Summary: THEME OF 1 TIMOTHY: THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD MUST BE STRUCTURED AROUND APPROPRIATE STANDARDS FOR CONDUCT AND THE COMMON CONFESSION OF UNION WITH CHRIST
THEME OF 1 TIMOTHY: THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD MUST BE STRUCTURED AROUND APPROPRIATE STANDARDS FOR CONDUCT
AND THE COMMON CONFESSION OF UNION WITH CHRIST
Importance of Structure in the Local Church -- not just do whatever you please, however you want;
There are standards about who is eligible to serve as an elder or deacon;
There are standards about how we should conduct ourselves in the church. It matters to the Lord Jesus what type of leadership is over His flock; these are not optional items: cf. context of Chapter 3:
an overseer MUST be above reproach;
likewise deacons men of dignity
The local church is of supreme importance to Christ -- He is the head over His body = the church
I. (:14-15) APPROPRIATE STANDARDS OF CONDUCT FOR "THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD"
A. Urgency of Communicating the Appropriate Standards for Conduct
1. "These things" must be communicated
"I am writing these things to you"
2. Personal Visit is Preferred but may be Delayed
a. Prefers to Visit
"hoping to come to you before long"
b. Anticipates being Delayed
"but in case I am delayed"
3. Written Letter is Necessary in light of the Urgency (email would be even better!)
"I write so that"
B. Significance of the Appropriate Standards for Conduct
"you may know how one ought to conduct himself"
C. Importance of the Church
1. "Household of God"
this is a family affair; relationships are important
2. "Church of the Living God"
related to the living God; represents the living God in the world -- can’t be a dead church
Stedman: "The Apostle Paul uses two descriptive phrases here to tell us what that was. He calls the church, ’the house of God,’ which suggests intimacy and
warmth, a family gathered; and then he calls it, ’the church of the living God,’ which suggests excitement and power. That was what the church was, and is;
that is the nature of the church.
D. Priority of the Truth -- "pillar and support of the truth"
II. (:16) COMMON CONFESSION OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF OUR UNION WITH CHRIST -- "THE MYSTERY OF GODLINESS"
A. Summary of this Confession -- "And by common confession great is the mystery of godliness"
1. THE COMMON CONFESSION
churches tend to emphasize their distinctives; what makes them different;
here we will look at the fundamentals; what we have in common as the true Church of Jesus Christ;
probably vs. 16 was sung or recited as an early creed or hymn
2. THE REVEALED SECRET OF GODLINESS
We all love a good mystery. Our concept of a mystery = a whodonit? Where we have to use all of our reasoning powers to piece together the different clues and figure out the answer.
Here we are talking about a Great Mystery --
Great = "Mega" like megabucks; like megachurch / like huge;
When God says something is Mega, it’s really huge
Called a Mega Mystery -- but not the type of mystery that we could ever figure out on our own;
NT concept of mystery: truth previously hidden, which when revealed by God is understood only by the believer through the Holy Spirit;
What a privilege: God is going to clue us in on one of His Mega Mysteries.
b. "Godliness" = piety, devotion by men towards God;
these are not abstract truths about Christ that are being presented
the type of piety expressed in a life that is well-pleasing to God;
You want to be a good Christian: here is the secret:
Everything is wrapped up in our Union with Christ
TRANSITION; We have looked at the summary of the Confession; now let’s look at the DETAILS:
B. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE LIFE OF CHRIST
Different ways to treat the structure of these 6 sayings:
1) treat as couplets = contrast between visible realm and invisible; chiastic structure
2) treat as 2 groups of 3 -- which is my preference
1. "REVEALED IN THE FLESH"
Answers the Question: WHAT IS GOD LIKE?
"veiled in flesh the Godhead see"
self-concealment: "emptied Himself" (Philip. 2)
self-disclosure: John 1:14-18
Heb. 1:1-3 God has revealed Himself in His Son = the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature
Heb. 2:7 made Him for a little while lower than the angels
Heb. 2:14 Christ took part of flesh and blood
2. "VINDICATED IN THE SPIRIT"
Answers the Question: CAN CHRIST BE TRUSTED?
The claims Christ made as to His righteousness and His Sinlessness are all true
The Resurrection was the ultimate vindication
Rom. 1:4 "who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord"
"justified" = forensically declared just and righteous; God’s seal of approval on His Son