Andrew goes over the qualifications of church leaders.

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Rapp Report Daily 0060

I.              Blameless (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7)

Repeated three times

Required for both elders and servants (implied to female servants)

It literally means, “that cannot be laid hold of” and sometimes translated “above reproach”.  This is a must.  It has the idea of “unrebukeable”.  This does not mean the man must be perfect, for then no one could ever be qualified.  It has to do with the idea of not having anything that could be nailed to someone, in other words, nothing that they are covering up.  The man must reconcile things and not cover them up.

Examples: Elder arrested for drunk driving and stopped down for “personal sin” the man was not qualified until the sin was named.  Another example was an elder that had a daughter that had a child out of wedlock and wanted to hide her away until after the birth and not mention it to anyone, he was disqualified because of the cover-up.

II.            Temperate (1 Timothy 3:2, 11)

Repeated twice

Required of elders and female servants

The Greek word literally means “wineless,” or “unmixed with wine”.  It means sober, temperate as in abstaining from wine, either entirely or at least from its immoderate use or of things free from all wine, as vessels, offerings.

This is the word that is often used to describe one who abstains from alcohol.  Here, it is used in a metaphorical sense to describe the pastor as one who keeps a watch over his own conduct and ministry.  He is not given to excesses in any way.

This word has the idea of self-controlled or level-headed, not someone who rushes into something without thinking it through.

III.         Sober Minded (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)

Repeated twice

Required only of elders

The Greek word has the meaning of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses or curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled, temperate.

An elder needs to be as a character SELF-DISCIPLINED.  He needs to be one characterized by discipline in his priorities, in his use of time, in his duties for service.

He is a person who is serious about spiritual things.  That does not mean he is cold and humorless, but that he views the world with an eternal perspective.

If one is temperate and sober-minded in their thinking, will result in being self-disciplined.

IV.          Good Behavior (1 Timothy 3:2)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word means, well arranged, seemly, modest.  Its basic meaning is to be orderly.  His well-disciplined mind leads to a well-disciplined life.

The elder needs to be organized by nature.  If a pastor is not organized many of the duties of his calling may be neglected.

V.            Hospitable (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)

Repeated twice

Required only of elders

The Greek word That word translates philoxenos, a compound word from the Greek words for “to love,” and “strangers” and has the meaning of hospitable or generous to guests.  It does not refer to entertaining friends, but showing hospitality to strangers.

VI.          Not Given to [Much] Wine (1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7)

Repeated three times

Required of both elders and male servants

Not given to wine in 1 Timothy 3:3 is a single word that This word literally means “not a slave to alcohol”.  The New King James Version has a footnote for this word stating that it could be translated not addicted.

Not given to much wine in 1 Timothy 3:8 is not the same word.  It is several Greek words that mean to not be addicted or given over to wine.

This does not mean that the elders cannot have any wine but the servants can have some.  This talks more about the issue of addiction, not wine.  Paul encourages Timothy to have a little wine to prevent the dysentery of the water (2 Timothy 5:23).  However, the purpose of wine to kill bacteria in the water is not need in American today.  However, the issue of addiction is an issue for many today, to things like alcohol, drugs, gambling, pornography, computer, work, gossip (soap opera, pop culture, etc.), food, etc.

VII.       Not Violent (1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7)

Repeated twice

Required only of elders

The Greek word literally means not a striker.  An elder cannot be one who expresses himself by acts of violence in connection with anger.

A man who thinks all problems could be solved with his fists cannot solve problems in the church.  An elder must be a peacemaker, not a problem creator.

An elder must not be one who reacts to difficulty with physical violence.  He must not settle disputes with blows.  He must react to situations calmly, coolly, and gently (cf. 2 Tim. 2:24–25).

VIII.     Not Greedy for Money (1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7)

Repeated twice

Required of both elders and male servants

The Greek word has the meaning of being eager or greedy for money.  It has the idea of someone who is a lover of money, not money itself but what money can obtain for the person.  Paul says especially that “the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil” (1 Timothy 6:10).

