Verse 1: Would it not be better to be free of the yoke? Free to serve as I choose? Free to live as I please?
Some get irked / burdened and resentful regarding the obligations of service.
Learning to serve is not a wasted lesson.
The school of service is not an education wasted.
The discipline of the yoke leaves it’s mark on the character.
Take the collar off the dog, the mark can still be seen.
Nehemiah served Artaxerses, before serving God at Jerusalem
Joshua was the servant of Moses
Joseph served Pharaoh
Moses served Jethro in the back side of the desert
Jacob served Laban
James and John served their father
The discipline of service is no wasted education
The character is shaped and moulded
The mindset is formed, a mindset of:
Discipline of time and life
'love of money' – perceiving the financial gain to be of greater value than the job well done.
To live for God in heaven is the joy of angels
To live for God in a fallen world is the joy of the redeemed
Christian character is not always formed in the most spiritual of surroundings!
Some of Gods most effective preachers and teachers of character have been:
flames of fire
v1 – the importance of good testimony – the platform for preaching
Earthly service becomes the place where godly character is formed
Godliness is exhibited to others
The importance of testimony, of building up a testimony through work, important in a day of magic formulas and quick fixes.
'wholesome' : 'ὑγιαίνω' : hygeaeno : healthy, sound, well – from this the English word hygiene
12 X in NT
3 X in Luke – the 'beloved physician' – psudomedical term at times 'they that are whole need not a physician' (Luke 5:31); 'found the servant whole that had been sick,' (Luke 7:10)
8 X in the pastoral epistles
This is a word for the pastorals!
6:3 'doctrine according to godliness'
15 X in the NT
8 X 1 Timothy
1 X 2 Timothy
1 X in Titus
Godliness in 1 Timothy emanates from the sanctuary experience (1Timothy 3:16) – from this sanctuary experience godliness is sustained, a reflection of the character of Christ (Romans 8; 1 Co 4).
The experience of the sanctuary is consistent with godliness (6:3) and produces:
Healthy / wholesome words
The words of our Lord Jesus Christ
The doctrine according to godliness
Consider the 'words of our Lord Jesus Christ.'
What are these:
Certainly those words we read in the gospel accounts, very precious, here are the 'words' of 'the WORD'! Very precious! The words which come from above, from God Himself, the communication of the communication from God! Words from He who is Life and Light and Love! These will surely sustain us. These are words of 'heavenly things' (3:12) brought 'down from heaven' (3:13). What a difference, what refreshment! As God's people we surely DESIRE it, when we hear it we DELIGHT in it, and perhaps in the preaching of the Word of God we need to DEMAND it! Let's not put up with so called microwave or 'ding ministry,' reheats, formalism, cliches, or just the endorsing of our favourite doctrines and prejudices! We need a taste of heaven and if they have been in the sanctuary they will bring you a taste of heaven! Illust: watching the calories, discovered that the sweet at the end of the meal, you don't really need a big plateful, a couple of spoonfuls and actually that will do! Just a taste of heaven makes all the difference!
Ephesus and the credibility gap!
There was a gap between what some at Ephesus said and how they actually lived!
6:10 'Love of money'
Joseph and his brothers and 20 pieces of silver
Balaam and his prophecies
Achan and the spoils from Jericho
Gehazi and his leprosy
Judas and his soul
To hold in our hands the material and relinquish the eternal!
Outline notes from a Bible teaching message in our series of systematic bible studies in 1 Timothy, available for free audio download or to listen online,
Yours by God's grace in Christ
Dr J Stewart Gillespie