Bible Studies

1 Timothy Chapter Three

This chapter gives the qualifications of a ruler/leader, an overseer in the local body of believers as they meet to assemble together. Another letter of leadership qualifications can be found in Paul's epistle to Titus

1 Tim 3:1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

The office of a bishop will be a man GIFTED for that office. It seems that a man may DESIRE this office and the Holy Spirit may gift him to be apt to supervise.

1 Tim 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

The word "bishop" is the Greek word, episkopos (ep-is'-kop-os); this same word can be found in the following scriptural verses in bold letters.

Before we read any further, let us determine who Paul is speaking to in acts 20:28 which he calls overseers.

Acts 20:17 And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

The elders in verse 17 are the ones Paul is speaking to in verse 28.

Acts 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Phil 1:1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

1 Pet 2:25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

You will notice the words Shepherd which is the Bishop of your souls begins in capital letters. This is none other that the Lord Jesus Christ whom Paul is speaking of here.

The bishops (small b) are "under-shepherds" to guard those souls for Christ now that He is gone to be with the Father. An "under-shepherd" is one who works in place of another who is greater than he. Sort of like "store manager" for the "owner" of a business.

1 Tim 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;

This says that the overseer must not be given to "any wine", while verse 8 allows deacons to drink "some" wine.

The overseer must not be a strinker. This is not to be quarrelsome or argumentative. He must not be greedy. Strong's does not give a definition for the words "filthy lucre"

The overseer must be patient. He must rule or oversee in moderation and be gentle. He must not be a brawler. He must be peaceable, and he must not be covetous. Strong's definition of this word is ", not greedy of filthy lucre" The same word is used in Heb 13:5 as being content with what you have.

1 Tim 3:4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;

He must preside, direct, that is to supervise his house well and make his children obey and he must do this in honesty and in a dignified behavior. His presence is to command respect.

1 Tim 3:5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

1 Tim 3:6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

He must not be a young convert. He must have his new "born again behavior" established to be a leader. He must not be proud, lest he be entrapped or snared into the same condemnation or judgment the devil will receive.

The sin of PRIDE is really the root of all evil. Pride was the downfall of Lucifer.

Isa 14:12-15 How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

1 Tim 3:7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

He must have a good testimony to them that are WITHIN (saints-brethren) and to them that are WITHOUT. (the lost sinners in the world) He will come in contact with MANY lost sinners as he goes about living in this world with them and he MUST set a good example and not bring reproach to himself and shame to Christ.

1 Tim 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;

The deacons have much the same requirements as the overseer. Doubletongued is used in this verse only in the whole Bible. It means not to tell a different story than other gifted deacons or that of a truly gifted leader.

1 Tim 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.

The mystery of the faith is the gospel of Christ made available to ALL people.

Eph 3:4-6 Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ) Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit. That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

It should not be kept a mystery. The good news should be proclaimed. It should be made known to ALL.

Eph 6:19And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,

This mystery must be held in a pure or obedient manner.

1 Tim 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.

The overseers and deacons must be approved by the assembly before they are given the job. They must be mutually accepted by the assembly. NO FAULT must be found in then as to the qualifications.

1 Tim 3:11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.

The behavior of the wives of the leaders and deacons have much to do with the qualifications of their husband. They must be honorable and not false accusers. They must be calm mannered and exercise self-restraint. That is to be well behaved, and they must be trustworthy in all things.

1 Tim 3:12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.

They are to be husband of ONE wife. This is not to say ONE wife at a TIME. The Greek word translated ONE is the Greek word mia (mee'-ah # 3391); and is also translated FIRST. And is taken from 1520, the word "heis" (hice) which means "only" It is also translated "same".

The husband of one wife means the husband of his FIRST wife unless she be dead. They cannot divorce and remarry except for the cause of fornication. If the spouse commit fornication, the spouse is the same as dead in the eyes of God, at which time if the husband or wife die, their spouse can remarry.

1 Tim 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

A person who uses the office of a deacon according to the qualifications obtains a good and dignified respect. Boldness comes with the job. No timid deacons to be easily intimidated by others.

1 Tim 3:14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:

1 Tim 3:15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth

Paul writes this letter because Timothy needs to know NOW how to oversee the house of God (assembly of believers when they gather together) Behavior is VERY IMPORTAND in the assemble as it the pillar, or supporting post anchoring to the ground. It is a firm foundation for the TRUTH which is God's Word.

1 Tim 3:16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: (piety/holiness) God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

Without disagreement, all that is spoken of in this verse should be believed by ALL in the assembly. The word godliness is used 15 times in the New Testament. Ten of those times it is used in Timothy.

When we are saved, the Holy Spirit of God comes to indwell the believer to strengthen him and enable him to live a life of Holiness. You see, we do not need the Holy Spirit of God for salvation. Christians are indwelt by the Holy Spirit AFTER they are saved.  They are SEALED by the Spirit, but not SAVED by Him.

Eph 1:13 In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise,

When we are saved we become members of the BODY of Christ. What the Holy Spirit does is to influence us to live holy and pure lives here on this earth. WE are already saved but OTHERS are not, and a Christian living an un-reproachable life is a good influence to the unsaved.

You see, even while we are still in this sinful body of flesh we can be holy and pure if we live in obedience to God. AND WE CAN DO THIS. IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE. God sends His Holy Spirit to live in us to make it possible. If we don't live a holy and pure life it is simply because WE DON'T WANT TO.

THE BIBLE SAYS WE CAN, if we walk after the Spirit instead of after the flesh. The Bible is the Word of God Himself, and it does not lie.

The only reason some Christians live a rotten life that is no different that that of an unbeliever, except that they may be seen in church more often is because they don't care about God and His love for them. They are selfish and want only what THEY can get out of Him. Their salvation is in doubt, and if they be saved God will kill them and take them home and they will receive NO rewards. They will be the lowest on the totem pole in heaven.

If you see God NOT KILLING them for the ungodly lifestyle they lead you better wonder about their salvation. God created His Children unto good works and a holy life. If this doesn't come about God will NOT tolerate this for very long. He wants His children to be a GOOD WITNESS to His Son Jesus Christ. An ungodly Christian cannot be the salt of the earth and a light unto Christ except to put Christ to shame.