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Pastor John Montgomery's Weekly Sermons:



 

Sunday, January24, 2021

Morning Worship Service 10:15 am


 



Dear Church Family,

Since the Governor of the State of Florida has removed many of the restrictions regarding the Covid-19 virus, for the safety of our members,
Cedar Creek Baptist Church will maintain the following guidelines:

 

1. Sit 6 feet apart from one another.

2. Refrain from the practice of handshaking and hugging.

3. No more than 2 people in the bathroom at a time.

4. Sanitize your hands as you enter the worship center.

Wearing a mask is optional.

 

                                                                                               Dr. John Montgomery, Pastor





Sermon Notes

January 24, 2021

“Character Counts”

Series, “Growing Together in God’s Family”

1 Timothy 5:1-25

John W. Montgomery, DD

This is the third message in our series from 1 Timothy. This message describes a functional church family.

The Bible describes the church as a:

• Holy Nation (1 Peter 2:9) – common citizenship in the heavenly realm

• Priesthood (1 Peter 2:9) – privilege of direct access to God for all believers

• Kingdom (Revelation 5:10) – common submission to the King of kings and Lord of lords.

• Vine (John 15:5) – common connection to Christ that enables us to bear fruit

• Body (Ephesians 5:23-30) – common dependence on the Head, Jesus Christ

• Temple (Ephesians 2:20-22) – built on foundation of sound doctrine, with Jesus as the cornerstone

• Flock (1 Peter 5:2-3) – common need to be cared for by the Great Shepherd

• Family (1 Timothy 3:15)

We have already seen that a functional church family, much like a human family, is based on:

• Sound doctrine - functional families are built on godly principles

• Proper roles for men and women – functional families are ones where men and women fulfill their God-given roles

• Moral leadership – functional families have fathers and mothers who are good role models and live a moral life

Let us look at a Functional Church Family:

1. Produces Respect, 1 Timothy 5:1, 2

“Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity”. 1 Timothy 5:1, 2 (NIV)

We have already seen that the church in Ephesus had some problems that needed to be addressed:

• Some had followed after the doctrines of the false teachers

• Some women were trying to usurp the leadership roles of the men in the church

• Some of the men aspiring to leadership were not qualified

• Some widows were living impure lives

The condition of the spiritual family called for some correction and discipline. But Paul wanted to make sure that Timothy carried out the discipline in love and with respect.

“Do not rebuke” = a harsh or violent rebuke

“exhort” = idea of coming alongside of one who is weak; to strengthen

Older men and women were to be treated with the same kind of respect one would show to his father and mother – “Honor your father and mother.”

Younger men and women were to be treated as brother and sister – no air of superiority. Women were to also be treated with absolute purity.

1 Peter 2:17 – “Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.”

2. Provides for the Needy, 1 Timothy 2:3-16

Widows in first century Jewish culture were usually poor and often destitute, without any means of earning a living. There was no such thing as life insurance. That situation is illustrated by the story of the widow recorded in Mark 12:41-44 where the poor widow gave out of her poverty. We have also seen that in Acts 6, the very first deacons were chosen in order to meet the needs of the Hellenistic Jewish widows.

Our cultural situation is much different today. Many women work outside the home and are able to support themselves if they become widows. In other cases, they have the proceeds from life insurance policies to meet their needs. But I think we can take the principles that Paul writes about here and apply them to our current day culture. It seems to me that Paul was concerned about the weakest, neediest and most vulnerable people in his culture – the widows. I believe it would be fair for us to say that today God wants the church family to care of its own family members who are in the most need. That might be widows, but it probably includes a much broader spectrum of people.

Proverbs 14:31 – “Whoever oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God.” (NIV)

Romans 12:13 – “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.(NIV)

1 John 3:17 – “If anyone has material possessions and sees his brother in need but has no pity on him, how can the love of God be in him?” (NIV)

Who is the church to help?

Although we would like to help everyone, there are limited resources. So how do we determine which people to help?

• Those who are truly in need, 1 Timothy 5:3 - “Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need”. 

In need due to circumstances outside their control. Not those who are in need because they have made wrong choices or who have been unwise with their financial resources.

• Those who do not have other family that can support them (vv. 4, 5, 8, 16)

“But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. 5The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. 6But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame”.

God’s plan is that the first line of support should be the family. Again, Paul deals with the issue of honoring our fathers and mothers, even when they become older. Honoring our aging parents means more than just meeting their financial needs.

• Those who live Godly lives (vv. 5-7, 9-15)

Paul made it really clear that the church was not obligated to help those widows who harmed the testimony of the church with their lifestyles. They were to be one-man women. They were to serve in the ministries of the church. They were not to be gossips.

3. Protects the Leadership, 1 Timothy 5:17-19

Paul has already made it clear in his letter that there is a need to deal with church leaders who abuse their position or who teach false doctrine. He also makes that clear in several of his other letters. But Paul also makes it clear that the church is to honor and protect those godly leaders who serve the church family well.

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work…

1 Thessalonians 5:12, 13 – “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith”.

Hebrews 13:7 – “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.”

Hebrews 13:17 – And with whom was he angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness?

Maybe even more so today than in Paul’s day, there is the very real danger of false accusations being made against the leaders of the church. That is why no accusations are to be brought against them unless there are at least two or three witnesses. Even in that case, the accusations may be proven to be false, but they must at least be investigated.

4. Promotes Purity, 1 Timothy 5:20-25

“But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism. 22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses. 24 The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25 In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever. 1 Timothy 5:20-25 (NIV)

• Do not cover up sin, Matthew 18:15-17

“Jesus established a pattern to be followed when there is sin in the church family. Sin that may infect the whole body is to be dealt with publicly so that others will be warned and not be drawn into that same kind of sin.”

• Apply discipline fairly

• Avoid legalism

Let me first say that Paul’s advice to Timothy about drinking a little wine for his stomach is not a general principle for all believers for all times. Paul is merely addressing a personal medical need of Timothy here. On the one hand, the Bible is clear that drunkenness is a sin. We saw that last week when we looked at the qualifications for church leaders. Paul wrote that they were not to be given to much wine. At the same time, it does not seem that the Bible prohibits all use of alcoholic beverages. Jesus and his disciples drank wine, not grape juice. Jesus’ first miracle was to turn water into wine, and as one commentator put it, it was probably the finest wine ever made.

It seems strange that Paul would include this personal advice at this point in his letter and if we are not careful, we can get so caught up in focusing on the use of wine that we will miss the general principle. It appears that Timothy, in his attempt to be pure, had been caught up in some legalism. We know that he had a Greek father, and at this point in history, the Greek culture was beginning to be influenced by Gnostic thought, which taught that everything to do with the body and anything earthly was evil. To counter that type of thought, many Jews had adopted an ascetic lifestyle in which they became very legalistic about denying themselves anything that would give pleasure or benefit to their bodies. Apparently, Timothy had taken this so far that he would not even drink a little wine, which was a common treatment for stomach disorders in his day. After all, he could not just run down to Walgreens and buy a bottle of Pepto-Bismol.

Paul is rightly pointing out that purity is much more than just following a set of rules. It is a mindset and a lifestyle.

• Encourage good deeds

True purity is more than just avoiding sin. It is a lifestyle that is full of good deeds that are obvious to others.

Message Preached at

Cedar Creek Baptist Church

Jacksonville, Florida 32205
January 24, 2021

Sermon Notes is a Ministry of the Cedar Creek Baptist Church,

1372 Lane Avenue South, Jacksonville, Florida 32205,

904-781-9151 - Johnmontgomery@ccbaptist.org