A note from our Pastor:

“And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;”

1 Timothy 1:12

Good Morning Dearly Beloved,

In our study verse this week, the Apostle Paul moves into providing a section of autobiography. This autobiography serves the purpose of explaining his own ministry but also establishing some baseline understanding regarding the responsibilities of ministers. Importantly, this section should still inform communities of believers in the New Testament age as to how one becomes a minister.

This verse begins with an expression of thanksgiving. The Apostle regularly expresses his thanks for the gifts of God to both himself and to the saints who he is preaching to throughout the region. In this instance, the Apostle calls out three distinct actions which God has taken towards him.

First, and at the highest level, the Apostle expresses thanks to Christ Jesus for putting him into the ministry. This role and responsibility was not something the Apostle chose for himself nor forced himself into. Rather, Christ in a very public way chose him. This in and of itself is a lesson for Timothy and for the New Testament believer. A man becoming an ordained minister is something of God not of men. A man should be willing to learn and fulfill the office, but not be one who seeks fame, fortune, or recognition in the ministry. It is a labor of love not of gain.

Second, the Apostle thanks Jesus Christ for enabling him to preach the gospel. Based on all records, the Apostle was a very intelligent and well learned man. He had natural abilities which allowed him to study, to put together complex thoughts, and to build out arguments. But God enabled him to see the truth of Jesus Christ and his gospel. For Paul it was a bold revelation. However, the same aspects remain true today. God’s ministers should apply themselves to developing skills of study and presentation but it requires God revealing through the Holy Spirit the truth of Jesus Christ to enable them to preach.

Finally, the Apostle says he is thankful he was counted faithful by God. Does this mean he was faithful before his calling? No, in fact he was persecuting the community of believers before his calling. In fact, most churches today would not have accepted the Apostle amongst them much less him being a minister. Does this mean God looked down through time and saw he would be faithful? No. Jesus does not call only people he knows will be faithful and this is proven by his calling of Judas as an Apostle. Rather, the Apostle means Christ counted him to be faithful because he made him to be. Just as he enabled the Apostle to be able to understand the things of God he also empowered him to be faithful.

As a community of believers it is important we learn these lessons. Our ministers should be called of God, enabled to understand the things of God, and made to be faithful to Jesus not to men.

Our Prayers are with you daily,

Brother Jeremiah

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