Tuesday, August 14, 2012

God's Godly Servants love the things of God

Numbers 4:4 “This is the work of the descendants of Kohath in the tent of meeting, concerning the most holy things.

1 Timothy 3:9 "holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience."

The Kohathites modeled what it meant to reverence the things of God
In Numbers 4 we see mention made of the Kohathites, the clan within the Levities who were responsible for handling and carrying for the furnishings of the Tabernacle.  Within the Tabernacle there were seven furnishings in all:
1. The Ark of the Covenant
2. The Mercy Seat - the lid or covering on the Ark
3. The Golden Altar of Incense
4. The Table of Show bread
5. The Golden Lampstand
6. The Brazen Wash basin or laver
7. The Brazen Altar

Each of these furnishings functioned to convey the Holiness and character of God to the Priests and people alike.  Whenever it came time to move the Tabernacle to the next location, someone had to make sure these furnishings were covered from the eyes of the people.  The Kohathites modeled to the people the care and reverence for the things of God. Thus we could summarize their function as being those who "Love the things of God"

Deacons are to model reverence for the things of God to the New Testament Church
In the list of qualifications of Deacons in 1 Timothy 3:9, we see mention of the Deacons "holding to the mystery of faith".  Why? because in addition to living the Christian faith before the people, the Deacon needs to know the faith which He professes to live.  How much should he know and how much should he be holding to?  In Acts 7 and 8 we see two Deacons - Stephen and Phillip - cluing us in on the areas the Deacon should know.  A Deacon should know his Bible enough to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ and lead someone to the point of faith and repentance.  Since the actual act of faith and repentance begins as a work of the Spirit of God, the Deacon needs to be a man who can sense when God is working in that person's life. 

The Deacon also needs to be a man who has a regular prayer life and knows doctrine well enough to share the Gospel.  God's Godly Servants are to be men who model what it means to be people of the Word and prayer.  Furthermore, just as in the Old Testament Godly servants, New Testament Deacons should be consistent in their church attendance.  Care for the things of God demonstrates the reverence that we have for God.  Desire to grow in doctrine and Godliness reflects a life dedicated to knowing God in Christ. 

Love for the things of God are caught as they are taught
We know in the Old Testament system that the Priests were charged with the responsibility of not only sacrifice, but also biblical instruction. (Malachi 2:6)  These Priests, along with the serving clans of the Kohathites, Merarties and Gershonites, aimed to model before the people of God a love for God and His things.  The Priests, with the more later developed office of the Prophet, aimed to instruct the people of God in the Word.  However the remaining Levites reinforced that teaching by means of their service.

In the New Testament, in a far fuller richer way, a way not conceived of in the Old Testament, the Church was born on the day of Pentecost in Acts 2.  From that point God ordained Pastors/Elders to labor in the Word and prayer, love the people and lead. (Ephesians 4; 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1; 1 Peter 5).  Concerning Deacons, God ordained that they be the ones to model what is preached and taught to the people.  Love for God's things must be caught by example as it is taught through the preaching and teaching of the Word. 

Would it be that all of us, as New Covenant Christians, catch the desire and be doctrinally equipped with the desire to love the things of God. 

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