Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Church, A Family

Temple Baptist Church 12-30-2012
1 Timothy 5:1-16


A. Most problems in the local church are internal ones. I have often said that the greatest enemy of the local church normally sits on its pews. Before I say any more, I want to say that—for the most part—I have no “horror stories” to tell.

1. We have one of the sweetest spirits in our church and the most wonderful people in the world. Sunday night, I looked around as our people fellowshipped and ate together and they were a family. BUT, I have had people divide our church over the years. In our nation, there has been a “class warfare” mentality over the past 4 years that has efficiently divided a nation “indivisible.” A nation unified is a strong nation but a nation divided will certainly fall.

2. So it is with the local church: there have been people who tried to divide the people from the pulpit; there have been people who were divided in their fellowship with others and these things invariable caused problems. Thank the Lord, the “old leaven” has been purged and unity has been the result.

B. There are many things that can cause disunity and division within the local church but I want to look a just a few before I get into the message which, believe it or not, will be short.

1. Some people are not scripturally taught concerning the corporation, functions, and mission of the local church. The Holy Spirit, in these verses, deals with the interaction of the saints within the local church body.

a) The corporation of the local church has structure! If you would, a chain of command: Christ is the Head and works through the written Word; the pastor or under shepherd who is to take the oversight of the church; the deacons who are servants, not supervisors; and the members.

b) The local church has function. The preaching and teaching of God’s Word is essential for the edification of the body and evangelization of the sinner. The Word of God is of the utmost importance and remains under constant attack. The pulpit and teachers within the church must be doctrinally sound and Bible believers! No novice or liberal will teach in our church!

c) The local church has a mission: evangelization which is followed by “baptizing them” and edification which is “teaching them to observe all things which I have commanded you.” The church is not a “social club” and is not to provide for the entertainment of the saints. Too many churches are not entertaining “goats” instead of edifying “sheep!”

2. Some people do not get involved in the workings, both inward and outward, of the local church. Most of us have heard the saying, “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop.” Individuality may be a good thing out in the world but, in the local church, it is a real problem. It does matter what we do because it affects the body. When one member of the body hurts, the body hurts; when one member of the body rejoices, the body rejoices; when one part of the body gets out of sorts, the who body hurts.

3. Some people will never become a part of the “family.” Church to most is something that you have to do or is expected of you. Church is a family reunion. Church is getting together with those you love and are friends with. I come to church for a lot of reasons: love for it, discipline of faithfulness, to worship, to give my tithe and offerings, and to be with the most special people on earth! I come because I am “in” and not “out.”

4. Some people are not a part of the “family.” Some are not birth related and never fit in because the family is a heart thing. It takes a birth to bring one into the family of God.

C. Paul sets forth an important few verses here as our actions around and interaction with one another is of the utmost importance. These are principles easily understood because they are ones that we grew up with at home where I had a Dad, Mom, two brothers, and one sister in the home together.

1. How to treat an Elder – verse 1 – “intreat him as a father” Intreat - to call to one's side, call for, summon for instruction.

a. Respect them! In the “good old days,” parents were obeyed. The elderly men are the “hoary heads” of wisdom and experience to be drawn from. When you get too old to listen, you are in trouble.

b. Honor them! In the “good old days,” parents were respected

2. How to treat an older Woman – verse 2 - “as mothers” (I sure love my mother!)

a. Listen to them! Especially you young ladies as they are your examples and teachers. Young men, forsake not the law of your mothers! She is your “completer” while you are unmarried and at home.

b. Treat them with tenderness and care! The Bible says to “despise not thy mother when she is old.” Love and respect the older ladies of the church because they are special and needed.

c. Honor them! The place of women in the church is the same as the home. They are not to be the ruler of the home, they are the heart of the home. They are the heart of the church.

3. How to treat the younger men – verse 1 - “as brethren” I do not argue or fight with my brothers! I have two of them and we are close and if you cut one of us, the other two bleed.

a. I will not offend my brother. If something offends him, I will not bring it up or expose him to it.

b. I will not defraud my brother. I will not take anything that belongs to him.

c. I will not speak evil of my brother. He is no more perfect than I and I will also refuse to hear him evil spoken of.

d. I will love my brother. I will love each man in this church with equality.

e. I will help my brother and be there for him. I will hold him up when he is hurting and help him up when he has fallen.

4. How to treat the younger women – verse 2 - “as sisters, with all purity”

a. Treat them with honor and respect.

b. Treat them as sisters and daughters.

No comments: