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Odds and Ends

April 17, 2011

No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments. The sins of some men are quite evident, going before them to judgment; for others, their sins follow after. Likewise also, deeds that are good are quite evident, and those which are otherwise cannot be concealed. 1 Timothy 5:23-25

Timothy appeared stubbornly determined to toe the line. If he had a weakness, it was worrying over theological potshots from the gallery. Paul is telling him throughout to not waste his time mixing it up with those with “morbid interest” in “controversial questions.” Instead he was to impart simple gospel truth and healthy doctrine and let it go at that.

Perhaps the stress of the ministry had taken its toll on his digestive system, or perhaps Timothy was beset with something more chronic. Paul tells him to relax his high standards and use a “little wine” (likely new wine) on a regular basis for medicinal purposes. I like the way Timothy was built, showing resolve to set a good example even if causing him personal discomfort.

A man’s character is exposed by his actions.  On the surface you observe his deeds to be either generally good or bad. How good or how bad is not plainly obvious however. Sooner or later, the hidden sins done in darkness or the good deeds done with no fanfare in anonymity will rise to the surface. Certainly, what is done in secret will follow you to judgment, whether that be at the Great White Throne Judgment (bad), or the  Judgment Seat of Christ (good).

In selecting leaders in the church, Paul commands us to test a man before installation so that the church can remain pure. In this case, perhaps we have to know the hidden aspects of a man’s character. (1 Timothy 3:6,  5:22)

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