Passage I Timothy 3:2-3
Background Qualifications for leadership (1 Tim 3) are markers of Christian maturity
Synopsis of the passage Christian maturity: Able to Teach
Message Outline 1. Two missions
a. Mankind: Creation mandate, to fill and rule
b. Church: Great Commission, to fill and disciple the world
2. What about teaching?
a. What: Everything Jesus commanded
b. Why: Obey Jesus, as it is in heaven
c. How: Like Jesus and apostles: preach, model, train
d. Who: Everyone. Building the church is a lay movement
Application Preparing to teach
Title Able to Teach
We are looking at the list of qualifications for a church leader in 1 Tim 3, which is mostly applicable to
The next qualification on the list is ‘Able to Teach’. I wonder whether we can learn from this too?
Here are some motivating questions:
● What does it mean to ‘teach’ according to the NT? How do we teach?
● What do we teach?
● Finally, how does teaching relate to the church?
As we start another church year, we are talking again about what is the church and our vision for this
church. Because there are so many opinions, I want to review some basics.
I. Two commissions (5 min)
A. Creation Mandate – Commission to all humanity
When God created us, he said:
Genesis 1:28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the
earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living
creature that moves on the ground.”
This is the role God gave humankind at the very beginning
● to multiply and fill the earth
● as God’s representative, to make it obey us, and to rule over it.
We call this the ‘Creation Mandate’
For this purpose, we have families and raise children.
We build fields and sow crops, we build cities and form organizations, we develop skills and
technologies, we make art, and we dig sewers.
In all these things, we give God glory.
This commission is eternal, it is still true today, and it will be true in the renewed heaven and earth
(except no need to have children because we will live forever).
Q: But what about the church? Is the church just about supporting the creation mandate?
B. Great Commission – To the Church
Next week. we celebrate Easter, when Jesus was crucified and came back from the dead.
Then before he ascended to heaven, He gave marching orders to his disciples that we call the ‘Great
Matthew 28:18ff Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been
given to me. Therefore go and make Christians of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the
Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit”.
This is not exactly what Jesus said. But it is how some people read the passage. It covers the gospel
and the nature of God. But it can also be called ‘easy believism’.
Version 2. Adds the following:
and teaching them to know everything I have commanded you .
This is better. It acknowledges that we need to be taught, that the Bible has many things to teach us.
For example, How to apply the gospel to our lives.
and forcing them to do everything you think good ”.
Some think we can do better than God, and we choose what is good and bad, we seek to bring in
utopia by forcing people to obey our ideas. This is where we get cults, and dangerous ideologies.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
Now we have come to the actual last instruction of Jesus, which the apostles obeyed and by doing so
built the church.
Does this include abiding in Jesus and doing what he says? Of course. John 15 teaches abiding in
Jesus. If we don’t abide in Jesus, we can do nothing of lasting value.
And the book of Acts records the church getting additional instructions from God, and obeying them.
But Jesus taught much more than that.
So let’s read the actual words of Jesus together.
Matthew 28: 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on
earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations,
baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20
and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am
with you always, to the very end of the age.”
So this is valid until the end of the age, certainly while the church still exists.
Now, let’s compare the Great Commission (GC) to the Creation Mandate (CM).
Fill the earth:
CM: All mankind is to reproduce physically to fill the earth with descendants of
GC: The church is to reproduce spiritually by making disciples of Christ of
Christ is the new Adam, the first fruits of a new race, and we are a new creation,
as Paul tells us in 1 Cor 15. And we are to multiply spiritually.
CM: All mankind is to bring the world into submission, and as God’s
representatives rule according to God’s heart.
GC: The people of God are to make disciples, and teach them to submit to Jesus’
commands which are the rules of the Kingdom.
I think that Matthew intentionally makes this parallel between the two
commissions. And they are related. We might say that the GC seeks to apply the
gospel in order to bring people into obedience to the CM.
Both commissions apply to the whole church, and are valid until this day.
II. What then can we say about teaching?
Now let’s go back to our quality ‘able to teach’.
