Timothy Chapter 3
verses for this week: Psa
90:12 So teach us to
number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
In chapter 2, we studied how that we should be constantly in
prayer to the Lord for all men.
Both kings, friends, and even those who do not know the Lord.
God’s desire is that we live such lives as would cause the
lost to be drawn to Christ.
We saw in verse 4 of chapter 2 that God’s Will is for ALL
men to come to him and be saved and come to the knowledge of the
I. The Qualifications of
Tim 3:1 This is a true
saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good
Tim 3:2 A bishop then
must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good
behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
One of the great wonders of the bible is that it is all true.
Every Word was God inspired and given by the inspiration of
the Holy Spirit. We
seen in this chapter the qualifications of a pastor.
It is true that if a man seeks to be a pastor he does seek a
good work. But we need
to understand that God CALLS men into the ministry.
Without a specific call from God, we should not be in the
pulpit preaching. Unfortunately,
God’s Word is not used to determine qualifications for a pastor in
many churches today. Those
who ignore God’s rules will answer for their failures one day.
Those who follow the call of the Lord will never be among the
highest paid in this life nor will they dwell in palaces and be
worshipped as a king or lord. (If
done God’s way.) But
this is a very desirable vocation and God does the choosing as to
who is called and is placed in each church.
In Acts Chapter 20, the bible says that the Holy Spirit makes
the pastor/bishop the overseer of the flock.
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.
Verses 2 through 7 lay out the qualifications needed to
become a pastor. The
first requirement is that he be found blameless.
That is not to say the man lives above sin, but he has a good
Christian testimony and lives in an attempt to be pleasing to God by
honoring the commandments and walking circumspectly in this world.
The second qualification is the husband of one wife.
This does not mean one wife at a time.
It means that he is married to his first wife until death.
He can remarry at that time, but divorced men are not
qualified for the ministry.
Perhaps you know someone who is a pastor who has been
divorced. I did
not say all denominations enforce God’s rules, but this is what
the bible says. Does
this mean single men can not be pastors?
No, Paul himself was a man that we believe was not married.
But if married, there is to be one wife.
I think the teaching is clear that the husband of one wife
also excludes women from the ministry.
At my aunt’s funeral a few weeks ago, the pastor performing
the ceremony in a Methodist church was a woman.
It seemed awkward and out of place to me, and made me feel
uncomfortable trying to be gracious to her.
Knowing the scriptures, I could not believe that God would
want me to commend her for the service.
Of course for the families sake I did not complain or make a
scene, but I knew that this was not right in God’s sight.
Am I saying no one could be saved by this woman’s
preaching. No.. I
believe she could preach the gospel and tell others about Christ,
just as much as you and I have that right and command to do today as
lay persons of the church.
But I am saying that this verse had to be ignored for the
woman to be ordained to begin with.
If I know my heart, I want to please God rather than men.
Verse 2 says the man should be vigilant and sober. Vigilant
speaks of being awake and watchful as to what is going on around
him. Sober goes beyond
abstaining from alcohol, but means to have a steady inward mind that
is clear and able to see what ought to be done.
Verse 2 goes on to say the man should be of good behavior,
given to hospitality, and apt to teach.
A Christian pastor should have excellent outward behavior
look, his tone, even his dress should speak of his calling.
The given to hospitality speaks of not only being nice and
social to Christians, but to none-Christians also.
Handling himself professionally around both those who have
and those who have not. And
the man of God should be apt to teach, meaning to teach the Word of
Tim 3:3 Not given to
wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a
brawler, not covetous;
Here is another command warning against alcohol use… not
given to wine. We
have churches teaching that fermented wine should be used in the
Lord’s supper. Overseas,
in the Arab countries, you find wine meaning both freshly squeezed
grape juice and fermented wine.
The Lord would not command us to partake of something He has
forbidden in other scriptures. The bible ALWAYS backs itself up from front to back.
Times changed, and we moved from the period of Law to the
dispensation of Grace. But
sin is still sin as it was in the Old Testament. Praise God that we live in this period today.
What a blessing that God has given us this time period to
live here on earth.
Verse 3 is clear about using alcohol, and here are a couple
of others that forbid use of wine once it is fermented.
20:1 Wine is a mocker,
strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not
23:31 Look not thou
upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup,
when it moveth itself aright.
23:32 At the last it
biteth like a serpent, and stingeth like an adder.
