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.”