Summary: 2 of 6. Paul related the moral qualifications for an overseer of the Church. Character traits for overseers of the church are definitive. ?How is his fitness determined? An overseer’s fitness is decided by his...
The OVERSEER’s FITNESS-II—1Timothy 3:1-7
This election year, Americans will decide generally whether they want more Federal control or more State control.
We want our country to remain the powerhouse for freedom which it has always been since its founding. We want it to maintain its Christian foundational fortitude.
We are rightly convinced that a healthy country is better than an unhealthy one.
Those who oversee our country are responsible for its fitness.
Likewise, oversight of the local church requires a certain fitness.
Paul related the moral qualifications for an overseer of the Church.
Character traits for overseers of the church are definitive/unequivocal.
?What moral character traits define an overseer’s fitness for office?
?How is an overseer’s fitness determined?
Characteristics by which an overseer’s fitness for office is decided.
3—An overseer’s fitness is decided by...
His MARITAL COMMITMENT(:2b)
:2—A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;”
To be “the husband of one wife” could reference 1)polygamy but this is questionable. Due to the Roman(& Jewish) ease of divorce, polygamy would have been a moot application, plus polygamists not being allowed as members of the church, would naturally bypass even lesser roles of leadership.—John MacArthur
Concerning polygamy—Recently at a local pastor’s meeting(2012), a national pastor on mission in Liberia had to decide the best course of action for churches regarding polygamists(not typical but prevalent) who had become Christians. Their solutions: 1)Allow them to become members of the church, but keep them from any leadership or ministry role. 2)Another solution was to keep them from membership altogether.
This phrase most probably rather speaks of 2)The “bishop’s” character as a ‘one woman man.‘ This plays well into the scheme of the whole of this passage as delineating the overseer’s/pastor’s moral character rather than his status. He is to be totally dedicated to his spouse. This scenario would then speak of God’s plan for marriage to others of any ilk. A “bishop” is to be a witness for God in his most intimate personal commitments. And as an example, he lives out God’s intention for all men.
“Husband of One Wife—He must be faithful to his wife. He adores his wife & doesn’t flirt with other women.”—Pastoral Ad
*This begs the question of how divorce plays into the bishop’s situation.
Inflaming debate exists maintaining that a divorced man(regardless of the conditions of the divorce—its cause & relationships stemming from it) may not hold the office of bishop. This is because it is reasoned that all divorce falls into 1)The realm of preventable sin, & also into 2)The category of the sentiment of God’s desire regarding the sanctity of marriage. This is based largely upon the following telling verses:
Mat. 5:31-32—““Furthermore it has been said, ‘Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.’ “But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; & whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery.”
Mat. 19:3-12—“The Pharisees also came to Him, testing Him, & saying to Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for just any reason?” And He answered & said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male & female,’ & said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father & mother & be joined to his wife, & the two shall become one flesh’? “So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” They said to Him, “Why then did Moses command to give a certificate of divorce, & to put her away?” He said to them, “Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so. And I say to you, whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, & marries another, commits adultery; & whoever marries her who is divorced commits adultery. His disciples said to Him, “If such is the case of the man with his wife, it is better not to marry.” But He said to them, “All cannot accept this saying, but only those to whom it has been given: For there are eunuchs who were born thus from their mother’s womb, & there are eunuchs who were made eunuchs by men, & there are eunuchs who have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He who is able to accept it, let him accept it.””
Mk. 10:2-12—“The Pharisees came & asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. And He answered & said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, & to dismiss her.” And Jesus answered & said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. “But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male & female.’ ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father & mother & be joined to his wife, ‘& the two shall become one flesh’; so then they are no longer two, but one flesh. “Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.” In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife & marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband & marries another, she commits adultery.”