The elders and servant must not be people who due to their sinful desire for money will use the church for deceitful gain.  This includes the popular television preachers who prey on the poor and take advantage of people weaknesses and illness to obtain money from them.  These people are not qualified for ministry according to God.  The love of money is one of the signs of a false teacher.

IX.          Gentle (1 Timothy 3:3)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word means seemingly, suitable or equitable, fair, mild gentile, moderation.  It describes the person who is considerate, genial, forbearing, and gracious, who easily pardons human failure.  Such a person remembers good, not evil. He does not keep a list of all the wrongs done to him or hold a grudge.  Many men leave the ministry because they cannot accept criticism.  An elder, when wronged, must have no thought of retaliation.

X.            Not Quarrelsome (1 Timothy 3:3)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word is sometimes translated as “not a brawler” or “uncontentious”.  It means, not to be withstood, invincible. not contentious. abstaining from fighting.  It refers not so much to physical violence as to a quarrelsome person.  To have a contentious person in leadership will result in disunity and disharmony, seriously hindering the effectiveness of that leadership team.

This is one who loves to engage in non-physical aggression.  One who is contentious and displays through angry words aimed towards people.  It is important for an elder not to carry this quality into the ministry because an elder will have many opportunities to abuse the privilege of the pulpit in order to contend with someone he disagreed with.  This is a sin against God.

XI.          Not Covetous (1 Timothy 3:3)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word carries the meaning of someone who is free from the love of money, not greedy.

XII.       Good Testimony/Reputation (1 Timothy 3:7, 8)

Used twice

Required of both elders and servants (implied to female servants)

The Greek word means a record, report, testimony, witness.  The Greek words for testimony and reputation are based on the same root word, from which our English word “martyr” derives.

An elder’s character is to be certified by the testimony of those outside the church. A man chosen to lead the church must maintain a reputation in the community for righteousness, moral character, love, kindness, generosity, and goodness.  They must be men of integrity and above reproach in their community.

XIII.     Not Self-Willed (Titus 1:7)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word means self-pleasing, self-willed, arrogant.  This word refers to someone who is pleased with himself and despises others, insolent, surly, the contrast of courteous or affable.  A person who obstinately maintains his own opinion or asserts his own rights but is reckless of the rights, feelings, and interests of others.  He regulates his life with no respect for others.

The world usually looks to the aggressive, self-assertive person for leadership. However, those characteristics disqualify a man for leadership in the church, where a self-willed man has no place.  Every believer, and certainly every church leader, must continually fight the battle against fleshly self-will, self-fulfillment, and self-glory.

XIV.     Not Quick-Tempered (Titus 1:7)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word means not prone to anger, not quarrelsome, quiet, peaceable, tranquil.  This refers to a person that is not easily provoked to anger.

The qualified elder must carefully guard against a spirit of hostility, resentment, and anger—even when everything in the church seems to be going the wrong way and the people are critical or indifferent.  He is a man who can delegate responsibility to others, who may not fulfill a task in the exact way that he would.  He can work with others in kindness, patience, and gratitude.  He can allow dedicated but inexperienced people around him to fail until they learn to succeed.  His own ego is not tied up in everything that is done in the church.  He is as quick to share in others’ failures as in their successes.  He joyfully submits to God and serves all.

XV.        Lover of what is Good (Titus 1:8)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word means loving goodness and carries the idea of having a strong affection for that which is intrinsically good.

A pastor should love those things and those people who are genuinely good.

XVI.     Just (Titus 1:8)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word is a common word in the New Testament and means just or right.  It denotes that which is proper, right, and fitting, and is frequently rendered righteous.

XVII.   Holy (Titus 1:8)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word means, undefiled by sin, free from wickedness, religiously observing every moral obligation, pure holy, pious.  This refers to a person that separates himself from sin and the world not perfectly but as a pattern of life.

