"We see, in many a land, the proudest dynasties and tyrannies still crushing, with their mountain weight, every free motion of the Consciences and hearts of men. We see, on the other hand, the truest heroism for the right and the greatest devotion to the Truth in hearts that God has touched. We have a work to do, as great as our forefathers and, perhaps, far greater. The enemies of Truth are more numerous and subtle than ever and the needs of the Church are greater than at any preceding time. If we are not debtors to the present, then men were never debtors to their age and their time. Brethren, we are debtors to the hour in which we live. Oh, that we might stamp it with Truth and that God might help us to impress upon its wings some proof that it has not flown by neglected and unheeded." -- C.H. Spurgeon . . . "If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." John 8:31, 32 . . . . .

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Friday, December 31, 2021

CROSSING The T’s STUDY in 1 TIMOTHY – Biblical Precepts and Principles for Pastoral ministry: CHAPTER TWO

INTRODUCTION
: Paul wrote a very affectionate, endearing, heart-felt epistle to the church at Philippi and we see very much the same heart here from Paul to his beloved son in the faith, Timothy.

I’ve had and have some spiritual sons in the faith myself; though they are not my blood, but rather by the blood of Jesus in redemption, as am I, this forms a bond that quite often supersedes familial bonds. And will outlast them.
The instructions we see here are not just from an apostle to a pastor, but a mentor to a disciple, and a father to a son: we see these relational views throughout this letter (as well as the second letter to Timothy) and evidences the true godly love that should be the trademark of all believers in Christ (JOHN 13:34-35).

So let’s continue into chapter two!
1 TIMOTHY 2:1-3
1 Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. 3 For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior
,

When the apostle says that he exhorts, he is intreating, calling near, by way of invitation, but also invoking and beseeching, and this exhortation is towards the various ministries of prayer: supplication and intercessions as well as giving of thanks.

Petitions and prayer requests are supplications and typically for oneself, whereas intercessions are on behalf of the need of others. These are the first orders of business that Paul addresses in chapter Two. Indeed, “one can do many things once one has prayed, but one cannot do anything (of eternal value) until one has prayed”.

Our preeminent example is the LORD Jesus, Who Himself found it necessary to draw aside, usually very early in the morning, to pray to the Father. As has been oft exclaimed by preachers and pastors of old, “If GOD the Son felt it necessary, then how much more necessary is it for all of us?”

It’s both remarkable and heart breaking that through the more than four decades as a Christian I have witnessed huge congregations attending service to hear preaching, but when I visited such fellowships for a prayer meeting, too, too often I would see only about a dozen or so come together for this sacred ministry.

Charles Finney had remarkable success in evangelizing and bringing people to Christ, and this caught the eye of the newspapers; reporters were sent to his church to find out the secret to his success and with a smile on his face and a finger to his lips he quietly brought them downstairs to the church basement. He led them down the hall, and to a door, but before he opened it, he gestured a second time for the reporters to keep quiet. He then opened the door and allowed the reporters to peek in, and witness a couple dozen people on their knees, earnestly praying, crying out to GOD for revival, united in heart and spirit, fervently seeking the face of their LORD.

Finney slowly closed the door and led the reporters to the other end of the hall and said,
I have no secret gentlemen. The only success comes from GOD as we seek Him in prayer. And when these leave in a couple of hours, other petitioners will take their place. It’s by this means we have victory over the devil.”
One reporter smiled sardonically and said, “Do you really believe there is a devil pastor?”
Finney focused his fiery gaze on the reporter and said, “You just try resisting him young man, and you’ll find out just how ‘literal’ he is
!” 
Prayer is one of the most valiant weapons that devastates the plots, purposes, and plans of the enemy and brings the Kingdom of GOD into our lives and that of others in remarkable ways!!

It’s worthy to note that not one revival ever happened in the history of the church, but that there was at least one person, faithfully standing in the gap and interceding, pleading, weeping, and crying out to GOD to move by His Spirit upon the souls of men! We certainly have an adversary that strongly desires to keep his slaves underfoot, blinded and bound.
If we desire to be well pleasing to the LORD, may we take prayer seriously, commit volumes of time on our knees (figuratively if not literally) in seeking GOD for one last harvest of souls before the catching away of the church.

