Taking the Epistle

A biblical journey through the epistles

Monthly Archives: April 2015

BIAY – Bible in a year – April 30th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for April check out our April page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for April thirty.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

1st Chronicles 5-6.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

False Teachers and True Contentment

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This bible study is part of a series on the book of 1st Timothy, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of 1st Timothy for other studies in this book.

When I set this blog up my intention was to explore the epistles and do the occasional bible study based on what I had studied and learned, what you are reading below is notes I have made. I have to confess that this bible study is basic in its content and is not prepared by a pastor and I have to admit I have no theological training; my hope in prayer is that someone will be blessed by the notes below.

Let’s start in verse three of the sixth chapter of First Timothy.

False Teachers and True Contentment

Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Even today we have the problem of false teachers in the church. Paul closes the letter in the same vein that he began, warning Timothy to be vigilant against those who would teach contrary to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

These teachers would usually be subtle; they would teach a gospel similar to those who taught the truth and the changes would lead into heresy and false teaching. As Timothy was in charge of doctrines he was charged with controlling that only the truth was taught, both from the front of the assembly and crucially also in smaller group settings or individual conversations.

Timothy had to be careful to keep people and their doctrine straight, to deal quickly and decisively with the heretic who promotes his own ideas that are contrary to sound doctrine. Those types of heretics can usually be corrected with a correction of their doctrine. One does wonder on the study habits of those who do not understand or attempt to teach a bible study on a contravening fashion to what the bible actually says.

Here we get into the problem of opinion over God’s word, God’s word is infallible, inerrant and reliable and man’s opinion is simply not. (Even this one!) It is flawed, it can change and in terms of reliability it is a difference of night and day between the two, Gods work will always trump the opinion of man.

A modern day example of this is the ordination of people who were never meant to be ordained or even placed in the pulpit in the first place are allowed to go against Gods word due to a “shift in man’s opinion”. The word of God has not changed but man’s opinion, to quote the character Moriarty in the hit TV series “Sherlock” is “Soooo changeable.”

Paul goes on to say that even the “sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness” are not being heeded. This may sound obvious but surely if you are calling yourself a Christian then the words of Christ himself must be foremost in your life? Christianity is not a journey that ends at conversion but a daily battle between our flesh and holiness.

Some are not openly denying Gods word; some do more subtle things such as explain away God word such as trying to apply human logic to the truths of God. (An example of this would be the ones who try to explain the creation of God by adding science to stretch Gods word or link the two, and theories such as the “gap theory”)

God’s word is not to be ignored or used as a plaything to try to prove a point in contentious issues; it is not a toy to be used and abused as we in our human sinful heart does not appreciate its true worth. It is not to be ignored or denied, we are either in this life 100% or we are not. Yes we do fall off the horse and need to repent but a continual state of rebellion is just not on.

Here is the deal, we can be like the Pharisees and know the word of God to the letter and period, we can know what it says, and we know its truths and still miss the message. We have to believe that this book has the power to transform my life and is not just a book of knowledge or a historical factual book. This is why Paul writes about the proud man…

V4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

Haven’t we all been there? Being proud of what we think we know or whatever miniscule achievement we have managed on our own wee puff of steam that we have gathered. A pastor once said to me when we were sharing a fast food meal “the man who doesn’t think he struggles with pride struggles more than you would think because he hasn’t admitted it to himself yet” and there is a lot of truth in that.

Yes by all means have confidence in your knowledge of the LORD but please make sure the word changes your life. We covered the man who has “an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions, and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.” We covered this when we spoke about what the word was not, we all want to be seen as knowledgeable and in the worst case I have seen someone I respect lie about their credentials in order to try prove a point.

Paul speaks about these folks who do not ask questions or post scripture to help others or to be helped; they are doing this to flex their theological intellectual muscles. They wish to debate or show how smart they are in this chosen area that they wish to foist upon the folks who end up discussing it. Often times they cause more division than edification and end up splitting Gods children as opposed to bringing them together under a common faith.

