Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A Noble Goal

1 Timothy 3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

1 Πιστὸς ὁ λόγος. Εἴ τις ἐπισκοπῆς ὀρέγεται, καλοῦ ἔργου ἐπιθυμεῖ.

This is a sobering verse as I consider what I'm going to do after finishing seminary.  If I were to get involved in a church I see that it is indeed a noble thing I seek.  But then we have the rest of 1 Timothy 3 to deal with.

Paul gets into the qualifications of an elder.  They are not trivial.  Am I "beyond reproach?"  Well, I'm pretty good.  However, to say that I'm "beyond reproach" stretches it a bit.  Go through all of them and it is easy to find shortcomings.  They may not be immediately obvious, but they are there and God certainly knows them.

But I'm encouraged by a couple of things.  One is that I am not the only one.  Ask any pastor (or better yet - his wife) if he has any sins in his life and the honest ones will tell you that they do.  They likely go beyond the petty to fairly serious too.  While I am no longer enslaved to pornography I am certainly tempted and have times when I still go down roads I know I shouldn't.  I am hardly beyond reproach.

The second source of encouragement is much greater.  Jesus lived a life beyond reproach.  When I die I am going to be judged by His righteousness.  While I strive to "be holy as [He is] holy," I will always fall short.  But thankfully I do not have to be perfect.  I need to be faithful.  And even that will waver at times, but He is always faithful even when I'm faithless.

This is just one more amazing thing about the cross.  What an awesome Savior!

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