1 Timothy 5:17-18
I. Introduction: Honorable Eldership - 1 Timothy 5:17-18
*In this text, elders refers to the pastors who lead God's church.
*Paul qualifies those who are 'honorable'
*Paul instructs on how they are to be honored.
II. Honorable Pastors 'Rule Well'
A. The mindset of an honorable pastor:
1. The church belongs to God.
2. God's church is to be ruled by what God says according to His word.
B. A pattern in the Old Testament on Ruling God's People:
1. God always intended to rule His people by His word. As a reminder, He commanded that the law was read to His people in the Sabbath year, at the Feast of Booths. (Deut. 31:10-11)
2. Eventually, God's people demanded to be ruled by kings like the other nations. (1 Sam. 8:20)
In order for these kings to govern God's people appropriately, they were to be governed by God's word. (Deut. 17:18-19)
3. Sadly, most of the kings of Israel and Judah "did evil in the sight of God" because they strayed away from God's word. This would no surprise to God. (1 Sam. 8:10-18)
4. Josiah, a king of Judah, was moved to repair the house of the Lord. In the process, the law of God was found and repentance and reformation took place. (2 Kings 22)
III. In order for a pastor to rule well, he must not lose sight of God's word!
A. An often misinterpreted and misapplied verse: (Proverbs 29:18)
"Where there is no prophetic vision the people cast off restraint, but blessed is he who keeps the law."
1. 'Prophetic vision' refers to spiritual insight and direction received from Scripture.
2. Beware of 'prophetic' leaders that 'cast visions' that does not line up to Scripture.
B. Take heed to what Scripture says, that many will fall away from the faith, mainly due to false teachings.
1. Discernment is needed to correctly interpret and apply God's word.
C. An honorable pastor is a guardian of the truth and false teachers are not to be honored, and not allowed to have an influence on the people in God's church! (2 John 10-11)
IV. An honorable pastor is one who labors in preaching and teaching.
A. Preaching and teaching is the primary job of the pastor.
1. Many are kept busy by the "many hats" that they wear.
2. The question is...which of these "hats" are actually required according to God's word?
B. What does it mean by the word "labor"?
1. To work to the point of fatigue or exhaustion; to work with wearisome effort.
2. The pastor is to put his greatest effort into his study, preparation, preaching and teaching.
V. Honoring pastor also includes financial support.
A. The metaphor of an ox: One who does the work that God designed him to do is to be supported so that he is able to continue to do it with the least amount of distractions or hindrances.
B. The metaphor of a laborer who deserves his wages: One who deserves his wages because does what his Employer (God) commands him to do according to His word.
C. A pastor's compensation comes from those who are being taught by him. (Galatians 6:6)
1. Those who are taught God's word will reap the "good things" that God promises.
2. To be "taught" the Word:
a. To hear, learn and obey.
b. A part of our obedience is to share.