2 Timothy – Chapter 3

Verse 1 – But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come:

Verse 2 – For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

Verse 3 – unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good,

Verse 4 – traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God,

Verse 5 – having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away.

The “last days” started after Christ’s resurrection when the Holy Spirit came upon believers at Pentecost and will continue till Christ’s second coming.

What Paul listed is a good description of the world we live in today. Greed is profound and there seems to be no shame. People are proud of their sin, lewd behavior right in your face. They put their debauchery in a parade and call it “Pride!”

Now for “having a form of godliness but denying its power: These are your “faker’s.” They go to church, know Christian doctrine, and they use Christian cliché’s, but they have never committed their lives to Christ. They continue in sin with their same attitude and behaviors. Those types of people, Paul said to turn away from.

Verse 6 – For of this sort are those who creeps into households and make captives of gullible women loaded down with sins led away by various lusts,

Remember, Satan started his work of temptation with Eve, not Adam. That’s true for his adversaries also. Women can be flattered, easily turned by religious instructors. Actually any person that is not committed to the Lord can be led astray with promises and false doctrine.

Verse 7 – always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

Have you ever sat with someone in Bible study that never seems to grasp the gospel? They never put what they’ve learned into practice.

Verse 8 – Now as Jannes and Jambres resisted Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, disapproved concerning the faith;

Verse 9 – but they will progress no further, for their folly will be manifest to all, as theirs also was.

According to tradition, Jannes and Jambres were the two magicians who counterfeited Moses miracles before Pharaoh. Just as Moses exposed and defeated them, God would overthrow the false teachers in the Ephesian church.

Verse 10 – But you have carefully followed my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, love, perseverance,

Verse 11 – persecutions, afflictions, which happened to me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra – what persecutions I endured. And out of them all the Lord delivered me.

Verse 12 – Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.

As a true Christian, we will be made fun of; mocked; ridiculed, and sometimes hurt or killed, however, God is whom we need to please, not man.

Verse 13 – But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.

Verse 14 – But as for you, continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of knowing from whom you have learned them,

Verse 15 – and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make wise for salvation through faith which is in Christi Jesus.

Verse 16 – All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,

Verse 17 – that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

The Bible is not a collection of stories and fables. The Holy Spirit of God, revealed to certain believes, by inspiration what to write. Scripture is completely trustworthy because God was in total control of its writing. The Bible is “God-breathed.”

 

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2 Timothy – Chapter 2

Verse 1 – You therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Verse 2 – And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

Timothy was to teach to ministers, that he ordained, what Paul had taught him.

Verse 3 – You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.

Verse 4 – No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.

If you are called and ordained to be a minister, that will be a person’s full time job. The personal business to make a living is forgotten, just as a soldier does when he goes off to war. Paul was telling Timothy, that you can’t juggle both. One will get more attention than the other.

Verse 5 – And also if anyone competes in athletics, he is not crowned unless he competes according to the rules.

In other words: If you want to be a successful minister, by souls being won for Christ, then follow the instructions that Paul gave in Scripture.

Verse 6 – The hard-working farmer must be first to partake of the crops.

When a farm labors to plant, there is a waiting period of nourishing the crop. When a preacher preaches the gospel there will be neutering that will follow also. Just as the farmer gets to eat his own crop, the minister will be victorious in winning people for the glory of God.

Verse 7 – Consider what I say, and may the Lord give you understanding in all things.

Verse 8 – Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead according to my gospel,

Verse 9 – for which I suffer trouble as an evildoer even to the point of chains; but the word of God is not chained.

Verse 10 – Therefore I endure all things for the sake of the elect, that they also may obtain the salvation which is in Christ Jesus with eternal glory.

Verse 11 – This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him.

Verse 12 – If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us.

Verse 13 – If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny Himself.

At sometime or another, all Christians have had doubts, because of the circumstances they went through. Christ doesn’t leave us at these times. He remains faithful. Denying Christ is an entirely different subject. A true denial of Christ will leave a person without hope on that great and final day.

Verse 14 – Remind them of these things, charging them before the Lord not to strive about words to no profit, to the ruin of the hearers.

Paul reminds Timothy to tell other believers not to argue over unimportant details. This doesn’t benefit anyone.

Verse 15 – Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

Because God will examine what kind of workers we have been for Him, we should build our lives on His Word and build His Word into our lives. Believers who try to live a victorious life without studying God’s Word, will have a defeated miserable life.

Verse 16 – But shun profane and vane babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness.

Verse 17 – And their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort,

Verse 18 – who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some.

