1 Timothy 3:1-16 Church leadership Elders (Bishops) Deacons

Bishop (Elder)

1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 4 one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

 

Deacon

8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

 

Proper conduct in House of God

14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness:

 

God was manifested in the flesh,

Justified in the Spirit,

Seen by angels,

Preached among the Gentiles,

Believed on in the world,

Received up in glory.

NKJV

 

Facts Revealed:

Bishop (Elder) [1 Timothy 3:1-7]

V    Church organization requires leadership by qualified individuals.

   Jesus appointed twelve Apostles to introduce the Gospel message to the people. They were individually selected and trained by Jesus Himself.

   The Apostles appointed leadership in the churches.

   Originally the Apostles served as Elders to shepherd, oversee, and lead the congregations. They appointed Deacons to assist and administer the distribution of aid to the needy church members. [Acts 6:1-7]

   To qualify for appointment to serve as administers in the Church, they needed to meet the test of holiness and character, men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom. [Acts 6:3]

   Paul gave Timothy guidelines of qualification for appointing a Bishop (Elder) over a congregation.

V    This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. [1 Timothy 3:1]

   The position is honorable and loaded with responsibility, being a good work. [1 Thessalonians 5:12, Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24]

V    A Bishop must be:

   Blameless (perfect).

   Husband of one wife.

   Temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, gentle, able to teach; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?).

   Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

   The Devil's goal is to cause the fall of a man of God and ruin his reputation because of the destruction it works in the Church, giving the enemies of God great occasion to blaspheme against God, which has been very evident throughout history.

V    A Bishop must not be:

   One given to wine, violent, greedy for money, quarrelsome, covetous.

   Not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil (The Eternal Lake of Fire). [Revelation 20:10]

Deacon [1 Timothy 3:8-13]

V    The character of a Deacon needs to be as high as that of the Elder (Bishop) because he represents a place as exemplary in the eyes of the public.

V    A Deacon must be:

   Tested for qualification.

   Blameless (perfect).

   Reverent, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.

   Husband of one wife, ruling his children and his own house well. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

V    A Deacon must not be:

   Double-tongued (tricky, deceitful, insincere, hypocritical), given to much wine, greedy for money

V    Their wives must be reverent, temperate, faithful in all things.

   Their wives must not be slanderers.

Proper conduct in House of God [1 Timothy 3:14-16]

V    Though Paul was hopeful that he would be able to come to Ephesus personally, he wrote these instructions so Timothy and the leaders of the Church would know the proper conduct in the House of God.

   The Church is viewed as the pillar and ground of the truth, and that truth should be demonstrated faithfully by its leadership with their lives as an example.

 

V    Jesus Christ Himself is the Great Mystery of Godliness:

 

God was manifested in the flesh,

Justified in the Spirit,

Seen by angels,

Preached among the Gentiles,

Believed on in the world,

Received up in glory. [1 Timothy 3:16, John 1:1-3, 14, Colossians 2:9, Acts 1:19-20]