Sermons

Summary: This is the 5th sermon in the 1 Timothy series, "Order".

Series: Order [#5]

THE PERFECT CHURCH

1 Timothy 3:1-16

Introduction:

I have really prayed about how I was going to handle today’s service and sermon. I thought about just acting as nothing has happened this week that could have a huge negative impact on our Church. Then, I started studying our text for today and realized that God already knew what needed to be said and done today.

What we need is a perfect church. How do we accomplish this? I know everyone is thinking, “This is a waste of time, because it isn’t possible to have a perfect church”. I disagree.

In order to have a perfect church, you must have…

1. A perfect pastor.

1 Timothy 3:1-7 (NIV)

“Here is a trustworthy saying: If anyone sets his heart on being an overseer, he desires a noble task. Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.”

This should be the most used passage in Scripture when a church is looking for a pastor. These verses are the qualifications for a pastor. Now, if you can find a pastor who meets everyone of these qualifications every second of every day; then you have yourself the perfect pastor. Actually, every Christian should have these characteristics.

The pastor should…

? Be above reproach.

? Be the husband of 1 wife.

? Be temperate.

? Be self-controlled.

? Be respectable.

? Be hospitable.

? Be able to teach.

? Not be a drunk.

? Not be violent.

? Not be quarrelsome.

? Not be a lover of money.

? Manage his family well.

? See that his children obey him.

? Not be a new Christian.

? Have a good reputation among people outside of the church.

The pastor is the man whom God has chosen to lead the local congregation. This list of qualifications is a serious list. We could debate the meaning of some of these; but what I want you to notice is, there are 0 pastors that successfully follow all of these. It is through the power of the Holy Spirit that a pastor will lead in a God honoring way.

In order to have a perfect church, you must have…

2. Perfect deacons.

1 Timothy 3:8-13 (NIV)

“Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons. In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything. A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well. Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.”

The word deacon means servant. In the early church, the apostles were trying to take care of everyone’s physical and spiritual needs and they couldn’t keep up. God had them choose men who would take care of the physical needs of the church members. Here are the qualifications of a deacon.

The deacon should…

? Be worthy of respect.

? Be sincere.

? Not be a drunk.

? Not be dishonest.

? Be holding on to the truths of the faith.

? Be tested.

? Be the husband of 1 wife.

? Manage his children and household well.

The deacon’s wife should…

? Be worthy of respect.

? Not be a malicious talker.

? Be temperate.

? Be trustworthy in everything.

Just as with pastors, there are 0 deacons who meet all of these qualifications all of the time. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that a deacon can serve the people of God in a way that pleases God.

In order to have a perfect church, you must have…

3. A perfect congregation.

1 Timothy 3:14-16 (NIV)

“Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.”

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