Paul taught in 1 Timothy 2 what a believer’s behavior looks like. We discovered that prayer is the pinnacle of our faith walk. Abiding in Christ takes a lot of open and honest conversations with God all day long. Paul challenged men and women to rise up and walk worthy of His call. Now, Paul continues in 1 Timothy 3 with more guidance in how we, God’s Church, should be acting. Go ahead and read 1 Timothy 3.
Paul begins with men. Men who are called to be elders. Elders are overseers or shepherds who tend to the needs of the congregation so the pastor can focus on leading spiritually. They must be worthy of the call that is placed upon them. Paul speaks of this position in verse 1 as an honorable position.
What kind of life does an elder live based on verses 2-7? Why do you think God wants elders to live this way?
These traits of godly men make any person worthy of His call. The King James Version of verse 2 says this, “A bishop (or elder) then must be blameless, a husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behavior, given to hospitality, able to teach.” God may not be calling you to be an elder, but if you are His child, you are called to live differently than the world does. God sets you apart when you follow Jesus; read Romans 12:2, 1 Peter 2:9, and John 15:19. As you follow, God gives you work to do for the Kingdom.
Every one of us is one thought away, one choice away from falling into the devil’s trap, see verse 7. This is why Paul is very direct when it comes to abiding in Christ and what that looks like. We must remain awake to our spiritual walk or else the enemy will swoop in to take us down.
Some men may be called to be deacons. They tend to families. They are there if you are in need of something. They may visit you in the hospital or go to someone’s home and pray with the family.
What are the traits of a deacon, see verses 8-10,12-13? Why do you think God wants deacons to live this way?
Paul didn’t forget women. What do you learn in verse 11 about the wives of elders and deacons? What do you learn from Titus 2:3-5? Even if you are not a wife of an elder or deacon or even if you are not married, God is calling you to live by these fruits of the Spirit; see Galatians 5:22-23.
Look at verse 13, what happens when you walk in the ways of the Lord? Do you find this encouraging?
Paul continues leading so you will have strong faith in God. Paul wants you to, “Know how people must conduct themselves in the household of God. This is the church of the Living God, which is the pillar and foundation of truth.”15 Reading this verse, does this help you to want to deepen your faith? Believers are His Church. This means we are the pillars to Christ being the foundation of truth. This also means our call is rather important. Can God count on you, can He count on me?
Paul reminds us of why you and I follow Christ. Look at verse 16, what do you learn about Jesus? Study this verse. What is God wanting you to know? In the New Living Translation, it reads how Christ was vindicated by the Spirit. This encouraged me for I had an incident at church where I was corrected for something that didn’t make sense. After praying and asking God for guidance and clarity, the Spirit led me to know that I was vindicated from it. God cleared me of blame or suspicion.
A believer has a great advantage over someone who lives in the world. God is on your side which means no matter what you face, He is working things out for your good; see Romans 8:28. Carry on, my friend, as you walk in newness of life from the Lover of your soul.