Older women as mothers, younger women as sisters with absolute purity is a spell out a great length, but what is really saying is that the church of God is a family would understand our relationships with one another as we would within the context of the human family were all kinds of relationships. Therefore, as we relate to the older four to regard them as fathers and mothers and give them the due respect pertains to that kind of family relationship and when we deal with younger people were to regard them as brothers and sisters, and to treat them with the kind of purity and respect and integrity that we would expect to use with members of our own family. So he puts, as it were, everything he says in that category. Beginning in verse three begins to talk about a particular problem is not going to be exhaustive here.
He's already given a great deal of instruction to Timothy in their personal relationship as they traveled together.
Timothy had a great deal of on the field experience doesn't have to spell out every kind of relationship. There is this question of the needy, and particularly the way in which the care of the church for the needy applies to widows I read this I sense because he gives a great many verses to it three through 16 that here, something that had become out of hand in the practice of the church and so he wants to work out some principles here and put them before Timothy. So Timothy will have something to draw on and as we read it were to read it, not only in relationship widows and certainly this would be guidance in that area, but perhaps also to those that need in other areas. Very interesting. Of course that here, as elsewhere in the New Testament writings you find this great social concern divided in the book of Galatians.
For example, a book that's written very practical doctrinal problem of the Galatian churches, but toward the end of which Paul deals with practical matters, including rather lengthy section with money in the use of financial resources and he says in the context of that of the six chapter verse 10 as much ability as you have done a good day everybody, but especially those of the household of faith. See what he says very says. As Christians we have special responsibility to those who were part of the Christian family, but so far you have resources you have enough money by all means take care of everybody can when you go to Scripture back to the early days you find even there in Jerusalem from the beginning I had this great sensitive.
God bless them. They had a concern to reach out and care for those who were needy, as well as for those who are lost and they had no greater example than that of the Lord Jesus Christ went about not only preaching the gospel, but doing good, and he healed lepers and gravesites of the blind in touch and that way all of the great Hills of society. I was, I say Paul talk here about widows and without reading all these verses let me say you can read them yourself that it really lays down to different areas of concern.
One has to do with priority of responsibility. The second has to do with Trudy when he talks about priority of responsibility. He wants to point out that when the church has within it. Needy people example that is giving here is that of widows. It is not the primary responsibility of the church is church, but the primary responsibility of the person's family other words, he says, as long as a widow has enabled body relative saw the daughter is able to care for her.
Why that is the person who should care for the window window should be pushed off in the church as if to say now you take care of her because that's an overall responsibility of the Christian church and I don't have any responsibility. I spend my money some other way. Paul says what kind of a testimony without me.
What kind of a Christian, would that be why should others do it if the member of the family doesn't so we talks about priority responsibility begins with the family that is literal physical family that he says it's quite obvious. We know that the family can always do that sometimes there is no family.
Sometimes when I was literally utterly alone in that case, he says it becomes the responsibility of the family of God that's beside the church and the church is supposed to care for such people on Paul's day.
They didn't have state programs. The Roman empire was none of the business of caring for widows or the needy. We have that today and I suppose since we support government by our taxes.
We have a right to use and should use whatever resources the government makes available retirement benefits, Medicare, Social Security, food stamps, never maybe I don't think we are in precisely the same position. Paul was in so that we say we can't use any of those things because all didn't authorize the use of such things, and because were Christians. Well we have to break convertible this ourselves. We were doing that adequately we probably would be unable to bear the full burden of it in the context of the culture in which we live. Saying we shouldn't use government services, but look something that is long about that is to push the personal concern for the people about whom we should be concerned, often to the government say well as long as the government has provided its programs. We don't have to be interested in. These people just fill out a form government will take care of it and that's the end of our responsibility, government, you know, by the sheer weight of its bureaucracy is most impersonal, most discouraging thing in the world is to try to get something through a bureaucratic system and if you're old alone independence.
I suppose it's even more discouraging when you're young and here's where the church should really step in and we should manifest our concern for the needy in all those areas also talks about true need here and is aware because he was a shrewd man that sometimes people are going to apply for funds that don't need them may be a family that can care for them, or perhaps our younger able to work Paul talk here about widows being different ages and if one is unable to work, by all means she should work that would apply to anybody else just because there's a derelict hangs around and asked for money all the time. That doesn't mean that it's the responsibility of the church to take care of him.