Paul had already turned Hymenaeus over to Satan because of his false teaching concerning the resurrection and was destroying the faith of some. These false teachers were denying the resurrection of the body. They taught that when a person became a Christian, they were spiritually reborn, and that would be the only resurrection that there would be. To them, resurrection was symbolic and spiritual not physical.

We don’t shape the doctrine to match our opinions. Our beliefs have to line up with Scripture.

Verse 19 – Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “That the Lord knows those who are His,” and “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

No one can deceive God about their faith or anything else, for that matter. I personally believe that it takes a lot more effort to deceive and live a life of lies, than it does to just go ahead and live a life doing what is right, according to God’s word.

Verse 20 – But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor.

Every church has people with different gifts for use, no two people are alike, just like in a house, different vessels, different uses.

Verse 21 – Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.

Living a holy life, ready to submit to God’s will for all good works.

Verse 22 – Flee also youthful lusts, but pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.

verse 23 – But avoid foolish and ignorant disputes, knowing that they generate strife.

Verse 24 – And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient,

Verse 25 – in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth,

When someone is teaching the truth to people which have learned in error, we can only hope that they will repent and believe the truth. They have to admit first, that they believed in error.

Verse 26 – and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

We all will become a better teacher if we don’t start with criticizing what people are doing wrong first. We are to be gentle , respectful, loving and kind, when we teach God’s word or correct error.

 

 

2 Timothy – Chapter 1

Prison is the last place from which to expect a letter of encouragement, but that is where Paul wrote 2 Timothy.

Verse 1 – Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, according to the promise of life which is in Christ Jesus,

Verse 2 – To Timothy, my beloved son: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

Verse 3 – I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did, as without ceasing I remember you in my prayers night and day,

Verse 4 – greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy,

Verse 5 – when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in you, which dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice, and I am persuaded is in you also.

Timothy’s mother and grandmother, Eunice and Lois, were early Christian converts, possibly through Paul’s ministry in their home city of Lystra (Acts 16:1). They had communicated their strong Christian faith to Timothy. Nothing is said about Timothy’s father, except that he is Greek, but it’s implied that he is not a believer.

Reminder of Timothy’s Responsibility

Verse 6 – Therefore I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of hands.

Any gift that God gives us, needs to be cultivated by our own personal care. Clearly Timothy’s spiritual gift had been given to him when Paul and the elders had laid their hands on him and set him apart for ministry.

Verse 7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

Timothy was experiencing great opposition to his message as a leader. His youth; his association with non believers alike. Paul urged him to be bold. We should not allow people to intimidate us when sharing the gospel. If we practice what we preach, that will help with boldness.

Verse 8 – Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the suffering for the gospel according to the power of God,

Verse 9 – who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began.

Nothing we do could have caused God to call us. He did not choose us because of the good works we would perform after we became a Christian, but according to His own purpose and grace, Romans 9:11-13, which was given to us in Christ Jesus, before the world began.

Verse 10 – But has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immorality to light through the gospel,

Verse 11 – to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.

So certain that death will be abolished, that he spoke as if  it is already done! Through the gospel, death will cease to reign, and over those who are saved there will be no such thing as we now understand by dying.

Verse 12 – For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Even though Paul was in prison He trusted God in his eternal life. Did we not have to trust Christ in order to believe? Then why would we not trust in all other things He has promised the believer, even in death? We are confident in our eternal life because we trust in Him!

Verse 13 – Hold fast the pattern of sound words which you have heard from me, in faith and love which are in Christ Jesus.

Verse 14 – That good thing which was committed to you, keep by the Holy Spirit who dwells in us.

“That good things, which was committed to you,” is sound Christian doctrine with which Timothy had been instructed, and which he was required to transmit to others. The Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth.

Verse 15 – This you know, that all those in Asia have turned away from me, among whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes.

We know nothing of these two individuals, except what is mentioned here. It would seem, though, they were prominent people, and those from whom Paul would expect better treatment from them. Don’t let others remembrance of you be that you turned away from following Christ.

Verse 16 – The Lord grant mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, for he often refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain;

Verse 17 – but when he arrived in Rome, he sought me out very diligently and found me.

Verse 18 – The Lord grant to him that he may find mercy from the Lord in that Day – and you know very well how many ways he ministered to me at Ephesus.

 

1 Timothy – Chapter 6

Verse 1 – Let as many servants as are under the yoke count their own masters worthy of all honor, so that the name of God and His doctrine may not be blasphemed.

