1 Timothy 3: Qualifications: Bishops/Deacons
Paul explains to Timothy the qualifications for a Bishop in the Church;
“…If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine… not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)” (1 Timothy 3:1-5)
In the Restored Church of Jesus Christ, a.k.a The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints; Bishops and all leaders of the church are not paid, nor can they be ‘elected’ or ‘work’ towards obtaining these positions. All positions in the church are given based off revelation.
Paul also lays down the requirements for Deacons in the Church;
“Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre…” (1 Timothy 3:8)
Deacons in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are 12-14 years of age and provide the first taste of leadership in the church and in their own lives. We can understand from this chapter that Paul wanted Timothy to understand the importance of these sacred roles and for those who hold those titles to do so reverently.
1 Thessalonians 1: The Gospel = Word and Power
Paul addresses the Thessalonians and explains that he came unto them in word and power;
“For our gospel, came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance; as ye know what manner of men we were among you for your sake.” (1 Thessalonians 1:5)
This chapter, although short, is very powerful. Paul explains that he is not just a minister of word, but actually has POWER from God. This power or “Authority” is necessary in the ordinances of the gospel and is needed for the TRUE Church of Jesus Christ.
In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the power of the Priesthood and its restoration began on May 15, 1829 when the resurrected John the Baptist appeared to Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdery to confer the Aaronic Priesthood upon them.
Galatians 2: Contending the True Gospel
Paul goes to Jerusalem (after he had been absent for 14 years) and preaches the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. The Church in Jerusalem had accepted Titus even though he was a uncircumcised Greek. Paul preaches that God favors no one. The leaders in Jerusalem (James, Cephas and John) accept the ministry of Paul and his preaching to the gentiles.
Paul publicly expresses his disapproval of Peter, because he had separated himself from the gentile Christians in that area. Paul has to remind Peter that the Gentiles are justified before God, not in their keeping of the law, but by the works they put forth in the name of Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 1: The Saints are United
Paul greets the church and calls for all the Saints of the Church [the members of the church] to “…speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgement. For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Chloe, that there are contentions among you.” (1 Corinthians 1:10-11) Paul knew that there were some problems among the Corinthians, he knew that contention (most likely over doctrine) was causing divisions.
Paul asks the Corinthians; “Is Christ divided? …” (1 Corinthians 1:13) Paul explains that he does not baptize in his name, but in the name of Jesus Christ. To those who do not believe, the message of Christ is foolishness, but to those who believe the message is Salvation. Paul explains that “…the foolishness of God is wiser than men; and the weakness of God is stronger than men.” (1 Corinthians 1:25) We therefore are nothing compared to God, and therefore must submit to His will, by following His commandments.
Romans 16: The Church of Christ Salutes…
Paul commends Phoebe, who is a servant of the church in Cechrea. Paul also sends greetings to a number of people and households by name; Priscilla, Aquila, Epaenetus, Mary, Andronicus, Junia, Amplias, Urbane, Stachys, Apelles, the household of Aristobulus, Herodion, the household of Narcissus, Tryphena, Tryphosa, Persis, Rufus, Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, Philologus, Julia, Nereus, and Olympas.
Paul reminds the saints in the church to; “Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you.” (Romans 16:1) Paul encourages the members of the church to “…mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words and fair speeches deceive the hearts of the simple.” (Romans 16:17-18) Paul makes it clear that those who disobey the commandments of God and have no desire to do good, should be noted, and shouldn’t be associated with. Evil men exist that have the desire to deceive the hearts of the naïve, or otherwise easily persuaded people.
Paul wants the Saints [the members] to be “…wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil.” (Romans 16:19) Meaning that we need to be wise and know what is good, but be simple, like a child concerning good from evil.
Romans 13: Keep the Commandments
Paul explains that every soul is subject to a higher power; therefore Governments also derive their authority from God, and must therefore be obeyed. In the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe “…in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law.” (Articles of Faith 1:11)
Essentially, Paul explains that all Christians should do good to their fellow man, be righteous in upholding the law and the commandments, through obedience. Love your neighbor and let the saints cast off the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light.
Romans 12: Do Good, Not Evil
Paul explains that we need to be above the world; “…be not conformed to this world; but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is good, and acceptable… not to think of [yourself]more highly than [you] ought to think…” (Romans 12:2-3) Paul urges the Saints to be humble. Paul explains that just as the body has many members, so does the Church of Christ; “… as we have many members in our body… all members have not the same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ…” (Romans 12:4-5) This means that the Church has offices, and these offices come by Authority (See Organization of the Church – Ephesians 4:11-15)
Paul leaves the Saints in Rome some great Wisdom, that can also be applied in the Modern World;
“Let love be without dissimulation [concealing thoughts]. Abhor[hate] that which is evil; cleave [hold on] to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.” (Romans 12:9-21)
Acts 20: Apostasy
Paul travels through Greece and Macedonia, where he arrived at Troas. “And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them…” (Acts 20:7) For this purpose the first day of the week is Sunday, and therefore the Sabbath Day is Sunday. While preaching a certain woman brings a young man who is ‘sleeping’ to see Paul, his name is Eutychus. Paul raises Eutychus from the dead.
Paul then travels to Miletus and sends for the elders of the church in Ephesus to meet him there. Paul says he will face imprisonment and tribulations preaching to Jerusalem. However, Paul is undeterred, because testifying of the gospel fills him with joy. Paul warns about the coming Apostasy in the church; “…after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after them.” (Acts 20:29-30; see also Acts 28-30) Shortly after the apostles had been killed, the church started to fall in Apostasy and with time, evil men did lead away the members of Christ’s church, destroying it. Therefore, it was needful that a Restoration of His same Church, the Church of Jesus Christ would be restored in the last days, before His second coming. That church is known today as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Acts 12: Peter Flees from Prison
King Herod [Nephew of Antipas] persecuted the church, killing the Apostle James with a sword. During the Passover, Peter is arrested. However the Christians throughout the land pray fervently to God for the release of Peter. God sends an angel who breaks into the Prison and causes Peter’s chains to fall from his hands. The Angel helps him get out of the Prison and into the city, and then he departs his own way. From here, Peter goes to the house of Mary, mother of John. A girl named Rhoda tells the apostles Peter has come, but she wasn’t believed until they see Peter for themselves. Finally the Apostles open the door and are astonished to see Peter, but Peter tells them to keep it quiet and to tell James… he then departs.
When Herod finds that Peter has escaped, he orders that the prison guards are put to death. Herod makes an oration to the people of Tyre and Sidon, and is praised by them as a god rather than a man. Because he was being praised as a god and not a man, an angel strikes him dead.
Acts 11: Church and Revelations
When Peter returned to Jerusalem, after having converted many of the Gentiles, the Jews were quick to contend with him for having associated with the Gentiles. In his defense, Peter recounts the vision of the sheet, with the unclean and clean animals on it. (See Acts 10)
He explained that God had commanded him to preach unto those people, he goes on to state; “Forasmuch then as God gave them the like gift [Gift of the Holy Ghost] as he did unto us who believed on the Lord Jeus Christ; what was I, that I could withstand God?” (Acts 11:17) Many of the people, after having heard this testimony of Peter, rejoiced!
The church in Antioch grows as Gentiles turn to the Lord. We learn that Barnabas ministered in Antioch. Saul works with Barnabas in Antioch where “…the disciples were called Christians first…” (Acts 11:29) Agabus prophesies famine, so the disciples send relief to their brethren throughout Judea.