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An Elder’s Qualifications 1 Timothy 3:1-7 Titus 1:5-9.

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Presentation on theme: "An Elder’s Qualifications 1 Timothy 3:1-7 Titus 1:5-9."— Presentation transcript:

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2 An Elder’s Qualifications 1 Timothy 3:1-7 Titus 1:5-9

3 Qualifications of Overseers Specific To The Office u Desires the work – 1 Tim. 3:1 u Husband of one wife – 1 Tim. 3:2 u Rules own house well – 1 Tim. 3:4-5 u Children are faithful – Tit. 1:6 u Not a novice – 1 Tim. 3:6 u Good reputation outside – 1 Tim. 3:7 u Godly wife – 1 Tim. 3:11 u Especially capable with the Word – 1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:9-14

4 Husband Of One Wife Although it is generally agreed that this phrase, at minimum, means that an elder has demonstrated himself to be faithful in marriage, there is disagreement beyond that. Only used twice in the NT, both times in regard to elders’ qualifications. Literally in the Greek: “of one wife a husband” “of one woman a man”

5 Husband Of One Wife An overseer must be a married man. An overseer must not be a polygamist. An overseer must be married once and only once in a lifetime. An overseer’s character is such that he demonstrates faithfulness to one wife. Interpretations

6 Husband Of One Wife An overseer’s character is such that he demonstrates faithfulness to one wife. 1.An elder must be “a one woman man”. 2.Concubines or “lovers” were an accepted practice in Greek culture. E.g,. epitaphs seen on gravestones: “a one woman man”

7 Husband Of One Wife An overseer’s character is such that he demonstrates faithfulness to one wife. William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 155 “The first situation that wrecked marriage among the Greeks was the fact that relationships outside marriage carried no stigma whatsoever, and were in fact the accepted and the expected thing....Demosthenes laid it down as the accepted practice of life: ‘We have

8 Husband Of One Wife An overseer’s character is such that he demonstrates faithfulness to one wife. William Barclay, The Gospel of Matthew, p. 155 courtesans for the sake of pleasure; we have concubines for the sake of cohabitation, we have wives for the purpose of having children legitimately, and of having a faithful guardian for all our household affairs....’”

9 Husband Of One Wife An overseer’s character is such that he demonstrates faithfulness to one wife. This concept of the phrase: a.Disqualifies the man with whom there is a question about his character. b.Avoids placing reproach upon actions that have divine approval. (May a widowed man who scripturally remarries be an elder?)

10 Husband Of One Wife An overseer’s character is such that he demonstrates faithfulness to one wife. This definition of the phrase: c.Raises the question: Must a man step down from being an elder when his wife dies? (Does he still meet the qualification of being a one woman man?)

11 Rules Own House Well 1 Tim. 3:4-5 – “He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?)” Tit. 1:6-7 – “…having children who believe (faithful children), not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”

12 Rules Own House Well Often lost in all of the discussions over “plurality of children” and “believing children” is the basic qualification – A man MUST have demonstrated the ability to keep his children “under control with all dignity”.

13 Rules Own House Well  How respectful are his children to him?  How do his children behave when he’s not around?  What is the reputation of his children with other parents and peers?  What company do his children keep?  How do his children dress? Are they involved in worldly forms of recreation?  Do his children show positive signs of spirituality – are they servants?

14 “Faithful” or “Believing” In Tit. 1:6 does pista mean “believing” (NASB) as in “a Christian”? Or does it mean “faithful” (NKJV) as in trustworthy? Ultimately, a decision on “believing” or “faithful” may be irrelevant. If a man has children old enough to be Christians, and they are not yet Christians, could he be viewed by some as one who does not “manage his own household well”?

15 Misc. Questions A man has four children. Three are Christians and one is only 5 years old. Does he meet the qualification?  Does he have “believing children”?  Has he met the stated intention of the qualification, to keep “his children under control with all dignity”?  Are there any signs the man has failed to manage his own household well?

16 Misc. Questions A man has four children. Three are Christians and one is only 5 years old. Does he meet the qualification?  Is a man automatically disqualified if he has a child who is limited mentally? (No)  Does God want us to place an interpretation on this passage that disqualifies an otherwise qualified man simply because one of his children is UNABLE to become a Christian? (No)

17 Misc. Questions A man has 4 children and all ARE OF AGE, but only 3 are Christians. Does he meet the qualification?  Does he have “believing children”? YES  Is there any possible doubt that the man has failed to manage his own household well? YES

18 Misc. Questions An elder’s grown faithful children die before he dies. Must he step down?  Has he already proven his ability to manage his own household well, and thus manage the church?  When did he start FAILING to manage his household well? When did he cease to be above reproach? When did he cease to be blameless?

