On Violent Elders Vs. Forceful and Righteous Leadership

1 Timothy 3:3, Violent. This passage (vv. 3–7) lists the qualifications of an elder or leader of a congregation. One of the of character traits that he is not to possess is that of being a brawler (KJV),violent (NKJV) or pugnacious (NAS). What do the words brawler, violent or pugnacious mean here? When an elder preaches, rebukes, exhorts his congregation, as Paul instructed Timothy and Titus do to (2 Tim 4:2; Tit 1:13; 2:15), or “warns his congregation (Col 1:28), is this being “violent,” as Paul warns against in his first letter to Timothy (1 Tim 3:3)? We will discuss these issue below and what the biblical definition of violent is.

The word violent as found in 1 Tim 3:3 is the Greek word amachos meaning one who is by nature “a fighter, brawler, contentious, quarrelsome, one who causes strife, or one who is combative.” In modern terms, he’s a bully. Perhaps you remember the neighborhood bully from your years as a school child. By contrast, an elder, overseer or shepherd of a congregation is not to be such a person. This is what Paul had in mind when he gave these instructions concerning the qualifications of an elder.

So let’s now explore this issue a little further. Is there ever a time when spiritual leaders may need to resort to forceful words or even to forceful actions to protect YHVH’s spiritual sheep? What, for example, did David mean when he asks the following question in Psalm 94:16?

Who will rise up for me against the evildoers? Or who will stand up for me against the workers of iniquity?

Let’s answer this question by asking another question? What did Yeshua mean when describing a good shepherd versus an evil hireling shepherd, and when he said that unlike the evil shepherd, a good shepherd lays his life down for the sheep and protects them from those who come to kill, steal and destroy the sheep? He goes on to say that the good shepherd defends the sheep, while the evil shepherd is a coward who runs away in the time of danger and fails to protect the sheep (John 10:7–15). Another example of an evil shepherd is found in Ezekiel 34 where such a shepherd fails to protect the sheep from the beasts of the field (Ezek 34:7–10). 

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Yeshua’s Model for One-On-One Evangelism

Mark 10:17–22, Yeshua’s model for one-on-one evangelism is here revealed. In his encounter with the rich, young ruler, Yeshua reveals a method of evangelizing in a one-on-one scenario. He uses the following five-step approach:

  • Yeshua first establishes the character of YHVH Elohim and how man falls short of this in comparison. Namely, YHVH is good, and man is not.
  • Next, Yeshua presents the Torah as Elohim’s moral and spiritual standard that determines the definition of good—right and wrong.
  • Yeshua then shows the young man that he was violated that standard of goodness by violating the Torah’s standard of righteousness.
  • He advises the young man then to repent of his Torahlessness (or of breaking YHVH’s laws, which is the biblical definition of sin, see 1 John 3:4).
  • Finally, Yeshua invites the young to make the total commitment to being a good person and to follow him.

We see this evangelistic model again in Acts 17:24 when Paul addresses the Greeks on Mars Hill.


 

Paul’s Model for One-On-One Evangelism

Spiritual discussion

Acts 17:24–32, Paul’s model for one-on-one evangelism. In Paul’s encounter with the Greek philosophers on Mars Hill, he uses the five step evangelistic approach that Yeshua used as recorded in his encounter with the rich young ruler in Mark 10:17–22). This five-step approach is as follows:

Paul first establishes the character and nature of the one true YHVH Elohim who is the Creator of all things and man should seek him, for man owes all to him (vv. 24–28).

Then Paul shows how the Greeks have not been following the true Elohim, but have been sinning by worshiping false gods (i.e., idolatry), which is a violation of the Torah (v. 29).

Next, Paul further alludes to the Torah by establishing that Elohim’s divine nature or character (which is revealed in the Torah) transcends idols, material possessions or anything else devised by men whether artistic or philosophical in nature (v. 29). These things were the chief false gods of the ancient Greeks, for which Paul was taking them to task.

Paul then tells the Greeks that Elohim is calling men to repentance for ignorantly following man-made idols and philosophies, (which is sin, or Torahlessness, 1 John 3:4) (vv. 30–31).

After this, Paul points the Greeks to Yeshua (vv. 30–31).

From this evangelistic encounter, Paul gained some converts (v. 34).


 

New Video: A College Student on Friendship Evangelism

How do we do the great commission of preaching the good news of the kingdom to those around us? This video gives some helpful tips on friendship evangelism—how to gently share the gospel with those around you.


 

The Great Commission: The ABC’s of Gospel Evangelism

Outline and Study Guide With Practical Suggestions on Witnessing

Motivation to Evangelize the Spiritually Lost

What should be our motivation to evangelize the lost?

Hand reaching for the sky

  • The Word of Elohim commands us to do so. The imperative command of Yeshua in Mark 16:11, “Go ye…!” is not “the great suggestion,” but “the great commission!” To many, it has become “the great omission.”
  • Human need demands that we reach out to the lost and hurting around us. Like Yeshua, we must seek to save the lost (Luke 19:10). Like Yeshua, we must meet people at their point of need by finding the need and meeting it with the gospel message, the Word of YHVH and the love of Yeshua.
  • Compassion and love for the lost should compel us to share the good news with others.
  • We must have love for the lost. Pray to the Father that he give us a supernatural love for the lost as Yeshua did. Love sensitizes us to the needs of others. Love makes you want to give to and bless others. Love makes you forget about yourself and perfect love casts out fear of witnessing or fear of what others think (1 John 4–18).
  • We will have an easy time of sharing the gospel of Yeshua with others if we still have the joy of our salvation. If we have lost that joy, pray for it to come back as David prayed in Psalm 51:12–13. Perhaps sin, the cares of this life, fear or other things are blocking that joy.

The New Testament Model for Evangelizm

A study of the Testimony of Yeshua reveals that the dominant model that Yeshua and the apostles followed when witnessing to unbelievers roughly followed the outline below: Continue reading