1 Timothy 3:1-13
1 ¶ This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 ¶ Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
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.
1 Timothy 3 gives the qualifications for leadership in the local church. These are not just general guidelines, but the qualities God expects from His servants. The more our life falls in line with God’s requirements the more persuasive our message will be. C.H. Spurgeon said, “The most persuasive sermon is the example which leads the way.” This is not to suggest that the power lies in these qualities themselves. The power comes from Christ. But the absence of these qualities in a Christian leader’s life indicates that there are unresolved conflicts and problems that are hindering the power of Christ working through him.
Paul places particular emphasis upon the Christian’s home. The home is where you discover the reality of a person’s spirituality. If you want to see how an animal really behaves, you don’t go to the zoo or circus where they are on display or perform, you go to it’s natural habitat – it’s day by day environment. If you want to find out what a Christian is really like, where do you go? You don’t go to the Church!! No, you must go to the home. If you want to find out the sincerity of a man’s commitment to Jesus Christ and to following Biblical principles, you don’t ask his Pastor or Church leaders, you need to ask his wife and children. The reality of a person’s spirituality is not found in the church, but in the home. And if our Christianity is going to be effective in reaching a lost world for Jesus Christ, then it must first prove itself in the Christian home.
Does your family see the reality of your spirituality in the home? Do they see you behave one way in the church and another way in the home? Our children – more than any others – will resent our hypocrisy and inconsistencies and most likely reject the God we claim to be serving!