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1Timothy 3:1-7

Thursday Evening Bible Study

February 1, 2018


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die? Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Target 3300 words Video = 75 wpm

Video: The Bible Project – 1Timothy

The book of Acts ends in AD 60 with Paul being in Rome under house arrest.

We believe Paul was later released, and visited various places, including Ephesus.

While traveling, Paul left Timothy in Ephesus to pastor the church.

Timothy had spent many years with Paul and was like a spiritual “son” to Paul.

This letter was written somewhere around AD 63, to guide Timothy to correct the problems in Ephesus.

Timothy is in his mid-forties about now.

Timothy would pastor the church for 30 years, and die a martyr in AD 97.

3:1-7 Bishops

:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.

:1 a man desires … he desires a good work

desiresoregomai – to stretch one’s self out in order to touch or to grasp something, to reach after or desire something

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable; beautiful to look at, shapely, magnificent; good, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends

workergon – business, employment, that which any one is occupied; that which one undertakes to do, enterprise, undertaking

desiresepithumeo – to turn upon a thing; to have a desire for, long for, to desire; to lust after, covet

The New King James is a little deficient here because the two words translated “desires” are different Greek words.

The first “desires” speaks of stretching out to grasp something.

The second “desires” speaks about a longing, a desire for something. The word is usually translated “lust”, simply meaning a strong desire.

So … if a man is aiming his life towards one day being a “bishop”, then this desire he has in his heart is not bad, it’s a good thing.
Some might think that desiring to lead might be a bad thing – not if it’s done right.

:1 the position of a bishop



There are various terms used in the New Testament to describe various aspects of leadership.
apostleapostolos – a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders

The term is used to describe the “twelve”, but it is also used to describe others outside the “twelve” (such as Paul and Barnabas).

(Ephesians 4:11 NKJV) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,

Some churches consider these all as titles of authority within the current church, while some see “apostles and prophets” to refer more to the early church.

Also mentioned in the Eph. 4:11 passage.

pastorpoimen – a herdsman, esp. a shepherd

This Greek word is only translated “pastor” in Eph. 4:11. All other times it is translated “shepherd”.

elderpresbuteros – an old man; a rank or office
The term was originally used to describe the leaders of the Jewish nation.
By Acts 11:30, the term began to be used to describe leaders in the church, especially those in Jerusalem, as when the churches sent a financial gift …

(Acts 11:30 NKJV) This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.

The first church “council” came together in Jerusalem to decide what to do with all the new Gentile believers, and the council consisted of the “apostles and elders” (Acts 15:2).

(Acts 15:2 NKJV) —2 Therefore, when Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and dispute with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas and certain others of them should go up to Jerusalem, to the apostles and elders, about this question.

When Paul began his missionary journeys (Acts 14:23), it became his practice to appoint “elders” in each of the new churches, even though some of those churches were barely weeks old.

(Acts 14:23 NKJV) So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Paul’s charge to Titus in his letter concerned the appointing of elders:

(Titus 1:5 NKJV) 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—

deacondiakonos – one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister
Some churches call their pastors “ministers”, as a derivative of this term.
We’ll see this term later on in our current chapter (1Tim. 3:8f)
position of a bishopepiskope (“over” + “to see”) – oversight; overseership

The related word (episcopos) used in Acts 20:28 by Paul to call the elders of the church in Ephesus “overseers”.

(Acts 20:28 NKJV) Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

Jesus is called a “Shepherd and Overseer” of our souls (1Pet. 2:25).

(1 Peter 2:25 NKJV) For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

The question over the centuries has been – how is Paul using this term “bishop”?

Some churches translate this term as  “elders” to describe their governing “board”.

Other churches will use this as synonymous with “pastor” and use the following as requirements for a pastor.

Other churches use this to describe a fellow who oversees multiple churches.


Church government

Over the centuries, churches and denominations have developed several systems of “church government”, or how to organize the leadership of a church.
Each system claims to be the correct, Biblical system, based on what they see in Scripture.
This is a hierarchical system, based on our word here for “bishop”.

A pastor or minister is over the local church, then there are leaders higher up in the denomination that oversee the pastors, and so forth.

Examples of this: Episcopal, Methodist, Roman Catholic

With this system, each local church has a board of “elders” (presbuteros) who oversee the church, and the pastor of the church is accountable to the elders.
Other churches will not use the term “pastor”, but all the leaders are “elders” with equal authority.

The guy(s) that teaches on Sunday is referred to as the “teaching elder”.

