Friday, January 25, 2008

Instructions For A Young Preacher #16

1 Tim. 5:17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

The elders, or preachers, should, first of all, rule well. This honor is not bestowed upon those who do not rule well but upon those who rule by honest reputation, superintending the things of God's house. This honor is not bestowed simply because a man is a preacher; it is bestowed only if he does his job honestly and in a systematic and consistent manner. And do not be deceived; people are watching the life of each preacher they know. These preachers are put to a higher standard than anyone else, and that should be so.

To be counted worthy means to measure up to the right and not fail to do the right thing in all affairs. Those around you will deem you either worthy or unworthy. If you cheat, lie, steal, curse, dress in a shabby way, talk down to people, are arrogant or elitist, then they will not count you worthy of any honor. But if you as a preacher will watch your P's and Q's, considering what others think of you in regard to your trustworthiness, your honesty, and your care and love for others, then you will be counted worthy.

The Greek word translated "double honor," literally means "twice greater." It means "double great." If you will live as a preacher, a step above others, then others will count you worthy of double honor, and you will receive from them that honor if they have learned the scriptures. You are not to seek this honor, but this honor will come as you live piously for the Lord. It is worth the effort.

Specifically, preachers who give their entire time to labor in the word of God and the doctrine of it are to receive this double honor. They may not be honored for their oratory or their wit, but they will be sought after for wisdom in the word of God and in living the Christian life.

Preachers do not preach for honor; but if they will follow this instruction of Paul to Timothy, they will be honored for their love for God and for their study in doctrine. Let us never be guilty of saying that doctrine is not important. Those who do not study and preach doctrine will never be worthy of double honor.

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