Summary: 4 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-IV—1Timothy 3:1-7
I went to truck driving school, went thru the appropriate training, passed the appropriate tests, made the appropriate contacts.
I was trained for a few months on the road/I learned much from my trainers.
I eventually was cut loose on my ow, driving from Ohio to Mississippi to Florida, etc.
CT(Coastal Transport) saw me as FIT for their trucking team!
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.
?How is an overseer’s fitness determined?
Characteristics by which an overseer’s fitness for office is decided.
In previous weeks we have found that An overseer’s fitness for office is decided by His...
3. MARITAL COMMITMENT(:2b)
4. EMOTIONAL STABILITY(:2c)
7. OPENNESS Toward STRANGERS(:2f)
9—An overseer’s fitness for office is decided by...
:3—“not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;”
These terms seems to be a triplet of opposing terms.
3 Negatives(mentioned first), followed by their three corresponding positive counterparts, hence the word “But”—alla.
The first involves consumption of fermented substances.
People who are stone cold sober will be those who do not stumble into matters bull-headedly. Such people will NOT be ‘like a bull in a china shop’ regarding the personal struggles & experiences of others who are in need. Rather the fit pastor/bishop/overseer will be “gentle” in his approach toward helping others.
Our society recognizes the effect of beer or wine & liquor as ‘being under the influence’(DUI) or ‘driving while impaired(DWI).’
Both these terms & the fact that they are governmentally regulated, highlight the potential which alcohol holds for personal & collateral disaster.
Any ‘mind-altering substance’ has potential to transform a person from helpful to dangerous. *That is, if anything we ingest or take into our bodies in any way, chemically alters the normalcy of our thinking processes, then we have lost our ability to reason as God has endowed us. We have thereby rendered ourselves—albeit temporarily—‘impaired.’
We are ‘impaired’ because we have, thru the substance, severely short-circuited our spiritual discretion/discernment to the will of the flesh rather than the will of God by the Holy Spirit—1Thess. 5:19—“Do not quench the Spirit.”
Being ‘under the influence’ is being ‘under the influence’...of something other than God in Christ. One’s Christian principles lived by are openly ‘forgotten’ or laid aside for the sake of personal indulgence.
Drunkenness/being high is never conducive to a rewardingly influential ministry.
Related to alcohol consumption is the fact that the Bible never condemns its ingestion, but it absolutely condemns its abuse—its mind-altering indulgence.
The testimony of Scripture is to divide alcohol into two categories—1)Wine & Beer & 2)Strong drink(liquor).
Liquor use is never commended but is always denigrated. That is because its sole purpose is to get the person high, which is sinful!
Pot/weed/ganja/marijuana use is the same—its sole purpose is to get the person high. People will say to me, ‘Oh but preacher, Nobody smoking weed would harm anybody! It makes you more mellow, dude.’
Well, folks whether you are mellowed out/relaxed or enraged, your thinking has still been willingly & chemically impaired!
*Its not about niceness vs. badness, but is all about impairment & flesh & the Holy Spirit!
What would happen if we were to meditate on the goodness of God & be allow the Spirit of God to relax us? We would find relaxation can come substance free!
Consider ‘ADD’ medications. They ‘mellow’ a person(particularly children) out as well. Americans have become the victims of governmentally directed secularized public education. Teachers are not allowed to interact with & discipline their own classrooms. Thus ADD medications are now mainstream. These slow the child down, effect their appetite. But more than that, they do not allow the child the privilege of handling personal struggles effectively.
We all must learn to approach each day’s difficulties with sober seriousness. Each day is a gift of God. And each day day holds individual trials of varying degrees. We must personally learn to appreciate such ‘troubles’ with God’s help & not chemical help.
Mat. 6:33-34—““But seek first the kingdom of God & His righteousness, & all these things shall be added to you. “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”
The corresponding & like response of Sobriety is “Gentleness.”
“Gentle - His manner & words are not abrasive ...he has a good "bed side manner.”—Pastoral Ad
Jas 3:17—“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle(epieikhv), willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality & without hypocrisy.”