Mature Christian Men (6-13-15)
Grab your Bible and let’s go deeper into 1 Timothy 3:
Read: 1 Timothy 3:1-7
In this passage we are given one of the best and clear pictures of what a mature Christian man is.
Paul is instructing Timothy with the qualifications to be a biblical elder.
While very few will ever hold the position of pastor or elder in our churches due to its high qualifications and level of commitment, we can use the passages on elder qualifications as a tool of evaluation for how we as Christian men are growing in Christ and maturing in our faith and sanctification.
So today, let’s dig into this passage and have some self-evaluation. I pray as you read this you are hopeful for what God can and will do when you grow in Christ instead of being discouraged at how you are struggling. The key is to hear The Word’s instruction and put it into action. I am praying for you as you prayerfully read, evaluate and respond.
1 Timothy 3:2 “Therefore an overseer must be above reproach…”
A mature Christian man is blameless, holy, and presenting no patterns of scriptural disobedience.
What this means is that this kind of man is vigilant in fighting sin and avoiding the temptations to practice sin.
We all are tempted. àWe all will stumble. A mature Christian man lives his life above reproach.
It doesn’t mean they are perfect. It does mean they are a great example for the Christian life.
<> Really all the qualifications we are about to look at come back to this one.
Is the character of God deeply at work in and through this man?
Do you desire to truly walk in obedience to God’s Word, to practice holiness, and to honor God in all you do?
It is one thing to desire it and it is another to truly put it into daily and regular practice.
1 Timothy 3:2 “…the husband of one wife…”
This means a mature Christian man is emotionally and sexually pure.
This means you are a one-woman man.
You have emotional investment, eyes for and physical interaction with ONLY your wife.
If one is not married, they must still be a one-woman man and practicing sexual purity.
This means God’s design for sexual interaction is with your wife. This means if you are not married, you don’t have a wife; therefore, you are not to be sexually active in any way.
PORN is not more acceptable if you are single. It is still sexual activity outside of marriage.
There is a lie that is floating in some Christian circles that has allowed Christian men to believe that porn is such a normal struggle for men that it is somehow okay. It is sin. You must make vigilant war with avoiding any kind of sexual sin or lust.
God’s design for intimacy is for marriage, not love, not engagement, not dating, not commitment- MARRIAGE!!!
Men, how are you doing at a pure and faithful devotion and attentiveness to your wife if you’re married and to God if you are not? Is this an area where God is honored in your life?
1 Timothy 3:2 “…sober-minded…”
A mature Christian man is sober, sensible, wise, and balanced in judgment and discretion.
It is the situation we have all been in where there is a good chance it could go bad. A prudent man is the one who stands up and says I am out and you should follow me. This is riding the line too much. They are willing to exercise wisdom and self-control even in the face of adversary. This is not the kind of person that likes to ride the edge of risk.
A prudent or sober-minded man uses good decision-making and discretion in leading those who follow him.
1 Timothy 3:2 “…self controlled…”
This is also called being temperate.
A mature Christian man is self-controlled and mentally and emotionally stable.
Self control means you do life with restraint. You don’t get caught up in stuff that could equal personal compromise.
-A temperate person is a person who doesn’t need to keep buying new things or working long hours to feel complete.
-A temperate person is someone who is given the opportunity to get super angry but exercises restraint.
-A temperate person is not emotionally all over the map all the time.
Temperate people live life in moderation (a moderate, controlled temperature).
It is the person who doesn’t gorge themselves just because they can. A life of moderation is satisfying to them because, ultimately, they are satisfied in Christ and are not looking to be made happy in other things.
1 Timothy 3:2 “…respectable…”
Verse 7 says, “Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”
A mature Christian man must be well-ordered, disciplined, and an honorable man worth following or imitating.
This is a person that people quickly have respect for in the way in which they prioritize and go about their life- smells of balance, honor, and is worth following or imitating.
I know many guys who subconsciously turn away form this one. They are willing to lead others but not in such a way that it is worth imitating. This cannot be so because those that follow you will imitate you. They will want to be like you- your kids, your brothers, those you are ministering to.
1 Timothy 3:2 “…hospitable…”
A mature Christian man is unselfish with his personal resources, welcoming, and generous with others.
He must understand to his core that what he has is not his. It is all God’s. He has been called to manage it for God’s glory. What this means is that a hospitable man is quick to open his life, time, stuff, home, and family to others who need to be loved.
1 Timothy 3:2 “…able to teach…”
Are you growing your life in The Word in such a way that it is not just for you but for those God puts in your path- your wife, your kids, your brothers, those you interact with at work, at church and on the road.
A mature Christian man is equipped to divide God’s Word and rightly teach what it says. You are mature in your understanding and defense of sound biblical doctrine.
Titus 1:9 says, “He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.”
Since the church is “the pillar and support of the truth” (1 Tim. 3: 15), its men must be pillars of biblical doctrine or the house will crumble.
Since the church is also a small flock traveling over treacherous terrain that is infested with “savage wolves”, the mature men in the body of Christ must know the way and see the wolves can lead the flock safely to its destination. Are you studying casually or are you really studying? Are you really digging into God’s Word? Are you looking to sit under sound bible teaching more than just a Sunday sermon? There are so many great preachers to sit under and you can do that through podcast and the internet. Are you reading sound books that teach you accurately about Christ. I say this because there is so much junk out there. Just because it is in the “Christian bookstore” doesn’t mean its right or accurate.
