The Book of 1 Timothy Bible Study Chapter 3 Part 2

Our next reading is from 1 Timothy 3:8-16

v8: Deacons: The Greek word means ‘a servant’. A deacon is a recognised servant, a servant leader, within a local congregation. 

  • Reverent: Serious minded. He needs to place proper value and have a proper understanding about what his work in the congregation is all about. 
  • Double-tongued: This means that he answers one person in one way and would then answer the next person in a completely different way. This double-speak indicates that he is a man pleaser. He is trying to do and say things which work out for his own good, and which place him in the best light. A double-tongued man is not concerned about G-d, or about following the instructions of G-d. He does and says what suits himself. 
  • Not greedy for money: They should not be placed within a position of service within the congregation if their goal is profit. If he is concerned about profit, he can be easily manipulated by the enemy and can compromise on his theology and convictions for the sake of greed. 

v9: Pure (clean) conscience: A conscience which has not been corrupted by the enemy. Lies, falsehood, poor theology…all of these corrupt our consciences.

v10: Be proved: Let them be tested. They need to have a historical testimony (a reputation) of meeting these qualifications – a testimony that they live out their faith without compromise. They need to have a track record of a proven commitment to the L-rd, demonstrating those qualities of being a G-dly leader. If they meet these criteria, then allow them to serve as deacons. 

  • Found blameless: Without blemish. This expression has to do with an animal that was going to be offered up at the altar. Before being sacrificed, the animal had to be thoroughly inspected to see that it was blameless and therefore fit for sacrifice. 

v11: Slanderers: Speak in a way that adversely characterizes someone else – whether it’s true about the other person or not. 

  • Temperate: Not intoxicated with alcohol.

Note: She needs to have a good testimony for her husband to be selected into this position. 

v12: The husbands of one wife: Divorce is taken seriously in the Bible, especially as far as qualification for leadership within a local congregation is concerned (applicable to both an overseer and a deacon).

  • Ruling their children and their own houses well: The leadership within their own homes needs to be above reproach. 

v13: A good standing (rank): In the military there are different ranks (sergeant, captain, colonel, general). A military man moves higher and higher in rank as he matures and shows himself faithful and capable. This is the same idea being portrayed here. Those in higher ranks (those who have “better standing”) have greater responsibility and greater potential. 

  • Great boldness in the faith which is in Messiah Yeshua: When we serve G-d well, we are going to move up in our rank and in our confidence. As we move up, G-d gives us greater assignments, more responsibility and also more resources to carry out what He has called us to do. As this maturing is taking place, we become confident in our faith and confident in Messiah. We begin to realise that it is all about Him and about His administration in our own lives – His provision and His Presence (John 3:30). 

v14: Shortly: Quickly, soon, right away.

v15: If I am delayed: If Paul had difficulty in getting to Timothy and the congregation that he oversaw.

  • The house of G-d: Referring to the congregation or local assembly. This is the place where people assemble to worship G-d and to study His Word. 
  • The pillar and ground (foundation) of the truth: If we do not hold fast to the truth of G-d in the local assembly, the world’s not going to have a pillar and foundation on which to build. This is why it is so important that we affirm and do not compromise G-d’s truth. 

v16: Note: A confession of faith or creed is proclaimed here by Paul. This is a confession that all believers need to confess. 

  • Without controversy: This is a known fact. It cannot be disputed. 
  • G-dliness: Strict piety. People who practice G-dliness are very concerned about not straying to the left or to the right of what G-d says. We have to give account to G-d for all of our thoughts and actions. It is better to err on the side of caution and in no way give in to compromise. 
  • G-d was manifested in the flesh: The divinity of Yeshua very clearly spoken about here. 
  • Justified in the Spirit: Through raising Yeshua from the dead, G-d confirmed that everything Messiah had done was righteous. Yeshua’s resurrection was G-d the Father’s stamp of approval on what Yeshua had done (Gal 1:1) – G-d the Father, through the Spirit of G-d coming upon Yeshua, justified Yeshua by raising Him from the dead. Yeshua never sinned, and so was the perfect Lamb who could take away our sins (2 Cor 5:21). When He rose from the dead, He signified that He was the Son of the living G-d. 
  • Angels: This word can also mean ‘messengers’. The apostles saw Yeshua raised to life and they testified about this to the Jews and Gentiles. 
  • Received up (ascended) in glory: G-d the Father received Yeshua back into heaven through the ascension.

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