He may well be able to work because is not being careful in these things we don't want the church to be in the business of subsidizing indolence were not around here to make it easy for people not to contribute to society not to do anything to just sit around and be sponges and soak up resources that could be put to better uses what he says. The need is real is a personal letter can't work in a really does need somebody to be concern for them, then by all means should be the responsibility of the church, whether it's a question of widows or derelicts or alcoholics will yield the them for those who need operations whenever it may be see the ways working. I think Paul doesn't actually say this here, but it would be a valid point and perhaps since elsewhere. He also appeals to our self-interest. It wouldn't be out of order. To say that our self-interest is involved here as well. We were young care for the elderly.
Today, let's remember the day is coming when we to will be elderly.
We may need people to be caring for us. Beginning in verse 17 Paul is a section where he talks about elders.
The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
For the Scripture says do not muzzle the ox while it spreading out the grain and the worker deserves his wages really talks about two things in those verses the bursar so that follows. He's talking about honor giving honor to those who have spiritual responsibility in the churches. Those who are our fathers spiritually, which is what the idea of elders involves and secondly stuck about the matter support is monetary support were so inclined. In our day to think in terms of money that that is a problem because we think independently and we have a suspicion of leadership were very disinclined to obey the Lord at this point of honor.
And yet, perhaps here is where were most lacking.
We have a breakdown of authority in our country for children to not honor parents or parents do not honor civic authorities with the people at large about honor government authorities were seeing the fruits of that at every hand. Here is an area where Christians supplied their relationships within the family of God should set a pattern which is contagious, but ultimately will be beneficial to the nation at large and word of honor in a special way those whom God is that over us. I know we find ourselves at times critical of those who are in positions of leadership within the church, and undoubtedly rightly so many many cases we forgot. I suppose how extraordinary in some respects, much of our spiritual leadership is certainly how extraordinary our leadership is in evangelical churches know if a person who lives in a poor area of the city and perhaps doesn't have many benefits gets in trouble with the police makes a little news item 1 of those things happen, nobody pays a great deal of attention.
If people in business. Rob, their employers go off makes a little bit more attention of a minister or an elder somebody who makes a religious profession has a special area of responsibility in the church, one denomination or another Rob's somebody why that's big big story very fact that is big news said alertness to the far more important fact that there are within the church as those really carry on a spiritual sow persuasive and persevering ministry year after year after year. That's certainly true here Paul is saying look to those give not only honor but double honor, because the gift of God to the church and you should honor them as you would honor your own father matter support perhaps doesn't require so much comments.
I think those of us are in a position of being paid in the ministry because it's our job should certainly learn from this. Be cautious, the area Monday.
I think any minister who is paid should do something in the spiritual nature completely free of pay, so he has a clear in his own mind that she's not just doing it for money that it happens to be his job is gladly supported by equity audit contribute to this organization and serve in that organization pulled his resources and give himself and so forth just so it's clear in his own mind that he's doing it under the Lord, not a man, and for spiritual reasons and not for money but bulbous. I hear you say that not only is it not unspiritual are those who were working in the church in a full-time capacity to be paid. It's really what those were working in the kind of opacity should have because he quote Scripture you don't even muzzle the ox that treads out the corn.
He says well certainly you shouldn't hold back preachers of elders and others work full-time from the full measure of their reward. I must admit, sometimes I feel like an ox that is treading out the corn. But even the dreaded out of the court's work and Paul is laying down the principal now in these last verses of the chapter gives some very practical advice. Let me start with verse 21 I charge you in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism not be hasty in the laying on of hands to not share the sins of others keep yourself pure stop drinking only water's a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. Sins of some men are obvious reaching the place of judgment ahead of them the sins of others trail behind them in the same way. Good deeds are obvious and even those that are not cannot be hidden. I think he gives for practical points of those verses may express them in a way, I hope you can remember he saying take care not to be partial, number one. Take care in choosing leaders. That's number two. Take care of yourself. That's number three and finally take no care for the outcome always in danger of being partial. Certainly that's true for Christian leaders than anybody else were part of the people we like are not to be in one of the difficulties that ministers are often warned about in seminary, at least if it's a good seminary is the way in which they form friendships within the congregation. I think sometimes it's overdone. I do know ministers who say that they have no friends at all in the congregation because they regard themselves as being a part of impartial and they can have friends. That's really a sad thing when that happens because ministers need that kind of support, much as anybody else.
