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Summary: In these statements, Paul gave to Timothy, Titus, and now to us, principles which are true and dependable, truths upon which we can build our faith and our lives in Christ.

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Desire to Serve

A Trustworthy Statement

09/21/08 PM

Text: 1 Timothy 3:1

Introduction

In this lesson we draw again from the letters of Paul that we often refer to as the “Pastoral Epistles”, those letters written to Timothy and Titus. In this lesson, as with the others, we focus on a particular thought which Paul identifies with the use of a particular phrase to underscore a principle or specific truth apart from the rest of the text: “This is a trustworthy statement...” By use of this phrase, Paul declares to the reader: "what I have just said, or am about to say is an important truth; it is a principle in which you can trust."

In these statements, Paul gave to Timothy, Titus, and now to us, principles which are true and dependable, truths upon which we can build our faith and our lives in Christ.

In this lesson we are going to look at the occurrence of this phrase in 1 Timothy 3 where the trustworthy statement is made that aspiring to serve as an overseer is a good work.

1 Timothy 3:1 (NASB) It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.

I.A Trustworthy Statement

A.It is a fine work he desires to do

1.desire: literally, “stretch one’s self forward to grasp”; “aim at”:

a.There ought to be an earnest desire of the office in those who would be put into it.

b.If a man so desires, he should earnestly desire it for the prospect he has of bringing greater glory to God, and of doing the greatest good to the souls of men in this service.

2.good work: literally, “honorable work.”

a.Not the honor associated with it, but the work, is the prominent thought.

3.What I would like us to consider in this lesson is not the qualifications required of the overseer but the desire to do good work.

B.We are all created to do good work

1.Ephesians 2:10 (NASB) For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them.

a.We are not saved by our good works but we are saved that we may perform good works, to the glory of God and the benefit of man.

b.He has saved us and so we demonstrate the virtues of Him who called us from darkness into his marvelous light.

2.Read Romans 7:4-6

3.Matthew 5:16 (NASB) “Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.

C.The benefits of service appear throughout scripture

1.Serving and ministering to others can point others to God (to Christians who had shared financially with others)

2 Corinthians 9:12 - 13 (NASB) For the ministry of this service is not only fully supplying the needs of the saints, but is also overflowing through many thanksgivings to God. Because of the proof given by this ministry, they will glorify God for your obedience to your confession of the gospel of Christ and for the liberality of your contribution to them and to all,

2.Service is an act of obedience to God, showing our love for God

Colossians 3:23 - 24 (NKJV) And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:17 (NASB) Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

3.Service is one of the purposes of the church / the way the church grows

Ephesians 4:11 - 13 (NKJV) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;

a.Those who lead, preach, and teach have the responsibility of equipping all the body to do the works for which we have been created.

b.No individual or role has the singular responsibility of serving; all of us do it together; each in our own way, according to our gifts. Every task is valuable and necessary.

Hebrews 10:24 (NASB) and let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds,

D.Are there special qualifications for Christian service?

1.The answer is yes and no.

2.No there are not.

a.Anyone can and should serve God (as we have just seen). Everyone has the opportunity, and the ability to serve God. Every Christian should strive to serve wherever they are, according to their unique gifts and abilities. In this regard there are only two primary factors:

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