Monday, January 26, 2015

1 Tim 3

This chapter is another chapter in which Paul is considered to not be characteristic of himself.  However this chapter, along with chapter 2, are excellent illustrations of how Paul does ethics given the general statements Paul makes in 1:8-9 about what is appropriate or not, "for a righteous person."

In chapter 2 we looked at how Paul was giving personal instructions and expressing his ways of leadership.  In this chapter Paul continues with the ethical statements regarding the office of overseer, but reminds us of an amazing foundation for all godliness (reminding us of just who it is who is writing these things!), at the end, in 3:16.

As mentioned, people have a hard time with Paul here.  If "an overseer ... must be above reproach, ... prudent, respectable, ... have a good reputation with those outside" then where is there room for "blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me."  (1 Tim 3:1; Mt 5:11)?  The ethics seem to be "less" than brought forth in the teachings of Christ.  Is there a place for "respectable" in the church?

Of course.  There is a place.  There came to be a place.  There always has been a place.  It is a localized place, not a be-all and end-all of ethics.

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