Often times those folks will also attack those in the church who are serving for their own ends. Different people have different motivations so the motivations maybe as varied as follows…

Envy – they believe they should be up front instead of the leader
Dissension – the caused strife and contention with who they were
Slander – They would spread stories in order to destabilize the body
Evil suspicions – They would make assumptions about motives in the leadership
Constant friction – they would be the epicenter of any drama.

V5b imagining that godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness with contentment is great gain, 7 for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of the world. 8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content.

Paul goes on to talk about the difference between heavenly gain (godliness) and material gain (man’s wishes) and let me assure you right off the bat that there is no material gain from godliness. Jesus never meant it that way and he stated that in the gospel of Matthew chapter 6…

Matthew 6:19 (ESV) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust  destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

God’s word and church is not a “get rich quick scheme” very few of us get paid by the church to do what we do and these people are motivated by how quickly they can secure a paycheck or “what can this faith do for me?” these people usually disappear when the going gets tough and the blessings are not raining down on them. We cannot be in it for what we get, we have to be in it for the faith that it is.

And I know we covered this before in a previous chapter but the saying is true regarding material wealth “you can’t take it with you” We have to be content with what God has provided us with, yes your brother at church may have a nicer car/pool/house/tech gadgets/whatever but we are commanded not to covet and this is exactly why.

This is why I talk about contentment, because the human psyche will convince ourselves that if we had “just a little more” we would be happy, if we could get to this financial landmark, if we could get this car in the driveway, if we could get a house with this square footage, if I could have this cell phone, this computer and this size of TV with these many channel package on the cable or satellite then I would be happy. That is a lie! Regardless of the material things that we have it will NEVER make us happy.

That is not to say we should “Go Amish” and reject all possessions. We have to stake our hope, our happiness and our life on something that is not moved by a barometer of success that only moves when we amass more stuff. This is only found in Gods committed relationship with us and finding contentment in a complete surrender in his will for our lives.

Really the kicker to whether it is a good thing for you individually is to ask yourself the honest question “This thing, it is bringing me closer to God or further away?” some people are not affected by the pull of materialism and do not have that drug inducted type compulsion to have it in the same way an addict needs their next fix. If that replaces God then we have a problem.

Contentment is tough; Paul goes further on this topic in the book of Philippians…

Philippians 4:10 (ESV) I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. 11 Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. 12 I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. 13 I can do all things through him who strengthens me.

And that is a bullet point of what I am trying to say “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.” And that has to be the glue that holds our Christian life together is that sold out faithful dependence on the living Christ. Do I do it right all the time every time? Actually no, I am a sinful human who messes up more than I get it right, however I am praying for contentment in what I have.

There are no guarantees that God will bless you with more if you become content, it is possible but I would not like to second guess what God’s plan is in your life. But the root of what I am saying is that we have to take our eyes off the things we have surrounded ourselves with and find contentment in heavenly things. Really we have to “renew our mind” As Paul writes in Romans 12.

I hear it sometimes that I need this possession or that one “for ministry” and I am not suggesting that all comforts are wrong. For example in my agape bible study I use a laptop, my TV, my musical keyboard all for ministry. The use of these gifts also coupled with the use of my wife using our cooker to cook them a meal blessed these people. Those were bought out of our abundance and we are living above the “contentment standard” of just food and clothing.

V8 But if we have food and clothing, with these we will be content. 9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

Here is what it comes down to and would you be happy in this situation, if you have clothes to wear and food to eat you are being provided for, there is no mention of that big house, big car, cell phone, tablet or whatever else we have made it so that we cannot “live without”,

This is an extreme obviously, but I think it would be a good idea to unplug for even a weekend and just get away from it, no cell phones, no computers and just get away from this arena of desire for more and more, to consume more than we need. To actually have a simpler life for a short time and just be in the Word of God. That to me would be awesome.

