Going Before and Following After

by Jeffrey W. Hamilton

Text: I Timothy 5:21-25


I.         The phrase “lay hands upon” in I Timothy 5:22 deals giving your blessing to another person

            A.        Such as when Jacob blessed his grandchildren - Genesis 48:14

            B.        Such as when someone is appointed to a duty - Acts 6:6; 13:2-3

            C.        It can also be a sign that you approve of what is about to be done

                        1.         Such as the death of a bull for Israel’s sins - Leviticus 4:15

                        2.         Witnesses laying hands on the one about to receive the death penalty - Leviticus 24:14

            D.        Timothy was told not to be partial - I Timothy 5:21

                        1.         Thus, he is not to give his blessing or give his approval in a rash fashion

                        2.         If he does, he would share the other person’s sin - II John 10-11

            E.        The statement in I Timothy 5:23 is seen as a parenthetical remark

                        1.         Yet, it would not be isolated from the discussion at hand

                        2.         Alcohol is known to cloud a person’s judgment - Proverbs 31:4-5

                        3.         Timothy was told to be careful about his judgment, but it doesn’t mean to go to the extreme of not treating ailments out of fear of making a poor decision

II.        Judgment is sometimes easy and sometimes difficult

            A.        Sometimes when people sin or do good deeds, it is quite obvious to everyone

                        1.         They go before, like a herald

                        2.         Sometimes we say, “Your reputation precedes you.”

                        3.         I think of Dorcas, who was remembered for her work - Acts 9:39

                        4.         Ahab and Jezebel are clear examples of people who were in the wrong - I Kings 16:30-33

                                    a.         To this day, no one wants to name their daughter “Jezebel.”

            B.        But for others, it takes a bit of digging to find out what a person is really like

                        1.         Ananias and Sapphira’s sin didn’t become known until Peter questioned them

                        2.         Another is when Israel wrongly thought some of the tribes had rebelled against God - Joshua 22:10-12, 21-27, 31

            C.        This is why Timothy was told not to be rash in giving his blessing

III.       By your love for the brethren all men will know you are Jesus’ disciples - John 13:35

            A.        It is something that should not and cannot be hidden - Matthew 5:14-16

            B.        It is to increase - I Thessalonians 4:9-10

                        1.         We have to learn from God who is the source of love - I John 4:9-10

            C.        We were saved for this purpose - I Peter 1:22

                        1.         To properly express love for brethren, we must have purity

                        2.         Sin interferes with love

            D.        Spending time with the brethren

                        1.         When a man wants to find a woman to marry, he dates her. He spends time with her and the more he gets to know her, the more they fall in love.

                        2.         The more you spend time with brethren, you come to know them personally, you share good and bad experiences, and you find yourself falling in love with them.

                        3.         This is why assembling is important - Hebrews 10:23-25

                        4.         This is why hospitality is important - Romans 12:9-13

            E.        And we pray for each other - James 5:13, 16

                        1.         Prayer demonstrates your concern for your brother

                        2.         It makes sure that he is on your mind and in your heart

IV.      But how is it shown?

            A.        Giving preference to each other - Romans 12:10

            B.        The stronger of us help the weaker - Romans 15:1

                        1.         We serve each other - Galatians 5:13

                        2.         We try to avoid causing others to stumble - I Corinthians 8:13

            C.        We seek the good for others - I Thessalonians 5:14-15

                        1.         That may mean having to tell someone they are misbehaving

                        2.         It may mean giving encouragement to the discouraged

                        3.         It may mean helping someone do what they can’t

                        4.         It means having a LOT of patience

            D.        We seek for peace and making each other stronger - Romans 14:19

                        1.         The world focus on strife and tearing people down

                        2.         But we are not of the world

V.        How will you be remembered?

            A.        It will be results of what you say and do - Matthew 7:17-20

            B.        Sometimes the results go before us, sometimes they show up after us

            C.        One thing is certain, you can’t really hide who you are forever

            D.        Judgment day is coming and we must appear before the one who knows all things - II Corinthians 5:10-11

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