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1 Timothy 3:8-16 - Verse by Verse Study Guide Notes

More Guidelines for Church Conduct

Chapter 3:8-16

8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain, 9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

12 Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

14 I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long; 15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

16 By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness:

He who was revealed in the flesh, Was vindicated in the Spirit,Seen by angels,Proclaimed among the nations,Believed on in the world,Taken up in glory.

 

Key Words

·        4                       DEACONS

·        2                               FAITH

·        2                       LIKEWISE

·        2                       MYSTERY

·        2   DIGNIFIED/DIGNITY

·        1   BEYOND REPROACH

·        1                       FAITHFUL

·        1       GOOD MANAGERS

·        2            HOUSEHOLD(S)

Title(s)

More Guidelines for Church Conduct

Outline

       I.            Deacon’s Qualifications                    8-10, 12-13

    II.            Behavioral Guidelines for Women                   11

 III.            Purpose of the Letter                                     14-15

 IV.            Common Confession                                           16 

Cross References, Questions, Observations

8       Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain

·        Deacon diakonos - one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister the servant of a king a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use a waiter, one who serves food and drink

·         Dignity semnos - august, venerable, reverend to be venerated for character, honourable of persons of deeds

Acts 6:2 So the twelve summoned the congregation of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable for us to neglect the word of God in order to serve tables.

Acts 6:4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

Phil 1:1 Paul and Timothy, bond-servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, including the overseers and deacons:

1 Tim 5:23 No longer drink water exclusively, but use a little wine for the sake of your stomach and your frequent ailments.

Titus 2:3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,

a)     Give an example of being double-tounged.

1)     Deacons manage the temporal matters of the church.

2)     They were subordinate to elders.

3)     The “likewise” refers back to the requirements for elders to have an excellent character and reputation

9       but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience

·                                           

1 Tim 1:5 But the goal of our instruction is love from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.

1 Tim 1:19 keeping faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and suffered shipwreck in regard to their faith.

Acts 24:16 In view of this, I also do my best to maintain always a blameless conscience both before God and before men.

a)     What is the “mystery of the faith”? A mystery is something that was previously hidden, but is now revealed.

1)      

10   These men must also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.

·        Tested dokimazo» - to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals to recognise as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy

1 Tim 3:6 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.

1 Tim 5:22 Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.

Matt 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Luke 16:10 “ He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.

2 Tim 4:5 and not a new convert, so that he will not become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.

a)     What kind of test do these men need to pass? It seems to not be a specific test, but more of an ongoing, comprehensive generalized testing and evaluation to insure he is fit to serve.

1)      

11   Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.

·        Malicious gossips diabolos - prone to slander, slanderous, accusing falsely a calumniator, false accuser, slanderer, metaph. applied to a man who, by opposing the cause of God, may be said to act the part of the devil or to side with him

Lev 19:16 You shall not go about as a slanderer among your people, and you are not to act against the life of your neighbor; I am the LORD.

1 Pet 5:8 Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.

Prov 20:6 Many a man proclaims his own loyalty, But who can find a trustworthy man?

Prov 20:19 He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, Therefore do not associate with a gossip.

Prov 25:19 Like a bad tooth and an unsteady foot Is confidence in a faithless man in time of trouble.

Rom 15:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea;

a)     What women were these? Were they deaconesses or wives of deacons?

1)     The word here translated “women” can also be translated “wives”. These women were probably deaconesses. The introductory word “likewise” suggests a third distinct group. In addition, no requirements were made for the wives of elders, which was a superior office with higher qualifications.

12   Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.

·         

Gen 29:30 So Jacob went in to Rachel also, and he loved Rachel more than Leah, and served Laban for another seven years.

Gen 2:24 For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh.

Gen 30:1 Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, she became jealous of her sister; and she said to Jacob, “ Give me children, or else I die.”

Prov 13:24 He who withholds his rod hates his son, But he who loves him disciplines him diligently.

Psalm 78:5 For He established a testimony in Jacob

And appointed a law in Israel,

Which He commanded our fathers

That they should teach them to their children,

That the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born,

That they may arise and tell them to their children,

That they should put their confidence in God

And not forget the works of God,

But keep His commandments,

Prov 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.

Prov 22:15 Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him.

a)     What does the husband of one wife mean? Commentaries differ on this.

a.      Only one wife (no polygamy)

b.      Sexual purity

c.      Not divorced and remarried

1)     In comparing the qualifications of elders and deacons, it looks like the primary differences lie not in character qualities, but in abilities. The character requirements do not seem to be lowered when comparing those of the deacon with those of the elder. The higher requirements for the elder seem to mostly involve relational skills and in particular the ability to teach.