Don’t hesitate to email me and ask about preachers to listen to or books to read. I want to help you grow in this area.
A mature Christian man never grows tired of God’s Word and its authority in their lives. You love God’s Word and feast on it daily. Their aim is not a casual relationship with God and His Word, but a fervor and passion for God and His Word. Without a growing understanding of God’s Word, we will not know what and/or how to correct those who are promoting false doctrine or bad interpretation of The Word.
An MC lives according to its bi-laws. Our Club is distinctly unique in the fact that our by-laws are clear to state that the Holy Bible is the ultimate authority we are governed by.
1 Timothy 3:3 “…not a drunkard…”
A mature Christian man must be free from excesses and living a God honoring lifestyle that doesn’t damage his testimony.
Christians are to be controlled by Jesus and not by any other thing.
Addiction can be to a variety of things- alcohol, smoking, caffeine, TV, video games, working, hobbies, spending money, internet, food/sugar, reading, and so many more areas.
Notice something- none of the the things I just listed in and of themselves is a sin.
Any of these things you can enjoy in moderation. But, the question is: Is there a “I have to have it” mentality or “I need it”?
To check yourself on any of these: can you go 30 days without it?
If not, you might very well be addicted and this means something has you in its grip that is not Jesus.
Can you enjoy it without over indulgence or gluttony?
To give control of an area of life over to something else is detrimental and creates compromise. This sets you up to be disqualified and compromise your testimony. Don’t wait to bring around accountability to any of these things that you maybe or are excessively participating in.
1 Timothy 3:3 “…not violent or quarrelsome…”
A mature Christian man is peaceable and not quarrelsome or divisive.
This doesn’t have to mean physical violence. There are too many men who do not represent Christ in this area. Are you quick to argue, to make waves, or to engage in debates? Is the peace of God at work in your life? Are you quick to post things online that are critical and divisive? Are you argumentative with your brothers?
Ephesians 4:3 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.”
Matthew 5:9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.”
1 Timothy 3:3 “…gentle…”
A mature Christian man is kind, gracious, loving, and even tempered.
There is a big difference between one who tries to force you the direction they want you to go and one who gently influences you to move.
When you have to resort to yelling or throwing something to get respect, you are not ready to lead.
The gentle route takes more time, but builds a relationship and respect that goes much farther.
There is a maturity that means if you are a big tough guy you don’t have to wield that to influence others. You are gentle in your words and actions so that you can make much of Christ and not yourself.
1 Timothy 3:3 “…not a lover of money…”
A mature Christian man is not greedy for things or money and is financially content and upright.
Money is a big idol in our society, so much so that it is commonly idol of choice used by Jesus and the New Testament writers when illustrating how we are to worship God and not idols of the heart.
The American dream= get rich or die trying.
Okay, that is maybe more gangster version of the American dream, but close.
“The American dream has to drown in the satisfaction one finds in the gospel of Jesus”
1 Timothy 3:4-5 “He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5 for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?”
How one leads at home is one of the biggest signs of how one will lead God’s flock.
The Puritans referred to the family household as the “little church.”
A mature Christian man has a high priority to lead and manage his household.
Men, if we are not discipling our own wives and children, what business do we have to skipping the flock God has given you at home and going out to disciple the flock outside the home in the club or at church or on the road? Are you investing time into your bride? Are you investing time into your children?
My prayer is the overflow of the ministry we do in this club is out of solid ministry at home.
Are you praying for your family, disciplining your kids who are still under your roof, and leading them in bible study?
A mature Christian man is well ordered in his schedule and priorities to steward well and lead well that which God has entrusted you. This starts with yourself and your home before it goes to the club and our outreach.
1 Timothy 3:6 “…He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil.”
Anyone can be fired up to live sacrificially when the living water of Jesus first flows through them. The test is what one does with the grind and trials of the seasons to come.
A mature Christian man is proven and tested by trials. Their maturity in Christ shows they have ongoing harvest- the fruit of the spirit constantly coming out through thick and thin not just when times are good and not just in intermediate moments, but constantly!
Now, I said it at the top of the lesson. This is hard. This is the measurement of a mature Christian man.
It doesn’t mean if you struggle with many of these that you are not a Christian man. It just means you have maturing to do.
This is the good news- God doesn’t save us based on merit but instead on his amazing grace.
If you are saved, you are saved by His power and will and not your own. Thank God.
It also means he will endure those whom he has saved to the end. The question is, are you maturing?
Are you afraid to dig into the areas where you are weak? Are you growing in God’s Word and maturing in gospel community so that the Holy Spirit’s sanctifying work is happening in your life?
I pray that you are hungry. That is my biggest hope from this study. That you are hungry and you stay that way.
You dig into Christ and grow in him and he will mature you and endure you unto these things.
I look forward to growing with you. Keep Jesus the main thing and let’s see Soldiers for Jesus Motorcycle Club be filled with maturing men who are purposed to “Glorify God by teaching God’s Holy Word, training up faithful disciples and testifying of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the motorcycle club community and all those God puts in our path.”
By His grace and for His glory,
Soldiers for Jesus MC