Additionally, we are to pray for “all men, for kings and all who are in authority”. Everyone that the LORD brings to mind: from family, to friends, neighbors and co-workers, and to happenstance strangers that we meet along the way. We are to pray for government officials, from the President on down to community legislators – everyone that is in authority – including circuit judges, senators, congressmen and governors and mayors. Not only does Paul desire that we pray for all men, but that all [men] would pray (vs. 8)!

The intention is that the LORD will have a godly, sanctifying influence upon them; that they would be aware of the One that they (as are we all) accountable to, and will be judged for how they handled the power that they were granted by GOD.
PSALM 62:11-12
11 God has spoken once, Twice I have heard this: That power belongs to God. 12 Also to You, O Lord, belongs mercy; For You render to each one according to his work
.
GOD dispenses His power to potentates, people of position, to parents, as well as beasts and celestial and terrestrial bodies. For those angelic and human beings, GOD waits, watches and witnesses how we handle this power that He placed in our stewardship. Those who abuse that power, disregarding the Highest Authority to which they will one day answer to, will be judged and have that power stripped from them.

Those who handle that power with godly fear, humility and wholly regarding the Highest Authority as their LORD and Savior, they will be granted more power based on their faithfulness.

It is when such prayers are lifted up to the throne of GOD, and He sends down His answers and touches the lives of all in authority “that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.”

Consider the life of Daniel, and how he was devoted to his GOD, praying three times in the day (DAN 6:10), and was promoted in every government that he served in; he was exalted and honored by kings and emperors! And even when attacked, this man of GOD was not only protected, but the very plot of evil men was turned against them, and they perished instead of Daniel! This prophet lead a quiet and peaceable life in godliness and reverence!

Prayer is not something practiced to get my will done, but GOD’s will on this Earth, just as it is in Heaven (MATT 6:10). It’s been said before, “Seven days without prayer makes one weak.”

1 TIMOTHY 2:4-6
4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 5 For there is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave Himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time
,

GOD desires and is not willing that any should perish, but that “all men” come to repentance and thus, salvation (2 PET 3:9). I often say, GOD drags His feet to bring judgment, but He sprints to show His mercy!

Satan desires that people think of GOD as an angry old man, bristling with thunderbolts, eager to dispense judgment and condemnation gleefully. Either that, or a dotting Grampa that just loves, only loves, and would never, ever think of bringing judgment to sinners.

GOD’s demand of holy judgment upon sin as well as redemption of lost souls are equally and entirely met at the Cross of Christ; He took the judgment and wrath for our sin, and we take His righteousness whereby we have “right standing” before GOD and are accounted as His adopted children:
2 CORINTHIANS 5:18-21
18 Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He
[the Father] made Him [the LORD Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

ROMANS 8:15
For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father
(See also EPH 1:5).
Knowledge of the truth begins with the presentation of the Gospel and when “mixed with faith” such preaching brings the profitable transformation of the Holy Spirit that births eternal life (HEB 4:2). Knowledge of the truth goes further along as we grow in our discipleship, continuing in His Word (JOHN 8:31).

GOD’s heart is shown magnificently in the crushing distresses of Christ in the Garden of Gethsemane, where He was preparing to be offered up for salvation of souls from their sins, rather than the instantaneous judgment and destruction of Adam and Eve upon their fall in the Garden of Eden.

The very name of JESUS epitomizes GOD’s desire to save souls rather than to condemn them: His name in Hebrew is Y’shua, itself a contraction of YHWH shua, which means “Our GOD is salvation” for “He shall save His people from their sins” (MATT 1:21). It is our LORD’s nature to save for His great love, grace, mercy, and compassion compels Him; yet the sin of man must be dealt with, otherwise as the Holy Judge of all creation would be unjust should He simply overlook sin (EZEK 18:4,20).

