Opening Prayer Thoughts.
Praise God for the freedom we have in the Lord to live our lives in accordance with the will of the Father as blood-bought slaves. Romans 6:17.
Confess the sin of submitting too easily to the law of sin, as though we were still in bondage to it. Romans 6:12-14.
Please ask the Holy Spirit's help as you come to his Word.
Please read 1 Timothy chapter 5:17- 6:10
Notes prepared by Rev. Daniel Hempkin, Minister of Hebron RPCNA, from the Airdrie ‘Let’s Worship God’ booklet.
5:17-25. How To Treat Elders.
In these verses Paul teaches us several things about how we are to treat the elders in our churches. First, as we have already seen, we are to honour them, giving double honour to those who rule well (and paying those who labour as teaching elders) (v.17-18). Second, we must be careful not to listen to, or participate in, gossip about them. A charge against an elder must have two or three witnesses (v.19). Third, the church must follow proper procedures of discipline (see Matt. 18:15-17). In the case of a sinning elder, this may require a public rebuke (v.20), but all must be judged fairly and impartially (v.21). Fourth, we must not be hasty in ordaining men to the office (v.22). Only well-qualified men should be ordained as elders (see I Tim 3:1-7), lest the church appear to be taking part in sin. Thus, Paul cautions (in v.24) that some men's sins are obvious, but others may remain hidden for some time. Likewise, one man's righteousness may be readily seen, while another's may be seen only after much observation (v.25). Therefore, it is important to observe and examine a man closely before entrusting him with authority in the church. Lastly, in verse 23, we find Paul encouraging Timothy to "use a little wine for the sake of your stomach". Whatever else might be said about this verse, it is clear Paul expects Timothy to take care of himself. A healthy pastor or elder can be more effective in ministry. Therefore, the church should encourage an elder to take times of rest and refreshment, and otherwise to look after his own health, that he might be able all the more to labour hard at shepherding Christ's people.
Paul now turns to deal with how Christian slaves are to treat their masters. Paul was in no way approving of slavery, but just dealing with the fact that slavery existed in his day. Moreover, the word translated as "slave" may also be translated as "bondservant", and, thus, can refer not only to people who are forced into servitude and treated like property, but also to those who have voluntarily placed themselves in service (usually to pay off a debt), allowing the fruits of their labour to be owned by another. In either case, Paul's interest is that Christians who are in bondage bring honour to God through the way they serve their masters. They are to treat their masters with honour. If they are bound in servitude to a fellow Christian, they must not use their brotherhood as an excuse to serve half-heartedly or to disrespect the master. Rather, they should seek to serve a Christian master all the more faithfully, due to their love for their brother. Most of us in the western world do not have direct experience with the institution of slavery. (Some who study the issue, however, say that there are more people in slavery around the world today than at any other time in history.) Nevertheless, Paul's instructions in this passage apply well to Christian employees. Christians should treat their employers and supervisors with honour. This is especially true when we work under a fellow Christian. When the world sees that Christians work hard and serve their employers faithfully and with respect, the Name of Christ is honoured.
6:3-10. False Teachers.
A major purpose of this letter is to help Timothy deal with false teachers in the church at Ephesus. In chapter one, Paul reminded Timothy that sound doctrine is that which accords with the Gospel of salvation by grace, alone, working through faith, alone, in Jesus Christ, alone. Here, Paul speaks of "different" doctrines. These teachings are different (strange and unbiblical) because they do not agree with "the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness". Sound teaching will always agree with the Gospel of Jesus Christ and the whole counsel of God's Word. Anything else is a false doctrine. Paul points out several things about one who promotes false doctrines. First, he is "puffed up with conceit and understands nothing" – he thinks more highly of his intelligence, learning, knowledge of the Bible and spiritual things, and ability to reason than he ought. (One way this has occurred frequently in Church history is for a man to claim he understands the real meaning of the Bible, while no one before him has ever gotten it right.) Second, he has "an unhealthy craving for controversy and quarrels about words" – he is argumentative and enjoys stirring up needless debates. Third, the fruit of his quarreling is division among God's people. Finally, his motive is often financial or other earthly gain. He thinks that by promoting an alternative teaching to that of the legitimate elders in the church, he can make his living (and even enrich himself) from the generosity of the immature who cannot yet distinguish between true and false doctrines, or otherwise gain respect and other earthly rewards.
6:3-10. Godliness with Contentment.
The usual motive of a false teacher is the desire for earthly rewards such as money or renown. Paul says that such people view godliness as a means of gain. That he is speaking of false teachers who seek to enrich themselves is seen in the following verses in which Paul reminds us that we brought nothing into this world and cannot take anything with us when we leave it. He warns that the love of money has produced all manner of evil. (One such evil is the promotion of false gospels.) The desire to be rich in the things of this world is a result of lack of contentment, which has led many to fall into following harmful desires, which, in turn, have led to their ruin and destruction. By contrast, in verse 6, Paul speaks of a type of gain that godliness does bring. As one who has true saving faith in Jesus Christ grows spiritually, he will value the things of this world less and less, and value the things of God and the world to come more and more. This produces contentment with whatever our situation in this life might be. This is great gain, for it relieves anxiety, keeps us focused on Christ's Kingdom, keeps us satisfied with what we have (rather than focused on what we do not have) and builds our trust in our Sovereign Creator and Saviour God.
Sing with joy in your heart to God.
Psalm 39B. Link to the words. Link to it being sung.
It is a privilege to lay into our hearts and minds the light and truth of God's Word.
Ephesians 2:4-8. “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. For by grace you have been saved”
Truth for the Mind and Heart.
Westminster Shorter Catechism, Question 15 – What was the sin by which our first parents fell from the state in which they were created?
Answer – The sin by which our first parents fell from the state in which they were created, was their eating the fruit that God had forbidden.
Comment – What made eating the fruit sinful was the fact that God had forbidden it, not that there was anything in the fruit itself that was necessarily evil.
This is taken from https://matt2819.com/wsc where you will find proof texts.
Thank God that we can be content in our lives, resting in his provision and blessing.
Pray for the grace of God in your life, that you would fall deeper in love with the Lord and establish an increasingly stable and consistent relationship with him.
Take care in Christ,
Rev. Dr. Andrew Quigley
Minister, Ottawa RPC