Summary: To establish that the minister’s life and work entails three areas that establishes his faithfulness to the work of Christ and the church where he serves. There is no message that speaks louder, or is more compelling, than the life of a godly man.
1. The Minister’s Public Life
2. The Minister’s Pulpit Life
3. The Minister’s Private Life
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing a theme: “The minister’s life and work.” We will consider three areas of life that will establish; his faithfulness to the work of Christ, and to the church where he labors. We will consider: 1) The Minister’s Public Life; 2) The Minister’s Pulpit Life; and 3) The Minister’s Private Life. The beloved apostle Paul's charge to his son Timothy, regarding these areas of faithfulness and devotion, are contained in these words: “These things command and teach,” 1 Timothy 4:11.
2. First, we will consider the minister’s public life. Paul wrote: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity,” 1 Timothy 4:12. Paul begins this charge to Timothy, by reminding him of the “great apostasy” that is promised, 1 Timothy 4:1-3. He thereafter, outlines clear directions to the young evangelist, regarding his public life, and its impact on his ministry of the gospel.
3. Second, we will discuss the minister’s pulpit life. Paul continued: “Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.” The man of God must devote himself to study of the Word. He is instructed to give attendance to it in reading, to exhortation and to doctrine (teaching).
4. Lastly, we will investigate the minister’s private life. Paul concluded: “Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all. Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee,” 1 Timothy 4:13-14. He is then reminded that he was to first take heed to himself and then to the doctrine. By doing so, it will first save him; and, those also that hear his preaching; and see his godly example. Timothy was to so live, that his life would be a pattern of what he preached and taught to the church. Be thou “an ensample” of thy preaching and teaching! With this introduction, let’s consider our first point.
BODY OF LESSON
I THE MINISTER’S PUBLIC LIFE
A. Timothy was charged by Paul to: “Let no man despise thy youth; but, he was to be an example to the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, (and) in purity,” 1 Timothy 4:12.
1. First, Paul concludes the chapter with an exhortation to Timothy. Timothy is directed by Paul: “To command and teach the things,” that were given unto him.
a. Timothy was to command obedience and dedication to Christ, by the authority of the holy scriptures.
b. Timothy was to teach the saints regarding the profits of the scriptures and godliness; as appose to, “bodily exercise with profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things,”1 Timothy 4:8.
c. Timothy was to remind the church: “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation,”1 Timothy 4:9. This phrase is used a lot in Paul’s letters to Timothy.
2. Further, Paul charged his son to conduct himself with gravity and in prudence in order to gain respect, notwithstanding his youth: "Let no men despise thy youth;” that is, give no man an occasion to despise you, as a result of foolish behavior.
a. His youth will not be despised, if his youthful vanities and follies do not make him despicable and rejected.
b. By guarding his life from youthful lust; he will ultimately gain the respect of the older men and women of the congregation.
c. When they observe that his walk is within the truth of the gospel; that he speaks those things that are “sound doctrine;” and therein behaves with maturity; even the older saints will love and support him, as he follows the “directives of Paul” as he had been taught.
3. Next, Timothy was also to walk, “being an ensample of the believers, in word, in conversation (behavior, manner of life), in charity (love), in spirit, in faith, in purity,” 1 Timothy 4:12.
4. Finally, Paul charges this young evangelist; something which should be a rallying call unto everyone that preach Christ. That is, “to be an ensample unto the people of God.” What a blessing a faithful life brings to the church and before the world. It is truly: "A living epistle, known and read of all men,” 2 Corinthians 3:2.
B. Let no man despise thy youth. The remainder of the chapter is personal. Timothy was much younger than Paul, much younger than most of the presbyter; he must have been about thirty-five years old.