1 Timothy Chapter 3 Message 17

1 Timothy chapter 3:1                 Message 17

As we review Paul’s instructions to Timothy, we remember they were based on his encouragement that man’s hope is in God through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ.  The believer lives out this hope looking forward to the imminent coming of Jesus Christ.  Paul then set forth the –

  B.     Charges to Timothy                   1 Timothy 1:3 – 6:21a

In order to fulfil the responsibility given to him, Timothy had to make a –

    1.   Commitment to right Doctrine             1 Timothy 1:3-20

We spent some weeks preaching and teaching about the courage Timothy was going to have to seek from the Lord in order to commit himself completely to uphold right doctrine. 

It would be good to remember that Paul has given Timothy, as pastor of the church in Ephesus, the responsibility to correct those teaching false doctrine in the church and instruct them in knowing and doing God’s work God’s way.  Timothy had to commit himself to right doctrine in order to set in order the right –

    2.  Conduct of the church.  1 Timothy 2:1-3:16

We have  the studied the instructions about –

      a.  Prayer,  beginning with supplications, prayer, and intercessions, with  thanksgiving,   and about those to be prayed for: the –

      b.  People – for all men, kings, and those in authority –

      c.  The Purpose   Why should we pray? – that we may carry out the commandments of God in –

        1).  Peace   We are to work at living in –

          a).  Peace from the government.  “…quiet and peaceable…”

          b).  Peace toward fellow men.   “…in all godliness and honesty.”

        2).  Pleasing unto God  –  1 Timothy 2:3,4

        3).  Profitable to reason in atmosphere of peace –  1 Timothy 2:5,6

          a).  The results of reasoning in an atmosphere of anger.

          b).  The reasoning in an atmosphere of peace

            (1).  There is One God

            (2).  There is One Mediator

            (3).  There is One Payment for sin

            (4).  There is One Message      and that it is to be –

        4).  Proclaimed unto all the world –  1 Timothy 2:7

        d.  Practical actions of the believer –    1 Timothy 2:8-15

          1).  The Responsibility of the men in submission to the Lord –

            a).  We are to be public, not ashamed of our relationship with the Lord  “…that men pray everywhere…”

            b).  We are to be pure  “…lifting up holy hands…”

            c).  We are to be peaceable  “…without wrath…”

            d).  We are to be positive   “…without doubting.”

          2).  The Role of women in submission to the Lord –

            a).  Their Dedication

            b).   Their decency   (The dictionary definition of ‘decent’ is –   marked by moral integrity, kindness, and goodwill)

            c).  Their determination

            d).  Their desire

            e).  Their deference 

          3).  The result of which is submission to the Lord in all things!

 Today we will begin Message 17, the leadership in the church –

      e.    Positions                        1 Timothy 3:1-13

Qualifications for the two offices in the church are set forth in this chapter, the first being that of the –

        1).        Bishops                            1 Timothy 3:1-7

          a).  Reaching out to the work      

1 Timothy 3:1  This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.

The word ‘desire’ means to seek after, to reach out for something.  This is more than just wanting to be a pastor, but to be actively pursuing, putting one’s self in the position to be called to this work of God.

Too many times men want the position of pastor, thinking of it as a popularity contest, without understanding the requirements set forth by God.  We should understand the –

          b).  Responsibilities of the work

The office of the pastor is threefold.  The Scriptures teach that the man has three functions in his office.  He is usually called by the title “Pastor” because of the relational aspect of that part of the ministry.  He could also be justly called by the titles “Elder” or “Bishop”.  What the world has done in the use of these terms is irrelevant and does not change God’s intended ministries of the pastor.  The titles must be understood and used in the manner in which they are given in God’s Word.

We must learn and understand the functions of the office which are clearly noted in the following verses from the Book of Acts –      

Acts 20:17  And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.

Acts 20:28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

We see first that those who were called to this meeting were –

               (1).     Elders

          The word “elder” is used of both a man that is “old” in age and then also of a man that displays the characteristic of wisdom.  The Scriptures state that positionally, ‘elders’ were ordained to this office, being set apart through God’s leadership –

Acts 14:23   And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed,

– into the work of leading the churches in their cities –

1 Timothy 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.

The second thing we learn is that the Elder is also a –

           (2).    Bishop

The word “bishop” shows the business side of the pastor.  He is to be an able overseer of the work – 

“Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,

And finally, the ministry of this office is completed in the –

              (3).      Shepherd (Pastor)

“…to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood”.   

          The pastor is the shepherd of the sheep, the minister of God,

Ephesians 4:11    And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers….  

He tends to them and makes sure that they are healthy and productive –

Ephesians 4:12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

The Lord was very straightforward with Peter in this position. 

John 21:17  He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

1 Peter 5:1-4  The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away.

The shepherd of the sheep must realize Whose they are and that he is being held responsible by God to care for them.  The pastor is the shepherd of the flock, but he does not own the flock.  There is a greater Shepherd that owns the flock and requires and accounting.  The pastor is to shepherd the church in love, his love for Jesus constrains him to serve well for the glory of the Lord. 

 It should be duly noted that they did not take upon themselves this ministry, neither did the church hire them to fill a position, but that God called them and placed them according to His will.

“…over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers…”

  Again note that these men were elders.  These elders were instructed in the work before them as pastors – they had a flock and they had to feed them. They were shepherds/pastors over the flock/church of God.  And that these elder/pastors had also been given the responsibility to oversee/bishop the church which belongs to God.  Paul instructed the elder/pastor/bishop in the ministry that was given to them.  Every pastor has this ministry and as a steward, is accountable to carry out these ministries to the glory of God.

The church must also understand their responsibility to the Lord in following the pastor –

Hebrews 13:17-21  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.  Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly.  But I beseech you the rather to do this, that I may be restored to you the sooner.  Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,  Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is wellpleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen. 

As we consider the statement by Paul, being led of the Holy Spirit,  that to desire the office of bishop was to desire a good work, are we praying and encouraging the boys and young men in the churches to prepare to be used of God in His service.  It is important for them to understand all that is involved in this work, that it is a labour for the Lord.  We will learn next week of the qualifications required by the Lord, but today we exhort you to pray that the Lord will use you in His work.

Timothy was reminded about his calling and instructed to encourage others to be ready, prepared in their lives as vessels unto honour, ready to be called by God into His ministry.

The beginning point of all is that a person should be saved. 

The saved should be serving.

The saved should be praying.

The saved should be encouraging.

The saved should be witnessing. What are you doing now?

About sjbjburke

I am an evangelist that enjoys Bible study and I look forward to posting outlines and receiving helpful comments. My wife and I celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary in 2010 and we enjoy serving the Lord together.
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