The Character if Leadership

 The Character of Leadership  

1 Timothy 3:1-15                       February 10 2013

JA”>“The word is episkopos, which is frequently translated in older versions as “bishop.” A study of N.T. texts suggests that it is used as a synonym of presbuteros, elder. Thus “bishop” and “elder” refer to the same person, the same office.

JA”> The phrase has been interpreted to rule out the possibility of a divorced person holding this office but, interestingly, not to rule out a widower who has been remarried. Most commentators agree, however, that it simply means monogamous: a one-woman kind of man who is totally faithful to his wife.

       These verses list 15 qualities to consider when selecting elders. Note that the qualifications do not mention seminary training or possession of any particular spiritual gifts. Instead they are character qualifications. Spiritual leaders are to be the kind of person that Christian teaching is intended to produce. Let’s show great care in choosing godly persons as our spiritual leaders and not be influenced by the wealth or social status that attract men of the world.

JA”>Elder character traits in brief .

Above reproach: Totally faithful to his wife.

A one-woman man: Totally faithful to his wife.

Temperate: Sober, careful, and deliberate.

Self-controlled: Disciplined, reasonable.

Respectable: Modest, honorable, well-behaved.

Hospitable: One who welcomes visitors.

Able to teach: Able to explain and apply.

Not given to drunkenness: No tendency toward wine.

Not violent: Not hostile, antagonistic.

Gentle: Kindly, reasonable, forebearing.

Not quarrelsome: Not combative or contentious.

Not a money lover: Cares for people, not things.

Good manager of his family: Directs family life.

No recent convert: Mature and humble.

Of good reputation: Admired by outsider

1.The qualifications and behaviour of gospel bishops.(1 Tim. 3:1-7)      

JA”>1Tim.3:1 This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a  bishop, he desires a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; 3 not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; 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?); 6 not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

JA”>If a man desired the pastoral office, and from love to Christ, and the souls of men, was ready to deny himself, and undergo hardships by devoting himself to that service, he sought to be employed in a good work, and his desire should be approved, provided he was qualified for the office. A minister must give as little occasion for blame as can be, lest he bring reproach upon his office. He must be sober, temperate, moderate in all his actions, and in the use of all creature-comforts. Sobriety and watchfulness are put together in Scripture, they assist one the other. The families of ministers ought to be examples of good to all other families. We should take heed of pride; it is a sin that turned angels into devils. He must be of good repute among his neighbours, and under no reproach from his former life. To encourage all faithful ministers, we have Christ’s gracious word of promise, Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, color:windowtext;mso-fareast-language:JA”> . And he will fit his ministers for their work, and carry them through difficulties with comfort, and reward their faithfulness.

14.0pt;mso-bidi-font-family:Times;mso-fareast-language:JA”>     2.   (1 Tim. 3:8-15)      

1 Tim.3:8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.14 These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly; 15 but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth

JA”>The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are found fit for the business with which they are to be trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take great care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.

Summary

JA”>Paul now moves to discuss elders, who do have the role of issuing authoritative teaching in the local church. Eldering is a noble task  which requires the elder to have a developed Christian character . Deacons also are to be “worthy of respect” and demonstrate maturity in the faith . The church of God is such a special fellowship, the very household of the Lord, that people must conduct themselves in it correctly . Surrendering to the wonder of it, Paul introduces another brief poem which may be one of the earliest creedal statements of the church .

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