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Bible Commentaries
1 Timothy 3

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

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Verses 1-16

  1. Intro:
    1. 2nd service only: Remember praying for David, Scott & Pam Harris’ son?
      1. Auto accident in the mountains. Pretty much brain dead(1-15[#3]) He awoke out of his comma. He would like to say hello this morning
    2. Pray for Haiti Team (Me, Larry, Greg, Mark, Wayne) [Pastors Conf]
    3. Qualifications of a Good Pastor:
      1. The strength of an ox, The tenacity of a bulldog, The daring of a lion, The wisdom of an owl, The harmlessness of a dove, The industry of a beaver, The gentleness of a sheep, The versatility of a chameleon, The vision of an eagle, The hide of a rhinoceros, The perspective of a giraffe, The endurance of a camel, The bounce of a kangaroo, The stomach of a horse, The disposition of an angel, The loyalty of an apostle, The faithfulness of a prophet, The tenderness of a shepherd, The fervency of an evangelist, The devotion of a mother, and still he could not please everybody!
    4. A Western rancher had asked the district superintendent to have a pastor assigned to his community."How big a man do you want?" asked the superintendent."Well, Elder," the wiry, tanned man replied, "we're not overly particular, but when he's on his knees we'd like to have him reach heaven."
    1. A leader in the church must be qualified & willing to use that office to help the church.
      1. Note also there is no reference to spiritual gifts – God is more interested in leaders who evidence character than those who elevate spiritual gifts.
      2. Don’t look at this list as a row of hurdles to jump over on the way to leadership, consider what it tells us about God & His character. (Chuck Swindoll; pg.59)
        1. 2 Chron.16:9a “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.”
        2. Ezek.22:30 “I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.”
      3. He’s still looking today for godly leaders, those who met these requirements!
    2. WATCHING! (1-7) [Wiersbe Outline; With The Word]
    3. (1) Bishop = elder, overseer.
      1. Read Acts 20:17 & 28 (note “elders” & “overseers”)
      2. God’s people are like sheep, in that they need shepherds to: watch over them, protect them, & lead them!
      3. Q: How do you measure up to this list!
    4. [1] Personally! (2,3)
      1. Note how largely self-discipline is involved!
      2. Note vs.2 is the positives & vs.3 is the negatives.
    5. Given to wine = addicted to wine.
      1. para/beside & oinos/wine – a person who spends too much time beside the wine”. {i.e. under the control of wine}
      2. It blurs the senses, clouds the mind, and makes him emotionally unstable. It also would point to an underlying need for him to have to numb reality for a time.
      3. He wants us to be clear thinking, alert, discerning individuals, capable of making decisions.
      4. Prov.31:4-6 “It is not for kings, O Lemuel, It is not for kings to drink wine, Nor for princes intoxicating drink; Lest they drink and forget the law, And pervert the justice of all the afflicted. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.”
    6. Not violent – not a striker, not pugnacious.
      1. “Someone who’s quick w/the blows, physical or verbal, always looking for a good fight.” (Ibid; pg.60)
      2. A good leader knows how to take the heat…w/o spreading the flames! (Swindoll)
    7. Gentle – yielding, forbearing.
      1. A gentle leader doesn’t demand his own way, or lash out when treated unfairly.
      2. He doesn’t feel threatened when others disagree w/him.
      3. His words & actions are seasoned w/grace, forgiveness, & kindness.
    8. Not quarrelsome - not trigger-happy in their relationships w/others. (William Barclay; pg.62)
      1. i.e. quick on the draw, itching for a good argument.
      2. He keeps his gun holstered until he needs it for his real enemy.
    9. Not covetous – Money isn’t the problem…it’s our attitude toward it that gets us into trouble. (don’t “love it”!)
      1. The leader is free, not from money, but from the love of it!
      2. He is a model of generosity & simplicity of lifestyle.
      3. “Love God & use money”…& never get that reversed!
    10. [2] Domestically! (4,5)
    11. Rules = manages. Carries the idea of governing, leading, & giving direction to the family.
      1. Notice he doesn’t speak of managing a business” but a home!
      2. Why? The church is a family, not a business!
      3. (Swindoll) “It has a heavenly Father, not a chairman of the board. Brothers & sisters, not shareholders. We have a Groom, Jesus Christ, not an impersonal boss.”
      4. He’s able to do this with character & integrity & compassion.
      5. The experience gained in the home would develop sensitive compassion for his role in the church.
      6. These leadership skills in the home were a prerequisite for using them in the church.
      7. We have to be able to manage our time, priorities, staff, ministries, & more.
      8. It doesn’t matter if a man is successful in every other area of life, let’s look at your family!
        1. Q: Does your home function in spite of you? L Yet, nobody’s home is perfect 24/7.
    12. [3] Humbly! (6) Not pride-fully.
    13. He must not be a neophyte (a recent convert. Lit. “newly planted”)
      1. The roll of an elder calls for roots, perception, experience, wisdom!
      2. Someone who is seasoned by life’s triumphs & failures; joys & disappointments.
    14. [4] Publicly! (7)
    15. A good testimony/reputation w/those outside the church!
      1. Q: How do they speak to the waitress? Handle the neighbor’s ball through their window? Treat the person at the cash register when they get shorted money?
      2. Vance Havner, “A leader is a person with a magnet in his heart and a compass in his head.”
    16. Final quiz: Personally(Does their inner character measure up to their outward appearance?) Domestically(would his family vote for him?) Humbly(Is it too soon?) Publically(would his co-workers smile at the news of him being raised up in leadership? or ask, “Are we talking about the same guy?”)
    17. Your Part?
      1. Encourage them: How can you help them? Ask them.
        1. Q: What can you do to free them up to spend more time in the presence of the Lord?
      2. Pray for your spiritual leaders that they might more & more be what God wants them to be. [Who are they?]
        1. List: Myself & all the Pastors{Dan, Des, Bill, Todd, Eric, Armando, Rick, Mike E.} also Larry Hansen is an elder.
      3. Follow them - Heb.13:17 “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”
    18. WORKING! (8-13)
    19. Deacon = servant.
      1. A deacon is one who serves in a way that meets the physical needs of the congregation. [What they do isn’t defined]
      2. The deacons assist the elders in carrying out the work of the church.
        1. Read Acts 6:1-7.
        2. Here the congregation voted. In Titus 1:5 Titus was told to raise up leaders.
      3. Deacons aren’t relegated to the life of a holy “go-fer” nor a “glorified waiter!”
        1. God sees their role worthy of respect & honor.
        2. Their qualifications are essentially the same as the elders.
        3. Note “likewise”(8) same high standards as elders.
      4. They need to be qualified spiritually & set the right example in their homes.
    20. [1] Personally! (8,9)
    21. [2] Proven! (10)
      1. Doctrine & practice are important in Christian Leadership!
    22. [3] Martially! (11,12)
      1. Some debate on whether this is referring to women deaconesses or the wives of deacons?
      2. One wife – “married only once?” Or, “having only one wife?”
        1. They are called to a high standard of marital fidelity & moral purity.
    23. [4] Consequently! (13)
      1. I often tell our deacons, “Congratulations, you now have a bulls eye painted on you!”
      2. But here actually the deacon finds he has 2 blessings!
        1. [1] Good Standing = “Step up, pedestal”.
        2. [2] Great Boldness = His confidence in Christ grows.
    24. So, leaders are called for visible, mature, righteous living that commended Christianity to its observers. (Shepherd’s Notes; pg.23)
      1. Lk.22:27 “For who is greater, he who sits at the table, or he who serves? Is it not he who sits at the table? Yet I am among you as the One who serves.”
    25. Your Part?
      1. Pray; help them serve; tables/chair at a get together.
      2. List: Bill Olien, Chris Yelley, Dave Russey, Dean Blackwelder, Greg Ghironzi, Greg Schroeder, Irv Cohen, Jeff Carr, Jim Wilson, KenPollard, Mike Nielsen, Mike Robinson, Tony Murillo, & Steve Wimberley.
    26. The Good Shepherd loves His sheep too much to leave us unprotected!
      1. Character is the best defense against wolves. (Chuck Swindoll; pg.65)
    27. WORSHIPING! (14-16)
    28. House Conduct! (14,15)
    29. The famous author Mark Twain said, Church leaders were largely to blame for his becoming hostile to the Bible and the Christian faith. As he grew up, he knew elders and deacons who owned slaves and abused them. He heard men using foul language and saw them practice dishonesty during the week after speaking piously in church on Sunday. He listened to ministers use the Bible to justify slavery. Although he saw genuine love for the Lord Jesus in some people, including his mother and his wife, he was so disturbed by the bad teaching and poor example of church leaders that he became bitter toward the things of God.
    30. It is very serious thing to be a part of a local church. Do you take it seriously?
      1. Christians are to distinguish themselves by a lifestyle of holiness.
      2. Not what we do or don’t do, but by who we are!!!
    31. God’s Household – Not the church building, but the relationship of the members of the household to one another & to the Master of the house!
      1. Just as a large house in Paul’s day had all different groups(men & women from every level of society). They also had stewards managing the household, which in this analogy would be the elders & deacons.
      2. If you’ve become part of God’s household you should live by the house rules!
    32. Pillar & foundation – Ephesus knew pillars!
      1. Temple of Diana(1 of the 7 Wonders of the World) had 127 pillars, everyone a gift of a king, all were marble, some were studded w/jewels & overlaid w/gold.
      2. They could refer to support or display.
      3. We are to hold up the truth so all men can see it!
    33. The church has the responsibility for the truth!
      1. Paul didn’t leave Timothy to pastor on intuition or emotion.
      2. Again, here was how to live & lead in the household of God!
      3. Yet don’t scramble to keep rules, let your obedience spring forth from a deep love for Him & a passion to please Him!
    34. A Jesus Hymn! (16)
    35. 6 distinct statements w/Christ as the subject of each line!
      1. He is the center & source of our belief.
    36. [1] Incarnation – Jn.1:14 “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us”
    37. [2] Resurrection –Rom.8:11 “But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.”
    38. [3] Ascension – Acts 1:11 “two men stood by them in white apparel, who also said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven.”
    39. [4] Proclamation – of the gospel among the nations!
    40. [5] Response – the response to the proclamation.
    41. [6] Glorification – Lk.24:51 “Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted from them and carried up into heaven.”
    42. End: Vance Havner, “A leader is a person with a magnet in his heart, and a compass in his head.”
    43. 1st Service: Remember praying for David, Scott & Pam Harris’ son?
      1. Auto accident in the mountains. Pretty much brain dead(1-15[#3]) He awoke out of his comma. He would like to say hello this morning
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 1 Timothy 3". "Bell's Commentary". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/1-timothy-3.html. 2017.
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