“1 Timothy 3:1-7”
Categories: 1 Timothy
“It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
---End of Scripture Verses---
As we look over the qualifications of an overseer, we should be able to see that some of these requirements are outright and some are relative. A person is either a man or not. He is either married or he is not. He either has children or he does not. These are absolute requirements that exist or they do not. But many of these requirements are “relative” in the sense that they must exist in one degree or another. Some men are more hospitable than others, and some have a greater ability to teach than others. The warning here is to not look for perfection in any of these qualities in a human being or we will always find a reason to disqualify every man, including ourselves, from this most needed position of leadership in the church.
“An overseer, then, must be above reproach” (verse 2). Once again, this does not mean a man must be perfect in order to be an elder. If that were the case, there would be no elders in the Lord’s church. The term “above reproach” or “blameless” means that no accusation of evil can be proven. It doesn’t mean that accusations will not be leveled, but that they will not stick. And if an elder does sin in a public fashion, he will be cleansed of his unrighteousness by the blood of Christ if he confesses his sins and repents of them, as he is walking in the light of the Lord like the rest of God’s children (1 John 1:5-10).
He must not be “a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation of the devil” (verse 6). It was arrogance and pride that prompted Satan to “lift himself up” in his own eyes and rebel against the Almighty, and thus he incurred the Lord’s “condemnation”. Thrusting a “neophyte” into the position of elder could “puff him up” as well and bring the same harsh judgment. He “must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil” (verse 7). A dishonest, unscrupulous person will fall victim to Satan’s scheme to bring reproach upon himself as well as the Lord’s church.
Critical position. Serious undertaking. Serious consequences. Perfection is not required but wisdom and strong conviction are. We must not be more demanding than the Lord is, but we must also strive to not put unqualified men in the position of elder. Great harm has been done and will be done.
Please read 1 Timothy 3:8-13 for tomorrow.
Have a blessed day!
- Louie Taylor