19 Misc. Questions An elder’s child becomes unfaithful long after leaving home. Is the elder no longer qualified?  Are these children still being “managed” by him?  Does this indicate that he failed to manage them well in the first place?  Prov. 22:6 – “Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.”

20 Children – Plurality? Can a man with only one child serve as an elder or deacon? H.E. Phillips, Scriptural Elders and Deacons, p “This author has in the past committed himself to the position that a man MUST have more than one child to qualify for the eldership. The position in that form I now disown.”

21 Children – Plurality? Both the OT and NT inspired writers often used the plural for the singular in speaking of a person’s offspring.  The rules of language we apply to these passages must also be applied to 1 Tim. 3:4 and Tit. 1: unless there is good reason not to.

22 Children – Plurality? Genesis 21:7 – Sarah nursed “children” (offspring) Matthew 22:24 – 7 brothers, wife dies, no “children” (offspring). * Matthew quotes Deut. 25:5 and substitutes the plural for the singular, meaning “one or more.” Luke 20:29, 31 – “without child” (ateknos) is parallel to “no children” (ou tekna)

23 Children – Plurality? 1 Cor. 7:14 – “For the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children (offspring) unclean; but now they are holy.” 1 Tim. 5:4,10 – Widow can’t be put on the list if she has brought up only one child?

24 Children – Plurality? Eph. 6:4 – “Fathers, do not provoke your children (offspring) to wrath” BUT… It Is Argued “fathers” plural --- “children” plural “elder” singular --- “children” plural BUT… It is Argued Back “widow” singular --- “children” plural 1 Tim. 5:4, 10 THE CONSISTENT USE OF “CHILDREN” IN THE SCRIPTURES REFERS SIMPY TO “OFFSPRING,” ONE OR MORE.

25 Children – Plurality? INVALID ARGUMENTS “A Man Can’t Get The Right Kind Of Experience With Only One Child”  This is “human wisdom” not scripture. We are interested ONLY in how the Bible uses the term.

26 Children – Plurality? I see no Scriptural basis for someone to BIND, on a man or a church, a requirement for a man to have a plurality of children before he can be an elder or a deacon.

27 Likewise, Their Wives… Reverent (Grave) – serious, mature, dignified, respectable; not trifling, petty, giddy, frivolous. An elder’s wife will be dealing with serious issues via their husbands. If they are not spiritually reverent, they will undermine his service by complaints, criticisms and general discontentedness.

28 Likewise, Their Wives… Not a slanderer (diabolos) – not a malicious gossip. An elder’s wife must be guarded and measured in speech. With access to privileged information arising from her husband’s duties, she will learn things about members of the congregation she would rather not know. Much damage can be done by spreading tales.

29 Likewise, Their Wives… Not a slanderer (diabolos) – not a malicious gossip. The stresses and strains of an elder can be enormous, and confidential sharing of thoughts and feelings is a crucial element of marital oneness. A man must know that he can speak candidly with his wife without her speaking to others about it.

30 Likewise, Their Wives… Temperate (self-controlled) – (same as an elder in 3:2); a balanced, deliberate, sober, controlled demeanor. A temperate woman lives a well- ordered life. This is not a woman who lives by her impulses, or who is undisciplined and given to extremes.

31 Likewise, Their Wives… Faithful in all things – an elder’s wife must be trustworthy, reliable, true to the principles of godliness as she goes about her daily life. Does she keep her word; is she dependable, or do I always wonder if she will come through as promised? Do I have spiritual confidence in her, or is there evidence of divided loyalties in her life?

32 Qualifications of Overseers Specific To The Office u Desires the work – 1 Tim. 3:1 u Husband of one wife – 1 Tim. 3:2 u Rules own house well – 1 Tim. 3:4-5 u Children are faithful – Tit. 1:6 u Not a novice – 1 Tim. 3:6 u Good reputation outside – 1 Tim. 3:7 u Godly wife – 1 Tim. 3:11 u Especially capable with the Word – 1 Tim. 3:2; Tit. 1:9-14

33 Will You Obey The Gospel? Hear the Gospel (Rom. 10:17) Believe that Jesus is the Son of God (John8:24) Repent of Your Sins (Acts 17:30-31) Confess that Jesus is the Son of God (Acts 8:37) Be Baptized for Forgiveness of Sins (Acts 2:38) Live Faithfully until You Die (Rev. 2:10)


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