The Way - Day 163 (1 Timothy 3)

Daily Reading:
1 Timothy 3
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
The qualities described for elders and deacons on Chapter 3 are qualities in which every Christian should strive to grow. Which of the qualities mentioned is the most difficult for you to exhibit? What is one step you could take this week to grow in that area?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 68:5
OPTION 2: Proverbs 20:19
OPTION 3: Matthew 6:22-24
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for 1 Timothy 3 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
1 TIMOTHY 3:1-7
Keep in mind Paul is writing to Timothy in order to instruct him about matters within the church and of utmost importance is the character of the leaders. Paul wanted to make sure that those who were leading the church were qualified and setting a high standard in the way they conducted their everyday life. He writes that "if a mans desires the position of a bishop [pastor], he desires a good work" (3:1); however, there are some standards by which this man must live his life. Beginning in verse 2 Paul lists sixteen qualifications for a man to become a pastor. First, this man must be blameless meaning that his life must be free from controversy and outright sin. Paul also mentions that he must be the husband of one wife implying that he must be committed to only one woman. Next, Paul writes that one who desires the office of a pastor must be temperate (watchful), sober-minded (disciplined in thinking), and of good behavior (self-controlled). Along with these characteristics, Paul also mentions that a pastor must be hospitable (loves others), able to teach (handles God's word with care), not given to wine, not violent, and not greedy for money. Paul continues to instruct Timothy that a pastor must be gentle (gracious), not quarrelsome (doesn't look for a fight), and not covetous. Paul spends many words on the next qualification - a pastor must rule his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence. As a follow up to this qualification, Paul makes the statement/asks the question that if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God? A man who seeks the office of a pastor must have his house in order. He also must not be a novice, which would put him in danger of pride - a pastor must be a spiritually mature Christian. Lastly, he must have a good testimony among those who are outside. Even though those who are unbelievers may not agree with his belief system, he must be a respectable man in the community. If you are considering being a pastor, make sure your life lines up with these qualifications. Again, Paul is not saying that a man who desires to be a pastor must be perfect, but he must be in constant pursuit of a holy life before God and others.

1 TIMOTHY 3:8-16
After detailing the qualifications for a pastor, Paul then writes Timothy regarding the qualifications of a deacon, one who serves under the leadership of the church. These people were responsible to do whatever was necessary to assist the leadership in making the church an effective place of ministry. Some of the qualifications given to the deacons are identical to the qualifications of a pastor, but we'll explore each one. 1 Timothy 3:8-9 reveals that deacons are to be reverent (take important matters seriously), not double-tongued (hypocritical in speech), not given to much wine, not greedy for money (handle money properly), and they must hold the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience (remain true to Scripture). There must be a consistent examination of the character of deacons, as called for in verse10, and each time they must be found blameless. Paul then turns to the wives (can also be translated women) to give them advice. There are two views on who is being referred to as the wives. One view says they are the wives of the deacons and the other view says Paul is addressing the character of women deacons. Whichever view you take, the qualifications are the same. The women must be be reverent (serious-minded), not slanderers (gossipers), temperate (watchful, alert to danger), and faithful in all things (dependable). Like the pastor, a deacon must be a one-woman man (husband of one wife) and rule their children and their own houses well (3:12). "For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus" (3:13). Referring to the first three chapters thus far, Paul lets Timothy know he has written these things so the people know how to conduct themselves in church. Obviously there were some major problems in their behavior and Paul wanted Timothy to direct the congregation in the right way. Let Paul's letter to Timothy also serve as a reminder to the modern day church as to how a church should function, remembering that it is God's church (3:15-16).

Dear God, may the church function by the instructions you have set forth in the writings of Paul.