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Summary: Timothy was the pastor of the church at Ephesus. He was probably between 30 and 40 years old, and he had a problem. The elders in leadership at the church were all over 40 years old, and were not taking Timothy seriously because of his age. Paul’s advi

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BE AN EXAMPLE

Text: 1 Timothy 4:12

Introduction:

•Timothy was the pastor of the church at Ephesus

•Timothy was probably between 30 and 40 years old

•Elders in leadership, all over 40 years old, not taking Timothy seriously

•Paul’s advice: earn their respect by being an example in six different areas

A. Be an example in word (speech)

•Our words indicate what is in our heart (Matthew 12:34 – 37)

oWhat’s coming out of your mouth? Complaints, discouragement, lies, gossip, profanity?

•Our word ought to make others curious about Christ (Colossians 4:6)

oPart of our witness – should be gracious, pleasant, courteous

•A woman I met at Piggly Wiggly when I was a stockboy was complaining about everything from the prices, the smell of the store, and the way I was bagging her groceries. As I carried out her groceries, she complained about the way the parking lot was laid out, and how hot it was outside. I put her groceries in the car, and she said, "Have a nice day!" I thought to myself, "I was until I met you!"

•Some of us run down our church, pastor, and other Christians and invite those that we complain to to come to revival or other service. Why would they want to come? You’ve just told them how much you hate it!

B. Be an example in conversation (behavior)

•We are to act as new creations in Christ (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:17 – 24)

•We are to live victoriously over the addictions of the world by the Spirit’s power (Ephesians 5:15 – 21)

oAlcohol, sex, drugs, gambling, pornography, materialism

oChristians who still have problems with these things are saying that God is not powerful enough to deliver them from these habits

•People are watching

C. Be an example in charity (love)

•Our love ought to be genuine and active (1 John 3:18)

•Our love ought to be motivated by God’s love for us (1 John 4:7 – 11)

•We should have no respect for “Christians” who say things like “All homosexuals put on an island and bombed” – what about liars? They are sinners too! (Proverbs 6:17)

D. Be an example in spirit (demeanor)

•Our attitude should be characterized by the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22, 23)

•Our attitude should exemplify God’s love and grace (Colossians 3:12 – 17)

E. Be an example in faith (faithfulness)

•We should do things as if we are doing them for the Lord (Colossians 3:22 – 24)

oAt church, work, home

•We should encourage the faithfulness of other Christians (Hebrews 10:23 – 25)

•We should not put people in leadership positions if they are not faithful

F. Be an example in purity (motives)

•Our motives should be based upon the great commandment (Mark 12:28 – 31)

•Our motives should be based upon the great commission (Matthew 28:19, 20)

•It’s not a competition, we are not to glorify ourselves, our pastor, or our church

•3 goals of the church: glorify God, edify the Church, testify to the lost

Conclusion:

•Do you want people to take you seriously as a Christian? What kind of example are you setting?

•Some people say, "pray for my family," but they are not faithful to church or acting and speaking like a Christian

•Everyone is an example, some good, some bad

•Leaders, someone is following you; where are you leading them?

•One day we will give an account of our lives


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