15: Church Ministers (1Tim 3:1-16)
instructing the believers in general, Paul provides guidance on the appointment
of church ministers. The qualifications Paul outlines serve as exhortation to
existing church ministers and help preachers such as Timothy in the selection
and ordination of new ministers. The qualifications can be categorized into
four areas, i.e., personal character, family life, church life, public or social
“But if I am delayed, I write
so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which
is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth” (3:15).
Did You Know…?
1. “Bishops” (3:1): “In the Greek culture the word
was used of a presiding official in a civic or religious organization. Here it
refers to a man who oversees a local congregation. The equivalent word from the
Jewish background of Christianity is ‘elder.’ The term ‘overseer’ and ‘elder’ are
used interchangeably in Acts 20:17,28; Tit 1:5-7; 1Pet
2. “Deacons” (3:8): “The word deacon
comes from the Greek diakonos. The simple
meaning of this word is ‘servant,’ and it is used that way many times in the
Gospels. Specifically, it was used by Josephus and other writers of that period
for those who wait on tables.”
3. “Their wives” 3:11: “The Greek for this phrase
simply means ‘the women.’”
4. “Church” (3:15) translates the Greek word “ekklesia,”
which means assemblies of people. In the Biblical context, it refers to the
congregation of believers, who are chosen by God and redeemed by His blood
what we have studied thus far in the epistle, why is it so important for the
church to pay special attention to the qualifications of bishops and deacons?
1. What functions of bishops are mentioned in the
list of qualifications?
2. Go through these references and record the
other functions of bishops: Acts 20:28-31; 1Pet 5:1-3; Jas 5:14; 1Tim 4:14;
5:17; Tit 1:9
3. How does Paul consider the position of a
4. What personal qualities must a bishop have?
Elaborate with examples and cross-reference from other Bible passages.
5. What qualities must a bishop have in terms of
his family life?
6. What qualities must a bishop have in terms of
his church life?
7. What qualities must a bishop have in terms of
his relation to the society?
8. Explain the following requirements for deacons:
8b. “Holding the
mystery of the faith with a pure conscience” (9)
8c. “Be tested”
9. How does Paul describe the church? What do
these descriptions mean?
10. How does
verse 16 relate to verse 15?
11. How was God
“justified in the Spirit” (16)? ( cf. Mt 3:16-17; Lk 4:18-21; Acts 10:38)
12. Why is this
paragraph a climax in the epistle and a fitting conclusion to chapters 1-3?