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Summary:

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Intro.:

1. In your opinion, what makes for a good preacher?

a. Probably get as many answers as responses!

b. Fortunately, we can turn to Scripture to answer this (1 Tim. 4:6).

2. Here Paul uses the phrase, "A good minister of Jesus Christ."

a. Way to do this: "Put the brethren in remembrance of these things."

b. What "these things" means holds key to being "a good minister."

c. TONIGHT: Textual study of 1 Tim. 4:6.

I. CONTEXT OF 1 TIM. 4:6 .

A. Broad context:

1. Timothy left in Ephesus to deal with church problems (1:3-4).

2. If 2 Tim. was written in mid 60s, then Timothy was working with an established eldership (cf. Acts 20:17).

3. Timothy was the "located preacher" in a first century cong. with elders.

B. Immediate context:

1. Paul warns about a certain type of false teaching (4:1-5).

a. Asceticism: self-denial for religious purposes

b. Not wrong in and of itself (cf. Mt. 11:18-19).

c. This type wrong: "Forbidding to marry . . . eat food."

2. One of the church problems in Ephesus was this particular form of false teaching.

II. LOOKING AT 1 TIM. 4:6 ITSELF .

A. Timothy's task: "Put the brethren in remembrance of these things."

1. Other translations:

a. "POINT these things OUT to the brethren" (NIV).

b. "PUT these things BEFORE the brethren" (RSV).

c. "In POINTING OUT these things to the brethren" (NASB).

2. Word appears in only one other place in the NT (Rom. 16:4).

B. What was Timothy to "point out"?--"THESE THINGS"!

1. What does that mean? (3 possibilities):

a. Everything in the letter up to this point.

b. Everything Paul has said or will say in letter.

c. What Paul has just said about refuting this form of false teaching.

2. Third view is the best and most instructive for us.

3. Note what Paul said needed to be pointed out:

a. Asceticism a clear violation of God-given blessings (3).

b. What God has created is good and not to be refused (4).

c. Created things sanctified by WOG and prayer of man (5).

4. This is clear Bible teaching! (Gen. 1-2)

a. Pointed out Scripture!

b. Pointed out how it applied to current situation!

C. This is the heart of what it means to be a minister of the Word.

1. Involves two things:

a. Exegesis: knowing what the Bible says.

b. Application: making it a relevant message today.

2. Therefore, to do this well, a minister of the Word must:

a. Know the Bible.

b. Know people.

III. AN APPLICATION FOR TODAY .

A. Being "a good minister of Jesus Christ" involves whatever it takes to put the brethren in mind of the Lord.

1. Will involve a continual study of God's Word.

2. Not a job for the lazy of mind.

3. If a man is not willing to involve himself in the serious study of the Word he is in the wrong profession.

4. Some preachers are so busy with things that are NOT their primary task they have little time for what is!

B. Close with a piece on how a congregation can make their preacher "A Minister of the Word." "Make your preacher a minister of the word. Fling him into his office, tear the office sign from the door and nail on it the sign: STUDY. Take him off the mailing list, lock him up with his books. Get him all kind of books, and his Bible. Slam him down on his knees before texts, broken hearts, flippant lives of a superficial flock, and the Holy God. Force him to be the one in the community who knows God. Throw him into the ring to box with God till he learns how short his arms are; engage him to wrestle with God all the night through. Let him come out only when he is bruised and beaten into being a blessing. Set a time clock on him that will imprison him with thought and writing about God for 60 hrs. a week. Shut his big mouth forever spouting `remarks' and stop his tongue always tripping lightly over everything non-essential. Require him to have something to say before he dare break silence. Bend his knees in the lonesome valley, fire him from the PTA and cancel his country club membership; burn his eyes with weary study, wreck his emotional poise with worry for God, and make him exchange his pious stance for a humble walk with God and man. Make him spend and be spent for the glory of God. Rip out his telephone, burn up his ecclesiastical success sheets, refuse his glad hand, and put water in the gas tank of his community buggy. Give him a Bible and tie him in his pulpit and make him preach the word of the living God. Test him, quiz him, and examine him; humiliate him for his ignorance of things divine, and shame him for his glib comprehension of finances, batting averages, and political in-fighting. Laugh at his frustrated attempts to play psychiatrist, scorn his insipid morality, ignore his broadmindedness, and compel him to be a minister of the Word!


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