As I’ve mentioned in the past, I am preaching expository sermons from the the first epistle of Paul to Timothy. I preached a number of sermons from 1 Timothy 4:11-16 and my last message was from chapter 5, verses 1-2. Anytime I preach, I try to preach first to myself before I preach to the congregation—I believe that’s how it should always be with each sermon. But in the preparation of these most recent passages I have been especially challenged personally.
The title of one sermon that I preached from chapter 4:12 was “The Power of an Exemplary Life.” Paul wants to communicate to Timothy that the power of leadership was not in the strength of his voice, but in being an example to the rest of the church.
The most recent sermon I preached from 5:1-2 helped to strengthen my understanding of pastoral ministry in another way. There were three general points that the Lord brought to my attention in His Word:
1 Timothy 5:1-2, “Do not sharply rebuke an older man, but rather appeal to him as a father, to the younger men as brothers, the older women as mothers, and the younger women as sisters, in all purity.”
- The text presupposes that a pastor will be interacting with the entire congregation—older men, younger men, older women, younger women. This is relevant for the contemporary church because of the damage that has been done in many churches where homogenous groups have been formed. These groups tend to divide the congregation.
- The text presupposes that the treatment of one another in the church should be as a family relationship. We should interact with one another as fathers, brothers, mothers, and sisters. The Apostle John also writes with this familial relationship in mind in his first letter.
- The text presupposes that this family needs exhortation. It makes clear that the church will be lacking in certain areas and the work of the pastor is to help them in love.
When I see these truths in the Scriptures, I give glory to God. My desire is simply to share the personal joy that I receive as I study the eternal Word of God and the growing love that I have for the local church, my family—the many fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters that God has given me. This love toward the church is growing as I study this Epistle.