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FRAMEWORKS: Paul's FIRST letter to Timothy

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Frameworks: 1 Timothy 3


v.1-7     Qualifications for Overseers

v.8-13   Qualifications for Deacons

v.14-16 Maintaining right teaching for godliness


[Chapter 3 Synopsis: More about good order in the church, about those who serve in spiritual leadership and those who serve more in the material realm of the church, aiming for good order and godliness.]



v.1-7 Qualifications for Overseers


[Passage Synopsis: Guidance for what is required of an overseer.]


Note: the word ‘overseer' signifies one who watches over and guards the flock, while elsewhere they are referred to as elders (signifying maturity) or pastors (signifying their caring, feeding role]


v.1 (it's good to want to be a protector) Here is a trustworthy saying: whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.

v.2,3 (their character is to be above reproach) Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

v.4 (they must manage their own family well) He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.

v.5 (otherwise how can they manage the church) (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)

v.6 (they must be mature ) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.

v.7 (they must also have a good reputation) He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap.



v.8-13 Qualifications for Deacons


[Passage Synopsis: Similar guidance for those who serve in maintaining the order and well-being of the church.]


v.8 (deacons likewise must reveal righteousness) In the same way, deacons are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.

v.9 (they must be true believers, holders of the faith [i.e. not just nice people from outside]) They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.

v.10 (they must be checked out before serving) They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.

v.11 (similarly any women servants) In the same way, the women are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.

v.12 (deacons must be faithful in family life) A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well.

v.13 (if they serve well they will be of high repute) Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.



v.14-16 Maintaining right teaching for godliness


[Passage Synopsis: This teaching is to maintain order and godliness in the church, holding the basic doctrines of Christ.]


v.14,15 (here is guidance for good order in the church) Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing to you with these instructions so that, if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God's household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.

v.16 (real godliness comes as a result of the gospel – Jesus on earth, died and rose and ascended) Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.



Continue to Chapter 4