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This 1 Timothy 3 Bible study contains study questions, and verse by verse observations. Feel free to print them, copy them, or share them. I only ask that you remember these are are personal study notes and are only meant as a supplement to your own study, not a replacement. I hope you can find some helpful information inside. Visit our inductive Bible study main page for more studies on this and other books of the Bible.
1 Timothy 3:1-7 - Verse by Verse Observations and Cross-references
Qualifications for Elders
1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?), 6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil. 7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
· 3 MUST
· 2 REPROACH
· 2 OWN
· 2 MANAGE(S)
· 2 HOUSEHOLD
· 2 OVERSEER
· 2 CHURCH
· 2 FALL INTO
· 2 DEVIL
· 1 DESIRES
· 1 ASPIRES
· 1 GOOD
· 1 REPUTATION
Qualifications for Elders
Cross References, Questions, Observations
1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.
· Overseer - episkope¯ - investigation, inspection, visitation that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds character, of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad oversight overseership, office, charge, the office of an elder the overseer or presiding officers of a Christian church
When they had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you,
1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:
Phil 1:1 (ASV)
7 For the bishop must be blameless, as God's steward; not self-willed, not soon angry, no brawler, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre;
8 but given to hospitality, as lover of good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled;
9 holding to the faithful word which is according to the teaching, that he may be able to exhort in the sound doctrine, and to convict the gainsayers.
Titus 1:7-9 (ASV)
For the overseer must be above reproach as God''s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
but hospitable, loving what is good, sensible, just, devout, self-controlled,
holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.
1 Peter 2:25
For you were continually straying like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls. - Guardian is the same Greek word as overseer.
a) This verse says it’s a fine work he desires to do, what exactly is the work of an elder? V5
1) There are four different kinds of church government. I’ll briefly explain each one:
a. Presbyterian (Elder rule) – there are a small number of men called elders who exercise spiritual leadership and oversight over a single body of believers (a local church). The pastor/teacher is one of the elders.
b. Episcopalian – set up something like many corporations with several layers of management.
a. Congregational Rule – Important issues are decided by majority vote of the congregation
a. Pastor/Elder – the head pastor (a single elder) makes the important decisions.
Which of the above four church governments is Scriptural?
1 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
· Reproach - anepile¯ptos - not apprehended, that cannot be laid hold of that cannot be reprehended, not open to censure, irreproachable
· Temperate – ne¯phalios - sober, temperate abstaining from wine, either entirely or at least from its immoderate use of things free from all wine, as vessels, offerings
· Prudent – so¯phro¯n - of a sound mind, sane, in one's senses curbing one's desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate
· Respectable – kosmios - well arranged, seemly, modest
· Hospitable – philoxenos - hospitable, generous to guests
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless.
1 Tim 3:10 (ASV)
15 that ye may become blameless and harmless, children of God without blemish in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom ye are seen as lights in the world,
Phil 2:15 (ASV)
9 Let none be enrolled as a widow under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man,
1 Tim 5:9 (ASV)
8 Be sober, be watchful: your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,
1 Peter 5:8 (ASV)
13 communicating to the necessities of the saints; given to hospitality.
Romans 12:13 (ASV)
2 Forget not to show love unto strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Heb 13:2 (ASV)
24 And the Lord's servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing,
2 Tim 2:24 (ASV)
a) What does “the husband of one wife” mean?
b) What qualifications that people normally look for are missing from this list?
c) What qualifications are included that are usually not given much attention?
d) Why does God set these standards for overseers (elders) of His church?
1) Qualifications for deacons are listed in 1 Timothy 2:8-12. How and why do these differ from the qualifications from elders?
2 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle, peaceable, free from the love of money.
· Pugnacious – ple¯kte¯s - bruiser, ready for a blow a pugnacious, contentious, quarrelsome person
· Gentle – epieike¯s - seemingly, suitable equitable, fair, mild, gentle
· Peaceable – amachos - not to be withstood, invincible not contentious abstaining from fighting
8 Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
1 Tim 3:8 (ASV)
7 And even these reel with wine, and stagger with strong drink; the priest and the prophet reel with strong drink, they are swallowed up of wine, they stagger with strong drink; they err in vision, they stumble in judgment.
Isaiah 28:7 (ASV)
18 And be not drunken with wine, wherein is riot, but be filled with the Spirit;
Eph 5:18 (ASV)
3 that aged women likewise be reverent in demeanor, not slanderers nor enslaved to much wine, teachers of that which is good;
Titus 2:3 (ASV)
24 And the Lord's servant must not strive, but be gentle towards all, apt to teach, forbearing,
2 Tim 2:24 (ASV)
19 So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; It taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
Prov 1:19 (ASV)
3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted justice.
1 Sam 8:3 (ASV)
2 Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God; nor yet for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1 Peter 5:2 (ASV)
20 But Gehazi the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared this Naaman the Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: as Jehovah liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him.
21 So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw one running after him, he alighted from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well?
22 And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there are come to me from the hill-country of Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets; give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of raiment.
23 And Naaman said, Be pleased to take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of raiment, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him.
24 And when he came to the hill, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house; and he let the men go, and they departed.
25 But he went in, and stood before his master. And Elisha said unto him, Whence comest thou, Gehazi? And he said, Thy servant went no whither.
