Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God that he has given 'gifts' to the Church, men called and commissioned by Christ to teach and pastor his people. Praise God that the Ottawa church has never been without such a 'gift'. Ephesians 4:8-16.
Confess the sin of sometimes taking for granted these 'gifts' from Christ and not owning the privilege of praying for them. Ephesians 6:18-20.
Please ask the Holy Spirit's help as you come to his Word.
Please read 1 Timothy chapter 4:6-5:2
Notes previously prepared by Rev. Daniel Hempkin, Minister of Hebron RPCNA.
4:6-16. A Good Servant of Christ Jesus.
In this passage, we see several qualities of a good servant of Christ – particularly of a good pastor. First, a good pastor is trained in sound doctrine (v. 6). Second, he has nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths (v. 7). That is, while he will be aware of false doctrines and other things which distract his people from God's Word, he will not let himself be distracted by them. Third, he trains himself for godliness as an athlete does for a competition (v.7-8). Fourth, he toils and strives to do his work well, knowing that his hope is set not on the things of this world but on the Living God (v.10). Fifth, He commands and teaches sound doctrine (v.11). Sixth, he sets a good example in speech, conduct, love, faith, and purity, giving the enemies of the Gospel no excuse to despise his youth (that is, not to take him seriously) (v.12). Seventh, he devotes himself to the public reading, preaching, and teaching of God's Word (v. 13-14). Eighth, his life is dominated by the ministry of the Word (v. 15). Lastly, he pays close attention to himself and to what he is teaching (v.16). Notice that most of these qualities have to do with a devotion to sound doctrine and being well-prepared to preach and teach. False, weak, and worldly churches have all manner of ideas about how a good pastor spends his time, but the hard work of preparing to preach and teach should take up the bulk of a faithful pastor's efforts. These are the things for which Christians should look in a potential pastor and/or which they should encourage in their current pastor.
4:10. The Savior of Those Who Believe.
Before we move on, we need to consider a couple of important issues – the first of which is found in verse 10. Paul says God is "the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe". Because the New Testament clearly teaches that there is no eternal salvation for any but those whose faith is in Christ, we know Paul cannot be teaching that, in the end, every last human being will be saved from God's wrath and live forever in glory. So, what does he mean? There are a few ways to understand this Scripture:
1. The Gospel call goes out to all people. In that sense, God is the potential Savior of every human being, but He is the actual Savior only of those who, being brought to new life by the Holy Spirit, believe.
2. As we saw in chapter 2, "all people" can mean "all manner of people". If that is the best understanding, then the word translated "especially" (chiefly, most of all, above all) might be understood as meaning something like "particularly", "namely" or "by which I mean". In other words, God is the Savior of all manner of people who believe in Jesus Christ.
3. The New Testament uses the verb "to save" in many ways, including rescue from danger, healing of diseases and injuries, as well as spiritual, eternal salvation. In His common grace, God gives good things to all people, preserving life and withholding His wrath for a time. Everlasting life in glory, however, is given only to those who have faith in Jesus. Therefore, He is the Savior of all, but He is Savior of believers to a much greater degree.
4:11-16. The Council of Elders.
Paul reminds Timothy of a time when a "council of elders" laid hands on him. In Titus 1:5, we find that the Apostle left Titus in Crete with an extraordinary authority to appoint elders in every town. (We should note that it was not "an elder" for every town, but multiple elders.) However, even in the days of the Apostles, we learn that authority to ordain and commission for special ministry rested in elders who came together in a council (this is known as having a "plurality" of elders – see Acts 13:1-3). In fact, the word translated here as "council of elders" is the source of our words "presbytery" and "presbyterian". In the New Testament, we find local churches are to be governed, overseen, taught, and shepherded by a plurality of elders (see, for example, Acts 20:17- 38). Also, elders counsel other elders outside of their own congregation (consider II John 1 and III John 1, in which John does not cite his authority as an Apostle, but calls himself "the elder" and, as such, offers counsel). Furthermore, elders from various local churches come together in councils which have authority over the local churches (see Acts 15). From these Scriptures, we learn that what is known as the Presbyterian Form of Church Government is not merely an option, but the form of Church Government the LORD has set forth for us in His Word, in which the church is governed by Christ through a plurality of elders. On the local level, this is usually known as a Session (or Consistory). Higher courts of the church have names like presbytery (or classis), synod, or general assembly. Whatever the name we assign to these courts of the Church, the Church is to be governed by a plurality of elders who shepherd under the Great Shepherd Jesus Christ, who is the only King and Head of the Church.
5:1-2. The Church as Family.
Paul tells Timothy how to treat people in his congregation. Notice that the fact that the Gospel brings salvation to all who believe so that, as Paul says in Galatians 3:28, in Christ "there is no Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is no male or female", does not mean that we treat everyone exactly the same. Whether someone is older or younger, our husband or wife, our child or parent, etc., will make a difference in how we treat that person. Here, Paul instructs Timothy to treat older men in the church as he would treat his father. He is not to rebuke them sharply, but to correct them through respectful encouragement. Similarly, he is to treat older women with the honor of a mother. Younger men (closer to his own age) he is to treat as his brothers. Women closer to his age, he is to treat as sisters in all purity. (If Timothy were to marry, he must certainly marry a Christian woman, but he must see a young woman in the church as much more than a potential wife. Christian women are his sisters in Christ and, so, must be treated with the honor and respect a sister should receive from her brother.) The overarching theme of these verses is that the Christians are to treat each other as a family. This is much more than just a good policy for getting along. It reflects the deep spiritual reality that everyone whose faith is in Christ is adopted into God's family (see Ephesians 2:19) and, thus, are considered God's children (John 1:12) and co-heirs of His Kingdom with Christ (Galatians 4:7).
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 40B. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
Memory Verse - Lay the Word of God up in your heart.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
Ephesians 2:4-7 “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ – by grace you have been saved – and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.”
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 13 – Did our first parents continue in the state in which they were created?
Answer – Our first parents, being left to the freedom of their own will, fell from the state in which they were created by sinning against God.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God for the work that is being done to develop our congregation into a family where everyone is known and loved. Pray for the Lord's blessing as that work continues and grows in the next few years.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC