Tuesday, August 18 2009
Paul writes in the 3rd chapter of Timothy the qualifications to be a bishop. The term bishop is used loosely now, but it is translated from a superintendent, that is, Christian officer in general charge of a (or the) church. We would call them "pastors". His writings do not need any further explanation...
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.
He continues giving the qualifications of a "deacon" A deacon is translated from the word "diakonos" and it is defined as an attendant, that is, (generally) a waiter (at table or in other menial duties); specifically a Christian teacher and pastor (technically a deacon or deaconess). Deacons are the leaders or pastoral staff of the church. Their qualifications are as follows...
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.
Paul was an anointed man of God with a burden and a desire to ensure that the church had an understanding of what God desired of them. He wrote the following (God's Word Version)...
14 I hope to visit you soon. However, I'm writing this to you
15 in case I'm delayed. I want you to know how people who are members of God's family must live. God's family is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
The closing verse of the 3rd chapter is a reiteration of Apostolic 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.