Fairmont First Baptist Church
I love Jesus but hate...Leadership
  • Come, Christians, Join to Sing
  • O, How I Love Jesus
      • 1 Timothy 3:14–16CSB

  • Intro

    “I love Jesus but hate...”
    People have an issue with the church
    That’s what we are looking at this series
    2nd week of 4
    Last week - hypocrisy
    This week - Leadership in and of the Church
    Turn to 1 Timothy 3:14
    One of the things that people say they have a problem with, one of the things that keeps them away, is leadership.
    as we said last week, in our local area 48.1% of those that are lost say they don’t trust “religious leaders”
    And why should they
    Look at the news
    Issues of sexual assault
    Issues of financial mismanagement
    Issues of little accountability
    Too often church leaders, whether it be elders, deacons, or lay leadership show themselves to be a little too much like the world and not enough like God’s Kingdom.
    1 Timothy 3:14–16 CSB
    I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. 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. And most certainly, the mystery of godliness is great: He was manifested in the flesh, vindicated in the Spirit, seen by angels, preached among the nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory.

    Text

    Why are we looking at the letters to Timothy in all of this?
    “Pastoral Epistles”
    Meaning letters to Pastors
    1&2 Tim and Titus
    All about how the church is supposed to be
    If we are looking at problems in the church, it makes sense to look at what scriptures tells us the church should be like.
    Paul is delayed
    vv14-15a
    He wants to return “soon” from Macedonia, but he is afraid that he will be delayed for some reason.
    Wants Timothy to have the information that he needs to help the church at Ephesus.
    Why?
    “I write these things”
    What things?
    Well really all of 1 Timothy, but has just finished talking about what Godly leadership looks like
    Elders and Deacons
    Takes us into vv. 15-16
    VV. 15 has been called by Tony Evans the key verse, the central verse of 1 Timothy
    Verse 15 focuses on the Church’s Motivation, Master, Mission, and Message
    Motivation (v. 15)
    As God’s Household, we need to know how to conduct ourselves
    Eph 5:21-6:9
    “Household Code”
    Submit yourselves one to another
    Our motivation for gathering together is that we may learn how to live differently under God’s Kingdom rule as members of His family.
    This includes knowing how to raise up Godly church leadership. (3:1-13)
    The problem with many Christians is that they are out of alignment.
    They don’t run straight
    The job of the Church is to provide an alignment job on the Christian character so that we might run straight.
    Master (v. 15)
    the church is the church of the living God.
    it isn’t a human institution.
    Man didn’t create it or determines how it is to be run.
    Jesus purchased the Church with his own blood and HE is the head of the Church.
    His house, His rules.
    Mission(v.15)
    “pillar and foundation of truth”
    Truth is the fixed standard by which reality is measured.
    God’s perspective on every subject.
    John 14:6
    John 14:6 CSB
    Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
    The church is tasked with the mission of undergirding and upholding this reality.
    Message (v.16)
    What is the distinctive message or confession of the church?
    mystery of godliness
    Something that was formerly unknown has now been revealed: what true godliness looks like.
    This is a hymn
    sets forth core beliefs about Christ that need to operate in a beleiver’s life to promote godliness
    Manifested in the flesh
    The incarnation
    Vindicated in the Sprit
    Jesus was declared by the Father as his beloved Son, empowered by the Spirit to perform supernatural works, and raised from the dead.
    Seen by angles
    heavenly beings attended Jesus at His birth, temptation, resurrection and ascension
    Divine approval
    Preached among the nations
    the proclamation of the Gospel to all the world
    Believed on in the world
    faith in Christ leads to forgiveness of sins and eternal life
    taken up in Glory
    Christ is ascended to sit at the right hand of the Father as the Counselor and our intermediary

    Application

    As much as it is important to defend the validity of the church (and we should), it is also be very important to acknowledge people’s true hurts have happened within it.
    There are people who have faced tremendous suffering at the hands of those who claimed to be of the church, and their struggles need to be acknowledged.
    The reason many go away from the church and look for individual solutions is often because of the ways in which individuals in the church have caused hurt to them.
    There is bad, toxic, unbiblical leadership out there and it can cause spiritual harm.
    Important that this passage is written after instructions are shared about the seriousness of the church offices of leadership.
    “The importance of right behavior in the house of God is underlined by the stress on its character as ‘the church of the living God,’ the pillar and foundation of the truth. If the church is founded on truth, the manner of life of its leaders and other members must be appropriate; equally, if the church upholds the truth, it cannot do so if it is not in sound condition.” (I. H. Marshall and P. H. Towner, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles [London: T&T Clark International, 2004], 498).
    This “right behavior” for leadership is enumerated in the first part of 1 Timothy 3.
    Two offices - Elder and Deacon
    Elder
    1 Timothy 3:1-7
    1 Timothy 3:1–7 CSB
    This saying is trustworthy: “If anyone aspires to be an overseer, he desires a noble work.” An overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled, sensible, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not an excessive drinker, not a bully but gentle, not quarrelsome, not greedy. He must manage his own household competently and have his children under control with all dignity. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a new convert, or he might become conceited and incur the same condemnation as the devil. Furthermore, he must have a good reputation among outsiders, so that he does not fall into disgrace and the devil’s trap.
    Deacon
    1 Timothy 3:8-13
    1 Timothy 3:8–13 CSB
    Deacons, likewise, should be worthy of respect, not hypocritical, not drinking a lot of wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. They must also be tested first; if they prove blameless, then they can serve as deacons. Wives, likewise, should be worthy of respect, not slanderers, self-controlled, faithful in everything. Deacons are to be husbands of one wife, managing their children and their own households competently. For those who have served well as deacons acquire a good standing for themselves and great boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
    We do damage to the church when we don’t insist on this sort of biblical leadership.
    One way to illustrate the roles of leaders in the church is from sports.
    Imagine a scenario in which a football team lined up to play and had all the energy in the world but did not have a play or general direction; the gathering would mean nothing.
    They would need someone to help guide the team and lead them to the best way possible to score.
    In a similar way, the church leaders are not the only ones “playing on the field,” but rather they give the plays and “equip the saints for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:12).
    Ephesians 4:12 CSB
    to equip the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,
    Leadership in the church, but also leadership of the church
    Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. once wrote in his powerful “Letter from the Birmingham Jail” about how the church collectively is able to combine and make influential change in society.
    He contrasts this to being an individual who is influenced to an entire group (the church) creating lasting change in society.
    “There was a time when the church was very powerful. It was during that period that the early Christians rejoiced when they were deemed worthy to suffer for what they believed. In those days the church was not merely a thermometer that recorded the ideas and principles of popular opinion; it was the thermostat that transformed the mores of society.”

    Conclusion

    Bad leadership in, but also of, the Church can and does drive people away.
    But there is a biblical model for leadership both in the Church but also for the leadership of the Church in the establishment of God’s Kingdom
    The Church is part of God’s design for the rescue of the world.
    The Church is to be built on the solid foundation and Truth of Christ
    But then it is to be a Pillar and Foundation of Truth in a broken world.
    Matthew 16:18
    Matthew 16:18 CSB
    And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.
    What is the rock?
    Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of the living God.
    mystery of godliness
    And unless and until the Church demonstrates Godly, biblical leadership both internally and in the world, that mystery of godliness will not be adequately proclaimed to the world.
      • John 14:6CSB

      • 1 Timothy 3:1–7CSB

      • 1 Timothy 3:8–13CSB

      • Ephesians 4:12CSB

  • Sweet Hour of Prayer

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