Good Servants

1 Timothy 4:1-10 English Standard Version

Some Will Depart from the Faith

4 Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, 2 through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared, 3 who forbid marriage and require abstinence from foods that God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth. 4 For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, 5 for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.

A Good Servant of Christ Jesus

6 If you put these things before the brothers, you will be a good servant of Christ Jesus, being trained in the words of the faith and of the good doctrine that you have followed. 7 Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths. Rather train yourself for godliness; 8 for while bodily training is of some value, godliness is of value in every way, as it holds promise for the present life and also for the life to come. 9 The saying is trustworthy and deserving of full acceptance. 10 For to this end we toil and strive, because we have our hope set on the living God, who is the Savior of all people, especially of those who believe.

Before Paul addressed the harsh realities of 1 Timothy 6 he laid out what a good servant of the living God would look like.

In these passages I can see Martin Luther, the great reformer, who opposed the Pope. He was labeled a heretic and excommunicated from the Catholic Church. Without him the Reformation would not have happened and we would not have all the denominations we have today. Denominations do not identify believers in Jesus Christ, the indwelling Holy Spirit does.

Everything Holy is made so by the Word of God.

According to John’s gospel, Jesus Christ is the Word.

All scripture, our bibles, are God breathed according to 2 Timothy 3:16.

The Holy Spirit is given to tell us all that Jesus has to say to us according to 1 John 5:6.

If what is being said cannot be verified by the scriptures, then those comments are to be discussed in more detail before labeling an individual as a heretic. 

I doubt that God will send us another Martin Luther, but we should search the scriptures to see if perhaps someone else is coming and what that really means.


1 Timothy 6:2-4 English Standard Version

2 Those who have believing masters must not be disrespectful on the ground that they are brothers; rather they must serve all the better since those who benefit by their good service are believers and beloved. Teach and urge these things. 3 If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness, 4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,

Who is easy to quarrel with these days?

To follow up after yesterday’s post, let us address some important issues here.

Masters is a term we seldom use these days because it reminds us of slavery. Task masters come to mind. It is a harsh reminder that in Kingdom living we all have to submit to a higher authority.

Ephesians 4:11-12 English Standard Version

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds[pastors] and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ,

Our Lord has given us a set of specific gifts of service in order for all of us to be equipped to do the Kingdom work. Perhaps it would be more acceptable within this framework to think of masters as a degree of education. In Kingdom living one does not have to have a Masters in Psychology in order to be a pastor, but it wouldn’t hurt considering the amount of counseling pastors are asked to perform.

The issue comes down to submission. Have we submitted to the authorities of the churches in which we worship because the Lord has placed them there for the edification of everyone?

In every healthy church we will discover that a new season of service gifts will appear according to the will of He who gifts us all. Those gifts need to be encouraged to grow into the next generation of leaders. Ideally we are training up our replacements or we may see them branch out to form other churches. What must not happen is what happens in the world, a hostile takeover. 

Signs of a hostile takeover can be seen in 1 Timothy 6:4 he is puffed up with conceit and understands nothing. He has an unhealthy craving for controversy and for quarrels about words, which produce envy, dissension, slander, evil suspicions,