- 1 Timothy 3:6-11
- 1 Tim 3:6 (KJB)
- Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the
condemnation of the devil.
- Novice - New Convert
- One of the prerequisites for being a Bishop is that a person who is
being considered for that position should not be a novice or a new convert.
The position of Bishop requires wisdom and a good working knowledge of the
Scriptures, both of these would be lacking in a new convert. They would make
decisions according to the way the world would make them. A person should
not be considered for the office of Bishop unless they have been saved at
least ten years and even then they need to prove their maturity. A novice
would be puffed up with pride not knowing how to handle the office. He would
walk around with an arrogancy about him thinking he would be above the
congregation and it is this pride which caused Satan to rebel against God. I
knew a Christian who was saved for about 40 years and the only Bible he
carried with him was a pocket New Testament, even to Bible conferences. What
do you do in that case when the preacher says “turn to Isaiah?” He did not
show maturity for a biblical office and that is why it is not so much how
long a person is saved but the quality of the time they are saved.
- 1 Tim 3:7 (KJB)
- Moreover he must have a good report of them which are
without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the
- Moreover - It is necessary
- Report - Testimony
- Without - Outside (Figuratively the unsaved)
- Reproach - Disgrace or be blamable
- Snare - Trap
- In addition to the fact that a person who desires to be Bishop be a
mature Christian, it is necessary that he have a good testimony to those who
are unsaved. If a person aspires to be Bishop and then at work he steals,
flirts with the women, is lazy, or he goes out drinking and partying, this
man should never be considered for that office because he would be a
hypocrite. He would then carry over those same sinful tendencies in the
church. This would mean that in a short time he would be a disgrace to the
entire church and if he were not dealt with, then the snare of the devil he
would fall into would be a vindictive nature and he would try to remove
those who would be coming against him. This is why when someone who is
seeking the office of Bishop, that they be scrutinized in all areas of their
life including their business and personal life. If they do not want that,
then reject them because it means they have something to hide.
- 1 Tim 3:8 (KJB)
- Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not
given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
- Next the Apostle Paul speaks to the qualifications of deacons. The
deacons were subordinate to the Bishop and the Elders. It was their
responsibility to be attendants in the church and to handle the secular
affairs. They would attend to the elements of Holy Communion, would deal
with those in the church who are destitute and need help with material
goods, such as clothing or food. They were not teachers but that does not
mean they were not to be spiritually mature in their Christian walk. This is
why the Scriptures are also giving certain spiritual qualifications because
it is a church office.
- Grave - One of the characteristics of a deacon is to have integrity.
They must be honorable men in all their ways. Since they are handling
material goods, it must be given to those who need it and they must never
expect anything from the people who are receiving it. Things that are
donated which are to be given to the people, must never be sold for personal
gain. This is why a person must have integrity because sometimes the sin of
temptation to take will be present and if they are strong in the Scriptures,
they will reject that temptation.
- Not Doubletongued - The deacon must not be insincere or deceitful.
To be double tongued also carries with it the idea of telling one thing to
one person and then tell a different story to another. This type of person
can enflame a spirit of hostility in a congregation. This can also be a
person who claims salvation and really is not saved. They could have the
voice of Jacob but the hands of Esau.
(Gen 27:22 KJV) And Jacob went near unto Isaac his father; and he felt him,
and said, The voice is Jacob's voice, but the hands are the
hands of Esau.
- Not given to much wine - The man must not be addicted to wine or a
steady drinker of any alcoholic beverage. This will cloud any judgment they
have to make and one of the requirements for this office is to be clear
headed. In fact the word “given” means to “pay attention to or be devoted.”
If a person is devoted to alcoholic beverage it means they are a drunk and
no drunk should ever have a leadership position in a church. This would also
give an indication that they are unsaved.
(Prov 23:31 KJV) Look not thou upon the wine
when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth
itself aright. The admonition from Proverbs 23:31
is that we are not even to look upon the wine, never mind drink it.
- Not greedy of filthy lucre - They must not be men who are greedy of
dishonest gain. If they see evil people prospering, they must never be
envious and desire to make money or any type of gain by any other manner
than legally. They must not pursue anything dishonest. As I have already
stated, they will normally handle material goods including money and if they
have their eyes on becoming wealthy, the temptation to steal will be present
and they must be spiritually mature enough to overcome any temptation.
- 1 Tim 3:9 (KJB)
- Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
- Holding - Cling to or possess
- Pure - Unadulterated or clean
- The deacon must possess the Gospel in a pure manner and must never twist
it or teach it falsely for the purpose of any gain. Their motives must
always come from a pure conscience. The word “holding” in the Greek is in
the present tense which means that a deacon must always be operating from a
saved conscience continually and never from an adulterated conscience. Their
actions must be above reproach which gives evidence of their salvation and
its manifestation through their actions. This way they will maintain their
good testimony to others and will help those who may be discouraged.
- 1 Tim 3:10 (KJB)
- And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office
of a deacon, being found blameless.
- Proved - Tried, examined, or test
- This is where all churches make their big mistake. Instead of picking a
few men and just voting on them in a meeting, what they should be doing is
pre-picking them for a full year and then during that time, it should be a
period of examination. Their boss should be called at work, their neighbors
should be called upon to give a testimony of them, those they do business
with on a regular basis, if possible, should be called upon for a statement
of their daily work habits and attitudes. If a person is just picked because
they show up every Sunday, how are they being tested? Of course, someone is
going to be on their best behavior on Sunday but what about Friday or
Saturday night? If they have been well scrutinized, and found blameless in
their lives, then they may be voted in as a deacon because they have passed
the scrutiny and it wasn’t just a quick nomination by a friend.
- 1 Tim 3:11 (KJB)
- Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober,
faithful in all things.
- Paul then gives some spiritual characteristics for a wife of a deacon. A
wife has the ability to turn her husband any way she wants and that is why
both husband and wife must be on the same spiritual level with no ungodly
- Grave - One of the characteristics of a deacon’s wife is to have
integrity. She must be honorable in all her ways. She must exude the
characteristics of a godly woman
- Not Slanderers - The word in the Greek is the same one used for
“devil.“ It speaks of one being a false accuser or adversary. She is not to
be a gossiper because if gossip gets out of control, it quickly turns into
slander along with false accusations. Unfortunately, in today’s church an
accusation is instant guilt.
- Sober - She must be sober minded which means she must be a serious
minded individual concerning the ministry to which her husband is aspiring
to. The word also carries with it the meaning of her being a very prudent
individual. One who will not waste the resources of the family on
- Faithful in all things - This can be understood as her being
absolutely faithful in all things. In whatever she undertakes or in whatever
she helps her husband accomplish for the good of the church. She is also to
be faithful with her tongue and never slander or even slightly hint any
gossip which could immediately mushroom into the destruction of another’s