1 Timothy
Chapter 3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

Commentary for 1 Timothy 3

The qualifications and behaviour of gospel bishops. (1-7) And of deacons and their wives. (8-13) The reason of writing about these, and other church affairs. (14-16)1-7 If a man desired the pastoral office, and from love to Christ, and the souls of men, was ready to deny himself, and undergo hardships by devoting himself to that service, he sought to be employed in a good work, and his desire should be approved, provided he was qualified for the office. A minister must give as little occasion for blame as can be, lest he bring reproach upon his office. He must be sober, temperate, moderate in all his actions, and in the use of all creature-comforts. Sobriety and watchfulness are put together in Scripture, they assist one the other. The families of ministers ought to be examples of good to all other families. We should take heed of pride; it is a sin that turned angels into devils. He must be of good repute among his neighbours, and under no reproach from his former life. To encourage all faithful ministers, we have Christ's gracious word of promise, Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, #Mt 28:20|. And he will fit his ministers for their work, and carry them through difficulties with comfort, and reward their faithfulness.

8-13 The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are found fit for the business with which they are to be trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take great care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.

14-16 The church is the house of God; he dwells there. The church holds forth the Scripture and the doctrine of Christ, as a pillar holds forth a proclamation. When a church ceases to be the pillar and ground of truth, we may and ought to forsake her; for our regard to truth should be first and greatest. The mystery of godliness is Christ. He is God, who was made flesh, and was manifest in the flesh. God was pleased to manifest himself to man, by his own Son taking the nature of man. Though reproached as a sinner, and put to death as a malefactor, Christ was raised again by the Spirit, and so was justified from all the false charges with which he was loaded. Angels ministered to him, for he is the Lord of angels. The Gentiles welcomed the gospel which the Jews rejected. Let us remember that God was manifest in the flesh, to take away our sins, to redeem us from all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. These doctrines must be shown forth by the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for 1 Timothy 3

  • Ray321
    God gave Paul a mystery. 1 Timothy 3:16 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. No body new anything about manifest in the flesh until Paul wrote it in his epistles. Paul also started churches with Bishop and Deacons. Amen to .
  • James
    My favorite verse is 3-16. When I had been down as low as a man can get, I started looking for God. I had to sink to my lowest depth. I could not understand, had always been my own man doing what I was big enough to do. Reading this verse so how opened my eyes to the truth that I was not my own man, I was a child of God and He loved me when no one else did. I am thankful for what He has done.
  • Bruce
    Doreen: My Heavenly Father did not make money that came from the desires of man. Man placed value on Salt,Livestock,Slaves,food and Their Trade. What ever they thought had value they used to trade and barter with to have what they wanted. Today it is precious metals,coins,paper money. Some do anything to get money.Greedy pastors preach name it and claim it.Send Me 100$ you will be a "Millionaire"
  • Irene123
    'lucre' (money) BECOMES, not 'is', filthy when we use it ALL for ourselves and not honoring God with the tithe of ten percent - which is His even before taxes; ten per cent of the GROSS amt. Mal. 3:8-11; " ... and PROVE me now ... "; v. 11; "And I WILL rebuke the devourer ... "; Ps. 37:25, "I was YOUNG, but now am OLD, ..... nor have I seen His seed begging bread." Tit. 1:2, God that cannot lie."
  • Doreen
    So who condemned money to be filthy lucre and why did my FATHER The CREATOR The INFINITE made such a GOOD thing for us HIS Children HIS Offspring HIS Creations to use!! Would You as a Parent give Your child a toy that would hurt Your child to play with? Money is Good. YOUR Thoughts Words and Actions are very Powerful. Whatever You think and speak You will receive.
  • BSP
    The way a Christian man cares for his family must be considered in determining whether he qualifies to assume the heavier responsibility of sherpherding the congregation as verses 4 and 5 show.
  • Irene123
    Mari, Thank-You - so much. I am staying strong with Him, but we all do have His trials He gives us - Pro.12:25; BUT - then I look to Paul - 2 Cor. 11:24-27, and I know I can make it. I am the only one in my fam. of several that is with Him, and I have a lot of pain at 75. The fam. is good to me.
  • Irene123
    Wayne - You are so kind on here; I can feel your gentleness - Thank-you. About 'Father' and 'Holy Ghost' - Yes, He is very alive in my life (not 'they'). All I can give you to explain this is - again - 1 Tim. 3:16; " ..... GOD was ....."

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Bible Trivia

What are two qualifications of a bishop or elder?
  • Blameless and a husband of one wife
  • A man of prayer and good works
  • Has a good sense of humor and has many friends
  • Loves people and prays for others
  • Cares for orphans and widows and heals the sick