There is a great danger to partiality when that's allowed to get out of hand. What happens is quite obvious. Congregation is divided as the steam and there's that team and wherefore Paula slurp up all for Cephas happened in Paul's day.
Of course happens in our day as well. That is destructive. I would be like the children choosing upsides for the father and the mother concerned lime for mom and I'm for pop.
Well that's okay if it's only the children but I tell you the mother and the father better be aware of the fact that they're on the same team and draw the thing back together again.
We've got a lot of trouble. Paul is saying, look, just be careful of that and take care not to be partial.
Take care, choosing leaders still choose novices Americans work the opposite way somebody's famously become a Christian right, they go to the top there giving their testimony all over the country make a movie of all says all that's dangerous. Don't put people in the leadership spots until they been proven church would be so much healthier people would just follow point of advice.
It's as simple as that.
This matter of using wine because of your stomach say is probably the best known verse in the Bible among alcoholics. There is not a drunkard. I suppose it all Americo doesn't know that Mercy may not know where it's found what he does know that Paul said use a little wine for your stomach's sake.
And so they justify their alcoholism.
That way, Paul's months laying down laws against alcohol that's true, is not saying never drink any wine is telling Timothy to drink it here, but it's quite obvious to anyone who reads that that that is not an excuse for self-indulgence with alcoholic beverages and that's why I phrased it the way I did what Paul is saying here is not drink but he saying take care your health because you're gonna need it. This is a hard row but we have the home in the ministry and make sure that you have enough health to get to the end of the row. Finally, we come to that last point which I call take no care for the outcome is talking about sin's good deeds and he says look you know how it is where sin is concerned.
Some people send in an open way are they said in a quiet way and they get caught, and judgment comes and everybody is aware of what they've done what he said you know perfectly well. There are people who do equally bad things and will hide in the way you never find out about it but he says that's going to come out in the end of the judgment is going to come I want to stand before his face one day not as one who had the acclaim of the world, but as one who served the King of Kings and I want him to say to me. Well done. Let us pray our father, we want to be able to stand before you and hear your commendation. Yet when we look to ourselves when we see what we are. We can understand how you can use anything that we could do find pleasure in any service we might give yet you do you encourage us to serve and to be faithful as long as you encourage that that is what we want to do. We want to show our godliness, not in the kind of false piety. The way we love and respect and serve one another grant we might do it do it the honor and praise of Jesus Christ taught us how, by his own example, a man listening to the Bible study hours featuring the teaching of Dr. James Boyce, as believers, we look to Jesus, our good Shepherd for protection and direction in the same manner we look to our pastors as under shepherds of the flock, but what about our responsibilities in caring for our fellow believers. The late Dr. Donald Ray Barnhouse addresses this question in today's free CD offer responsibility for God's flock. Simply call us at 1-800-488-1888 will be pleased to send you a copy of responsibility for Christ's flock number again is 1-800-488-1888. If you appreciate hearing Dr. Boyce's messages each week on this radio station would you consider supporting the Bible study our we depend on listeners like you to keep this weekly program on the air and on the Internet you can make a monthly pledge or a one time donation by calling us directly at 1-800-488-1888 or you can visit us online at the Bible study our data work.
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Dr. Boyce's impact reached far beyond the pulpit are Bible teacher was a prolific author and articulate spokesman for the reformed faith around the world, audio, and print materials from Dr. Boyce's special event broadcast and writing ministries are firstname.lastname@example.org that's reformed God away by Mark Daniels. Glad you listen today.
So what does warfare have in common with godly unbelievers supposed to be peacemakers who love their enemies and turn the other cheek financers next time on the Bible study our is Dr. James Boyce concludes a study of Paul's first letter to Timothy. That's next time on the Bible study our preparing you to think and act