This advice is not limited to a slave. It also carries to a person who serves. The slave was to be obedient and not show any dishonor even if their master was not a Christian. We can take this and compare it to: Do you work for a company or an individual? Well, your Christianity reflects in how you treat people.

Verse 2 – And those who have believing masters, let them not despise them because they are brethren, but rather serve them because those who are benefited are believers and beloved. Teach and exhort these things.

Verse 3 – If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness,

Verse 4 – he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,

Verse 5 – useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw.

Paul tells Timothy to stay away from those who just wanted to make money from preaching the gospel and who have strayed from sound teachings of the gospel. We don’t study and learn Scripture just so we can argue with others.

Verse 6 – Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

Verse 7 – For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we will carry nothing out.

Verse 6 is the key to spiritual growth and personal fulfillment. Our lives should honor God and center our desires on Him and be content with what He is doing in our lives.

Verse 7 is another reason that we should be content with what God has given us. It makes no sense to work only to accumulate “Stuff!”

Verse 8 – And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

How many Christians do you know, that are truly content with what they have? Or how many Christians do you know that are never satisfied, always complaining about what they lack?

Verse 9 – But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

The reference here is to those in whom getting rich becomes the object of earnest desire, and who lay their plans for it. When that is the case, there will be many temptations to get what they want by any  means!

Verse 10 – For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrow.

The expression here is saying – “all kinds of evils grow out of a love for money.” The “love” for money is the source of the evil. Greed leads to all kinds of problems in; relationships, business, and even in a marriage. Greed is a selfish an excessive desire for more of something (such as money) than is needed. It’s never enough.

Verse 11 – But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

Jesus said, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33), and that verse alone should take care of the attitude that might slip up about “the love of money!”

Verse 12 – Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Let me just say one thing here: Sometimes in life, through trials, we will have to fight to hold onto our faith. So don’t think it strange that when bad things start happening, that God has deserted you. You hold on to what you know is truth, and God will bring you out!

Verse 13 – I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

Verse 14 – that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing,

Verse 15 – which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings and Lord of lords,

Verse 16 – who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

To put it bluntly – Jesus Christ is head of all including the church of God, not the pope!

Verse 17 – Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy.

Verse 18 – Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,

Verse 19 – storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

Paul told Timothy to command the rich, not a suggestion, to do good with their money and possessions. As Christians, our security comes form a relationship with Christ, not money and possessions.

Verse 20 – O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and vain babbling’s and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge –

Verse 21 – by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith. Grace be with you. Amen.

The book of 1 Timothy provides guiding principles for our local churches today in public worship and qualifications for overseers. Pastors are to correct incorrect doctrine and to deal lovingly and fairly with all people int he church. The church is to glorify Christ and bring the Good News to all !

 

1 Timothy – chapter 5

How to Treat All People

Verse 1 – Do not rebuke an older man, but exhort him as a father, the younger men as brothers,

Verse 2 – the older women as mothers, the younger as sisters, with all purity.

As the leader of this church, Timothy was to correct the older men as he would his own father, with respect. Same respect for the older women, as if they were his mother. He was to do this when necessary anytime he saw error in their belief or conduct, with a loving caring heart.

Verse 3 – Honor widows who are really widows.

Verse 4 – But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first bear to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.

If a woman who is widowed has children or grandchildren, it is the children’s responsibility to see that her needs are met. It is not the responsibility of the church or government to support her. However, when children or grandchildren neglect the true widow, the church should be the first responder. Does your church that you attend take care of your widows?

Verse 5 – Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day.

She has no one to look to but God and relies on Him for all her needs. And He in turn will use the people and the resources of His church to take care of her.

Verse 6 – But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives.

Paul is talking about the widow who is well-off. One who seeks their own pleasures instead of helping others, she gains nothing.

Verse 7 – And these things command, that they may be blameless.

Paul meant for Timothy to announce these things so that the children knew their responsibility to their parents.

Verse 8 – But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Even though Paul is addressing the widow, this statement also applies to the man of the house, husband or father. If a child or grandchild is in the home and the head of household doe not provide for their well-being, Paul says they are worse than an unbeliever. One can’t profess their love of Christ and neglect their family.

Verse 9 – Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man,

Verse 10 – well reported for good works; if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work.

These are some pretty strong characteristics of a true widow, which is a good guideline for churches to follow. No widow in any given church, in this day and time, should be in need!

Verse 11 – But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry,

Verse 12 – having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith.

As best as I can understand this verse: Paul may have been talking about the young widows that had been dependent on the church for their needs, and then remarried with an unbeliever. They disregarded their faith just to have another husband.

Verse 13 – And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not.

