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Summary: The ministry of the Church must consist of individuals who possess a genuine divine call and direction, as well as adequate preparation, and they must have the undivided support of their congregations and church leadership.

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The Good Minister of Jesus Christ

Study Text: 1 Timothy 4: 6 – 16

6 You've been raised on the Message of the faith and have followed sound teaching. Now pass on this counsel to the Christians there, and you'll be a good servant of Jesus. 7 Stay clear of silly stories that get dressed up as religion. Exercise daily in God — no spiritual flabbiness, please! 8 Workouts in the gymnasium are useful, but a disciplined life in God is far more so, making you fit both today and forever. 9 You can count on this. Take it to heart. 10 This is why we've thrown ourselves into this venture so totally. We're banking on the living God, Savior of all men and women, especially believers.

11 Get the word out. Teach all these things. 12 And don't let anyone put you down because you're young. Teach believers with your life: by word, by demeanor, by love, by faith, by integrity. 13 Stay at your post reading Scripture, giving counsel, teaching. 14 And that special gift of ministry you were given when the leaders of the church laid hands on you and prayed — keep that dusted off and in use.

15 Cultivate these things. Immerse yourself in them. The people will all see you mature right before their eyes! 16 Keep a firm grasp on both your character and your teaching. Don't be diverted. Just keep at it. Both you and those who hear you will experience salvation. (The Message Bible).

Introduction:

- The message of Christianity must remain scripturally sound, and her leaders must remain spiritually, emotionally, and physically strong.

- The soundness of a church depends on ministers and leaders who are sound in their faith and practice.

- The ministry of the Church must consist of individuals who possess a genuine divine call and direction, as well as adequate preparation, and they must have the undivided support of their congregations and church leadership.

- The gospel message must never be compromised, and each minister must honestly and actively seek to carry out God's will in his life.

- How does a person know the right direction? Paul not only gave Timothy a list of what to do, but more important, he gives him a list of what to be.

- Ministry is not so much what you do as it is what you are. This passage explains more than any other passage, the requirements for ministry, understanding of ministry, and thoughts regarding the role of the minister.

- Paul presented several factors that are a part of being a good minister. Earlier in the chapter he mentioned that a good minister warns people from error, and keeps himself from doctrinal error.

- Paul wrote that the good minister is involved in personal godliness. But in verse 12-16, Paul gave five marks of a good minister. Five things that he wants Timothy to pay attention to.

1. A good minister is a model of spiritual virtue. Vs 12

- The greatest single tool of leadership is an exemplary life. Paul lived a life others could follow and he reminded them of that. Look at the following verses:

1 Corinthians, 4:16, “I urge you to imitate me.”

1 Corinthians, 11:1, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.”

Philippians in 3:17, “Join with others in following my example.”

Philippians 4:9, “Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, put into practice.”

1 Thessalonians 5, “You know how we lived among you for your sake. You became imitators of us and of the Lord.

- The greatest message you ever will preach is the one you preach with your life. The example you set is absolutely critical. Notice what Paul says, “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example.”

- He is telling Timothy, Timothy you’re young. “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young.”

- The question for you tonight is this: How do you as a young minister gain respect? What will you do? How will you get the respect of others?

- For people to follow you they must respect you. But if you are young, how do you gain their respect?

- You gain respect by revealing yourself to be a model of spiritual virtue. If ministers are going to be followed; if they are going to be believed; if they are going to be respected, it will be because the flock they are leading ignores their age and follows their example.

- They have to see virtue in your living. What kind of virtue? Paul gave some criteria for gaining respect:

i. The first place you set an example is in what you say.

- Usually the first thing people know about you is what they hear you talk about. The conversation of a good minister is exemplary. Jesus said, “Out of the overflow of the heart does the mouth speaks.” What should your speech be like? “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths.”

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