XVIII.Self-Controlled (Titus 1:8)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word means mastering, controlling, curbing, restraining, controlling one’s self, temperate, disciplined.  He lives an exemplary life on the outside because he submits to the Holy Spirit’s control on the inside.

A pastor who is not self-controlled, who does not continually monitor his own life, submitting his sin to the Lord’s cleansing and keeping a clear conscience, is not fit to lead God’s people, no matter how outwardly righteous his life may appear to be.  If he acts right only when others are looking, he is doing just that—acting.  The self-controlled pastor walks with God in the integrity of his heart.  He has the continuing grace of God working in his life to the degree that he is spiritually mature and morally pure.

XIX.      Reverent (1 Timothy 3:8, 11)

Repeated twice

Required both of male and female servants

The Greek word has the meaning of worthy of honor or reverence, dignified, serious, honorable.

This word identifies the deacons as one who is serious and respectable in their demeanor.  A servant will be working in the realm often of the mundane and in the realm of assisting people.  In their relation to people, they are to have an attitude that is respectable; and in relation to their work, they must see those acts of service as essential contributions to the work of the ministry.  They are to be characterized as one who takes on even the smallest aspects of ministry very seriously and something that is to be done as to the Lord.

XX.        Not Double-Tongued (1 Timothy 3:8)

Used once

Required only of servants (implied to female servants)

This word only appears once in the New Testament it literally means “to speak out of both sides of your mouth” it means to be two-faced, deceitful, insincere or hypocritical.

Some think this refers to a gossip, a person who has, so to speak, not one but two tongues going.  It seems best, however, to interpret it as a prohibition against saying one thing to one person and another thing to someone else.  A deacon’s speech must not be hypocritical, but be characterized by integrity, consistency, and honesty.  A man who tells different stories to different people will quickly lose their confidence and manifest a duplicitous and manipulative motive.

XXI.      Full of the Holy Spirit (Acts 6:3)

Used once

Required only of male servants (maybe implied to female servants)

They must be fully yielded to His control in every area of their lives.

XXII.   Full of wisdom (Acts 6:3)

Used once

Required only of male servants (maybe implied to female servants)

They must have biblical and theological knowledge, and the practical wisdom to apply biblical truth to the situations of everyday life.  They must be men of sober, righteous judgment.

XXIII. Not Slanderers (1 Timothy 3:11)

Used once

Required only of female servants

The Greek word means slanderer, malicious gossip, backbiting.  When used in the singular noun form it is always translated as “Satan”.  This word literally means “one who accuses”.

Women who are ministering in this area need to set an example of proper speech.  Not one that is complaining about people in the church but one who is bent on building people up, and, if need be, willing to confront instead of complaining.

XXIV. Faithful in All Things (1 Timothy 3:11)

Used once

Required only of female servants

The Greek words have the meaning of being trustworthy or faithful in everything.

They must be absolutely trustworthy in all areas of life and ministry.  These women are those who can be given a job and you can rest in the fact that they will get the job done.  We see many extremes of faithfulness, particularly as it relates to the tension between the home and the church.  Some women get so involved in their homes that they fail to minister to those outside their family.  Then you find some who are so involved in the ministry of the local church that they neglect their duties as a wife and as a mother.  Faithfulness in ALL THINGS means a balanced approach toward ministry and toward the family.

XXV.    Able to Teach (1 Timothy 3:2)

Used once

Required only of elders

The Greek word has the meaning “apt and skillful in teaching”.  Here is the only qualification that relates specifically to his giftedness and function. This gives us an idea of the function of the elder; to teach.

An elder must be a highly skilled teacher, who works hard in his studies and proclamation.  That is the one qualification that sets him apart from the deacons.  Since, as noted below, the primary duty of the overseer is to preach and teach the Word of God, being gifted for that is crucial.  Some may wonder why Paul includes this qualification in the midst of a list of moral qualities.  He does so because effective teaching is woven into the moral character of the teacher.  What a man is cannot be divorced from what he says.   If the messengers’ character does not match the message then the message is watered down no matter how true it is.