Want to guess what kinds of churches use this system? Presbyterian of course. Many others as well.
This system might not be based on a Greek word, but it’s surely American because everyone gets a vote.
The congregation is in charge, and votes to elect leaders within the church.
The pastor is accountable to and can be voted out by the congregation.
Many Baptist churches function with this kind of system.
Calvary Chapels are a bit of a hybrid.
We are “pastor-led” churches, in that the Sr. Pastor is the guy in charge – and that’s sort of an Episcopal style – except that each church is independent and there are no leaders (or, bishops) over the churches.
The church also has a board of directors (or, elders) that functions as a sounding board and accountability for the pastor.


Marks of maturity

Years ago Gene Getz wrote a book titled, “The Measure of a Man”.
In the book, he took the following verses and rather than making it a sleep-inducing study about church government, he used it as a template for Christian maturity.
No matter what form of church government you subscribe to, the point is that Paul is giving Timothy guidelines of how to spot maturity in Christians.
Paul said it was a good thing for a man to have a “desire” towards leadership, towards developing these qualities. Whether you ever become a “leader” or a “pastor”, it’s good to want to develop these qualities.

:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;

:2 A bishop then must be blameless

must bedei – it is necessary, there is need of, it behooves, is right and proper; necessity lying in the nature of the case; necessity brought on by circumstances or by the conduct of others toward us.

bishopepiskopos – an overseer; a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian or superintendent; the superintendent, elder, or overseer of a Christian church



“Blameless” is a term that summarizes what’s to follow.
Does this mean that a “bishop” is perfect?  Some folks seem intent on disqualifying others …
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blamelessanepileptos – “not seized upon”; designating one who has nothing that an adversary might seize upon in order to make a charge against him.
I’ve known men who read through this list and conclude that they could never become a leader in the church because of some sin in their past. They know they are not “blameless”.
The balance is that nobody except Jesus is totally “blameless”.
Yet a leader in the church for the most part is one who does not have glaring moral problems. He has a good reputation.

:2 the husband of one wife

onemia – only one, someone

wifegune – a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow; a wife; of a betrothed woman

husbandaner – a male; a husband

We could translate the phrase, “a one-woman man”, or “a one-wife husband”.

I’ve seen this applied many different ways.

I’ve seen some say that a single man cannot become an elder or a pastor, because he needs to have “one wife”.
The problem with this is the apostle Paul himself. He was not married (1Cor. 7:7-8).
It probably has more to do with the issue of polygamy, as it would have been in Paul’s day.
The Greek/Roman/Gentile world actually promoted monogamy. A man was to only have one wife. At a time. But he could also have a concubine on the side without there being a problem.
The mature Christian man was a one-woman man.
I’ve seen this applied to people who have been divorced and remarried.
Historically, in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, if a man was divorced or even widowed, he was not allowed to take a second wife and still be an “overseer”.
Some see divorce as a reason for a pastor to step down from his ministry, even if he was not technically the one who sinned.

Some rationalize this that it is a symptom of a home life that’s probably out of balance.

Some churches will allow for a divorced/remarried pastor if there seems to be a reasonable time of repentance and restoration.

Spurgeon said that before restoration occurs, the repentance needed to be as “notorious” as the sin.

What do you think?


Maturity and marriage

A person’s qualification for leadership in the church is connected to the health of their marriage.
If you are a truly healthy, mature believer, and your marriage is in trouble, then you make your marriage your priority above all else.
Too many people get involved in ministry and put the church as a priority over their family and their home.

That’s a recipe for disaster.

The people closest to you – your spouse, your kids – all ought to be your biggest cheerleaders, testifying that your faith is genuine.

:2 temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior

temperatenephaleos – sober; abstaining from wine, either entirely or at least from its immoderate use

This idea is repeated in verse 3, “not given to wine” –
given to wineparoinos (“alongside” + “wine”) – given to wine, drunken

sober-mindedsophron – of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses; curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled

good behaviorkosmios – well arranged, seemly, modest

This is a word used to describe “modest” clothing to be worn by women:
(1 Timothy 2:9 NKJV) in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel…



Maturity in a believer is marked by their level of self-control.
Self-control affects how you use/abstain from things that lead to addiction (temperate).
Self-control affects how you think, how your mind operates (sober-minded).
Self-control affects your actions (good behavior).
Maturity is a process. It doesn’t happen overnight.
These are all areas that we grow in over time as we are walking with the Lord.

:2 hospitable

hospitablephiloxenos (“love” + “strangers”) – hospitable, generous to guests


Loving others

Christians ought to be known for their love of others, including strangers.
Paul said that we all should be about…
(Romans 12:13 NKJV) distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality.
Hebrews says,
(Hebrews 13:1–2 NKJV) —1 Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.
Mature people do this. Leaders ought to be doing this.