V9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Paul follows on with the adverse effects of the desire to be rich, it becomes an all-consuming passion and temptation to those who have fallen into it. Jesus states about serving money (or riches) in Matthew 6:

Matthew 6:24 (ESV) “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

Money itself is not evil; it is the love of money. We are warned in the next verse (verse 10) as well as in the book of Hebrews…

Hebrews 13:5 (ESV) Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

If we are seeking after what we do not have and have this wanton lust or covetousness for temporary things we will never be satisfied. There will always be a bigger model, a newer model; a model with more features to whatever it is we covet. That goes for cars, houses, pools, TV’s, whatever you think of.

I don’t single out one particular vice as different people have different hot buttons. I would ask this question and say if you had $10,000 to blow in a day, how would you blow it? You are not allowed to invest it and you can only buy items that you have wanted. Once that day is gone, you lose what you have not spent and you cannot invest it. One man may want to spend his money of guns and sports pursuits, another may buy a jumbo TV and sound system, another may put down money on a sports car, another may pay down a bigger pool, another may put towards a house, put simply, what comes to the top of your mind and they possession that you long for in your heart is what I mean.

Is it bad to want nice things? No, if the LORD has blessed you with abundance then praise the LORD, it is the fruits of your hard work, and however you may want to check if you are using your funds to build your kingdom or Gods?

If you are poor it does not mean that you are less godly than the man who lives in a big house. This should not be the desire of your heart; the riches we have to go after are treasures in heaven. I have found that when I have stopped being so self-centered and actually just serve others and do what God has called me to do, in his strength then I am so much more fulfilled than if I just spent the last hour looking through a catalogue lamenting what I do not have. Jesus spoke on this in the gospel of Matthew…

Matthew 6:19 (ESV) “Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, 20 but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

Paul explains that the money, the dollar bills, the pound notes or whatever currency you peddle is not the problem. It is our attitude and heart toward that money that is the issue. If we love the money and give it a place that it should never occupy then that is the root of all kinds of evil. This type of heart no longer thinks on a godly plain and there are many things that we would do for the reward of money that we would never consider otherwise.

I am reminded of this with a skit I saw on TV with two men and the first said to another “would you kill someone for me?” and the second said “of course not” first replied “if you wouldn’t get caught and I gave you a million pounds, would you?” Second man thinks and says “Okay then” first one replies and said “what about for a pound?” Second man said “Of course not” First man delivers a hammer blow by stating “Well I already know you could be a murderer, we just have to agree on the price!”

Paul then makes a list of how people have problems reconciling faith in Jesus with a love of money. He writes the following “It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs”.

This is exactly what we have been talking about as far as the lack of satisfaction. I liken it to having a choice between grabbing a soda and grabbing a water when you are working outside when it is 104F. One of these drinks will satisfy your thirst and another will give you a brief respite before making you thirst again. Only the water will hydrate you and this is similar to the living water that we have access to.

John 4:7 (ESV) A woman from Samaria came to draw water. Jesus said to her, “Give me a drink.” 8 (For his disciples had gone away into the city to buy food.) 9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “How is it that you, a Jew, ask for a drink from me, a woman of Samaria?” (For Jews have no dealings with Samaritans.) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is that is saying to you, ‘Give me a drink,’ you would have asked him, and he would have given you living water.” 11 The woman said to him, “Sir, you have nothing to draw water with, and the well is deep. Where do you get that living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob? He gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did his sons and his livestock.” 13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” 15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I will not be thirsty or have to come here to draw water.”

Which is exactly what Paul is writing about, we cannot have reliance on the temporary things of this world but our reliance must be on the one who delivers “living water”. We have to base our lives on that solid foundation, our messiah Jesus Christ.

Thank you again for finding this article and I pray these bible studies are a blessing. Please feel free to comment, like or share as the LORD leads you to.
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – April 29th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for April check out our April page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for April twenty ninth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

1st Chronicles 3-4.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – April 28th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for April check out our April page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for April twenty eighth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

1st Chronicles 1-2.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

Be a Christian in the workplace

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This bible study is part of a series on the book of 1st Timothy, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of 1st Timothy for other studies in this book. 