XXVI. Not a Novice / Proved (1 Timothy 3:6; 10)

The idea is repeated twice through two different words

Required of elders and male servants

The Greek word for “not a novice” appears only here in the New Testament and literally means “newly planted” referring to trees and metaphorical refers to a newly planted convert or a novice.  We get the English word neophyte from this word.

This does not refer to age, i.e. a younger person, but a spiritual immature person.  This has the idea that an elder is not a new convert.  This is the same idea of proved but in the negative.

This is the only qualification that comes with a warning, that if the elder is a novice he could become puffed up with pride and fall into sin.

The Greek word for “proved” means test, examine, prove, recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy.  This word denotes someone “tested in battle”, reliable or trustworthy.

This word has the idea that a servant should be approved only after testing.  Since this is in the present tense it has the meaning that servants should be continually tested to be qualified as a servant.  This is not referring to some written test but is a word, which indicates constant testing of observation by the church to see the genuineness of the positive qualities needed for a deacon.  He needs to be seasoned and seen as a faithful man.

XXVII.                 Holding Fast the Faithful Word / Holding the Mystery of the Faith (Titus 1:9; 1 Timothy 3:9)

The idea is repeated twice through two different phases

Required of elders and male servants

These two phases have the idea of being steadfast in the sound doctrine of God’s Word.  This is the ideas of loving God’s Word, living God’s Word, teaching God’s Word and being faithful to God’s Word.  It is more than mere head-knowledge.  It is an understanding of the details of sound doctrine but includes practically living it.

XXVIII.              Husband of One Wife (1 Timothy 3:2, 12)

Repeated twice

Required of elders and male servants

The phase in the Greek literally means “one woman man”.  It talks about the character of the elder or servant toward his wife.  It is not addressing the divorce/remarriage issue.  It is not dealing with polygamy.  It is the attitude toward the wife that he has.  The men must have an eye only for their wife.  This would mean that a man looking at pornography would be disqualified for an office in the church.  A man whose eye follows a woman who is not his wife as she walks by is guilty of not being a one-woman man.

XXIX. Rules His Own House Well (1 Timothy 3:4; 12)

Repeated twice

Required of elders and male servants

The Greek word for “rules” means manage, presides or has authority over.

The phrase for rule defines someone presiding over, administrating and managing a house well.  The word “well” points to the QUALITY of the administration.  It should be something beautiful and excellent, a home administer in such a way that people in your congregation desire that type of home.

It is interesting to note that the household here is more than children.  This is illustrated in Ephesians 5 and 6.  In this culture, this also included any servants that may have been under their house.

So Timothy was reminded that by observing the candidates ability to manage and control in his home would be a sample of his ability to manage the local church.

XXX.    Having His Children in Submission with all Reverence / Ruling Their Children Well (1 Timothy 3:4; 12)

Repeated twice

Required of elders and male servants

As we look at this text there are three truths related to the candidate’s relationship with his children.

  1. He must be able to control them.

The truth of ruling is directly associated with the candidate’s children.  This is not a control of fear but control of respect and love brought about through the biblical means of controlling a child’s behavior and attitude.

  1. They must be in submission to him.

In our present-day terms, his children must not be characterized as rebellious.  Some may say, “Is there any guarantee that your children will not be rebellious?”  Proverbs 22:6 established a principle (READ).  Show me a man whose children are rebellious and I will show you a man who did not fulfill his God-given responsibility to train those children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

  1. He must treat them with dignity

“Reverence” is an interesting word describing the fact that the candidate must have dignity and concern toward his children.

This is important in the life of a candidate for a pastor for two reasons: (1) He is to be an example, and (2) This will be an example of how he will manage the church.  If you have a pastor who browbeats and ridicules his own children, chances are you will have someone who will do that to their members.  If you have one who does not get involved in the life of their children, chances are they will not be involved in the life of the members of the church.

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