Google+ 08/31/13 Don't Ordain Unless You are Sure They Will Refrain!

 

1 Timothy 5: 20-22

 

Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.

 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels,

That thou observe these things without preferring one before another,

Doing nothing by partiality. 

Lay hands suddenly on no man,

Neither be partaker of other men’s sins: keep thyself pure.

 

In part six of our seven-part devotion series entitled, “Whom Shall I Fear?” we once again turn to Paul and his wisdom directed to his apprentice Timothy.  Today we learn about fear that we should all have about disobedience in the church.  We often forget that our local New Testament Church is the “bride” of Jesus Christ.  I lobby that we don’t always conduct ourselves with regards to the church with this important thought in mind.  Paul tells Timothy that elders and overseers that sin should be dealt with in an impartial fashion.  Unfortunately, many pastors and ministers take advantage of their situation and hide behind God with their multitude of sins.  Paul says we all should fear this kind of action.  Elders and overseers should be held to the same high standard that all Christians are.  We often ordain people that simply do not meet the qualifications that Paul laid out to Timothy.  That is why Paul warns us not to be hasty.  On a personal note, my ordination into the gospel ministry took three years with a total of twenty-four men questioning every aspect of my Christian beliefs.    While it might seem like a long process to many, every question and every moment was necessary, so that I was sure of my calling and those around me were confident in my character.   Modern-day denominations often impose their “own” ordination rules, ignoring those of the Bible.  Paul lists fifteen characteristics in 1 Timothy 3 that should all be considered and evaluated. Yes, I attended seminary, but you will notice that this is not one of Paul’s requirements! If one characteristic is missing, Paul says we should be patient and wait.  Why?  Paul tells us that too.  We are not to be partakers of other men’s sins.  We are to keep ourselves pure.  So, as you begin to evaluate the leadership in your local New Testament Church, be in fear if you don’t listen to Paul.  We should always fear decisions that are not of God.  So, make this your motto.  “Don’t Ordain Unless You are Sure They Will Refrain!”