Summary: The last three verses of 1 Timothy 3 are power-packed with incentive to conduct ourselves in a proper manner. Why should we behave? We should behave because of what the church is and who Christ is.
A. One Sunday a young child was “acting up” during the morning worship service and the child’s parents did their best to maintain some sense of order in the pew, but they were losing the battle.
1. Finally, the mother took the little fellow by the hand and walked sternly up the aisle.
2. On his way out, the little guy called loudly to the congregation, “Pray for me!”
3. All children have to be taught and trained how to behave in church, right? But so do adults!
B. Here’s a humorous list of unwritten rules for proper behavior in church:
1. Never ask an usher for change for a $20.
2. Don’t make origami animals out of dollar bills and put them in the offering.
3. During youth group activities, never bungee jump off the church roof.
4. Never do a cannonball in the baptismal tank.
5. Never hold a church business meeting on Super Bowl Sunday.
6. If you invite someone for Friends Day, you probably shouldn’t skip church that day.
7. Never sit in someone else’s usual seat.
8. And if worship starts at 11 o'clock, you probably should arrive before 11:30, just sayin’.
C. We might get a chuckle from those unwritten rules for proper behavior in church, but learning to behave properly in the church is a serious matter.
1. Today in our sermon series from 1 Timothy, we have arrived at the last three verses of chapter three where we see that Paul tells Timothy the reason that he wrote this letter.
2. Paul wrote: 14 I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. 15 But if I should be delayed, I have written so that 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.
3. Why is it so important that we strive to live in accordance with God’s commands for our lives and for ministry in the local church?
4. Paul gives two powerful reasons in today’s section:
a. First, we should behave because of what the church is.
b. Second, we should because of who the Savior of the church is.
5. We live in a world where the church has taken a back seat to the individual.
a. Many people think they can be a Christian apart from the local church.
b. This is a symptom of the self-centeredness that permeates our culture.
c. Christianity is not supposed to be about the individual Christian, rather it is supposed to be about the Savior and about the church community as a whole.
D. Paul had wished that he could be there with Timothy to personally deliver these truths, but they are of such great importance to the church that he could not take the chance that these truths would not arrive simply because he couldn’t arrive.
1. So Paul wrote and sent the letter to Timothy.
2. Paul opened the letter dealing with false doctrine and the misuse of the law, but reminded Timothy that the goal of our instruction comes from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith.
3. Next Paul reminded Timothy of the genuine Gospel, the one that had such an amazing power that it could even save the worst sinner in the world, namely Paul himself.
4. Then Paul addressed the need for the church to pray and for whom the church is to pray.
5. Next Paul touched on the issue of the role relationship between men and women in the church.
6. Then, Paul established what kind of men should be leading the church as elders and deacons.
7. All of these things are vital for the church to be functioning correctly and to have the right reputation it should have in the world.
8. For the church to be all that it can be and should be, and to accomplish what God wants the church to accomplish, each individual Christian must conduct himself or herself appropriately, and when the church is gathered together and working together there are certain ways things should be done.
9. And let me again remind us of the reason why disciples should have proper conduct:
a. First, because of what the church is.
b. Second, because of who the Savior of the church is.
10. Let’s look at how these two truths can be drawn from 1 Timothy 3:14-16.
I. Disciples should behave because of what the church is.
A. Paul used three designations or illustrations to describe what the church is.
1. First, He called it God’s Household – God’s Family.
2. Second, He called it the Church of the Living God.
3. Third, He called it the Pillar and Foundation of the Truth.