The man desiring the office of bishop should not have an
intense desire of money. None
of us should covet money, but the man of God is expressly forbidden
to be that way and hold the office of a pastor.
It goes on to say he should not be a brawler or one who would
be quick to get into a fight with the fists.
Rather he is to be one that is calm and patient with all men
Vernon McGee said this about these verses.
greedy of filthy lucre.” He shouldn’t have a love of money. The
love of money is a root of all evil we are told in Scripture (1 Tim.
6:10). The way a church officer handles his money can lead him into
a great deal of trouble—either his own money or the church’s
means reasonable. He should be a reasonable man, someone you can
talk to or reason with.
a brawler.” He should not be a contentious person. Men who are
constantly stirring up trouble in a church should never be selected
as church officers.
covetous” again refers to the love of money, but it also suggests
idolatry, actually the worship of money. He should not be a man who
puts the pursuit of wealth above everything else.
Tim 3:4 One that ruleth
well his own house, having his children in subjection with all
Tim 3:5 (For if a man
know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the
church of God?)
Verses 4 and 5 speak of the importance of raising your
children correctly and managing your own affairs properly.
If a man can not manage his own house well, how can he
possibly manage the house of the Lord? This is a far greater responsibility. I have to highly commend our pastor in spending and
controlling spending in the church.
By doing things conservatively, we have been able to pay off
the new church building in just a few years and can now concentrate
our resources on helping missionaries and starting new churches.
Many churches in our day are in debt to the point that they
can not balance their budget monthly.
My dad’s church is that way today.
Always running in the negative to the budgeted amounts.
God provides all the money we need and we should live within
those boundaries that we might honor God with what He has given to
Tim 3:6 Not a novice,
lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the
Tim 3:7 Moreover he
must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into
reproach and the snare of the devil.
This not a condemnation of young pastors, but just a warning
that we have need to learn quickly and preach the whole word of God
with accuracy and wisdom. God
is the one who gives us wisdom.
I believe if we pray seriously and stedfastly for wisdom, God
will honor that prayer and give us wisdom far beyond our years.
When Solomon took the throne, he was a relatively young man
and realized that he had limited capabilities, and to fill the shoes
of his father David would be no easy task.
And when he asked God for wisdom to guide the people, God
gave him GREAT wisdom and knowledge.
1 Ki 3:6
And Solomon said, Thou hast showed unto thy servant David my
father great mercy, according as he walked before thee in truth, and
in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart with thee; and thou
hast kept for him this great kindness, that thou hast given him a
son to sit on his throne, as it is this day.
1 Ki 3:7
And now, O LORD my God, thou hast made thy servant king
instead of David my father: and I am but a little child: I know not
how to go out or come in.
1 Ki 3:8
And thy servant is in the midst of thy people which thou hast
chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered nor counted for
1 Ki 3:9
Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge
thy people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able
to judge this thy so great a people?
1 Ki 3:10
And the speech pleased the Lord, that Solomon had asked this
1 Ki 3:11
And God said unto him, Because thou hast asked this thing,
and hast not asked for thyself long life; neither hast asked riches
for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies; but hast
asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment;
1 Ki 3:12
Behold, I have done according to thy words: lo, I have given
thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like
thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.
1 Ki 3:13
And I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked,
both riches, and honour: so that there shall not be any among the
kings like unto thee all thy days.
1 Ki 3:14
And if thou wilt walk in my ways, to keep my statutes and my
commandments, as thy father David did walk, then I will lengthen thy
How can we have a good report from them that are without?
I think this speaks of walking humbly before all men and
helping those that have need as God would so guide us.
This may also speak of those outside of the church.
In other words, not only should his own flock see him as a
good man, but those outside of the immediate church also knows him
as an honest and just man.
“Them which are without” means those who are outside the
church. In other words, if a man has a bad reputation on the
outside—if he doesn’t pay his bills, is untrustworthy, or is a
liar—he immediately is not a candidate to be an officer in the
church. If he is such a man he is really a candidate of the
Devil—he would better represent the Devil than he would represent
the cause of Christ. 
We all have to fight pride.
We can get lifted up and see ourselves far beyond where we
truly are in God’s sight. When
this happens, we can fall under condemnation of the devil.
It was pride that caused Lucifer to be cast from his lofty
position in Heaven.
Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast
corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee
to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold
When pride cometh, then cometh shame: but with the lowly is
Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before
The Qualifications of Deacons
Tim 3:8 Likewise must
the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not
greedy of filthy lucre;
We see many of the qualifications of a pastor in the deacon.
A deacon is an appointed position by the pastor, and was
never meant to an office that overseas and dictates church policy
for the pastor to follow. Deacons were honestly in the early days the ones that waited
on tables for the widows who had not been properly cared for.
A deacon is to be a helper to the pastor, certainly not a
controlling mechanism against God’s perfect design of hierarchy in
the church. Christ
is the head of the church, and the pastor is the Shepard overlooking
the flock. The
Holy Spirit is to guide the church under the direction of the
pastor. Not many
churches use the office of deacon in the proper way it was intended,
causing much trouble and division within the church body.
To the qualifications…
a deacon is to be a serious minded person who speaks the
truth. What he tells
one person should be the same to all people.
He is to give the same report to all men.
He, like the pastor, is not to be given to much wine.
The Greek word ‘oinos’ used here means grape juice, not
fermented wine. He also
is to be free from the greed of money.
Tim 3:9 Holding the
mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
Tim 3:10 And let these
also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon,
being found blameless.
A deacon should hold a clear and conscientious view of Divine
Truth. He should know
that God’s Word is accurate, inerrant, and divinely inspired. And knowing this, he should study the scriptures and be
able to contend for the faith.
Verse 10 says that a man should first be proven before given
the office of a deacon. Only
after he has been examined and found that he fills all of the
qualifications would he use the office of the deacon.
Tim 3:11 Even so must
their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
Note that the deacon’s wife is to meet all of these
a person who is a gossiper or one to cause problems, but a serious
woman that is faithful in all things.
A woman like this is a glory to her husband and glorifies God
by living righteously before all.
Tim 3:12 Let the
deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their
own houses well.
Tim 3:13 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.
As a pastor, a deacon should be the husband of one wife.
We did not mention it earlier, but if a pastor (or a deacon)
should outlive their wife, they are free to marry again and this
would not disqualify them from their office.
The deacon should rule his children and his home well.
The office of a deacon is to be a commendable position and
should be desired by those serving the Lord out of honesty and
The Church – The Pillar and Ground of the Truth
Tim 3:14 These things
write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
Tim 3:15 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.
Paul had a great desire to come and to be with young Timothy
and his church. And
his desire was to be able to return.
We know this was not in God’s Will, and Paul soon died
after writing these letters to Paul.
Verse 15 goes over how we should conduct ourselves inside the
church in the assemblies. In
this verse, the church is called the house of God.
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house
of the LORD.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my
life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.
One thing have I desired of the LORD, that will I seek after;
that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to enquire in his temple.
We need to think about what God is saying here when he speaks
of the pillar and ground of the truth.
The ground of a thing is the foundation upon which the
structure rests. The
pillar is a column that upholds the superstructure.
Our attitude in the church towards the truth is that it
upholds all things. We
stand on the truth of God’s Word and teach the true doctrines
according to the blessed scriptures.
If the church was removed from the world (which is going to
happen one day soon), there will be no truth left in the world.
The Mystery of Godliness
1 Tim 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.
How true verse 16 is… the mystery of Godliness is great.
The church, as a pillar and foundation, upholds the truth by
proclaiming it through the ministry of the church.
The ordinances are a picture of the gospel.
And as we live Godly lives, we put forth Jesus Christ.
What are we as a church to uphold?
1. God was
manifested in the flesh.
But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his
Son, made of a woman, made under the law,
To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive
the adoption of sons.
2. He was justified in the Spirit
3. He was seen of Angels.
Luke 2:8 And there were in the same country
shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the
glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid.
10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you
good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto
you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ
the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the
babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And
suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host
praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on
earth peace, good will toward men.
4. Christ was Preached unto the Gentiles.
(first by Peter, then Paul, and many others.)
5. Believed on in the world. (some did not and still do not believe today.)
6. Received up into glory.
Only those who believed.
Internet Bible Studies are prepared and
distributed free of charge. The
lessons may not be sold without consent.
If you have questions or wish to discuss the lessons, or
possibly need help in finding Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and
Savior, contact David Parham at 940-322-4343.
But the path of the just is as the shining light, that
shineth more and more unto the perfect day.