This is often where people shy away from the idea of eternal punishment, thinking that a loving GOD would never create such a place, much less send human beings there. They fail to appreciate the supreme quality of GOD’s holiness and purity and that even the slightest infraction against His will is high treason against the Holy Throne of His Government.

Should you steal a car here in the USA, you would be charged and sentenced according to our law. Were you to do the same thing in Saudi Arabia, where Sharia law is enforced, you will receive a much harsher sentence and punishment. Depending on the nation in which the crime is committed, this dictates the severity of the punishment.

Because GOD is as eternal as His holiness, any crime against Him must therefore likewise be eternal – anything less, and Holy Justice is not served: the punishment wouldn’t fit the crime.
It should be pointed out that “hell” (meaning the lake of fire, or the second death, aka Gehenna) was never meant for man, but rather for the devil and his angels (MATT 25:41). Yet because of the fall of man, humanity was endangered, but the LORD gave Adam and Eve a promise of hope wherein they and all of us would be offered salvation by the redemption of Christ (GEN 3:15).

For those who refuse the Gospel – they will be met with the unyielding, unmerciful, and resolute Law of GOD, and they’ll not be able to offer a single word in their own defense (ROM 3:19)! There is no such thing as eternal injustice!
Once we receive “the knowledge of the truth” as presented in the Gospel and we willfully sin by rejecting the Gospel, the opportunity for salvation is rescinded (should such a soul die in their sins):
HEBREWS 10:26-29
26 For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, 27 but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. 28 Anyone who has rejected Moses' law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. 29 Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace?
I cringe when I recall a heated atheist on the street telling an interviewer that he “hopes the Christians are right about Jesus coming back again, because I want to put Him where He belongs, back on the cross!”

Another atheist expressed his vehement repulsion, thinking about being in heaven with Jesus: “I’d much rather spend an eternity in hell than one minute in heaven if Jesus were there. To me, that would be hell!”

The author of HEBREWS (I believe it’s Paul) goes to great lengths to show that the Old Testament promises are all fulfilled in Christ under the New Testament; that the first is taken away in order to establish the second (HEB 10:9). For those Hebrews that willfully reject (and thus, sin) the New Testament sacrifice in favor of falling back to the Old Testament law and sacrifices (which is one of the primary purposes of this epistle, to warn the Hebrews who are coming short of fully embracing the Gospel and reverting back into Judaism; HEB 4:1), there are no other sacrifices available: the old sacrifices are no longer valid, and if the “Mediator Who stands between GOD and men” (and there are no other mediators but Christ!) and His sacrifice at Calvary is rejected, then by default, they will be condemned for such rejection:
JOHN 3:17-20
17 "For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 "He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. 19 "And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. 20 "For everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed.
1 TIMOTHY 2:7-8
7 for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle; I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying; a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. 8 I desire therefore that the men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting
;

There is a difference between preaching and teaching; as I shared with someone recently, “We preach to inspire, we teach to inform”.

Preaching is all about exhorting and persuading people through use of intelligent, logical reasoning towards a particular conviction that the preacher is aiming for in his audience.
Thus, preaching the Gospel uses intelligent, logical reasoning through the Scriptures (ACTS 17:2); this is also where apologetics stems from – an endeavor to persuade people to the truth as manifested in the Scriptures – though in this case, there most certainly is an element of teaching as well.

The preacher will also seek to persuade the saints toward holy living, of seeking more earnestly the LORD and His Kingdom.

Teaching likewise employs intelligent, logical reasoning, but these are subordinate to exposition of the Scriptures; that is, to ‘expose’ the meaning and intent of the Word of GOD through careful analysis of the text, proper interpretation based on the context and related subject matter as elsewhere mentioned in the Bible. Teachers learn what the Bible says, then interpret it, then employ these in application – where the element of preaching comes into play.

Both teaching and preaching must be anointed of the Holy Spirit, otherwise they are vain endeavors!

The LORD Jesus preached (MATT 4:17) as did His herald, John the Baptist (MATT 3:1); of course Paul preached and taught profusely among the Gentiles (see vs. 7 in our text) and testifies that a preacher must be sent (ROM 10:15). He and the others that the LORD selected to follow Him were all apostles (literally means, “one who is sent”), preaching was a priority over baptism (1 COR 1:17); the only valid preaching centers around the crucified Christ (1 COR 1:23).