When I set this blog up my intention was to explore the epistles and do the occasional bible study based on what I had studied and learned, what you are reading below is notes I have made. I have to confess that this bible study is basic in its content and is not prepared by a pastor and I have to admit I have no theological training; my hope in prayer is that someone will be blessed by the notes below.

Let’s start in verse one of the sixth chapter of First Timothy.

Give masters their due honor

1 Timothy 6:1 (ESV) Let all who are under a yoke as bondservants regard their own masters as worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and the teaching may not be reviled. 2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

But I am not a slave?

Yes you may not be a slave under the terms written about here, however I do ask you one quick question. “Are you employed?” “Do you have a contract of employment with someone?” “Are you bound to be there a certain hour level a week in order to retain employment?” If the answer to these questions is “yes” then these circumstances apply to you.

Your masters in this case are your supervisors or your bosses; do we give our employers their due honor? Are we respectful in the workplace? Does our actions when we are supposed to be diligent at work reflect the faith that we hold dear?

Does our lives and the way that we tackle the work the LORD has blessed us with (because there is a lot of unemployment and if you do not respect or love your job there is a line of people that will happily fill in for you and let you go elsewhere- make no mistake, having a job, any job is a blessing!) make others wonder and want to explore the faith we hold dear?

Paul speaks of this in his letter to the Colossian church in chapter three…

Colossians 3:22 (ESV) Bondservants, obey in everything those who are your earthly masters, not by way of eye-service, as people-pleasers, but with sincerity of heart, fearing the Lord. 23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.

Again more confirmation from the pen of Paul a good biblical truth. We as Christians are supposed to be a good example to the world around us. Paul writes and states that we should be working for our employers as if the LORD Jesus Christ was our direct supervisor.

Are we a walking advert for Jesus? Are we an advert for hiring Christians? Are we diligent in a way that when we work other see Christ in what we do and even our work itself is a silent testimony to our Savior?

Are we only working when we are watched? Are we respectful of our bosses? Do we arrive on time? Do we work hard within our parameters? Do we try to excel in all we do? Are we praying for the success of our companies? Really we are trying to glorify God in all that we do! 

Conversely, to quote the Christian Scientist Kent Hovind “We are all serving in one way or another, but are we serving as a bad example?” and that could be the case for our individual walks, are we causing unbelievers to not work hard as they are following our bad example?

What if my boss is a believer?

This command so far talks under the assumption that the employer is not a believer, but Paul also covers what would happen if your manager is a believer and stands next to you at church?

V2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved.

I ask myself this question when I look at this line of scripture, “Would I shirk off if I worked for my father?”, “Would I slack off if my boss was my brother?” “Would I disrespect a member of my family?” If the answer is no then why would we do it if our manager or our company owner is a believer?

I love the show “Duck Dynasty” it is by far one of the best shows on TV. I am not the usual demographic for this show as I am not Southern, full bearded, a hunter, a gun fanatic and I rarely am seen outdoors. I am what Phil would call a “yuppie”. But the show does make me “Happy, Happy, Happy” when I watch it. Compared to most other things on the TV it is decent, wholesome and it is an honest to goodness family who loves the LORD and always has God in the center of what they do.

One concern I have though is the work ethic of the two younger brothers Jase and Jep and the example they give of Christian work ethics. The boss man Willie seems to work hard and has to consistently reign in his brothers as they goof off, go hunting, go fishing, disappear in the middle of the day and encourage the non-family members who work alongside to do likewise. It makes for good entertainment I guess but it doesn’t paint Christians in a very good light in the workplace.

Before the DD fans invade this place and say I am slamming the show, I am not! I just wish this part of the show was done better because I love the show and have many seasons on DVD and I am 99% happy with the show and believe the characters to be awesome believers, they just let themselves down in this area!

My boss will show me Christian grace!

That is a misnomer and I would have a hard time with a boss that would do so. Slacking off and taking advantage just because your boss is a Christian is a really bad abuse of a fellow brother or sister in the LORD. We should want to work just as hard if not harder for our brother in the faith and ensure he has a roof over his head to as we would for a non-believer! Using someone’s faith as an excuse to be lazy is not on!

