Summary: This sermon continues the "Marks of a Faithful Preacher" series by addressing the personal responsibilities and manner of a faithful pastor from 2 Timothy 4:3-5
Marks of the Faithful Preacher, Part 3
A. A Call to Spiritual Commitment
In 1 and 2 Timothy Paul gave a breadth of responsibility to Timothy. Timothy was to correct those who taught false doctrine. He was to call people to a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. He was to fight for divine truth and God’s purposes. He was to pray for the lost and lead those in the church to do the same. He was to call women to fulfill their God-given roles of submission and rearing godly children through faith, love, and holiness.
Timothy was to exercise care in selecting godly men for church leadership. He was to nourish believers continually through preaching God’s Word. He was to discipline himself in godliness so that others could follow his example. He was to read, explain, and apply the Scriptures publicly. He was to progress toward Christlikeness. He was to be gracious and gentle in confronting sin. He was to give special consideration and care to widows. He was to honor faithful pastors who work hard and not receive an accusation against any of them unless it was substantiated by two or three witnesses.
Timothy was to care for his health that he might have strength to minister. He was to flee the love of money, but pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness. He was to fight for the faith in the midst of hostile opposition. He was to obey the Lord’s commandments and guard His Word as a sacred trust. He was to keep his spiritual gift fresh and useful and not be timid. He was not to be ashamed of Christ or those who serve Him. He was to reproduce himself in faithful men.
Timothy also was to expect and willingly accept suffering and persecution for the sake of Christ. He was to keep his eyes on Christ at all times. He was to exercise leadership with authority. He was to interpret and apply Scripture accurately. He was to avoid useless conversations. He was to be an instrument of honor by setting himself apart from sin. He was to flee sinful desires. And He wasn’t to be contentious, but teachable, gentle, and patient—even when wronged.
B. A Call to Spiritual Excellence
Giving Timothy such a breadth of responsibility was also a call to spiritual excellence. Paul never measured Timothy’s spiritual excellence by the size of a church or the amount of money it took in. Neither did he consider the world’s acceptance of him. That’s because Paul made a distinction between spiritual excellence and worldly success.
What honestly motivates you: worldly success or spiritual excellence? Pride is the source of success, but humility is the source of excellence. Excellence says, "I’m content to be the best I can be." Success says, "I’m not content until I’m better than you."
In 2 Timothy 4:1-5 Paul gives several requirements to help us live up to our God-given potential and achieve spiritual excellence.
I. THE SERIOUSNESS OF THE PREACHER’S COMMISSION (v. 1)
II. THE ESSENCE OF THE PREACHER’S COMMISSION (v. 2a)
III. THE SCOPE OF THE PREACHER’S COMMISSION (v. 2b-f)