1 Timothy Chapter 3

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THE object of this chapter is to give directions respecting the qualifications and duties of the officers of the Christian church. As it is evident that Timothy was to be partly employed in the appointment of suitable officers for the church at Ephesus, and as the kinds of officers here referred to were to be permanent in the church, it was important that a full statement should be put on record, under the influence of inspiration, respecting their qualifications and duties. The chapter embraces the following subjects: --

I. The qualifications of a bishop, 1 Tim 3:1ff. The enumeration of his qualifications is preceded by a general statement that the office was an honourable one, and that he who aspired to it, sought an employment that was, in itself, to be regarded as desirable, 1 Tim 3:1. The qualifications specified for this office, are the following: --

(1.) He must be a man of good private character; possessing and illustrating the Christian virtues, or, as we would say now, an upright man, and a Christian gentleman, 1 Tim 3:2, 1 Tim 3:3.

(2.) He must be a man who ruled his own house well, and who thus showed that he was qualified to preside as the first officer in the church of God, 1 Tim 3:4, 1 Tim 3:5.

(3.) He must be a man of suitable age and experience -- one who would not be likely to fall into the temptations that are laid for the young, 1 Tim 3:6.

(4.) He must have a fair reputation among those who were not Christians -- as it is intended that the influence of his ministry shall reach them, and as it is impossible to do them good unless he is believed to be a man of integrity, 1 Tim 3:7.

II. The qualifications of deacons, 1 Tim 3:8ff, 1 Tim 3:12,13.

They must be,

(1.) Men of fair character -- serious, temperate, candid, 1 Tim 3:8.

(2.) Men who hold to the doctrines of the gospel with a pure conscience, 1 Tim 3:9.

(3.) Men who have been proved, and who have shown that they are qualified to serve the church, 1 Tim 3:10.

(4.) Men whose wives are of such a character that their example will contribute to the promotion of the common cause, 1 Tim 3:11.

(5.) Men not living in polygamy, and who exercise exemplary family government, 1 Tim 3:12, 1 Tim 3:13.

III. The reason why Paul gave these instructions to Timothy, 1 Tim 3:14, 1 Tim 3:15. It was, that he might know how he ought to demean himself in the important station which he was called to occupy. Paul hoped to be able to come to him before long, and to complete the work which he had commenced at Ephesus; but, in the mean time, he gave him these written counsels, that he might understand particularly the duty which was required of him.

IV. The chapter closes with a statement which seems to have been intended to impress the mind of Timothy with the importance of the duties in which he was engaged, 1 Tim 3:15, 1 Tim 3:16. The statement is, that the church is the great defender of the truth in the world, 1 Tim 3:15, and that the truth which the church is to maintain is of the greatest importance. It relates to the incarnation of the Son of God, and to the work which he accomplished on earth -- a work which excited the deepest interest in heaven, and the true doctrine respecting which it was of the utmost importance to keep up among men, 1 Tim 3:16. This reason is further urged in the following chapter, by showing that the time would come when, under the influence of Satan, these great doctrines would be denied, and the truth be corrupted and perverted.


1: This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. edit

2: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; edit

3: Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; edit

4: One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; edit

5: (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) edit

6: Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. edit

7: Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. edit

8: Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; edit

9: Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. edit

10: And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. edit

11: Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. edit

12: Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. edit

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. edit

14: These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly: edit

15: But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. edit

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. edit


In 1 Timothy 3, there is advice given for overseers, elders, and deacons. The main point of this chapter is to live a life above reproach or with out blame. Whether a man of God, a servant or a sinner, everybody should live their lives above reproach. There are certain qualifications that a man must live out in order to be considered an elder. The idea in the book of Timothy is that every man should strive to be a man without blame and live Godly so that they would be able to be considered an elder, whether or not they want to be an overseer of a church, everybody should strive to fit the role of being above reproach. Even though this section looks like it is addressing only people who are elders, it is actually addressing every Christian man or woman to try and live blameless. (Verse 1). If you want to be an elder or an overseer, you will make it a life goal to become on because you know it is right to do. (Verse 2). You must live with out any blame, which means, you can only have one wife, you must be calm and controlled. You must show respect to others and respect will be shown back to you. You must keep you house open for people to stay if they are in need, as well as knowledgeable in the scriptures. (Verse 3). You can not be somebody who gets drunk or becomes angry and violent. You can not be greedy and you should not take pride in your worldly possessions. (Verse 4) You must be able to take care and have control over your family (and your kids should show you respect and listen to you) (Verse 5) because the church will be like your second family for you to take care of. (Verse 6) Also you can not be someone who has trouble with the law or has been convicted because they might easily fall into that sin again. (Verse 7) You must also be in good terms with non-believers and non church goers because if not, it will be easy to fall into temptation with them. (Verse 8) Just like the elders qualifications above, deacons are to be respected and should also show respect. They must be nice people who do not drink a lot or try to cheat people. (Verse 9) They must try and understand the truth of the Word. (Verse 10) They will be tested to see if they are with out blame and if they are, they can serve as a deacon. (Verse 11) Also their wives must live holy too. They must be full of respect, and they should not gossip. Basically, the wives should be trustworthy women of God. (Verse 12) A deacon can only have one wife and should have control over his family. (Verse 13) If you do all these things you can truly become strong in your faith with Jesus. (Verses 14-16) These instructions and qualifications are written so that people know how to act and live in the Church and can live according to the truth of the Bible. Through these things we can reveal the mystery of the Gospel, Jesus came in body, was given the Holy Spirit, was blessed by angels. He preached to many people. Many people became saved because of his sacrifice and finally he ascended to Heaven.

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