Tuesday, April 19, 2016

What Should a Pastor Do? (Part 2)

In 2 Timothy 5:1-5, Paul gives Timothy a weighty charge. It is critical for Pastors and Churches to understand the biblical expectations for pastors. Being on the same page with expectations prevents much heartache. As Paul pens the words to his son in the ministry, he prepares for the end of his life. Soon the time will come when Timothy will not be able to send a letter to Paul asking for instruction. Paul gives a charge that will last Timothy for a lifetime. The charge Paul gives Timothy gives an excellent charge to present day ministers as well. In verse five Paul returns to his directed charge to Timothy with a series of four more commands. Paul gives Timothy so that he might be a faithful Minister of the Gospel:

· Be Sober - The first command to “be sober” is used in the New Testament only figuratively in the sense of being free from every form of mental and spiritual "darkness," and thus, it comes to mean "be well-balanced, self-controlled." The word most likely suggests the same self-control of an athlete in training.[1] In other words, Timothy does not need to stop drinking as he had to be encouraged to drink for medicinal purposes by Paul in 1 Timothy 5:23. But instead, Timothy is to think clearly, acutely aware of all happenings around him.

· Endure Hardship- Enduring hardship frequents Jesus’ and Paul's ministry; Timothy will be no exception. Any pastor could find themselves could endure relational, financial, health, or public hardships.

· Do the Work of an Evangelist - The word “Evangelist” only occurs three times in the New Testament in Acts 21:8, Ephesians 4:11, and here. In Ephesians 4:11 “evangelists” are mentioned as an office between apostles and prophets on the one hand, and pastors and preachers on the other hand in a list of gifts that Christ gives to the church. In Acts 21:8 "evangelist" designates Philip, whose work in this capacity is presented in Acts 8 namely "announcing the Gospel." Paul is encouraging Timothy to continue the work of declaring the gospel to all. Whatever capacity Timothy finds himself in, he must continue to do this work, the work of an evangelist.

· Fulfill Your Ministry- The reminder to "fulfill your ministry" functions as summary appeal embracing the preceding commands and any other aspect of Timothy's ministry. Πληροφορέω is used here with the meaning “fulfill,” i.e., fully and completely accomplish and carry out the duties of his ministry. However, Timothy gives himself to serve the Lord he is to do so to the fullest of his ability.[2]

[1] Walter Lock, The Pastoral Epistles, A Critical and Exegetical Commentary (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark LTD, 1978), 113.
[2] George W. Knight, The Pastoral Epistles: A Commentary on the Greek Text, New International Greek Testament Commentary (Grand Rapids, MI; Carlisle, England: W.B. Eerdmans; Paternoster Press, 1992), 457.

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