The apostle Paul wanted to get some important instructions to Timothy about conduct in the church. He intended to present them personally. The Bible tells us though that Paul was concerned that he may run into a delay.
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. 1 Timothy 3:14-15 (NIV)
Because of Paul’s possible delay, we benefit because the Bible recorded his instructions.
Jesus, our master teacher did and taught many things while he lived on the earth. John wrote the following statement about Him.
Jesus also did many other things. If they were all written down, I suppose the whole world could not contain the books that would be written. John 21:25
Jesus did those “many things” in the span of 3 years. Paul on the other hand spent most of his adult life teaching what Jesus taught.
Also, inspired by the Holy Spirit he has guided many Christians through his writings. Counting the book of Hebrews, Paul wrote 14 of the 27 books in the New Testament.
The apostle told Timothy that he wrote these instructions just in case of a delay. I don’t know about you, but I’m thankful for the possibility of his delay.
If it wasn’t for the possibility of a delay, the Bible may not have contained these important instructions.
Let’s take a look at the instructions Paul was referring to. He said the following about church leadership.
So a church leader must be a man whose life is above reproach. 1 Timothy 3:2
He didn’t stop there though. Paul continued with quite a list of requirements for the church leader.
- He must be faithful to his wife.
- He must exercise self-control,
- live wisely, and have a good reputation.
- He must enjoy having guests in his home,
- and he must be able to teach.
- He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent.
- He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money.
- Also, he must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 1 Timothy 3:2-4
He continued by saying that the church leader must not be a new Christian. And highly spoken of even by people outside of the church.
I for one am thankful for Paul’s possible delay because these instructions needed to be in the Bible. Without them, many church leaders could fall into the devil’s trap in disgrace.
The Bible Encouraged Deacons Also Because of His Possible Delay
Then he talked about other leaders in the church. He called them deacons. Maybe your church has other names for them. But these instructions are just as important.
In the same way, deacons must be well respected and have integrity. 1 Timothy 3:8
Like the church leaders, Paul included a list of requirements for these church workers as well.
- They must not be heavy drinkers or dishonest with money.
- They must be committed to the mystery of the faith now revealed
- And they must live with a clear conscience. 1 Timothy 3:8-9
- A deacon must be faithful to his wife,
- And he must manage his children and household well. 1 Timothy 3:12
While church leaders usually fulfill their calling in a paid position, deacons are normally volunteers. Look at what the next verse says about the ones who do a good job.
Those who do well as deacons will be rewarded with respect from others and will have increased confidence in their faith in Christ Jesus. 1 Timothy 3:13
The Mystery of the Faith
One of the requirements of the deacon is they must be committed to the mystery of the faith. The apostle Paul explained exactly what he was talking about with that phrase.
Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory. 1 Timothy 3:16
Whether you’re a church leader, church worker, or new Christian, we all need to know about this mystery. It may have not been in the Bible if Paul wasn’t concerned about a delay.
Lord, thank you for the instructions found in your word which help us stay in close obedience to you. Help us to read our Bible regularly without delay.
Check out this related post called How Important Is It To Follow God’s Instructions?
Take the time to real all of 1 Timothy 3.
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Republished from http://www.ramckinley.com.