Guarding The Gospel

The Commander Of The Guard

1Timothy 3:1-7

Introduction

"20-21.  Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to your care.  Turn away from godless chatter and the opposing ideas of what is falsely called knowledge, which some have professed and in so doing have departed from the faith."

Jesus would say it this way:  "You swallow a camel, but strain to get down a gnat."  The verses have been used as proof-texts to disqualify many godly people from ministry in God's Church.

Here are the three qualities the Church of the Nazarene seeks in spiritual leaders:  

A.  The Commander Must Be Above Personal Reproach           

The spiritual leader of a congregation is judged by a very high standard.  Paul gives specific examples of how leaders are expected to live:  "2-3: faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money."

B.  The Commander Must BE Accruing Proper Respect   

No minister will ever be greater in the pulpit than in the parsonage.   What leaders are at home will affect who they are in public. 

4.  He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.  If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of  God's Church?"

C.  The Commander Must Be Acquiring A Pure Reputation

There are people we call SNLs (Strong Natural Leaders).  In school they captained the teams.  In business they were the innovative leaders.  If you call the shots and the others go along, you are a very valuable member of the team and you are as likey to fall into pride as Satan did.

The devil has a scheme that he had repeated now for many years.  Jimmy Swaggart - 1980s televangelist, was photographed by a rival televangelist leaving a hotel with a prostitute.  The Word says: "7.  He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."

Conclusion

Pray for all who God calls into leadership.  To every spiritual leader I remind of the words:

"13.  No temptatioon has overtaken you except what is common to humanity.  And God is faithful: He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear.  But when you are tempted,  He will also provide a way out so that you can endure it."