Hence why I entitled this “My boss will show me Christian grace” and I hear of the converse part of that also when someone gets laid off or sacked because they were not fulfilling what they were supposed to be getting paid for the cry is “They are supposed to be a Christian”. “Where is the love?” and people do not examine their own role in why they were let go.

We are called to love one another; we should show that love by being in submission to the authority that God has placed us under. We are part of a missionary team (along with the boss) to show the work ethic of the Christian and we should be blessing our brother with our hard work and being one that he would look to promote due to our diligence and hard work.

On the subject of promotion, we shouldn’t be looking for any special favors because our boss is a brother, we should be working at 110% to make sure that any progression is not viewed with contempt and is above reproach. We should be the top of our game and working to the best of our abilities at all times.

Teach and urge these things

Paul finished this part with the words “Teach and urge these things.” and you can see why, in the Roman era we had quite a mixed group coming through the church we had slaves and free, rich and poor men, Jews and Gentiles, Romans and non-Romans and in the church we did not have these distinctions. The church was the one place a slave could talk to a free man, a master could talk to a poor man and a former Jew could converse with a Roman all as brothers in Christ.

Regardless of the status of the person, regardless of the background or ethnicity they had one thing on common, the faith in Jesus Christ.  Paul expected that regardless of whom they were outside of the assembly, that in their Christian dealings they would be treated the same way. It was Timothy’s job to teach these things to everyone regardless of rank, file or association of the member.

Thank you again for finding this article and I pray these bible studies are a blessing. Please feel free to comment, like or share as the LORD leads you to.
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – April 27th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for April check out our April page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for April twenty seventh.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

2nd Kings 24-25.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – April 26th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for April check out our April page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for April twenty sixth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

2nd Kings 22-23.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – April 25th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for April check out our April page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for April twenty fifth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

2nd Kings 19-21.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE

Keep these rules without prejudging

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This bible study is part of a series on the book of 1st Timothy, in order to see the full series please check out our “epistle” page or alternatively please check out our page dedicated to the book of 1st Timothy for other studies in this book.  

When I set this blog up my intention was to explore the epistles and do the occasional bible study based on what I had studied and learned, what you are reading below is notes I have made. I have to confess that this bible study is basic in its content and is not prepared by a pastor and I have to admit I have no theological training; my hope in prayer is that someone will be blessed by the notes below.

Let’s start in verse twenty one of the fifth chapter of First Timothy.

Do not show partiality 

1st Timothy 5:21 In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality.

We have to deal swiftly, accurately and decisively with such things in the church as such things being allowed to fester and to rot will erode a man’s ability to serve, teach and whilst something hangs over his head, his very credibility will be in doubt. No one should be above correction as we are human and we are beings that have no “perfect” or “sinless” setting.

We have to be accountable, we have to know and let it be known that sin will be dealt with in a biblical basis, that we believe that the very words we speak, the words we read from, the holy and inerrant word of God is infallible and the standard in which we attempt to attain. We cannot shield or suppress that which would harm the ministry and we must be above reproach in all that we do.

I state that as the churches who do suppress, hide sin, defer discipline and spiral out of control are the ones who regularly crash and burn. They see man’s reputation and man’s opinion as above what we read in the holy word of God. That is a slippery slope as we cannot discard the bible in one area and vigorously defend it in another.

James talks of this in his epistle…

James 2:1 (ESV) My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. 2 For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, 3 and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” 4 have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts? 5 Listen, my beloved brothers, has not God chosen those who are poor in the world to be rich in faith and heirs of the kingdom, which he has promised to those who love him? 6 But you have dishonored the poor man. Are not the rich the ones who oppress you, and the ones who drag you into court? 7 Are they not the ones who blaspheme the honorable name by which you were called? 8 If you really fulfill the royal law according to the Scripture, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself,” you are doing well. 9 But if you show partiality, you are committing sin and are convicted by the law as transgressor. 

