Regular Christians (Part 2): Philemon

Regular Christians

Philemon was one who used his possessions to help others. We can read about this man in the short letter written to him by the apostle Paul.

Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother, to Philemon our beloved brother and fellow worker…and to the church in your house” (Philemon 1-2).

At the same time also prepare me a lodging, for I hope that through your prayers I will be given to you” (Philemon 22).

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Elders in Every Church (Part 2): Character Qualifications for Elders #1

Elders in Every Church (Part 2): Character Qualifications for Elders #1

First, a word about the qualifications in general. Some have attempted to say that the qualifications for elders are not really qualifications, but are only meant to present a general description of those who can serve as elders. This argument is made to defend the appointment of a man who does not fit all of the qualifications. Those who argue this will often say that since the list of qualifications in 1 Timothy 3 does not match the list in Titus 1, then we cannot combine the passages and strictly follow them because Timothy and Titus were able to appoint elders without having the other list.

There are two problems with this argument. First, it assumes that Paul was writing to Timothy and Titus about something he had not discussed with them previously. This cannot be the case. Paul told Titus he was to appoint elders “as I directed you” (Titus 1:5). The things that Paul taught, he taught “everywhere in every church” (1 Corinthians 4:17). Therefore, he had given uniform instructions to both Timothy and Titus about the qualifications for elders. Second, it is difficult to imagine anyone who would qualify using one list but not the other. We must see these qualifications as exactly that – qualifications that must be met for one to serve as an elder.
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Choosing the Good Part

Bible on a park bench

In Luke’s gospel we read of an occasion when two sisters received a visit from the Lord. Those two sisters made two choices – one of these choices reflected the right priorities. Both of these women provide important lessons for us today.
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Righteous Lot

Flight of Lot

And if He condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah to destruction by reducing them to ashes, having made them an example to those who would live ungodly lives thereafter; and if He rescued righteous Lot, oppressed by the sensual conduct of unprincipled men (for by what he saw and heard that righteous man, while living among them, felt his righteous soul tormented day after day by their lawless deeds), then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from temptation, and to keep the unrighteous under punishment for the day of judgment” (2 Peter 2:6-9).

The inspired apostle Peter described Lot as being “righteous.” Yet this righteous man was not without his faults – he pitched his tent toward Sodom (Genesis 13:12), lived in Sodom (Genesis 14:12), and had to be taken by the hand to flee the city before it was destroyed (Genesis 19:16). In Lot we see one who was righteous; yet he too often focused on the wrong thing, tolerated too much, and compromised with the world.

There are some important lessons we can learn from Lot’s example – both good and bad. We will consider these lessons here.

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