The words preach and teach are mentioned in Scripture in replete fashion. "Preach" and its variations are mentioned 141 times; "teach" and its variations are mentioned 239 times in Scripture.

Both teaching and preaching are mentioned in ACTS 5:42. Both are essential to the church, but with an emphasis on teaching for the church, as preaching centers (mostly) around the Gospel to the lost, whereas teaching is centered around feeding GOD’s sheep (and as mentioned, there is an element of preaching in teaching).

Paul was appointed by none other than Christ – not by mere men, or even by other apostles (GAL 1:1). This is the case with everyone in the body of Christ. We are all members but not any two members serves the same function (1 COR 12:12), or in the same way; yet we are appointed to serve the body by Christ Himself (1 COR 12:5-11), not through any elective on our part – or even our pastor.

Paul was indeed an apostle to the Gentiles – that was just as certainly his calling as Peter’s calling was to the Jews (GAL 2:7). Nevertheless, Paul had a deep longing and a yearning heart for his countrymen:
ROMANS 9:1-4
1 I tell the truth in Christ, I am not lying, my conscience also bearing me witness in the Holy Spirit, 2 that I have great sorrow and continual grief in my heart. 3 For I could wish that I myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my countrymen according to the flesh, 4 who are Israelites, to whom pertain the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the service of God, and the promises
;
To even think of being willing to be condemned and consigned to perdition for the sake of others, that they would be saved, is incredibly Christ-like; and he wasn’t kidding either – the Holy Spirit bore witness that he was sincere!

“…men pray everywhere, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting”. That is, without anger or debate.

Consider when Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin concerning the healing of the impotent cripple, and were at the conclusion of the interview, forbidden to preach in Christ’s name.
When they left – they weren’t angry, and they didn’t pray angry either – but rather, rejoiced that they were accounted worthy to suffer for Christ’s sake (ACTS 4:15-31; note especially vs. 30; ACTS 5:40-42)!

Debate is strange in regards to prayer, but when I think about the times when I really thought I knew what was best and tried to ‘counsel’ the LORD, I think there probably were quite a few ‘debates’ through the years.
Until we learn that GOD’s will is always the highest and best case, we might think we know better, but in these recent years, when I’m at a loss for how to pray, I simply ask the LORD for His will to be done; that it’s the wisest, safest and most blessed course we could ever take!

1 TIMOTHY 2:9-11
9 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, 10 but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. 11 Let a woman learn in silence with all submission
.

Women in those days were very much into cosmetics – not a lot has changed has it? And – like J. Vernon McGee was fond of saying, “If the barn needs painting, then go ahead! Paint it!

The issue I think is when these are of greater concern than godliness and good works. Having such beautifications is welcome certainly, so long as they are proper and in moderation. I can recall on the PTL network (which I rarely watched) some of those women had wigs that would rival the pyramids in height. And eye make-up and cosmetics that made them look downright clownish! That was anything but moderate, but the furthest in the extreme!

Here is godly counsel for our saintly ladies, and what GOD sees as truly beautiful:
1 PETER 3:1-5
1 Likewise, ye wives, be in subjection to your own husbands; that, if any obey not the word, they also may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives; 2 While they behold your chaste conversation coupled with fear. 3 Whose adorning let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; 4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Now for a verse that has become most controversial in today’s fellowships:

“Let a woman learn in silence with all submission.”

The idea that submission means subservience and a position to be taken by an inferior has clouded what this passage is saying.
If I’m caught in the middle of a F-5 category tornado, and in the midst of the chaos, I find a building with a sub-basement, with reinforced concrete, I will readily submit to that building and count on it to protect me because it's far more capable than I am to withstand that force of nature!

