We’ve said before that 1 Timothy was written to the new Pastor, Timothy, with instructions on how the church should be run and structured. But does that mean that the personal qualities that your Pastor possesses are only for him to have, and nobody else in church should be displaying them?
11 Command and teach these things. 12 Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.13 Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to exhortation, to teaching. 14 Do not neglect the gift you have, which was given you by prophecy when the council of elders laid their hands on you. 15 Practice these things, immerse yourself in them, so that all may see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.
We see some pastoral prerequisites that we should all really be taking to heart;
Command and teach these things – the teachings and truths of Jesus (3.16) are to be incontrovertible in the life of the Pastor, in the life of the church, and in your life too.
Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in… – if Timothy was God’s man for that church, then his age was irrelevant.
As for Timothy, as for you;
if God wants you to do something for Him, you are never too young or too old.
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching – we should all be constantly evaluating ourselves in light of the teachings and truths of Jesus, and asking the Holy Spirit to work in us to change what needs to be changed.
The teaching here refers to the full counsel of God’s Word, all that is taught about Jesus, all that refers to Jesus, all that guides us to Jesus. The main job of the Pastor in your church is to present the teaching, the doctrine, the truths of the Word of God. We should all, today and every day, seek to live in the light of the teaching, and each of us should be concerned with both ourselves and our Christian brothers and sisters.
Charles Spurgeon told this story whilst preaching on a Sunday evening, the 19th of June, 1870,
I have been thinking while I have been preaching to you, this evening, of my own self awhile, and I shall turn my thoughts to myself and any others who are preachers or teachers, and who try to do good to others.
Years ago Hamburgh was nearly half of it burned down, and among the incidents that happened, there was this one. A large house had connected with it a yard in which there was a great black dog, and this black dog in the middle of the night barked and howled most furiously. It was only by his barking that the family were awakened just in time to escape from the flames, and their lives were spared; but the poor dog was chained to his kennel, and though he barked and thus saved the lives of others, he was burned himself.
Oh! do not you who work for God in this church perish in that fashion. Do not permit your sins to enchain you, so that while you warn others you become lost yourselves. Do see that you have the godliness which has the promise of the life that is to come.
And now, you who really desire to find godliness, remember, it is to be had in Christ, and only in Christ.