Apr 24, 2022. I Timothy 3:1-7

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THE CHURCH ELDER. I Timothy 3:1-7. 4/24/2022. #7.

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.

1. A desire to lead

                a. The bishop is an overseer

                                a1. The biblical bishop is not the same as a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church

                                a2. The bishop is the same office as elder or presbyter (Greek word for elder)

                b. Paul states that it is good to aspire to be an elder

                                a1. He does not discourage leadership ambition (desire to serve; not lord over)

                                a2. To aspire to be an elder is not to seek power or dominance, but service

                c. Elders are to serve alongside the shepherd (pastor) to teach, help, and guide the flock of God

                d. After the apostles passed from the scene, elders picked up their work as local church leaders (TITUS 1:1-9), just as missionaries, pastors, and teachers picked up the evangelism, church planting, and education functions of the church

2. Qualifications of the elder

                a. A desire to be an elder isn’t akin to a desire to control people or dictate to people

                b. Elders are God’s servants to take care of His flock spiritually as mentors, counselors, and care givers to help meet the needs of the saints

                c. In God’s wisdom he did not make the church a monarchy, republic, democracy, or federation

                d. The qualifications of the elder are not financial, social, or popularity

                e. The qualifications of the elder are spiritual

                                a1. Blameless – of the 6 Gr. words meaning blameless, this one lit. means “unable to lay ahold of” (irreproachable, unimpeachable, or unassailable)

                                a2. Husband of 1 wife (Romans 7:1-4; I Corinthians 7:39)

                                a3. Temperate – sober, self-controlled

                                a4. Sober-minded – serious, prudent

                                a5. Well behaved and hospitable

                                a6. Apt to teach – must be able to impart spiritual truths to others

                                a7. Not given to wine = not a drunkard

                                a8. Not violent = not quick tempered, vicious

                                a9. Not greedy = not materialistic (lover of $)

                                a10. Gentle = cordial, reasonable, patient

                                a11. Not quarrelsome = amiable, peaceable

                                a12. Not covetousness = not a lover of $

                f. Governing his house well (in control)

                                a1. Not meaning that his family is perfect

                                a2. Handles his household well

                                a3. Children should be under submission with respect and proper humility

                g. Not a new convert lest he be tempted like Satan

                h. Having a good reputation with unbelievers

3. Beyond measure

                a. It is wise mature men who can rule well

                b. Church leaders are to be spiritual mentors

                c. Elders are held to a high standard (achievable)

                d. This is the benchmark for all believers

Key Verse: Titus 1:1-9

1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior; 4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior. 5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.