God places a high value on the church and has given His people the privilege and responsibility of living in accord with and upholding the truth of the gospel. For us to effectively be the church we need to know who we are and who Jesus. Paul is going to give us three descriptions of the church that support the significance of the church.
God has given us spiritual gifts through the working of the Holy Spirit with the purpose of building up the body of Christ and fulfilling the mission of the church. However it starts with leaders. Servant leaders (elders) who are wholeheartedly committed to accomplish the mission of the church. Leading servants (deacons) who use their gifts to lead the servants to build up the body of Christ and servants who multiply the gospel through the world.
The Bible identifies two primary leadership roles in the church: elders who are servant leaders and deacons who are leading servants. As Paul talks about the qualifications of elders who oversees and shepherds the church what will happen if the church imitates their leaders?
Few passages in Scripture is as counter cultural and causes tension as this passage found in 1 Timothy 2:8-15. We discover that Paul is dealing with more than just simply roles of men and women in the church, but really addresses biblical manhood and womanhood. Take a listen as we look at this text through the lens of God's design in creation and Satan's distortion of creation.
Based on the Gospel foundation, Paul instructs us as we gather for worship to pray for and proclaim the gospel to all kinds of people because God desires their salvation, God deserves the honor of all people and Christ died as a ransom for all.
Paul reflects on the gospel and how it has transformed his life. As Paul celebrates the Gospel he also teaches us the nature of God's grace being unconditional, patient and shocking. Jesus came on to earth to live a life we could not live, die the death we deserved to die and conquered the enemies we could not defeat. How we view the Gospel will impact how we view life and how we celebrate the Gospel.
The number one responsibility for the church is to guard the Gospel. It is the Gospel that forms who we are and what we do as the church. We guard the Gospel by the way we handle God's Word. We do not add to the demands of the law, nor do we believe that the law saves.
In the introduction of the letter of 1 Timothy who was written by Paul an Apostle not chosen by man, but rather commanded by God our savior and Christ Jesus our Hope. Paul writes to Timothy and the church of Ephesus as he reminds them and us that our hope is the not in the absence or solutions of our problems, but in Jesus Christ who is our hope.