:2 able to teach


Guiding Others

apt to teachdidaktikos – apt and skillful in teaching
If the “bishop” is the “pastor”, then he ought to be someone who can teach the Scriptures.
Even if you don’t have the “gift of teaching”, or feel like you can get up in front of an audience and speak, a mature believer (and a leader) will be about guiding others.
(2 Timothy 2:24–26 NKJV) —24 And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will.

:3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;

:3 not given to wine

given to wineparoinos (“alongside” + “wine”) – given to wine, drunken

We already covered this with “temperate” and “sober-minded” in vs. 2.

:3 not violent…but gentle, not quarrelsome


A safe person

The mature believer is one you can feel safe around.
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Dirty Harry may make for a great cop, but I’m not sure he’d make a great leader in the church.
violentplektes – bruiser, ready for a blow; pugnacious, contentious
gentleepieikes – equitable, fair, mild, gentle
not quarrelsomeamachos (“not” + “combat”) – not contentious; abstaining from fighting
I have made the mistake of appointing men to be elders in the church who had temper problems.
Early in our church history, Deb and I took a weekend off and went down to San Diego. When we got back we found out there was a big mess at church because one of the elders had got into a fight with one of the new believers. He actually decked the fellow.
I’ve had other elders who were quite angry men – things I didn’t find out until after I had put them on the board.

Paul will tell Timothy not to appoint men to be elders too quickly – take time to see what they’re like.

You may know people who claim to be mature believers, but who are quite angry when they’re not at church.
Their maturity is just make-believe.

:3 not greedy for money…not covetous



greedy for moneyaischrokerdes (“filthy” + “gain”) – eager for gain, greedy for money
covetousaphilarguros – not loving money, not avaricious
There are people who will come to church to further their business goals, to make new clients, to build up their business.
Going to church is not about advancing your portfolio.
Three boys are in the school yard bragging about their fathers.
The first boy says, “My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a poem, they give him $50.”
The second boy says, “That’s nothing. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a song, they give him $100.”
The third boy says, “I got you both beat. My Dad scribbles a few words on a piece of paper, he calls it a sermon... and it takes eight people to collect all the money!”

Actually, if you’re thinking of going into the ministry and thinking you’re going to make a lot of money, choose another profession.

The mature person is not focused on dollars.
The dinner guests were sitting around the table discussing life. One man, a CEO, decided to explain the problem with education. He argued: “What’s a kid going to learn from someone who decided his best option in life was to become a teacher?” He reminded the other dinner guests that it’s true what they say about teachers: “Those who can: do. Those who can’t: teach.” To corroborate, he said to another guest: “You’re a teacher, Susan,” he said. “Be honest. What do you make?”
Susan, who had a reputation of honesty and frankness, replied, “You want to know what I make? I make kids work harder than they ever thought they could. I can make a C+ feel like the Congressional Medal of Honor and an A- feel like a slap in the face if the student did not do his or her very best.
“I can make kids sit through 40 minutes of study hall in absolute silence. I can make parents tremble in fear when I call home. You want to know what else I make?”
“I make kids wonder. I make them question. I make them criticize. I make them apologize and mean it. I make them write. I make them read, read, read. I make them spell ‘definitely’ and ‘beautiful’ over and over again, until they will never misspell either one of those words again. I make them show all their work in math and hide it all on their final drafts in English. I elevate them to experience music and art and joy in the performance, so their lives are rich, full of kindness and culture, and they take pride in themselves and their accomplishments. I make them understand that if you have the brains, then follow your heart...and if someone ever tries to judge you by what you make, you pay them no attention.”
“You want to know what I make? I make a difference. And what do you make?”

: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?);

:4 one who rules his own house well

houseoikos – a house; an inhabited house, home; the inmates of a house, all the persons forming one family, a household

wellkalos – beautifully, finely, excellently, well; rightly, so that there shall be no room for blame, truly; nobly, commendably

rulesproistemi – to set or place before; to set over; to be over, to superintend, preside over; to be a protector or guardian

:4 having his children in submission with all reverence

submissionhupotage – the act of subjecting; obedience, subjection

reverencesemnotes – the characteristic of a thing or person which entitles to respect, dignity


It starts at home

For the most part, godly leaders ought to have families that are doing well.
Some will take the “children in submission” to mean that they must rule over their household like Adolph Hitler.
But that doesn’t fit our word for “well” (kalos) which speaks of beauty and excellence.
Your home is the place where you do your church leadership training.
The church ought to be like a big family, not a heartless corporation. Learn your church leadership skills at home first.
How you lead at home is how you would lead in the church.
Do you spend time with your family? Do you listen to your family? Do you sacrifice for your family?

Respect from your family isn’t something you can order them to do, it’s something you earn.

