Christian Service 1 Tim. 3:1-15 March 14, 2004
Scripture from the new Holman Christian Standard Bible

Paul begins this chapter with a statement that if not interpreted in light of the entire Bible might look as though a man could decide on his own to become a pastor. Of course God's call must be the major factor in a man's decision. However, many times God chooses to work His call through the desires He gives us. God placed in my heart the desire to be a pastor, and then I understood His call.

1.    Specific Qualifications for Christian Service by the . . Pastors. 1-7

    A.    The . . Marriage of the Pastor. v 2 a
        2 An  overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled,
        sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, 3 not addicted to wine, not a bully but gentle, not
        quarrelsome, not greedy--

B.    The . . Manners of the Pastor. v 2-3
        2 An  overseer, therefore, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, self-controlled,
        sensible, respectable, hospitable, an able teacher, 3 not addicted to wine, not a bully but gentle, not
        quarrelsome, not greedy--

C.    The . . Management of the Pastor. v 4-5
        4 one who manages his own household competently, having his children under control
        with all dignity. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take
        care of God's church?)

D.    The . . Maturity of the Pastor. v 6
        6 He must not be a new convert, or he might become conceited and fall into the condemnation
        of the Devil.

E.    The . . Modeling of the Pastor. v 7
        7 furthermore, he must have a good reputation among outsiders so that he does not fall into
        disgrace and the Devil's trap"

    In many churches the marital record of a man being considered for the office of pastor is
a primary consideration. The quarterly does a good job of discussing this matter, concluding the pastor must be a one woman man. His marriage will add to, or take away from his ministry. The manner in which a pastor lives must also be of foremost consideration. He should not have any glaring defects of character. How he manages his children and home puts in perspective his ability to be a leader in the church. Paul looked at the maturity of the man, and states he should not be a new convert as he might become conceited. The pastor needs to have the respect of those in the world so he will be able to witness to them, and win some away from the control of Satan..

2.    Specific Qualifications for Christian Service by the . . Deacons. 8-13

A.    The . . Manners of the Deacon. v 8-9
        8 Deacons, likewise, should be worthy of respect, not hypocritical, not drinking a lot of
        wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the  mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.
B.    The . . Modeling of the Deacon. v 10
        10 And they must also be tested first; if they prove blameless, then they can serve as deacons.

C.    The . . Marriage of the Deacon. v 11-12 a
        11 Wives, too, must be worthy of respect, not slanderers, self-controlled, faithful in
        everything. 12 Deacons must be husbands of one wife, . . ."

D.    The . . Management of the Deacon. v 12 b
        "managing their children and their own households competently."

E.    The . . Magnification of the Deacon. v 13
        13 For those who have served well as deacons acquire a good standing for themselves, and great
        boldness in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

    Paul says "likewise the deacons" which means the deacons need to have the same kind of character good pastors have, and their manner of living needs to be very similar. It is interesting that the pastor should, "not be addicted to wine," but the deacon is not to drink "a lot of wine." I am pleased the Baptist church almost always says, "no alcohol." The deacon is to be one who models Christ in such a way his character can be tested. Paul deals with the wife of a deacon and indicates she must likewise be of superb character. The marriage of the deacon, and his relationship with women must meet the same requirements as the pastor, and he must manage his household well. The office of deacon, and the deacon, is magnified when he serves with these distinctions.

3.    General Qualifications for Christian Service by the . . Church. 14-15

A.    Qualifications for . . Behavior In the Church. v 14-15 a
        14 I write these things to you, hoping to come to you soon. 15 But if I should be delayed,
        [I have written] so that you will know how people ought to act in God's household,. . ."

B.    Qualifications for . . Basics In the Church. v 15 b
        ". . . which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth."

        Paul instructs the church in its behavior. He has this right as the God called preacher-prophet in the early church. The instruction is not detailed in these verses, but the standard for the preacher and deacons hold true for all Christians. Paul refers to "God's household" as the "church of the living God." I like the definition Paul gives the church as he refers to it as the pillar and foundation of the truth. To serve as "the pillar and foundation of truth" is the privilege we have in Christian Service, Amen? Amen