1 Timothy 3:1-7

1 Timothy 3:1-7

to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *

December 05, 2019 – Thursday

1 Timothy 3:1-7  NIV

Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.

Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.

He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect.

(If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?)

He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil.

He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.

Comments

In this letter to Timothy, Paul in the first chapter urged him to oppose false teachers. Then in chapter two Paul provides instructions to Timothy on worship. All leading up to this chapter on the qualifications for overseers and deacons. Our real focus here is on verse four and the word obey, however we must note many bible versions use the word submission  instead of obey.

But let’s walk through the verses prior to verse four first. In verse one we learn it is a good thing to desire to become an overseer – that is a deacon, an elder, or a pastor – for that is to desire a noble task. Still, it is not enough to simply desire such a position. Before being selected for any of these positions, it should be determined the candidate is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. The able to teach requirement would be applicable to a pastor who teaches or preaches, but not necessarily for an elder or a deacon.

Then we come to verse four where we would expect such an aspirant to manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full respect  and then as an explanation the following is provided If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church? There are plenty of competing desires and needs in any family which provides a great training ground for the various competing desires and needs within any church. The key thought though is that his children obey him or are submissive to his authority. I think this would be more possible then than today, but it is still a valid requirement.

Additionally any candidate must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil or in other words someone who has put the gospel into practice long enough it is not thought to be for purpose of gaining a position, but to live his faith. Further He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap. This is real common sense for he must be found to be honest and fair in his dealings with the world while remaining faithful to the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Hopefully, we can look at our churches and see Paul’s instructions to Timothy being applied within the leadership positions therein.

RileyD, nwJ
(to obey is better than sacrifice /obedience is better than sacrifice)

* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams.   (1 Samuel 15:22)