This submission ties in to what the next three verses address. Before we go there, however, let’s finish this one. Women were to learn in silence. Women in those days typically didn’t receive a formal education in the Scriptures, so where would they do any learning? In the synagogue.
Jewish synagogues were structured so that the men sat on one side, and their wives (and all women generally) sat on the other (to avoid unwanted distractions). So if while the teaching was going on, and one of the wives had a question, they shouldn’t shout across the aisle and expect their husband to shout back an answer.
1 CORINTHIANS 14:34-35
34 Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.
So let them learn in silence while in synagogue – or in the church, which while it had a strong Jewish influence in the first and second century, was set up pretty much the same way.

1 TIMOTHY 2:12-15
12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13 For Adam was formed first, then Eve. 14 And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. 15 Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control
.

This is the ‘go-to’ Scripture that addresses the issue of women pastors. This verse is not inspired of the Holy Spirit in order to keep women in subjugation under the heels of men. Nor does this verse deny the very excellent qualities that women possess. GOD made women very intuitive, compassionate, resourceful with an innate need in wanting to help people. Plus they make formidable prayer warriors! Such qualities are not to be underestimated but valued as the treasures that they are! Godly lady saints are a tremendous asset to any fellowship.
So why can’t women be pastors?

If we truly believe that “All Scripture” is indeed inspired by GOD (2 TIM 3:16), then the foremost reason that women are forbidden such leadership is because GOD said so – but why did He forbid it? We have the answer right here in our text.

In the great fall of mankind, it wasn’t Adam that was deceived; it was Eve and she “fell into transgression”. I believe Adam knew what he was doing, going in. He loved Eve so much, that he joined her in this rebellious act rather than be separated from her fate. I also believe that’s why Satan approached Eve – I’m certain that he observed these two for quite some time before he initiated his plan of action.

He studied Adam and witnessed his all-consuming love for his bride – very much like ‘the second Adam’ loves His! Satan must have suspected that if he could get Eve to fall, then Adam would follow along – spiritually ‘killing two birds with one stone’, as it were.

When it comes to spiritual matters, it seems that women are most susceptible to deception. Consider how many cults, mystery religions and esoteric societies were founded by women (this is certainly not to say men haven’t had their fair share in such false religions), which far outweigh those founded by men, and it becomes clear.

The restriction to teach for women is only in regards to pastoral care in the church over men; there are ladies who are exceptional in Sunday School, teaching children. Timothy himself was instructed by Eunice and Lois, his mother and grandmother respectively (2 TIM 1:5). The elder women were intentionally instructed to teach the younger women (TITUS 2:4). Women were not forbidden to exhort and to prophesy (ACTS 21:9).

I have the highest esteem and respect for the lady saints of the fellowship I attend; they are truly loving, caring, dutiful, sensitive, and so very willing to pour themselves out in service to the LORD. We couldn’t prosper as we do without the LORD using these marvelous maids that love our Messiah!

And as difficult as this is to say, because it goes so hard against our progressive proclivities and modern thinking, the Bible does in fact teach that women are the weaker sex. They are usually (but not always, especially some of them named Helga or Gertrude!) smaller in size and with muscle mass that is less dense (except in diaphragm and surrounding areas for the purpose of giving birth) than men. I believe GOD designed it that way, because He intends that men should be the protectors of their homes.

Spiritually speaking, men are also (of the godly sort) protectors those weaker than they are, those who are more easily deceived, those who are often governed by emotion rather than intellect. Again, I am not insinuating that women are not intelligent – I know so many who are far more gifted than men; but that being the case, our ladies still tend to handle situations emotionally more than rationally.

I’ve heard it said that when a wife submits to her husband, she bows in order to get out of the way, so the LORD can smack some good sense into her husband – amusing, yes, but with a measure of validity, to be sure!
There are many other reasons why GOD orchestrated the marriage relationship this way and the many reasons why men, not women are ordained of GOD as pastors. Of the various competent articles that address these, here are a couple, founded on biblical basis you may find interesting. 



ALSO check out this video with Todd Friel!

Ten things you WON’T find in a good marriage



So ends Chapter Two; next time we’ll get into the Third Chapter which deals with the requirements for elders and deacons. Until then, remember: JESUS REIGNS and Satan feigns!

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