LEADERS IN THE CHURCH
1 Timothy 3:1-13
It is very important that a church has a group of men and or women that can be trusted. They are ordained as elders, deacons, bishop etc. Paul states in 1Ti 3:1 that that person should aspire to that position but as usual with Paul there are caveats.
1Ti 3:1 This is a trustworthy saying: "If someone aspires to be an elder, he desires an honorable position."
Life Application New Testament Commentary (last paragraph) There apparently was a saying regarding church leadership, and Paul cited it here as true. It is good to desire to be a spiritual leader. Desires means “sets one’s heart on something.” Leadership is an honorable responsibility. Paul stressed its importance. However, as Paul would point out, the standards are high.
1Ti 3:2 So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation. He must enjoy having guests in his home, and he must be able to teach.
I was ordained as an elder years ago. This verse scared the life out of me. I am a sinner as we all are and WOW a new set of standards. I think if I had read everything about being an elder I would have thought twice about it. There is a benefit here though. I am able to openly declare my love for the Lord and preach from the heart. I most likely will not be perfect but I have the backing of the Lord almighty. When I was younger it would have been more of an issue. Now I find great joy in spreading the word.
1Ti 3:3 He must not be a heavy drinker or be violent. He must be gentle, not quarrelsome, and not love money. 1Ti 3:4 He must manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. 1Ti 3:5 For if a man cannot manage his own household, how can he take care of God's church?
Uh-oh now I am in more trouble. Why would Paul put all these things on an Elder. Remember now he is speaking to the church of Ephesus and they were new at this Christianity thing. Let's do these one at a time.
Heavy Drinker more commonly known as an alcoholic. If it came down to Jesus or alcohol which one do you think they would chose. Christ must be first in your life.
Not be violent. If you are a violent person you will lose the trust of those around you. I know from personal experience that a temper is not always an ally. This is not to say that you cannot be angry even Christ was angry when at the temple and it was full of money changers and shop keepers.
Not love money Everyone would like to make more money or have more money. That in itself is not a sin unless Money is your priority. Even if it is not a priority what you do with your money is very important. The bible talks about tithing etc. Remember it is still Christ first.
Manage his own family well, having children who respect and obey him. This one is the most difficult of all. I have raised children all whom are now adults but they were also teenagers at one time. Teenagers have a will of their own and are greatly influenced by media and other teens. Keeping them in the ways of God is difficult to impossible. I have Christian children and the way it happens is they grow up past teenagers and find that what worked for them when they were younger and what their parents taught works for them. It is always a delight when this turnaround happens and is a gift from God to you for your work.
1Ti 3:6 An elder must not be a new believer, because he might become proud, and the devil would cause him to fall.
Life Application New Testament Commentary New believers should become secure and strong in the faith before taking leadership roles in the church. Too often, when desperate for workers, the church places a new Christian in a position of leadership prematurely. New believers should have a part in God’s service, but they should not be put into leadership positions until they are firmly grounded in their faith, with a solid Christian lifestyle and a knowledge of the word of God. Otherwise, the new believer might be proud of being chosen so soon, and the Devil will use that pride to make him fall. The reference to the Devil teaches that in the same way Satan fell because of pride, there waits the danger of pride to new believers who are given responsibility before they are ready. New believers who are too quickly promoted can be easy targets for the Devil’s powerful temptation: pride. Pride can seduce emotions and cloud our reason. It can make those who are immature susceptible to the influence of unscrupulous people.
There is more but this is a good place to stop. Talk to you tomorrow.