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 (Thessalonians, Timothy, and Titus)
Lesson 15 Church Ministers (1Tim 3:1-16)
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15: Church Ministers (1Tim 3:1-16)

I.       The Basics

A.     Setting

After 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 life.

B.     Key Verse

            “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).

C.     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 5:1-2.”

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 (Acts 20:28).

II.    Observation

A.     Outline




B.     Key Words/Phrases

III. General Analysis

1. Considering 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?

IV.  Segment Analysis

A.     3:1-7

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 bishop?

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?

B.     3:8-13

8. Explain the following requirements for deacons:

8a. “Not double-tongued” (8)

8b. “Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience” (9)

8c. “Be tested” (10)

C.     3:14-16

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?

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