Verse 14 – Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully.

Verse 15 – For some have already turned aside after Satan.

“Turned away to follow Satan,” refers to the immoral conduct that identifies these women with their pagan neighbors.

Verse 16 – If a believing man or woman has widows, let hem relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.

Meaning: Any believers that have mothers or grandmothers, whose support would fall on them, then take care of every need they might have and don’t let it be someone else’s burden.

How to Treat Elders

Verse 17 – Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.

The word used – “elder” or “presbyter” – refers to those who are officers in the church. They take care of the affairs of the church. But Paul gives a distinction that they should have knowledge of the word and know Christian doctrine.

Verse 18 – For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages.”

When an elder of the church is called on to assist, preach, or help the church in any way, they should be allowed, and be paid.

Verse 19 – Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.

This should be done with any and all accusations against another. Too many times one person starts a rumor and they are never called-out on to prove it. These elders are to be respected and paid, according to these verses.

Verse 20 – Those who are sinning rebuke in the presence of all that the rest may fear.

Paul is still talking about elders. If they are proven by two or three witnesses, they are to be rebuked in front of the entire congregation. That way, others will know it could happen to them also.

Too many times in today’s churches, the whole congregation is aware of wrong doings being done by those who hold office or on the praise teams and nothing is done about it. That’s because not many churches believe in the higher standards that Paul set in place for the church. They are lacking in this area, just as they are lacking in preaching repentance and don’t bother with those who openly sin.

Observe These Things Without Prejudice

Verse 21 – I charge you before God and the Lord Jesus Christ and the elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing with partiality.

The “elect” angels are all the angels that did not rebel against God. Just as the believers are called the “elect. There is to not be any favoritism when one needs to be rebuked for sinning, but there usually is when they are friends with the pastor of the church.

Verse 22 – Do not lay hands on anyone hastily, nor share in other people’s sins; keep yourself pure.

So many have misunderstood this verse, but don’t take it out of context. You have to read the entire verse: Don’t lay hands on someone, without knowing well of the person that the elders are about to ordain. Don’t place people in authority that you don’t know. They need to know their life-style; how they treat their wives, children, and others in general.

By taking part in another’s sins, would be if Timothy laid hands on a man and that man was sinning and not fit for an office of the church.

Verse 23 – No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and your frequent infirmities.

Paul was talking directly to Timothy. Perhaps Timothy had drunk some tainted water and had stomach aliments. We have a lot more medicine now for upset stomachs than to think this verse gives an open invitation to drink alcohol.

Verse 24 – Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later.

Verse 25 – Likewise, the good works of some are clearly evident, and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.

Paul instructs Timothy to take care and caution when selecting ministers because sometimes their sin is not out in the open.

 

 

 

 

 

 

1 Timothy – Chapter 4

Description of False Teachers

Verse 1 – Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons,

Verse 2 – speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,

Verse 3 – forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

Paul calls the teachings of abstaining from marrying and staying away from certain foods “deceiving spirits” and a “doctrine of demons.” Any time a person, church body, or denomination start to stray from the teachings of Scripture, they have “fallen away” from the truth. Those who depart from the true faith, do so by the false teachings, lies, of those whose conscience has been seared.

This apostasy takes place under the influence of a hypocritical, hardened, and arbitrary minister, teaching their own doctrine instead of the divine commands, and forbidding that which God had declared lawful.

The entire series of doctrines respecting the authority of the Pope, purgatory, the mass, the invocation of the saints, the veneration of relics, the seven sacraments, the authority of tradition, is regarded as false. This entire system is a system of “speaking lies.” This is a falsehood placed upon the world in the place of the simple teaching of the New Testament. They know good and well that their teachings are contrary to the Bible. The forbidding to marry (certain clergy),  or abstaining from certain foods on certain days, is all false teachings, created by man. There are many other religions also that forbid things that God has blessed.

Verse 4 – For every creature of God is good, and nothing is to be refused if it is received with thanksgiving;

Verse 5 – for it is sanctified by the word of God and prayer.

By the authority or permission of God. It would be profane or unholy if He had forbidden it; it is made holy or proper for our use by His permission, and no command of “man” can make it unholy.

Instructions for the True Teacher

Verse 6 – If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished in the words of faith and of the good doctrine which you have carefully followed.

Do you want to know why so many follow false teachings? Because they don’t read the Bible for themselves. I believe God wants us to know His Word like we know the back of our own hand. We are not to rely on what others tell us is true. It will be so sad to find out at the end of a person’s life, that their whole life they have believed a lie. Find out the truth for yourself.

