To listen to the sermon go to 1 + 2 Timothy
Much of the emerging churches in the past 20 years have downplayed the actual Church as a structured entity. While I do not think calling 1 + 2 Timothy and Titus the "pastoral Epistles" is entirely accurate, it is clear that Paul had structure and leadership in mind when he penned Titus 1:5, "I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you." Some scholars struggle to believe that Paul wrote the Pastoral Epistles because of the ostensible "Advanced" structure of the letters. They believe that this kind of order showed way more order that what we see in Paul's other writings to the early church. I would argue, this is one of the reasons why Paul wrote it, to put "Order" in the churches he planted.
1 Timothy 3:14-15 makes it pretty clear why Paul wrote these letters, “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”
Paul wrote this so that the church would know how to behave in God's household. This behavior includes the leadership structures that Paul put in place as was normal to Paul (See Acts 14:21-23).
The following are some characteristics of leaders in these letters:
Leaders With Godly Character Are Appointed From Within The Church
- 1 Timothy 3:1ff
Leaders Are Called To Exemplify The Church As A Family
- 1 Timothy 3:5
Leaders Are Put In Place To Guard the Truth
- 1 Timothy 3:14-15
- 1 Timothy 6:20
- 2 Timothy 1:12-14
- 2 Timothy 4:15
- See Too Titus 1:9
Leaders Are Called To Be Serious In Their Study of Scripture + Pass On What They Know
- 2 Timothy 2:2
- 2 Timothy 3:14
Leaders Are Called To Exhort and Challenge Through Preaching The Word
- 2 Timothy 3:16
- 2 Timothy 4:1-4
It seems clear that God's Church is governed by called and qualified leaders, and the Church, though it is made of believers in Christ, is also a structured entity in order for it to glorify God and not the people in it.