We will begin this lesson in I Timothy 3:1 "This [is] a true
saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good

     "Man" in the verse above, means mankind. It actually means any
person, male or female. Almost all of the times the word {man} is
used, it means mankind. To desire to work for God all the rest of your
life is a sacrificial thing. It is a life of self-sacrifice. Bishop is
an office to give relief. The word "bishop" was translated from means
inspection {for relief}, or superintendence. It can be stretched to
mean office of the bishop {episcopate}.

     I Timothy 3:2 "A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of
one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality,
apt to teach;"

     We see that the leader of the church must be someone who has very
high moral character. "Vigilant" means sober. The reason sober is
mentioned twice is, possibly, because it means to be sober in spirit
and in flesh. Given to hospitality is a description of what every
Christian should be. You may read of this in Romans chapter 12
beginning with verse 5. To teach the Word of God is a high calling.
The great powers in this world are the written and the spoken Word of

     I Timothy 3:3 "Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of
filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;"

     These are more things showing that the character of the leader of
the church must be an example to the members. Strong drink causes the
person drinking to not be able to make sound judgements. Some of the
things here mentioned come from losing control of your own will. We
should be careful to note {not greedy for filthy lucre}. Greed for
money has been the downfall of many. To covet is specifically spoken
against in the 10 commandments. When you want anything that belongs to
someone else, you are coveting. Fighting should not be part of the
minister's vocabulary. These things go against a tender kind, patient
spirit that the minister needs.

     I Timothy 3:4 "One that ruleth well his own house, having his
children in subjection with all gravity;"

     The leadership that the minister would need to lead the church
members should be evident in the home, as well. Children obey your
parents. Parents, make your children obey you.

     I Timothy 3:5 "(For if a man know not how to rule his own house,
how shall he take care of the church of God?)"

     This just means that someone who can not take care of his own
personal affairs, should not be the leader of the church, because he
has proven that he is not leadership material.

     I Timothy 3:6 "Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he
fall into the condemnation of the devil."

     A "novice" is a newcomer to the faith. This would be someone who
had not been grounded in the Word of God. This would be someone who
wanted this job for the power to rule over others. A novice means
newly planted. A tree that has been recently planted does not have
deep solid roots. The roots that are necessary to lead a church would
be grounded solidly in the Word of God. Winds of false doctrine would
not be able to uproot him, because he would be solidly planted {over
much time} in the teachings of the Word of God. Lucifer fell to the
temptation of pride. This is, possibly, what is meant here.

     I Timothy 3:7 "Moreover he must have a good report of them which
are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

     The devil goes around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may
devour. All eyes will be on the leader of the church. The leader of
the church must live without even giving the appearance of evil. Any
misconduct upon the part of the leader, opens the gate for the devil
to deceive the members. Paul had said before, to follow him as he
followed Jesus. This should be the pattern of all who minister. They
should live a life free from sin.

     I Timothy 3:8 "Likewise [must] the deacons [be] grave, not
doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;"

     When we think of someone who is double tongued, we think of a
two-faced person. They are unstable in all of their ways. They can not
be trusted, because they say what ever is convenient to say at the
time, whether it is true or not. We see from the description above
that this person needs to be in full control of his thoughts at all
time {not given to much drink}. Greed certainly must not be a
character trait of a deacon. One of the jobs of the deacon of the
church is to see to the financial needs of the church. The minister
should not be involved with raising money for the church to function
on. That is the job of the deacon. The minister should be interested
in the souls of the people. His time should be spent in prayer and the
study of the Word of God. He is like the shepherd who sees to the need
of the flock. Sometimes the flock does not have a shepherd and a
shepherdess cares for them.

     I Timothy 3:9 "Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure

     What is a mystery? Something not understood. We know that Jesus
opened our understanding to the mystery of God, when He sent the Holy
Spirit to instruct us into all Truth. A Christian with a clear
conscience is one who is allowing Christ in them to live through them.
A pure conscience is one not worried over whether you are doing right,
or wrong. You know you are doing right, because you have turned your
will over to the Lord.
     I Timothy 3:10 "And let these also first be proved; then let them
use the office of a deacon, being [found] blameless."

