Devotional Readings

1 Timothy 3 – A controversial topic…

In today’s church, one finds this passage one of the most frequently ignored.

I doubt that many would take exception to more than just the highlighted qualification.
those who desire to reinterpret Paul are first to throw out this passage along with others that they don’t wish to observe, as Biblical truth.
Btw..Paull says the same thing to Titus, see the final passage.
Gill writes…
The husband of one wife; which is not to be understood in a mystical and allegorical sense of his being the pastor of one church, since the apostle afterwards speaks of his house and children, that are to be ruled and kept in good order by him, in distinction from the church of God; but in a literal sense of his conjugal estate; though this rule does not make it necessary that he should have a wife; or that he should not marry, or not have married a second wife, after the death of the first; only if he marries or is married, that he should have but one wife at a time; so that this rule excludes all such persons from being elders, or pastors, or overseers of churches, that were “polygamists”; who had more wives than one at a time, or had divorced their wives, and not for adultery, and had married others. 

Now polygamy and divorces had very much obtained among the Jews; nor could the believing Jews be easily and at once brought off of them. And though they were not lawful nor to be allowed of in any; yet they were especially unbecoming and scandalous in officers of churches. So the high priest among the Jews, even when polygamy was in use, might not marry, or have two wives, at once; if he did, he could not minister in his office until he divorced one of them (u). For it is written, Lev 21:13, “he shall take a wife”, אחת ולא שתים, “one, and not two” (w). And the same that is said of the high priest, is said of all other priests; see Eze 44:22, likewise the Egyptian priests might not marry more wives than one, though others might have as many as they pleased (x): and so the Flamines among the Romans (y).
As you notice Gill doesn’t even address today’s issue of whether women can fulfill this role. It’s explicitly assumed to be a man.
As to my own understanding, I have little…though it does seem that male leadership is the Biblical model. And I am not about to join those who reinterpret the biblical text. It appears that as Paul says it is good work for a man to desire this office.this is how it is suppose to work. Rather than say it is sin to not follow this model I would rather say it is sad that men choose not to rise up to this responsibility.
this is not to say that women don’t have leadership capabilities. But it is sad that men fail in their callings. We might also not that: In a void of leadership God can do amazing things……Even with stones….if need be.
Mat 3:9  And think not to say within yourselves, We have Abraham to our father: for I say unto you, that God is able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham.

Qualifications for Overseers

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

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

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

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

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

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

1Ti 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.

Qualifications for Deacons

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

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

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

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

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

1Ti 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.

The Mystery of Godliness

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

1Ti 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.

1Ti 3:16  And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: 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.


Qualifications for Elders

Tit 1:5  For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

Tit 1:6  If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.

Tit 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;

Tit 1:8  But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;

Tit 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

Tit 1:10  For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision:

Tit 1:11  Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

Tit 1:12  One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, The Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies.

Tit 1:13  This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith;

Tit 1:14  Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth.

Tit 1:15  Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

Tit 1:16  They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

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