Christian Conduct and Behaviour
1 Tim 3:14-16 / Ps 101
Paul was instructing Timothy to know how believers should conduct themselves in their daily lives and in the house of God.
In the previous Paul was giving instructions on how Leaders – those who care for the spiritual life of the Church and Deacons – those who serve, help or take care of the temporal affairs of the church, should behave, including their spouses.
The house of God is the church of the living God “the pillar and ground of the truth”. It is t be noted here that in the OT God’s dwelling place was the tabernacle and the temple, in the NT he dwells in the Church.
A Pillar - is something that supports a structure it is something also that is and was set up in public marketplaces and notices were placed on them. They acted as proclaimers. In the same way, I believe God has chosen the church to proclaim and display the truth, HIS TRUTH.
The Ground of the Truth - this carries the thought of foundation or the supporting structure – as a church we are entrusted with the proclaiming and support of the truth of God.
It would appear to me that these verses give us the example of power and godliness which also Paul sees as an integral part of proper behaviour in the house of God.
Paul talks about the mystery (hidden truth) of godliness - he basically was talking about how God was manifested or revealed in the flesh. True godliness was manifested in the flesh for the first time when Christ was born..
Justified in the Spirit – he was vindicated by the Holy Spirit at his baptism - Thou art my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased Matt 3:15-17. Transfiguration – Matt 17:5, Resurrection - Rom 1:3,4 and ascension – John 16:10.
“Living, He loved me; dying, He saved me, buried He carried by sins far away; rising, He justified freely forever: One day He’s coming – Oh glorious day!” [C H Marsh]
Ps 101 - Commitment to Holy Living
David was referring here back to Psalms 51 where he was in much need of forgiveness and cleansing. Having humbled himself before God, and experienced his forgiveness and mercy and cleansing, David can now sing and shout about God’s mercy and judgement. He had done the vilest things.
He looks back on how he was and what he has become and makes a commitment to God to live holy. This should be the attitude of every born again child of God.
He has found mercy and justice in God, and he would like the same to be reproduced in himself. He looks at some of the things he desires for his personal life.
1. To give heed or attention to the WAY that is blameless – that is, behave or conduct himself according to the teachings of the Lord, so that there will be no justifiable grounds for reproach to himself or God. He desires to be sincere and shows a longing for God to come and find him living uprightly.
2. Walk with integrity of heart – within his house, David has decided that in his domestic life, he will act righteously and sincerely, no more of the nonsense as with Bathsheba.
3. In V3 He will not set before his eyes, anything that is wicked - he is saying that he will not look with approval on any base person, plan or activity.
4. Perverse Heart – He wants to stay away from a heart that is inclined to falsehood, he will not have anything to do with evil and he will not have these kinds of people among his trusted advisors.
When he says “I will not know a wickedness” – he means, he will not accept with favour or encourage this kind of behaviour.
5.V5 Slander – anyone who slanders his neighbour will not be allowed or will be excluded from a position in his administration or be put to violence, they will not have a voice. The same goes for the proud and snobbish person – he will not be an office holder in the royal palace.
6.V6 – The great qualification for service in the kingdom will be moral and spiritual integrity. Those that are faithful will be the King’s assistants, they are fit for service.
7. As for crooks, cheats, liars, they will not be on the Kings payroll.
8. As King David is determined that all forms of wickedness are dealt with quickly and sternly, he wants all evil doers to be expelled from “The city of the Lord”.
Col 3: 6-12.
V6. We sometimes we can do as we like, commit outrageous sins and escape punishment. It seems like God is silent, after all nothing has happened yet!
However, the wrath of God will come on the children of disobedience. All sins have their consequences in this life. For instance, people reap in their own bodies the results of sexual immorality, e.g. HIV, aids, cancers, and a host of others. In addition to this if there is no repentance and turning away, judgement.
V7. The people are reminded that they once indulged in these sin, but the grace of God has come to deliver them from impurity. That chapter in our lives have now gone. We now have a new life in Christ and are empowered to live for God. Gal 5:25 says, “If we live in the Spirit then we should also walk in the Spirit.
V8. We have been redeemed at a tremendous cost, we should put off the old just like we take off our dirty clothes. We have been made brand new in order that we can contain the new wine, which is holiness. The bible, says, we cannot put new wines into old bottles – basically we will get busted.
Not only are we admonished to put away the lusts of the old life we are also expected to get rid of all kinds of evil or wicked hatred, such as anger – a strong spirit of dislike or animosity or vengeful feeling; wrath - an intense form of anger possible involving violent outbursts; malice – wicked conduct towards another person with the intent to harm them or their reputation, malice takes pleasure in seeing others suffer; blasphemy – reviling, bad language against another, it also means scolding in a harsh way; filthy communication – shameful speaking, lewd, indecent or corrupt. Bitterness starts in our hearts and then shows itself in many ways, we need to be careful.
Heb 12:14, 15 Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord. 15) Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any rood of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled.
V9. Paul is basically saying here that we must “let our state be consistent with our standing”. We have put off the old man, now do it practically by stopping the lies, this is a trait consistent with the old man; it has no place in the life of a child of God.
We are tempted every day to distort the truth - is dangerous and is a serious matter in particular when we do it to injure another person or create a false impression.
V10. We have not only put off the old man, but we have put on the new, which is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him. We have a new position as children of God, we are a new creation, and we are new creatures. We should be growing more and more like the Lord, increasing in conformity to God.
The person of God or image of God is not seen in the shape of our bodies, but is seen in the beauty of the renewed mind. Holiness, righteousness, love, humility, meekness, kindness and forgiveness – these make up the divine character.
HOW DO YOU DESCRIBE YOUR OWN CHARACTER?
Pastor J Cowell