We can say the following about teaching:
What to teach:
● all Jesus commanded. Jesus told us a lot about how to live, and so does
the rest of the bible.
● ‘What’ also includes this verse, doesn’t it? So ‘what’ includes evangelizing
● The goal of teaching is not just knowledge, but obedience.
● The NT tells us that obedience is not a burden, but freedom and the way to
a full life.
○ People tell us that being a disciple of Jesus means giving up all kinds
of things. But when we receive Jesus, we no longer need those
○ Jesus tells us that to obey his words is to have fullness of life, and to
gain a reward from God.
○ But the road is narrow, and it will be hard.
What can help us to obey?
● The words used for ‘teach’ really mean to educate as we do the young, or to
train like in a sports gym.
● We’ve studied the tools God has provided before, haven’t we? We teach by
preaching, by speaking the word to one another, it is modeling, it is
● Jesus taught by word to outsiders, but insiders got modeled and mentored.
● E.g. Feeding 5 thousand shows Jesus interacting with his disciples in a
● Questions to consider
○ Are we willing to learn from Jesus on how to teach?
○ Are we willing to study the example of the apostles on how to build
Who: Let’s talk about going and making disciples.
● This is difficult.
● We want to ask then, does this command apply to the average Christian?
Do I personally have to do this?
a) The scriptures indicate YES
○ Jesus commanded the disciples to multiply, just as God commanded
Adam and Eve to multiply. The parallel is clear. This is a command to
us as a group and as individuals.
b) History indicates YES
○ The mission to the Gentiles was a lay movement, not from the
apostles. (Acts 8:1-4)
○ We have the examples of lay believers who evangelized: Stephen,
Philip the evangelist, Timothy
○ We know that in 2nd century, the philosopher Celsus, an opponent of
Christianity complained about low status Christians chattering the
○ So it was not just well educated experts, publicly recognized people
c) Stewardship and gratitude say YES
○ We are here because ordinary believers witnessed.
■ Sometimes they suffered and even died for it.
○ I am personally here because of a Gideon’s volunteer who gave me a
bible, and a gas station worker who reached out to me
○ We pray ‘Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done’; this is how we act out
○ So out of gratitude to God and and to faithful witnesses, we should
also strive to be witnesses.
III. Small group time
Discuss and share:
1. Which is more comfortable for you, the Creation Mandate or the Great
Commission? Which was emphasized in the churches you have
2. How do you feel about the call to evangelize and to discipline others?
3. How has the church help you to grow as a disciple? Is there anything the
church could do to help you grow more?
4. Has God placed something on your heart today?
IV. Some practical training
Is everyone able to share the gospel in 3 minutes. Right now?
Maybe not everyone. Here is an example method called “3 circles”. You should practice until you can
do it at any time.
Have you ever heard of the 3 circles?
Do you have 3 minutes ?
• Here is the world we live in.
• It is broken.
• There is war, hate, poverty, natural disasters.
But there are good things too, like time with friends, good food, etc.
• Originally God made the world all good. Everything was in harmony
Q: Which world would you like to live in?
• How did we get to broken world?
• It is because people decided to not trust God, to betray him, and turn their back.
We call this sin.
• Now people try to escape the broken world
• They study hard and work, and try to make themselves happy by success
• Or, they try to make the world a better place
• Or they indulge themselves, and drink too much, and take drugs
• Or they commit suicide
• Nothing works.
• God knew people could not be happy with him, so he sent Jesus
• Jesus was in harmony with God, but people were jealous and killed him. Then God raised him from
• And God made Jesus king of the world. He put him in charge of saving people
• This is the way to get back to the ideal world: Repent and believe Jesus
• Then he will restore your relationship to God
Q: Is there any reason for you to not repent and believe in Jesus?
You want to study more?
Q: When and where would you like to get together to study?
And please bring your friends!
As people, we are commanded to glorify God in all we do.
As the church, we are further commanded to make disciples of all people, teaching them to
submit to Jesus’ commands. These commands are also for ourselves. We teach by word,
example and by walking alongside.
What is God saying to you today?