Wednesday, September 28, 2011

...These Things

1 Timothy 4:11-12
11Prescribe and teach these things. 12Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.

Paul gives four directive to Timothy in this passage. These directives have to do with his mission, which is to establish order in the Ephesian Church. These directives are:

  • Prescribe these things
  • Teach these things
  • Assert these things
  • Display these things
Each directive is nuanced to bring out a different aspect of the mission of Church leadership. 

Prescribe means to give a solution to another. It conjures up images of Doctors writing chicken scratch on pieces of paper that turn into drugs which magically heal your diseases. Paul is saying to tell the Ephesians what is true. This does not imply any explanation, prescription is just a statement of fact. It is just a witness to the truth.

Teach is the explanatory part. Timothy is to be ready to explain why the truths are true. Church officials are not only to be heavy-handed dispensers of mandates, they are supposed to have he ability to back up their statements with facts. 

Assertion is when things get testy. Timothy had to deal with heresy, and all Church administrators need to deal with error. There is no room for compromise when it comes to the truth of God. Reason is always the first line of action. When members cannot subscribe to prescriptions and teaching, then the faith must be asserted. There are some topics which give us no choice for debate.

Display is arguably the most important of these. Nobody wants to submit to a hypocrite. The Church official must live the life he prescribes, teaches and asserts. If not, there is no power in his message. I don't care how nasty he gets, there is no bite to his bark. 

See my other notes on 1 Timothy 4 here!

Christopher M. Jimenez. Powered by Blogger.

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