Really states and wraps up what I was saying much better than I ever could. (Remember the whole part about elevating leaders unto a pedestal)

Be careful who you promote into leadership

V22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. 23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.

We have to be careful who we let into leadership, we have to choose men who have served diligently and are above reproach (see chapter three) there must not be a fast track dependent on who people are or prior reputation. (Often times it is pastors who want their sons in ministry with them or their family members) That we should let God move in our hearts and choose people who are called as opposed to those who are liked.

We have to allow the gifts to be demonstrated and be evident. Would we send someone who is not musically talented to be a worship leader? Then why would we allow someone who is not called to leadership to be a leader?

We have to keep ourselves pure and Paul gives an important reminder to Timothy here when he is assessing the gifts of others that he assesses himself and keeps himself clean. He has to be pure as to avoid any backchat from those he wishes to lead by stating “well what about xxx sin in your life?”

And to take this further as Paul does, he is not (we also) to share in other peoples sins, we cannot be pure if we are joining in a communal sin. We can be a bad example, we can sin in a way that would encourage them to fall, we can “respect persons” and reject others, we can reject the teachings of the word of God, we can fall into heresies, and there are countless ways this could be done.

Wine for the sake of your stomach

V23 (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) 24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.

Timothy was abstaining from alcohol in order to be a good example (see chapter three) and Paul would have known of any gastroenterological problems that were being caused by the water situation in Ephesus. Paul is stating here that it may be better to have something that is fermented and not just water in order to settle his stomach.

What this advice is not

Is an open door to take wine as a recreational drug, we have to have a balance of what Paul is saying here. Do you fall into the same situation that Timothy has here and do you not have access to clean drinking water? Whether you get it from a tap/faucet or by way of a bottle. Will the water you drink cause you to have internal problems causing sickness in your body?

If the answer is no then I would proceed with caution as you would most likely follow the guidelines in chapter three. If the answer is yes then I would still be cautious and drink carefully and sparingly. Alcohol is a very tricky drug and it is so easy t become addicted. Please take it from someone who knows.

What the advice is

Is an advice from one friend to another in order to ease his discomfort. He knew that Timothy would exercise moderation in his doses of the “medication” and would not be found lying under the table in a stupor. I can’t exercise enough the advice to be cautious and be very careful if you choose to medicate in this fashion.

V24 The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. 25 So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.

Let me state here first and foremost by stating I don’t have it down yet! I am not perfect and if you want testimony of that then please consult my wife. Some sins are more obvious than others and some can be concealed better. If you are like me and have had addiction problems you go into “survival mode” and do tend to conceal things much better than others, whether that be information, feelings or whatever it would be.

Paul makes the comparison between good works and sin and states that good works are conspicuous, that good works will not remain hidden. This gives me hope, but I do wish to implore you to do good works for good works sake, without the hope of being noticed. I say that as one who has done things with impure motives and been disappointed when I have not been recognized as I thought I should have been.

Exhortation for leaders

It is important to use God’s discernment and cover everything in prayer, not everything we see on the outside may follow what is going on the heart and if there is a check in your spirit then investigate fully. It is important to equip the saints for the work of the ministry and the leadership must be proactive in doing so. They must bring the right people in based on the callings and skills the LORD has blessed them with and always go for the called option as opposed the popular one.

If someone is trying to go in a way the LORD is not leading then the leadership has to be strong and encourage the believer in a direction that is more suitable to their capabilities and callings. That way both parties know where they stand, rather than just not developing that person and deferring more pain along the way. Leaders have to be pure as they can be so that they can do the work of the LORD without stain or blemish to God’s truth.

Thank you again for finding this article and I pray these bible studies are a blessing. Please feel free to comment, like or share as the LORD leads you to.
TGBTG
TTE

BIAY – Bible in a year – April 24th 2015

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This article is part of a series called Bible in a year, for the full year please check out our BIAY home page, or for April check out our April page.

Thank you for checking out “bible in a year” post for April twenty fourth.

Today’s scripture is as follows:

2nd Kings 17-18.

Please share, comment or like below as the LORD leads
TGBTG
TTE