Summary: Spiritual growth and maturity is often accelerated under difficult circumstances. In Paul’s letter to the Thessalonians (see 1 Thessalonians 1:1-10), he describes what spiritual growth looks like in the midst of “severe suffering.”

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1 Timothy: Doing Church God’s Way

North Coast Church

Message #4 July 29-30, 2006 Dr. Larry Osborne

The Marks of Maturity

A Leadership Checklist

1 Timothy 3:1-16

Sermon Outline

Note: PowerPoints and Small Group Worksheets

for this sermon are available at



Paul Tells Timothy… What this chapter is all about

How to pick your leaders.

The minimum requirements for spiritual leadership.

The telltale marks of spiritual maturity.


1 Timothy 3:1-16/ Titus 1:5-9/ Acts 6:1-4/ 1 Peter 5:1-4/ Acts 20:17-30

A QUICK FLY-BY: Review the entire passage! Highlight key points.

 Spiritual Maturity In A Nutshell: No glaring weakness.

1 Timothy 3:1 & 8/ Titus 1:7/ Acts 6:3

~ “Above Reproach:” The key trait! Followed by 14 examples!

~ “Progress Not Perfection Present Not Past

Titus 1:5-9 ~ Above reproach then a slightly different list.

Acts 6:3 ~ Deacons – Choose 7 men full of the Spirit and wisdom

 Notice What’s Not In The List:

1 Corinthians 1:7 & 3:1-3/ Matthew 7:21-23/ John 13:17/ Colossians 2:20-23/ Romans 10:1-3

► Giftedness

Incredibly gifted/ spiritually messed up!

I Cor 1:7 & 3:1-3

► Spiritual Power

Prophesied, Cast out Demons many Miracles! Depart, I never knew you Mt 7:21-23

► Theological Training

Now that you know these things, blessed if you DO them Jn 13:17

► Religious Disciplines

Do not handle, touch, taste ~ Of no value Col 2:20-23

► Zeal

Pharisee’s & Israel’s Zeal Rom 10:1-3


 The Bad Translation: “Husband of but one wife”

1 Timothy 3:2/ 1 Corinthians 7:1-8, 32-34/ 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 & 2 Corinthians 5:17

► Literally: A one woman man

► What’s The Difference?

It eliminates anyone single, divorced or remarried.

Including the Apostle Paul! I Cor 7:1-8 & 32-34

It contradicts the rest of Scripture.

Such were some of you I Cor 6:9-11

All things become new 2:Cor 5:17

It focuses on marital status, not moral purity.

Woman at the well - Jn 4

Deut 24:1-4

It makes the past more important than the present.

None of the other traits are ever applied to the past!

 The Blind Spot: “Not quarrelsome”

1 Timothy 3:3/ Proverbs 17:19

►If I’m contentious for the right things, I’m still contentious!

“More than argumentative: Loves a fight – Christian Pit Bull

 The Three Surprises:

 A family under control.

1 Timothy 3:4-5/ 1 Corinthians 7:32-35/ Titus 1:6/ Ezekiel 18

Why This Is Important:

~ Priorities: Even if it’s not your fault, your family is your top priority!

~ Reputation: If a leader’s family is a mess, it casts a bad light on the church.

Titus 1:6-7 ~ Children must walk with God

Ezekiel 18 ~ Parents don’t bear guilt for the sins of their kids

 Not a recent convert.

1 Timothy 3:6/ Proverbs 8:13 & 11:2/ James 1:2-4/ Acts 14:22

~ We can be instantly spiritual.

We cannot be instantly mature!

¡ It Takes Time:

¡ It Takes Trials:

~ Too much too fast leads to pride!

Too much too fast stunts growth.

Prov 8:13 God hates pride & arrogance

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