Daily Devotional in I Timothy 3

Daily Nugget:
This chapter describes the qualifications of church leaders: bishops and deacons. The bishop described here is not much like the ceremonial, denominational church heads that
we see today. That type of leader is not biblical. The ones described here are leaders of a local church. Nowhere does the Bible speak of a leader to be over multiple churches.

“Bishop” described here is the spiritual overseer and director of a local, assembly of believers. We would call him a pastor or preacher today.
Here we read of 16 biblical qualifications to be a pastor. They are:

  • Blameless. A pastor is to be above reproach with an exceptional, Christian testimony.
  • Husband of one wife. The New Testament leader of a church should have one living wife. This also defines the leader as being male; as only men should (biblically) have a wife.
  • Vigilant. He is to ever watch his flock to keep them from danger. He should be the warner of false doctrines and of the snares that often destroy Christian testimonies.
  • Sober. Not only is he to be free from having his testimony ruined by drunkenness, but he should be a sober-minded, composed person, able to hear both sides of a matter, and make rational, spiritual judgments.
  • Good behavior. His behavior should be proper, biblical, and above reproach.
  • Given to hospitality. The preacher should be one with a good testimony of receiving strangers and guests.
  • Apt to teach. A preacher should be quick to be a teacher, especially in the area of explaining the Word of God.
  • Not given to wine. He is not to be a drinker of alcohol!
  • No striker. A pastor should not be a violent man.
  • Not greedy of filthy lucre. Although money is necessary to run a ministry, his motivation of finances should not be for his personal gain.
  • Patient. He should be long-suffering and patient with the people he shepherds over.
  • Not a brawler. A leader should not be a fighter.
  • Not covetous. He should be content with what he has.
  • One that ruleth well his own house, having hs children in subjection. He should be a good father and husband that is the leader of his family. If he cannot lead his family, how can he lead a church (vs. 5)?
  • Not a novice. He is not a new Christian. He is experienced with Christian living so he can help others grow in the Lord.
  • He must have a good report of those who are without. Even the unsaved should recognize the pastor’s good, Christian testimony.

Although many in a church think they would be a good pastor, few are biblically qualified. It is a God-honored position that takes a special God-called man to lead the local, spiritual flock through the trials and tribulations of this world.

Today’s Thought: A pastor is both a member of the local church; and as the under-shepherd, the leader of the local church.

Today’s Reading: I Timothy 3
1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 ¶ Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
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.
14 ¶ These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
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.
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. (KJV)

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