by John McKain

Becoming God's Servant
John McKain
1 Timothy 4:6-16

In 1 Tim 4:6-16, the apostle Paul lists the qualifications of an excellent servant of Jesus Christ. The key phrase appears in v. 6: "Thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ." In a sense, it is the underlying theme of the whole epistle, which was written to instruct Timothy on how to minister to the church a Ephesus.


The Greek word translated "good" could better be translated "noble," "admirable," or "excellent." It was used in 1 Tim. 3:1 to speak of the work of ministry, land here it is used to identify the kind of man God wants in ministry.

"Minister" is the translation of the Greek word diakonos from which we get the English word deacon. It means "servant" and is used of those who hold the office of deacon in the church, as described in chapter 3. Although the word is not used here in a technical way to designate that office, it implies that anyone who serves in any capacity in ministry must see himself as a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The word diakonos is different from the word doulos, which is also often translated "servant." Doulos often refers to a slave under subjection. Diakonos emphasizes a servant with a higher degree of freedom, because he serves willing. The word conveys the idea of usefulness and implies that all Christians should seek to be useful in the cause of Christ. In 1 Cor. 4:1-2 Paul says, "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." We are called to be servants and stewards, managing that which belongs to god in a way that will bring honor to His name. Paul's instruction to Timothy is applicable for all who serve the Lord.

In 1 Tim. 4:1-5, Paul talks about doctrines of demons propagated by seducing spirits through lying hypocrites. Having warned Timothy that false teaching isn't human but demonic, he tells Timothy how to be a ...

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