26 And he said unto him, Went not my heart with thee, when the man turned from his chariot to meet thee? Is it a time to receive money, and to receive garments, and oliveyards and vineyards, and sheep and oxen, and men-servants and maid-servants?
27 The leprosy therefore of Naaman shall cleave unto thee, and unto thy seed for ever. And he went out from his presence a leper as white as snow.
2 Kings 5:20-27 (ASV)
11 The heads thereof judge for reward, and the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets thereof divine for money: yet they lean upon Jehovah, and say, Is not Jehovah in the midst of us? no evil shall come upon us.
Micah 3:11 (ASV)
12 He that is a hireling, and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, beholdeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth, and the wolf snatcheth them, and scattereth them:
13 he fleeth because he is a hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
John 10:12-13 (ASV)
5 Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred shillings, and given to the poor?
6 Now this he said, not because he cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and having the bag took away what was put therein.
John 12:5-6 (ASV)
33 I coveted no man's silver, or gold, or apparel.
Acts 20:33 (ASV)
14 having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; enticing unstedfast souls; having a heart exercised in covetousness; children of cursing;
15 forsaking the right way, they went astray, having followed the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the hire of wrong-doing;
2 Peter 2:14-15 (ASV)
3 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity
· Manages – proiste¯mi - to set or place before to set over to be over, to superintend, preside over to be a protector or guardian to give aid to care for, give attention to profess honest occupations
12 Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
1 Tim 3:12 (ASV)
2 I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way: Oh when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart.
Psalms 101:2 (ASV)
2 a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, who gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always.
Acts 10:2 (ASV)
4 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?
12 Now the sons of Eli were base men; they knew not Jehovah.
13 And the custom of the priests with the people was, that, when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came, while the flesh was boiling, with a flesh-hook of three teeth in his hand;
14 and he struck it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; all that the flesh-hook brought up the priest took therewith. So they did in Shiloh unto all the Israelites that came thither.
15 Yea, before they burnt the fat, the priest's servant came, and said to the man that sacrificed, Give flesh to roast for the priest; for he will not have boiled flesh of thee, but raw.
16 And if the man said unto him, They will surely burn the fat first, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would say, Nay, but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force.
17 And the sin of the young men was very great before Jehovah; for the men despised the offering of Jehovah.
1 Sam 2:12-17 (ASV)
22 Now Eli was very old; and he heard all that his sons did unto all Israel, and how that they lay with the women that did service at the door of the tent of meeting.
23 And he said unto them, Why do ye such things? for I hear of your evil dealings from all this people.
24 Nay, my sons; for it is no good report that I hear: ye make Jehovah's people to transgress.
25 If one man sin against another, God shall judge him; but if a man sin against Jehovah, who shall entreat for him? Notwithstanding, they hearkened not unto the voice of their father, because Jehovah was minded to slay them.
1 Sam 2:22-25 (ASV)
11 And Jehovah said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.
12 In that day I will perform against Eli all that I have spoken concerning his house, from the beginning even unto the end.
13 For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever, for the iniquity which he knew, because his sons did bring a curse upon themselves, and he restrained them not.
14 And therefore I have sworn unto the house of Eli, that the iniquity of Eli's house shall not be expiated with sacrifice nor offering for ever.
1 Sam 3:11-14 (ASV)
a) What is the function of an elder?
b) Are elders and overseers different names for the same office?
5 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.
· New convert – neophutos - newly planted a new convert, neophyte (one who has recently become a Christian)
1 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, as unto babes in Christ.
1 Cor 3:1 (ASV)
12 For when by reason of the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need again that some one teach you the rudiments of the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of solid food.
13 For every one that partaketh of milk is without experience of the word of righteousness; for he is a babe.
Heb 5:12-13 (ASV)
16 But when he was strong, his heart was lifted up, so that he did corruptly, and he trespassed against Jehovah his God; for he went into the temple of Jehovah to burn incense upon the altar of incense.
2 Chron 26:16 (ASV)
18 Pride goeth before destruction, And a haughty spirit before a fall.
Prov 16:18 (ASV)
12 Before destruction the heart of man is haughty; And before honor goeth humility.
Prov 18:12 (ASV)
23 A man's pride shall bring him low; But he that is of a lowly spirit shall obtain honor.
Prov 29:23 (ASV)
7 And by reason of the exceeding greatness of the revelations, that I should not be exalted overmuch, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, that I should not be exalted overmuch.
2 Cor 12:7 (ASV)
10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where are also the beast and the false prophet; and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.
Rev 20:10 (ASV)
12 How art thou fallen from heaven, O day-star, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, that didst lay low the nations!
13 And thou saidst in thy heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; and I will sit upon the mount of congregation, in the uttermost parts of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.
Isaiah 14:12-14 (ASV)
18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan fallen as lightning from heaven.
Luke 10:18 (ASV)
a) Why would a new convert tend to become conceited if he was appointed to be an elder?
b) How new?
6 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he will not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
· Reputation – marturia - a testifying the office committed to the prophets of testifying concerning future events what one testifies, testimony, i.e. before a judge
a) Why is it important to have a good reputation with unbelievers?
b) What is the connection between having a good reputation with unbelievers and not falling into reproach?
c) How do you obtain a good reputation?
d) What is the snare of the devil?
2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
Since God’s church is so important to Him and He wants His people to receive the best shepherding, God sets very high standards for men to be overseers of it.
What can you do based on what you learned in this chapter?
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