Verse 7 – But reject profane and old wives fables, and execute yourself rather to godliness.

Fables are fiction, not founded on fact. The pagan religion abounded with fictions of this kind, and the Jewish teachers were introducing these fables into Christianity. We are to have nothing to do with this kind of teachings.

Verse 8 – For bodily exercise profits a little, but godliness is profitable for all things, having promise of life that now is and of that which is to come.

That body that exercises will only profit while living on this earth, but our spirit will live on, exercise that!

Verse 9 – This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance.

Verse 10 – For to this end we both labor and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Savior of all men, especially of those who believe.

Do Not Neglect the Gift

Verse 11 – These things command and teach.

Teach these important doctrines that Paul and been teaching. God is the Savior of all people and only those will be saved who believe.

Verse 12 – Let no one despise youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Whether young or old, live as though everyone can see Christ in you.

Verse 13 – Till I come, give attention to readings, to exhortation, to doctrine.

Timothy only had the Old Testament in writing, but Paul told him to read it and study it. All Christians should read and study their Bible’s, especially studying sacrifice. It will broaden your knowledge of what Christ has done and why.

Verse 14 – Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of hands of the presbytery.

To be able to preach and teach the gospel, it is a gift from God, a benefit, favor. Timothy’s commission as a church leader was confirmed by prophecy and by the laying on of hands by the elders of the church. He was not a self-appointed leader. Preaching the gospel is a calling and an appointment that comes only from God.

Verse 15 – Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.

Verse 16 – Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear.

We all know that if we don’t listen to sound doctrine, we can easily fall into sin. Don’t be persuaded into doing or believing something that is not Scriptural.

1 Timothy – chapter 3

Qualifications of Bishops

Verse 1 – This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.

Notice that Paul didn’t say, “If a man or woman…” This position is for a man only. Some may disagree, but I didn’t write it.

Verse 2 – A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

Let’s look at the qualifications for a bishop of a church: Blameless; not perfect, but a man that has no immorality charge against him or holding any false doctrine; the husband of one wife at a time when polygamy was not uncommon, this is understood as prohibiting polygamy.

Temperate and sober-minded: Abstinent, especially in respect to wine. A minister should have a watchful care over his own conduct. Good behavior; a minister of the gospel should have good manners; have had good training to teach the gospel; he should be an example as a pattern in all that goes to promote the welfare of mankind.

Given to hospitality; this is a duty of all Christians. They should be friendly, generous and able to entertain guests, visitors, or strangers. Able to teach: He must be able to preach and teach the gospel, to communicate to his fellow-man the knowledge of the truth.

Not everyone is qualified to teach just because they have a desire to do so.

Verse 3 – not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;

Not given to wine; one who is not in the habit of drinking wine, or is accustom to sit with those who indulge in it. It should be avoided altogether. Greed and covetousness goes hand in hand. There is nothing that does more harm to a minister, than to see greed from the pulpit!

Verse 4 – one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence

Verse 5 – (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);

Sometimes Christians make the mistake of thinking their work is so important that they are justified in neglecting their own families. Home is where the character of leadership is built.

Verse 6 – not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

Novice: New believers. Too often I’ve seen this happen because a new believer has such a zeal for Christ. However, this is a huge mistake to put them in a position of leadership. They have not had time to grow and mature, let alone study the Word of God. This will not only cause harm to themselves, but those around them.

Verse 7 – Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Having a “Pastor’s heart for the lost.”

Qualifications of Deacons

Verse 8 – Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,

Basically, they need the same character or qualifications of a bishop. “Double-tongued” – men who say one thing and do the opposite.

Verse 9 – holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

Though a deacon is not a preacher, he still must hold the correct doctrine of faith.

Verse 10 – But let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.

Meaning: They need to be watched for a while to see if they truly are pure-minded and holy in their conduct, according to doctrine. The leaders definitely need someone close enough to them in the home to see how they treat their own wife and children.

Verse 11 – Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.

Verse 12 – Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

Verse 13 – For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness int he faith which is in Christ Jesus.

Conduct Yourself in the House of God

Verse 14 – These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;

Verse 15 – but if I delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourselves in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Verse 16 – And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God has manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the Gentiles, believed in the world, received up in glory.

So, we have a pastor, bishops and deacons, that have high qualifications for the body of believers, but nowhere did I read or see where Paul appointed “associate pastors.” Appointed bishops should be able to preach if the pastor is away or sick. Just a thought. When a church becomes too big to see to the congregation’s spiritual needs, maybe it’s time to break-off into smaller ones. Just my opinion.