One characteristic of the times we live in is the lack of faithfulness. In marriage, in the home, in the workplace, in the church, and in society at large, people are unwilling to commit themselves to anything wholeheartedly. They are unwilling to keep promises they’ve made, especially if those promises require a greater personal cost than they originally expected. Many of the societal pathologies we face are the result of this faithlessness.
In First Corinthians 4:2, Paul states, “It is required in stewards that one be found faithful.” As Christ-followers, you and I are stewards of the Gospel, and we are called to faithfulness, first to Jesus and then in our human relationships. While faithfulness is necessary for all Believers it is especially required in spiritual leaders.
“A Faithful Minister” is my series of 23 expositions from the book of First Timothy. As I studied, meditated, and expounded on Paul’s exhortation to young Timothy, I was repeatedly encouraged, challenged, and convicted. Many of Paul’s counsels, if heeded today, would save the church and the people of God from much heartache and disillusionment.
In this letter, Paul is urging his young protégé to remain at Ephesus and deal with some difficult issues that had come up in the church. The text reveals what some of these issues were. He also gave specific instruction on how the local church should function, including qualifications for leaders. It was also important that the local church realized Paul’s authority was represented in Timothy.
Paul’s opponents hoped to use his absence to spread their erroneous teaching, so he instructed Timothy on both the importance of teaching the truth, and his own personal conduct. Remember, in Acts chapter 20, Paul had warned the elders of Ephesus about the dangerous deception that would be promoted after his departure. This was what Timothy had to deal with.
Some of the sermon titles in the series are: Confident in Your Calling, Guidelines for Godly Living, Order in the Church, Relational Skills for Leaders, Caring for Leaders, and Beware of False Teachers. These 23 expositions are available in an 8 CD set.
-J. Mark Horst
P.S. I realize this is “old” technology, and we are working on that. If you want, we can put them on a flash drive in .mp3 format.