Bible Study Christian Character Traits Church Pastoral

1 Timothy 3:1-7

Paul gives guidance on qualifications of church leaders.

My notes and translation of 1 Timothy 3:1-7

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​1 Timothy Chapter 3

Pastors and Deacons

1 This is a trustworthy saying, if anyone desires the oversight [of the church], he desires a good work.

[Most pastors speak of their call—first by God, then by the church (believers). We see Apostles called, prophets called, Old Testament kings and priests, etc. But here, we see the word desire. The word ‘anyone’ is a nominative singular masculine pronoun, so most likely would be translated ‘man.’ The Greek word for ‘desire’ is ὀρέγομαι orégomai (G3713). It means to seriously wanting something. Compare the other two uses of New Testament usage in 1 Timothy 6:10 and Hebrews 11:16. Desiring to have the oversight/pastor is one thing but what about qualifications? Qualifications are not academic or financial ability or gifted oration. The required qualifications are found in verses 2-7. We must be doing the Christian life in God’s way as outlined in the Scriptures].

2 The overseer then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, moderate, self-controlled, of good behavior, given to hospitality, able to teach,

[Sometimes church leaders are called overseer and sometime bishop. So, what is the difference, and why two names? Barclay (beware) writes (DAILY BIBLE STUDY): Two questions arise. First, if they were the same, why were there two names for them? The answer is that presbuteros (G4245) described these leaders of the Church as they personally were. They were the elder men, the older and respected members of the community. Episkopos (G1985), on the other hand, described their function, which was to oversee the life and the work of the Church. The one word described the man; the other described his task. The husband of one wife means one wife at a time. It also does not mean that a man must be married. The Greek word for ‘moderate’ is (G3524) νηφάλεος nephaleos, which means sober and moderate in words and actions. In this verse, the word cannot refer to ‘not drunk’ because it would have been unnecessary to repeat the word in verse 3— ‘not given to wine.’ The Greek word for ‘self-controlled’ is (G4998) σώφρων sophron, which means self-control. The Greek word for ‘good behavior’ is (G4998) σώφρων sophron, which means avoidance of extremes and careful consideration for responsible action (BDAG). The idea of hospitality refers to the many traveling evangelists and church workers in the early church that would need temporary housing; compare Paul (2 Timothy 4:13) and Peter (Acts 10:6). Teaching was a major part of ministry for pastors. They have a new life, new beliefs, new worldview, new lifestyle, and new rules. There was much to learn in all doctrines from theology proper to eschatology. In order to teach well, one must define the term using words, illustrations, examples, etc. and application—how to use the knowledge].

3 Not given to wine, not quarrelsome, not greedy for money, but instead be gentle, not contentious, not covetous,

[Using wine is OK but not if addicted to it or drunk. See 1 Timothy 5:23 and Ephesians 5:18. Gentleness or ‘sweet reasonableness’ (Matthew Arnold)].

4 One who manages his own household well, having his children in order with due respect.

[The Greek word for ‘manages’ is (G4291) προΐστημι proistemi, which means to be set over, protect, and care for. God had a plan and standard for creation. When it was completed, He examined it according to His plan and standard and judged it ‘good.’ God also has a plan for marriage and raising children. There needs to be a strong bond between mom (female) and dad (male). Both are to make sure each other’s physical, emotional, and spiritual needs are met. When children are born, they are self-centered (Psalm 51:5 and Romans 7:25) and have no experience in life (Proverbs 1:4). Beginning about 2 years old, they need to learn what ‘No’ means. The goal is to raise a child to be a well-adjusted adult. Parents need to teach them facts but especially wisdom (Proverbs 1-9). Spiritual needs are the most important—the Gospel, answers to questions (apologetics), importance of truth (reality), etc. Emotional needs—love, compassion, know how to deal with failure, godly character traits, self-control, etc. Physical—importance of work, how to handle money, good diet, godly masculinity and godly femininity].

5 For if a man doesn’t know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?

[The pastor’s emphasis is to be the spiritual needs of the congregation, then emotional needs, and lastly physical needs. Too many pastors (?) want a platform; their main concern is themselves. Let us pray for godly pastors. The church of God is the congregation of believers. Barnes (NOTES ON THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS) adds: We may remark, also, in this verse, a delicate and beautiful use of words by the apostle to prevent the possibility of misapprehension. While he institutes a comparison between the government of a family and that of the church, he guards against the possibility of its being supposed that he would countenance “arbitrary” authority in the church, even such authority as a father must of necessity employ in his own family. Hence, he uses different words. He speaks of the father as “ruling” over his own family, or “presiding over it” – προστῆναι prostēnai; he describes the minister of religion as “having a tender care for the church” – ἐπιμελὴσεται epimelēsetai].

6 He must not be a new convert, lest becoming conceited he falls into the condemnation of the Devil.

[Pride has consequences. The idea of ‘pride’ is like a balloon being blown up. The phrase we might use is ‘full of himself’ (very self-satisfied and with an exaggerated sense of self-worth—Oxford Lexico). One author wrote that pastors in particular must avoid the gold, the gals, and the glory. The love of money becomes an addiction and an idol. The gals (having an affair, etc.) will ruin anyone. Consider Solomon. Faithfulness is required. Loyalty is a must. Love must be single (Matthew 6:22) meaning focus and attention on one—one Lord, one wife, one faith, one love. The glory is God’s alone. If the pastor—or anyone—receives praise, that person must know the truth—God blessed that message or action, so give God the glory. See Isaiah 42:8 (Isaiah 42:1-9). Some examples of pride having consequences—Hezekiah (2 Chronicles 32:26) and Babylon (Isaiah 13:19). God hates pride (Proverbs 16:5). Pride makes objectivity difficult (Daniel 5:20). Some verses revealing satan’s pride—Isaiah 14:12-15, Ezekiel 28:12-18, Ephesians 2:1-5, Job 41:34, Romans 8:7, and John 8:44].

7 In addition, he must have a good reputation of those outside [the church], lest he fall into disgrace and the trap of the Devil.

[‘Outside of church’ refers to those who are not the church, that is, believers. Those who haven’t believed must have a good opinion of the man who is pastor. The Greek word for ‘disgrace/reproach’ is (G3680) ὀνειδισμός oneidismos, which means shame, dishonor, insults. Adam Clarke gives this explanation in his notes on this verse: For his former scandalous life. Robertson (WORD PICTURES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT) writes: Ancients used it of the snares of love. The devil sets special snares for preachers (conceit 1 Timothy 3:6, money 1 Timothy 6:9, women, ambition). Compare—Luke 21:34-35, Romans 11:9, 1 Timothy 6:9, and 2 Timothy 2:26].

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