1 Timothy 5:19-25 “Do not admit a charge against an elder except on the evidence of two or three witnesses. As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear. In the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of the elect angels I charge you to keep these rules without prejudging, doing nothing from partiality. Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, nor take part in the sins of others; keep yourself pure. (No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.) The sins of some people are conspicuous, going before them to judgment, but the sins of others appear later. So also good works are conspicuous, and even those that are not cannot remain hidden.”
Hastiness, prejudice, and partiality should not even be named among the people of God. Paul charges his apprentice Timothy in the presence of God, Christ, and the elect Angels that he keep the rules which he has laid out for the governing of the Church.
Hastiness is to make quick and snap decisions. Partiality is favoritism, and prejudice is the forming of an opinion before all of the facts are known. If we as God’s people are filled with these qualities, it is likely that we will join (in part) in the sins of others, making ourselves impure. So what’s the remedy?
We make rules as parents all of the time. Probably most of our children’s behavior is governed by the rules that we have set for them. Our children are not part of our family based upon whether they keep the rules or not. If they slip up here and there, it does not mean they have lost their place at the dinner table. But if they outright refuse to obey any of our rules, and they are of age, then their disobedience shows that they want no part in being joined with their family any longer. Their key is taken from them and they must find another front door to walk through every night. Are they still welcomed to knock on the door? Sure, what mother will not gladly open the door widely to their child who has repented and wants to come home like the prodigal?
My point is that the christian church, like the home, is to be governed by rules. These rules are to be rules that God has given to us in his Word. When the rules the church makes differ from the rules God has given, it becomes hasty, partial, and filled with prejudice. We participate in the sins of others, the world, and the Devil. We become governed by lies, half-truths, and the foolish wisdom of the world.
It is important to the Lord that his Church is established and ordered according to His rules. He does not want young men to ascend to the pastorate to early. He does not want any charge brought against the pastor without first confirming all of the facts on the evidence of two or three witnesses. He does not want the sinning pastor to remain in his sin, but rather to be rebuked in the presence of all so that the fear of the Lord shall remain in his Bride.
The rules that God gives to us in his Word are not legalistic. They are rules of grace which are intended lead his people to faith in Christ alone.
Thank you again for all of your prayers for my family through our season of suffering. I am truly grateful and have found solid ground to stand upon!