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Summary: What could happen if we built this church on Biblical principles even if they ran counter to good business management practices and philosophy? Is it possible that we might then be blessed by a higher philosophy if we built a church like Jesus wanted? I

This sermon was preached by Scotty L Killingsworth on Sunday morning November 2, 2003 to the Evergreen Church.

The sermon is an installment in the Biblical Church Series from 1 Timothy

The sermon title is: The Biblical Church is right on the Family Chapter 5

The church is a family of faith

A man was picked up after years on a deserted island in the middle of the ocean. The crew of the ship disembarked to help the man collect his few belongings. They were questioning him about his life on the island and noticed he had several building he had built. They asked him what this building was for and he said it was his house. Then they motioned to another building and he said it was his church. Finally they asked him what the third building was used for. He said, “That is the church I used to attend. I go to this one now.”

My wife and I have joked that the next time we start a church were not going to tell anyone, maybe then it will be perfect. There are no perfect churches. If you find a perfect church you should not join it because then it will no longer be perfect. One thing I have found amusing about church is that when people join a church they immediately begin to try to change the new one to be like the one they left. If they succeed and change the new church to be like the old they will not like it and leave.

Despite all its faults the church is still the greatest hope for the world. More potential for positive change exists in a group of people who have covenanted together to become fully devoted Christ followers than in any other human organization. Something with that much potential for good has an equal amount of potential for destructive change when higher principles are not in play. The church can not play by the rules of the world! If we begin to play by rules not based on Biblical principles we will produce exactly what the world produces. This may explain why the world has marginalized the church and branded us as irrelevant.

What could happen if we built this church on Biblical principles even if they ran counter to good business management practices and philosophy? Is it possible that we might then be blessed by a higher philosophy if we built a church like Jesus wanted? I for one would really like to try.

The Faith Family is cautious

21I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.22Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.23Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.24The sins of some men are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not cannot be hidden.

1. Be as fair as you possibly can in all things. V 21 The church is an egalitarian society where there is no slave or free, male or female, Jew or Greek. If the church gives preferential treatment to a certain class or group that basic unfairness causes what binds us together to blow us apart.

2. Be cautious when you set people to positions of ministry. v22 The danger here is that of setting someone aside who is not ready for the assignment. It takes time to develop a church leader capable of withstanding the temptation of power or ego. I have no doubt that we have stretched this caution too far and set aside people who were not yet ready.

3. Drink a little wine. v23 Is this a rule or guideline? In this case it is neither. It is a personal act of love and care from a mentor to his protégé. He is concerned about his health. In the days before Prilosec and Malox wine was the only thing available for stomach ailments. The acidity in wine may have helped digestion, and the alcohol may have been beneficial with parasites and other bacterial un-friend-lys.

He advised him to drink a little wine, not a lot. Christianity is always practiced best when we do all things in moderation and with balance. Paul is not instructing all believers for all time to use beverage alcohol. With that said, he does not ban the use of it either.

Our Baptist opposition to beverage alcohol comes from the Temperance movements of the 1800’s. Because we could not trust ourselves with moderation we decided to ban its use entirely. The use of alcohol in a contemporary culture is dangerous because of our tendency to over-use and abuse everything, but Jesus drank wine and was even accused of being a wine bibber and a glutton. Yet, He is without sin. His first miracle was turning water into wine, and my guess is that was the finest wine ever made. It is not a Biblical sin to drink a little wine for your stomach’s sake. It can be a cultural sin and a sin of hindrance to weaker brothers. Sin does not always have an objective definition.

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