Summary: Today, we have the threat of cross-contamination between the ways of God and the ways of the world, just as it was threatening the church where Timothy was Paul’s chosen leader.
Sermon Title: Help Wanted – Man of God
Text: 1 Timothy 3
Date: August 24, 2003
Context of Scripture:
It only stands to reason that since we dealt with the issue of women in the ministry last times we looked at Paul’s letter to Pastor Timothy, we should look at what is required of the men.
When you deal in two entirely different outlooks on accepted behavior, when the two exist side by side, the one that is correct, and in this case it is God’s will, there is the likelihood and temptation for there to be a mixing of the two. This same issue causes us problems today. Today, we have the threat of cross-contamination between the ways of God and the ways of the world, just as it was threatening the church where Timothy was Paul’s chosen leader.
Please stand for the reading of God’s Holy Word!
Scripture Reading: 1 Timothy 3
1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach. 11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth. 16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Proclaimed among the nations, Believed on in the world, Taken up in glory.
Why settle for mediocrity when excellence is within reach? There is nothing wrong with striving for the best. There is nothing wrong with doing things in a superior fashion. There is however a stipulation that goes along with that, we can seek that type of excellence only if it is in the will and the way of the Lord.
In the schools, the message that is brought to the students is for the need to aim high. They are to aim high academically, they are to aim high professionally, and they are to aim high personally. God honors those that aim high academically, if it is for the expressed purpose of the glory of His kingdom. God honors those that aim high professionally, if it is for the expressed purpose of the glory of His kingdom. God will also honor our personal high ideals, but only if they are in line with His will for our lives. This is the area that creates the greatest of conflicts because we have to resist the inborn urge to cater to the me and instead see our needs and desires through the lens of God’s will for our lives. Aim High! But let the target be the heights of heaven and an eternity in the presence of God praising His holy name.
If we look at the church of today and compare it to the society with which it competes, it is making a dismal showing. I am not suggesting that we should look to the world for ways of bettering what we do for the kingdom of God, I am saying that we are doing a poor job of offering something in a manner that is fitting of the Creator of all. Everywhere that we look, the society is doing what it can to present the best for those who are seeking, but what about the church. We have the ultimate and most powerful power behind us and yet we go about things in the most humdrum of fashions. We have the big old frowns, the wrinkled foreheads, and somehow someone has gotten the idea across that Christians cannot have fun. That is nonsense – I have never had a better time in my life then in recent history, serving God and doing His will. If we wish to turn the tide of apathy in the world around us in regards to the things of the Lord, we need to Raise the Standards! Raise the standards and put a smile on our faces so wide that it cannot help but be contagious.