13   For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.

·         

Matt 25:21 His master said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful slave. You were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.’

Luke 19:17

17 And he said to him, ‘Well done, good slave, because you have been faithful in a very little thing, you are to be in authority over ten cities.’

Heb 3:1 Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the Apostle and High Priest of our confession; He was faithful to Him who appointed Him, as Moses also was in all His house. For He has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses, by just so much as the builder of the house has more honor than the house. For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God. Now Moses was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken later; but Christ was faithful as a Son over His house— whose house we are, if we hold fast our confidence and the boast of our hope firm until the end.

Matt 23:10 Do not be called leaders; for One is your Leader, that is, Christ. 11 But the greatest among you shall be your servant. 12 Whoever exalts himself shall be humbled; and whoever humbles himself shall be exalted.

a)      

1)     A deacon who serves well could also be promoted to elder.

14   I am writing these things to you, hoping to come to you before long;

·         

1 Cor 16: But I will come to you after I go through Macedonia, for I am going through Macedonia; and perhaps I will stay with you, or even spend the winter, so that you may send me on my way wherever I may go. For I do not wish to see you now just in passing; for I hope to remain with you for some time, if the Lord permits.

1 Thess 2:18 For we wanted to come to you—I, Paul, more than once—and yet Satan hindered us.

through your prayers I will be given to you.

2 John 1:12 Though I have many things to write to you, I do not want to do so with paper and ink; but I hope to come to you and speak face to face, so that your joy may be made full.

3 John 1:14 but I hope to see you shortly, and we will speak face to face.

a)      

1)     Paul was very much a “people” person. He kept up with, prayed for, corresponded with, sent representatives to, and visited those to whom he ministered.

15   but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

·         

Acts 16:6 They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; 7 and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them; 8 and passing by Mysia, they came down to Troas.

Eph 2:19 So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.

Rom 12:4 For just as we have many members in one body and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another.

1 Cor 12:27 Now you are Christ’s body, and individually members of it.

a)      

1)     The fact that it was God’s house required oversight by qualified individuals and a high standard for conduct.

 

16   By common confession, great is the mystery of godliness: He who was revealed in the flesh,?Was vindicated in the Spirit,?Seen by angels,?Proclaimed among the nations,?Believed on in the world,?Taken up in glory.

·        Confession homologoumeno»s - by consent of all, confessedly, without controversy

Matt 13:11 Jesus answered them, “ To you it has been granted to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been granted.

John 1:14 And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:18?No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has explained Him.

1 John 1:1-3 What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life— and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us— what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ.

Acts 2:32 This Jesus God raised up again, to which we are all witnesses. 33 Therefore having been exalted to the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, He has poured forth this which you both see and hear. 34 For it was not David who ascended into heaven, but he himself says:

‘ The Lord said to my Lord,

“Sit at My right hand,

35 Until I make Your enemies a footstool for Your feet.”’

36 Therefore let all the house of Israel know for certain that God has made Him both Lord and Christ—this Jesus whom you crucified.”

Rom 1:3 concerning His Son, who was born of a descendant of David according to the flesh, 4 who was declared the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead, according to the Spirit of holiness, Jesus Christ our Lord,

1 Pet 3:18 For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit;

1 John 5:6 This is the One who came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not with the water only, but with the water and with the blood. It is the Spirit who testifies, because the Spirit is the truth. For there are three that testify: the Spirit and the water and the blood; and the three are in agreement.

Matt 4:11 Then the devil left Him; and behold, angels came and began to minister to Him.

Gal 2:8 (for He who effectually worked for Peter in his apostleship to the circumcised effectually worked for me also to the Gentiles),

Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith firmly established and steadfast, and not moved away from the hope of the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven, and of which I, Paul, was made a minister.

Rev 7:9 After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could count, from every nation and all tribes and peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, and palm branches were in their hands;

Mark 16:19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

Acts 1:9 And after He had said these things, He was lifted up while they were looking on, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

a)     What is the great mystery of godliness? It is Christ!

1)      

Key Verse

15 but in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and support of the truth.

Central Teaching

Since the church is the household of God, deacons and women meeting strict qualifications must be selected to assure that its day-to-day operations be managed in a God honoring way,

Application

What can you do based on what you learned in this chapter?

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