The Inside Column 19/2

Posted in: The Inside Column- Mar 14, 2017 No Comments

Good morning and a very warm welcome to you. We invite you to join us after the service for a hot drink and fellowship.

Today a number of our parishioners are at Convergence Camp at Kaiteriteri where Bishop Justin Duckworth is speaking about Intentional Living.

We have been working our way through 1Timothy over the last few weeks so here is a short summary of the main themes we are exploring.

The first of Paul’s final series of letters—which along with 2 Timothy and Titus are called the Pastoral Epistles—1 Timothy offers practical and pastoral advice from the aging apostle Paul to a young pastor named Timothy working in the church at Ephesus. More than a decade prior to writing this letter, Paul had first met Timothy in the city of Lystra—in Asia Minor—where Timothy was known and respected by the Christians (Acts 16:1–4). Upon recognizing Timothy’s impressive qualities, Paul recruited the young man to travel with him as he continued his second missionary journey. The presence of Timothy would have met an important need for Paul, their friendship coming on the heels of Paul’s split with his close friend and partner in missions, Barnabas (15:36–41).

First Timothy presents the most explicit and complete instructions for church leadership and organisation in the entire Bible. This includes sections on appropriate conduct in worship
gatherings, the qualifications of elders and deacons, and the proper order of church discipline. Paul advised Timothy on these practical matters in a way that would have helped the young leader to emphasise the purity that should characterise Christian leaders and the gatherings they oversee.

Timothy’s youth no doubt served him well, allowing for the energy and vigor he needed to serve his people. However, it also caused inevitable difficulties with older Christians who may not have taken quickly to the leadership of such a young man because of his lack of knowledge and experience in leadership. It was important to Paul that Timothy set an example of consistent faith and a good conscience, remaining above reproach and exercising the spiritual gifts that God had given him (1 Timothy 4:12–16).

However, Paul knew that the task would not be easy for the young man. Therefore, Paul encouraged Timothy to “fight the good fight” (1:18; 6:12). Perseverance in what was good often became a slog for Timothy, one that required thick skin and a clear purpose. It’s important that we too recognize the value of perseverance as we intentionally live out our faith.

Next Saturday 25 February is the date for the Banquet in the Garden mission fundraiser. Why not get a group of friends together and come along for a great evening of food, live music and fun.

Yours in faith

Philip

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