søndag 15. januar 2017

Important support functions in training of strength

Paul gave a very clear message to Timothy about which areas he should focus on while he was in charge of the church at Ephesus:
Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching.
1 Tim 4:13 
It becomes clear that Timothy’s major function was to support those who had already come to faith in Jesus Christ, a function normally covered by the pastor. There is biblical support for saying that Timothy’s primary ministry gift, was to be an evangelist (1), and I believe that evangelist also was the role in which Paul flourished. Nevertheless, both he and Timothy were very busy consolidating the churches with all the painful consequences that had for them (2), and in this strengthening of the churches, these elements are important:
  • the public reading of Scripture,
  • preaching,
  • teaching.
These are elements that also are important for my personal exercise to become stronger. The reading of Scripture and teaching are self-explicable. But I want to share some thoughts on “preaching”. The stem of the Greek word Paul used, is the stem of the name Jesus gave the Holy Spirit = Paraclete. The options for translation of this word, are multiple: Comforter, Advocate, Consoler, Encourager, Refresher, Intercessor, Helper and so on. 

The concept of the original word for preaching embraces all these qualities. That is why the pastor in all his functions is fully dependent upon the Spirit who gives life (3). The same dependence I have in my personal exercise.

‘Manna’ for today:

The Spirit gives life
(1) 2 Tim 4:5 
(2) 2 Cor 11:28
(3) 2 Cor 3:6

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