DAILY WORD 10/16/20
14. I am writing these things to you now, even though I hope to be with you soon,
15. so that if I am delayed, you will know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the living God, which is the pillar and foundation of the truth.
16. Without question, this is the great mystery of our faith: Christ was revealed in a human body and vindicated by the Spirit. He was seen by angels and announced to the nations. He was believed in throughout the world and taken to heaven in glory.
1 Timothy 3:14–16 NLT
Today’s Passage concludes Chapter 3 of 1 Timothy and the set of Traits and Standards that Paul gave to Timothy to pass along to the Church Leadership in Ephesus. He ends the list by giving his young protégé an explanation of exactly why he is sending the letter in the first place.
He tells Timothy that he fully intends to see him in person and that if he does indeed make it there as anticipated, he will be able to teach these lessons to them all in person. However, this short Passage also gives us a look into just how tumultuous a time it was for the early Church.
The fact that Paul added the caveat, “so that if I am delayed,” illustrates just how tenuous things for the first Christians could really be. First of all, travel back then was not what it is today. The fact that Paul himself suffered at least 3 or 4 shipwrecks in his time Leading the Church confirms this fact but that was not even close to the only danger Early Christian Leaders faced.
The fact of the matter is that Christianity was a threat to all of the organized religions of the time and their practitioners, especially the Romans and the Jews, viewed the Believers as a danger and a menace. This put them all at great risk of imprisonment, attack, and even death at practically any time.
Paul’s qualification that he intended to visit them in Ephesus would have been unequivocally understood by Timothy along with the fact that it may not happen as planned. He knew the dangers of being a Christian Leader and accepted the risk for both himself and his own Leader as well.
However, Paul, as the Great Leader that he was, didn’t just indicate that he intended to come to the struggling church. He gave Timothy Hope and Structure to lean on should he fail to follow through with his intent. He told Timothy that even though he intended to come in person, he was still leaving him Instruction so that he would be able to accomplish his duties even if he didn’t make it.
He told him that it was important to know exactly how to comport oneself in the House of God because the Church was the Pillar and the Foundation of the Truth. Not only that but much like the Tabernacle of old, it was the House of the Living God and as such, the Conduct of its Leaders was paramount to its Success and indeed it’s very Survival.
In its formative stages, the Church, should it have been allowed to have had poor and weak Leadership, may never have endured past its first few years, let alone become one of the most prolific and dynamic Religions in the entire World. If Paul had just assumed that he’d make it there and hadn’t ensured that his own Leadership was adequate whatever the situation you might not be reading this commentary today.
Paul understood both the Beauty and also the Mystery of the Faith and indicated as much in the final Verse of this Chapter. He said, “And without controversy great is the Mystery of Godliness:” He understood that without proper Leadership the intricacies of Christianity and Jesus’s Sacrifice could easily be lost and with them, those trying to follow them would be lost as well, along with the entire Faith.
It is not easy to comprehend that God Himself, Born in the Form of Jesus, was Manifested in the Flesh. Without Proper Guidance, it is not at all guaranteed that people that Believed in Jesus would comprehend the complexities of His Spirit and how His Human Form was Justified by God through it, or how that same Spirit could be applied to their own lives as a Counselor and Stay.
Without Proof from Leaders that fully comprehended and could communicate all this, it is a distinct possibility that those who heard the Story might not believe that Jesus after He Returned from the Grave and was seen of men, was Ushered up into the Glory of Heaven with the angels. And without the Right Intrepid Leaders His Gospel would never have been Preached to the Gentiles, or Believed on in the World.
Paul understood all this and ensured that he left Timothy with an Adequate Blueprint so that even if he didn’t get to teach him and the Leaders in Ephesus these things himself, they would still be in good hands because he understood the importance of Good Leadership.
Because of his foresight, we today have this letter that he wrote to Timothy so that we too can be sure that our Christian Leaders today live up to the very same Standard and apply the very same Traits that Paul insisted the Church Leaders did back then. God will always ensure that His Church is in Good Hands, even thousands of years after it’s inception. That is simply what Good Leadership looks like!
Have a Fantastic Friday and Stay Safe out there!