     Some ministers will not let anyone serve as a deacon, until they
have attended their church for several years. This is so they can get
to know them, and find out how they react in time of crisis. The
deacon, or deaconess, must be of very high moral character. He or she
must be of such a nature that he will be an upright representative of
the church. Before he is given this office there must be an
examination of his character so there will not be something come up
unexpected in the future. When found of high moral character, then he
or she should be awarded the job of deacon, or deaconess.

     I Timothy 3:11 "Even so [must their] wives [be] grave, not
slanderers, sober, faithful in all things."

     We see in this, that the entire family must be godly people for
the husband to be deacon, or the wife to be deaconess. Many times,
husbands and wives serve together in this capacity. It is always
important for the husband and wife to be totally agreed, before a
married person answers the call to serve God. It would be impossible
to serve the way it is necessary to serve, without this agreement.
There are requirements pertaining to the entire family, when one
serves the Lord.  Husbands and wives are one in the flesh, so it is
absolutely necessary for them to agree. They must both be of very high

     I Timothy 3:12 "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife,
ruling their children and their own houses well."

     Again, we see the necessity for the home to be on solid ground
before one member is called to serve. To be in leadership in the
church, it is important to show your leadership in the family first.

     I Timothy 3:13 "For they that have used the office of a deacon
well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the
faith which is in Christ Jesus."

     It is especially important for the deacon to be bold in the Lord,
since he is responsible for seeing to the needs of the church. We do
know that men who are chosen out for this job have a big task to do.
Their faith in Christ Jesus is extremely important. They must believe
in the work that is going on, to be able to feel free to work to keep
it going.

     I Timothy 3:14 "These things write I unto thee, hoping to come
unto thee shortly:"

     Paul loved Timothy, and really wanted to be with him. We think
why did Paul not go, if he wanted to? The answer is, that Paul
followed the will of God, not what he desired to do in the flesh.

     I Timothy 3:15 "But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how
thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the
church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth."

     Paul was aware that he might not be able to go and tell Timothy
personally all the things he wanted him to know. The letter would
bring instructions to this young minister from his teacher, Paul. We
see in this letter, that the meeting place of the believers in Christ
was spoken of as the church of the living God. The Word "living" says
a lot in itself. It means that Christians believe the Lord Jesus
Christ is alive. We believe he rose from the grave. Paul is explaining
to Timothy that he must behave in such a way as to be an example for
the others on how they should live. The church is to be the pillar and
the truth in this world.

     I Timothy 3:16 "And without controversy great is the mystery of
godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit,
seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world,
received up into glory."

     The mystery of godliness was revealed by Jesus Christ to His
followers. The veil to the Scriptures was removed. The Spirit of God
opens the understanding of the believers to the godliness, which is
still a mystery to those of the world who do not accept Jesus as
Saviour. God the Word took on the form of flesh and dwelt among us.
His body was crucified on the cross for our sins. He preached the good
news of the gospel 40 days on the earth before He went back to heaven.
In the book of Acts we read about his heavenward journey. Acts 1:9
"And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken
up; and a cloud received him out of their sight." The great promise,
to me, is what the angels told the disciples as they saw Him going up.
Acts 1:10 "And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went
up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel;"  Acts 1:11 "Which
also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this
same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in
like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."

                        1 Timothy 4 Questions

1.  Quote 1 Timothy chapter 3 verse 1.
2.  What is the correct translation of "man" in verse 1?
3.  What does "bishop" mean?
4.  What are the qualifications of a bishop in verse 2?
5.  What does "vigilant" mean?
6.  What are the great powers in this world?
7.  Some of the things warned against in verse 3 are things causing
    the person to lose control of his _____.
8.  When you want anything that belongs to someone else, you are
9.  What type of spirit does the minister need?
10. Children, obey your ___________.
11. What is a "novice"?
12. What would cause him to fall into the condemnation of the devil?
13. How can a person not be moved by winds of false doctrine?
14. Lucifer fell to the temptation of __________.
15. The devil goes around like a __________ _____, seeking whom he may
16. Describe the deacon from verse 8.
17. A doubletongued person is ___________ in all their ways.
18. What is the job of the deacon?
19. What should the minister spend his time doing?
20. When was the Christians understanding opened to the mystery of
21. What should you do, before you appoint someone to be a deacon?
22. What characteristics should their wives have?
23. Why must a deacon be bold in the faith in the Lord Jesus Christ?
24. Why had Paul sent this letter to Timothy?
25. Quote 1 Timothy chapter 3 verse 16.