Some folks want to skip the steps of training that God requires.
They want to take classes and read books, but never take the time to put it into practice.
Learning to lead at home is your training ground for learning to lead at church.
We can fool ourselves into thinking we can handle the responsibilities of that big job we want, when we’re neglecting the little job we already have.
(Luke 16:10 NLT) “If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities.
Note: I have a hard time seeing these are absolute inflexible principles. Some pastors have felt they needed to step down from ministry because they had a child who rebelled and became a “prodigal”.
Keep in mind that even God had kids who disobeyed (Adam and Eve).
Be gracious.

:6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

:6 not a novice

noviceneophutos (“new” + “growth”) – newly planted; a new convert, neophyte (one who has recently become a Christian)


Time to grow

Maturity takes time. It doesn’t come in two weeks time.
A mature Christian has withstood the test of time.
The test isn’t whether or not you’ve withstood temptation for ten days, but whether you’ve withstood it for ten years.
A leader in the church ought to be someone who has been a believer for a period of time.
Some churches make the mistake of taking a newly converted celebrity and putting them up in front of the church.

I have heard that Justin Bieber is a Christian. I hope those around him will give him a chance to actually mature in the Lord.

Give the person time to grow up.

:6 lest being puffed up with pride

puffed up with pridetuphoo – to raise a smoke, to wrap in a mist; metaph. to make proud, puff up with pride, render insolent; to be puffed up with haughtiness or pride; to blind with pride or conceit, to render foolish or stupid

fall intoempipto – to fall into; to fall among robbers; fall into one’s power

condemnationkrima – a decree, judgments; condemnation of wrong, the decision (whether severe or mild) which one passes on the faults of others


Maturity and humility

Satan’s downfall came because of his pride. Satan used to be known as “Lucifer”, one of the cherubim who led the worship of God.
(Isaiah 14:12–15 NKJV) —12 “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, You who weakened the nations! 13 For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; 14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ 15 Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit.
The older you get in the Lord, the more you should be getting a handle on what is called “humility”.
When you’re still young in the faith, you can fall into the trap of thinking that all the good things happening around you are because of you…instead of God.
I’ve seen pastors who seem to be quite enamored with themselves.
Gideon’s victory over the Midianites was carefully orchestrated by God so that Gideon and people would not be claiming that it was all their own doing.
(Judges 7:2 NKJV) And the Lord said to Gideon, “The people who are with you are too many for Me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel claim glory for itself against Me, saying, ‘My own hand has saved me.’
This was in today’s “Streams in the Desert” devotional…
Have you not asked Me to make you humble? Then see that I have placed you in the perfect school where this lesson is taught. Your circumstances and the people around you are only being used to accomplish My will.
Humility isn’t something that happens overnight.
It takes time and maturity to cultivate and grow.

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

:7 he must have a good testimony

testimonymarturia – a testifying; what one testifies, testimony, i.e. before a judge

goodkalos – beautiful, handsome, excellent, eminent, choice, surpassing, precious, useful, suitable, commendable, admirable; beautiful to look at, shapely, magnificent; good, excellent in its nature and characteristics, and therefore well adapted to its ends

reproachoneidismos – a reproach; from oneidizo – to reproach, upbraid, revile

fall intoempipto – to fall into; to fall among robbers; fall into one’s power

snarepagis – snare, trap, noose; of snares in which birds are entangled and caught; implies unexpectedly, suddenly, because birds and beasts are caught unawares; a snare, i.e. whatever brings peril, loss, destruction; of a sudden and unexpected deadly peril; of the allurements and seductions of sin; the allurements to sin by which the devil holds one bound; the snares of love



Some people have the ability to maintain one reputation in the church, but another out in the world.
In the church, they are all clean and sparkly.
To their customers in the world they are a ruthless cheat.
God cares that His leaders have a reputation for honesty and integrity out in the world.
God cares that those who claim to be mature in the faith have that same good reputation.
The term “face the music” apparently originated in Japan.
A man of great influence and wealth demanded that he be given a place in the imperial orchestra because he wanted to “perform” before the Emperor. The conductor agreed to let him sit in the second row of the orchestra, even though he could not read music. He was given a flute, and when a concert would begin, the man would raise his instrument, pucker his lips, and move his fingers. He would go through all the motions of playing, but he never made a sound. This deception continued for two years.
Then a new conductor took over. He told the orchestra that he wanted to audition each player personally. One by one they performed in the conductor’s presence. Then came the flutist’s turn. He was frantic with worry, so he pretended to be sick. However, the doctor who had been ordered to examine him declared that he was perfectly well.
The conductor insisted that the man appear and demonstrate his skill. Shamefacedly, he had to confess that he was a fake. He could not “face the music.”
There may be times when we want to appear better than we really are.
We can put on a show at church once a week, but we work out in the world the rest of the time. And our family knows more about who we are than anyone.
God wants us to be the real deal.

We ought to be able to play the music of God for real.