Pursuing the Call of Ministry
Pursuing the Call of Ministry, Part 1
Confidently proclaim the message of the Bible
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:11-12 ESV)
Timothy, the person and his position:
Make sure that he has nothing to fear from you; he is doing the Lord’s work, just as I am, and nobody is to underrate him. (1 Corinthians 16:10, 11 NJB).
God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).
His situation: Timothy pastored a church that didn’t call him. He was there to oust some current leaders who taught the doctrine of demons. And he was to dismantle well-established myths and teachings practiced by intimidating people who looked down on him for being too young.
Why did God put him in such a difficult position? It could be for Timothy:
- To learn the strength and potency of the Spirit of God
- To rely on the power and authority of God’s word
- To know the availing might that accompanies godliness
- To learn the resourcefulness of God’s manifest spiritual gifts
- To understand that faithful obedience to Christ’s call trumps any circumstance and outcome.
Without Timothy’s weaknesses, he would never know and rely on God’s supreme power.
What weakness has God intended for you?
Paul insisted that Timothy command or mandate the congregation to obey God’s word fully, to acknowledge, possess, and live the words of faith and good doctrine, and to live godly lives as they set their hope on Christ, the living God.
“Paul’s command to Timothy contrasts sharply with much contemporary preaching. Preaching in our day is often intriguing, but seldom commanding; often entertaining, but seldom convicting; often popular, but seldom powerful; often interesting, but less often transforming.” (John MacArthur)
We can be confident and commanding when sharing God’s word.
The key to commanding confidence is:
- Being sure that the Bible is God’s holy inspired word.
- Being sure of our accurate understanding of the truths.
- Being sure that God is pleased with our faithful proclamation.
Convincingly live biblically transformed.
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12 ESV)
How does a minister or church member earn respect? By proclaiming the truth and truthfully living the proclamation.
Nothing brings reproach more quickly than a proclaimer living in hypocrisy. And nothing makes an impact like someone sharing the Bible with others while living the truth demonstratively.
Faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. (Romans 10:17 ESV) Be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. (James 1:22 ESV) What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? (James 2:14 ESV)
Set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity. (1 Timothy 4:12)
Paul mentions two categories, one external and the other internal.
- Be an example in speech and conduct (external), both of which come from our hearts.
34b For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. 35 The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil. (Matthew 12:34b-35 ESV)
The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things. (Proverbs 15:28 ESV)
In the same way, our conduct—what we do and don’t do—reveals our hearts. So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. (Matthew 7:17 ESV)
- Be an example in love, faith, and purity (internal).
God initiates love, he pours out faith, and he provides our purity. Because God has given these to us, we can unreservedly express them before others.