1 Timothy 3

1. It is correct to say that a man who sets his heart on the work of an pastor-overseer, wants to do a good work.

In a practical way, the overseer is seen as a pastor in the New Testament and The deacons take care of the people's needs.

As you look through the list here in this chapter you will see that this work is impossible without God's help.  In fact, it would be a very unusual person who would meet the qualifications.

Please notice that the original language does not say that  there is an office or a position for this ministry, but it is a work in the ministry.

2. A pastor must be someone who has nothing in his life that the enemy can use against him.  He must be married to only one wife, and be a man of self-control, and  someone who is careful in what he says. He must have a disciplined life, he must practice hospitality and have the gift of teaching.

Paul sees pastors as men who are able to teach.  He calls them pastor-teachers.

And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and
pastor–teachers. Ephesians 4:11

Blameless does not mean sinless, it means that there is nothing that the enemy can use to destroy a man's testimony.

Pastors must have serious thinking which leads to good decisions.

3. A pastor must not be someone who has a drinking problem or a violent person.  He must be gentle and not be a man who starts arguments.  He must be free from the love of money.

There are many places in the Bible which warn us about the dangers of wine.  Immediately someone will say,"I have no problem with drinking wine."

The original words used here are: “given to wine, or being with wine”.

Christians surrender everything in their lives that can make Jesus look bad.

If food makes my brother stumble, I will never eat meat, so that I will not make my brother stumble. 1 Corinthians 8:13

But I discipline my body and keep it under control, so that after preaching to others I myself should not be disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27
Somebody may seem like a good man but at home he may be hurting his family by his actions or words.

It is easy to see if someone loves money, this kind of person is always thinking of ways to get something for himself.

4 – 5

The pastor's home must not be out of control and he must have the respect of his children. For if a man cannot rule his own house, how can he look after the church of God?

It pays to listen to your parents, the Rechabites are a good example.

The Rechabites were known for being careful to do everything that their father had taught them.  Because of this, when Nebuchadnezzar took away the Jews to Babylon, he did not take the Rechabites because they did not live in houses or on a farm.

We have obeyed the voice of Jonadab the son of Rechab, our father, in all that he told us, to drink no wine all our days, ...and not to build houses to live in. We have no vineyard or field or seed, but we have lived in tents and have obeyed and done all that Jonadab our father told us. Jeremiah 35:8 – 10

Compare the story of the Rechabites to the life of David.  After Amnon raped his sister, David said nothing to him. After Absalom killed his brother, David refused to speak to him. We love David, but the devil would use these things against him if he were chosen as a church leader.

When King David heard of all these things, he was very angry [but he said nothing]. 2 Samuel 13:21

Now Absalom lived two full years in Jerusalem, and did not see the king’s face.  2 Samuel 14:28

He who makes trouble in his own household will inherit the wind. Proverbs 11:29

6. A pastor must not be a new Christian, so that he does not become proud and fall into the trap of the devil.

Never be in a hurry to lay hands on a church leader. 1 Timothy 5:22

For three things the earth is disturbed, Yes, for four it cannot bear up: For a servant when he becomes a ruler. Proverbs 30:21 – 22

But I am like a newly planted [green] tree in the house of God.  Psalm 52:8

7. A pastor should also have a good reputation with those who are unbelievers, so that his reputation cannot be attacked and be used against him by the devil.  
Black mail (threatening to expose someone) is the devil's favorite attack. When we are working in the ministry there are times when we need to stop and ask ourselves, "What does this look like to someone else who is watching?"

For if anyone sees you who have knowledge eating in an idol’s temple, will he not be encouraged, if his conscience is weak, to eat food offered to idols? 1 Corinthians 8:10

8. Deacons [servants] should be serious men who do not have a double -tongue,  not under the control of wine, and who are free from the love of money.

The original language here uses a word that sounds like the English word “deacon” but the real meaning is “servants.”

A double-tongue is a person who says one thing to one person and another thing to another person           

Gehazi Is an example of the love of money.

He went in and stood before his master, and Elisha said to him, “Where have you been, Gehazi?” And he said, “Your servant went nowhere.”

But he said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned from his chariot to meet you? Was it a time to accept money and garments, olive orchards and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male servants and female servants? 2 Kings 5:25 – 26

Drinking is a serious problem which promises something good but bites like a snake.  It has no place in the life of anyone who is in the ministry. Proverbs 23:32

All things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any, [or the influence of any]. I Corinthians 6:12

9. Deacons should reveal the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.

Having a clear conscience means that nobody can ever say did something wrong to them and you never made it right.

10. Let deacons be tested first and only let them serve if they pass the test.

It is impossible to be a leader until you have served faithfully under another leader. Elijah tested Elisha this way.

And Elijah said to Elisha, “Please stay here, for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. 2 Kings 2:2

Elisha the son of Shaphat is here, who poured  water on the hands of Elijah. 2 Kings 3:11

11. A woman who is a deacon should also be highly respected, not speaking like a devil but one who has self-control and able to be completely trusted.

This verse, and the book of Titus, use the word for devil when speaking of gossip.  Gossip is saying things behind people's backs.  When we do this we are acting more like the devil, then we are acting like Jesus.

Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not speaking like a devil.. Titus 2:3

Most Bible teachers agree that this verse, in the book of Romans, shows us that women can serve as deacons.

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a deaconess of the church at Cenchreae. Romans 16:1

12. Deacons should be men with only one wife, able to manage their children and their homes.

There are many different ideas in the world about divorce, but there is no way to get around the words of Jesus.  Some teachers say that Jesus said you can get divorced if there has been unfaithfulness in the marriage or unfaithfulness during the engagement. 
If we would stop there we would have something that we can discuss, but now some in the church say that divorce for any reason can be accepted.

God can forgive us, even when we go against His Word, but it is a fact that when we do this, the ministry will not have the same power that it could have had.

But I say to you that everyone who divorces his wife, except on the ground of sexual immorality, makes her commit adultery, and whoever marries a divorced woman commits adultery. Matthew 5:32

The disciples *said to Him, “If the relationship of the man with his wife is like this, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “Not all men can accept this statement, but only those to whom it has been given. Matthew 19:10 – 11

He said to them, “Because of your hardness of heart Moses allowed you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. Matthew 19:8

13. The deacons who do a good job, earn respect for themselves and are able to speak with confidence about the Christian faith.

There are many in the ministry who.do not have the confidence to speak the Word because they have not been in the Word.

14 – 15

As I am writing this I hope to be with you soon. But if I am not able to, then what I have written will show you the kind of men who should work in God's house.  Remember that the church of the living God is the foundation of the truth.

The church shows the foundation of the truth. A weak Christian makes this foundation weak as the world is watching.

16.  No one can argue against the fact that our faith reveals a great mystery of what God is like. 

Our faith is about:

The One who appeared in a human body
John 1:14

Overcame the enemy in the Spirit
Matthew 4:1-11, John 8:46

He was seen by messengers
1 John 1:1

People all over the world believed in Him,
Matthew 28:19

He was taken back to heaven in glory.
Hebrews 1:3, Colossians 1:15

Many Bible teachers say that this verse was an early song of the church. Many church fathers put their teachings to music so that their students could remember them. This song tells the life story of Jesus.

The  local church continues showing and telling the life of Christ. Some have translated this as, "Great is the mystery of being like God." The rest of the song shows us what it is like to live as God lived. The mystery of godliness is God's hidden plan to bring godliness into the world.

What a privilege and responsibility to show the world our God!