Sunday, 4 February 2018
Some men’s sins are clearly evident, preceding them to judgment, but those of some men follow later. 1 Timothy 5:24
The words here now continue with what was said up until verse 22. Verse 22 was a parenthetical thought which Paul felt the need to insert for the sake of his beloved protege. Now, continuing on, he says, “Some men’s sins are clearly evident.” The idea here is obvious. There may be someone who has immense talent, who is a great leader by the world’s standards, an effective orator, etc., but he has sins which are evident in his life. He may drink too much. He may openly support perversions such as homosexuality. He may teach that it is OK to divorce at will. A person who holds to such sins is wholly unqualified to be ordained, regardless of his other excellent qualifications. He, and those like him, have sins “preceding them to judgment.”
And then there is another class. Paul says, “but those of some men follow later.” When attending seminary, there are students who seem to be the epitome of right conduct, who apply biblical precepts to their walk, who appear worthy to be followed, and etc. However, eventually, it is discovered that they actually bear faults which are grievous sores that would keep anyone from being ordained. Such faults would have been missed if the individual had not been carefully evaluated according to the guidelines set down by Paul in the pastoral epistles. This is the idea here. To ordain someone into the ministry is one of the most solemn and important things that occurs in the church. And therefore, there must be a careful, methodical review of each person to be so ordained. This is the idea of Paul’s words now.
Life application: It is never expedient to ordain someone to the ministry simply because there is an empty position which needs to be filled. The Lord allowed the void, and He is fully capable of sending the right person to fill it in due time, or to keep the position from being filled for His own reasons. He may be testing the church or pastor concerning a willingness to trust Him. Whatever the reason, the church is the Lord’s, and we are to not set aside His word in order to ensure the church continues to run as we believe it should be.
Great, gracious, and glorious heavenly Father! The church is Yours. Help us to treat it as such. Help us never to rush into filling a vacancy or a need while neglecting Your word in the process. You have given us directions in how to meet such needs, and so may we trust that You will also provide the solution, which is in accord with Your word, when the time is right. May we never jump ahead, assuming that we must act without sticking closely to Your word in the process. Amen.