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1Timothy, Chapter Three, Lesson One

ABOVE REPROACH            Page 2

Read Passage (V.1-3)

Opening Prayer

Above Reproach


V. 1 ** How does Paul get Timothy’s attention as he begins to describe the position of spiritual leadership known as elder or overseer?

By beginning with the phrase “It is a trustworthy statement”. Paul uses this statement five times in his epistles, here referring to a call to the ministry and the remaining four times to doctrinal matters. Each time he is expressing a basic truth of great importance and one that should be familiar among believers. cf. 1Timothy 1:15, 4:9, 2Timothy 2:11 and Titus 3:8

** How does Paul further establish the appropriate gender for church leadership?

He says, “...if any man aspires to the office of overseer...”. The use of the indefinite pronoun tis should be taken here as masculine. That puts it in concert with the statements of verse 2 and 4-5 which follow. A woman could never be “the husband of one wife” and the women of Paul’s day were never the heads of their households.

** How does Paul describe this man’s effort to become a Godly leader within the church?

Paul says the this man “aspires” to the office. The word orego appears only here and in 1Timothy 6:10 and Hebrews 11:16. It literally means “to reach out after” or “to stretch out oneself to grasp something”. While is does not refer to internal motives, Paul uses it here to describe a man with a compelling desire to serve the Lord prompted by the Holy Spirit.

** What does Paul add here in verse one that would indicate this man’s compelling desire?

“it is a fine work he desires to do”. While the English word “desires” gives us a glimpse into this man’s heart, the Greek word epithumeo translated here as “desires”, goes much further in helping us to understand how God has changed this man’s heart. It means “a passionate compulsion” and demonstrates the internal driving force within this Godly individual.

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