Nepaug Bible Church -
Men's Leadership Support Group Meeting notes -

Part VI: Utilizing The Biblical Local Church, God's Seedbed For Forming Leaders With His Truth
(1 Timothy 3:14-16)
  1. Introduction
    1. Good leadership in the institutions of marriage, family, church, business and government is at a premium today; as we stated in our first lesson, there is a worldwide need for good leaders in all such institutions.
    2. If we wonder WHERE we ourselves or another needy party can best be nurtured to become a good leader, Paul revealed God has a seedbed for forming them with His truth, the seedbed of a Biblical local church:
  2. Utilizing The Biblical Local Church, God's Seedbed For Forming Leaders With His Truth.
    1. Scripture logically reveals the Biblical local church is God's seedbed for forming leaders in His truth:
      1. As we noted in lesson one, true leadership is the same in essence at any level of human organization:
        1. Paul claimed good leadership at church is the same as good leadership at home, 1 Timothy 3:5.
        2. Well, society at large is but a compilation of groups of homes as Genesis 4:1, 17; 12:1-2 reveals.
      2. Not only is true leadership the same in essence at any level of human organization, it springs from God Himself, for God made man in his image and delegated authority to him under God, Genesis 1:26-30.
      3. Now, the problem of poor leadership comes from spiritual darkness caused by sin, Gen. 3:1-7, 8-13.
      4. Thus, man needs God's salvation through Christ to REVERSE the effects of poor leadership, and he needs illumination by God's TRUTH to overcome his sinful darkness to KNOW HOW to lead, so the Biblical local church is God's light of the truth, a seedbed for good leadership growth.
    2. That the Biblical local church is that SEEDBED for FORMING and NURTURING LEADERS with God's TRUTH in God's program TODAY is concisely summarized in 1 Timothy 3:14-16 as follows:
      1. In view of Timothy's need to be encouraged to stay at Ephesus and uphold the truth against error (1 Tim. 1:3), Paul had written to tell Timothy how he should conduct himself there, 1 Tim. 3:14-15a.
      2. In such a context of striving to impress Timothy with the importance of his calling in that local body of believers, Paul revealed that local church at Ephesus was the "house of God," 1 Timothy 3:15b.
      3. Yet, MORE than that, God's people gathered in a Biblical local church comprise the pillar and foundation of God's truth in its most practical sense; they are His seedbed of producing good leaders:
        1. Some say Paul here meant the Church is the source of the truth so that "no one can know the truth unless he depends on the teaching of some organized church . . . " Bible Know. Com., N. T. , p. 739.
        2. However, we would agree with Martin Luther when he claimed at the 1521 Diet of Worms: " . . . I put no trust in the unsupported authority of Pope or of councils, since it is plain that they have often erred and often contradicted themselves . . . " (Bettenson, Docs. of the Chr. Church, 2nd ed., p. 282)
        3. Thus, we hold Paul meant a Biblical (i.e., Bible believing, obeying and teaching) local church is "the support and bulwark -- not the source -- of God's truth"; the Biblical local church acts as the sounding board for God's truth in which men in darkness need to immerse themselves, Ibid.
    3. The truth that a local church is to highlight is God's truth about Jesus Christ, 1 Timothy 3:16 (Ibid.):
      1. It must exalt Christ as God was manifested in the flesh in the Incarnation, 1 Tim. 3:16a (John 1:1,14).
      2. It must exalt He as vindicated by the Holy Spirit as Lord and Messiah by His resurrection from the dead following His crucifixion for sin on the cross, 1 Timothy 3:16b (Acts 2:24-36; Rom. 8:11), Ibid.
      3. It must exalt Christ as ascended and exalted in heaven, 1 Tim. 3:16c,f (Ph. 2:9-11; He. 1:6; Ep. 4:10)
      4. It must exalt Christ as proclaimed among the nations as the Savior of men, 1 Tim. 3:16d (Col. 1:23).
      5. It must exalt Christ as believed on in the world by unsaved men that they might be pronounced righteous and receive eternal life, 1 Timothy 3:16e (1 Cor. 1:18-2:5).
Lesson: The seedbed for forming effective leaders is the BIBLICAL LOCAL CHURCH, for it is there that the solution to man's sinful lack that has ruined good human leadership is given in the exaltation of the Person and Work of Jesus in word and deed, and that to the fullest practical degree we know.

Application: (1) We must immerse ourselves in a Biblical local church, God's seedbed of leadership development where God's truth is taught and heeded that we might there grow into effective leaders! (2) Then, the church must CENTER its FOCUS on presenting CHRIST as the SOLUTION to the sin that has ruined human leadership, for then men can be EFFECTIVELY "grown" there into leaders.