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1Timothy, Chapter Three, Lesson One

ABOVE REPROACH            Page 3
V. 1 (Cont’d.)

** Before we leave this verse, let’s look a little closer at what it is that this Godly man desires. Does he simply want a place of importance or honor?

God forbid! Just the opposite is true. He has a compelling interest in the “work”. This type of man is nothing more than a humble servant whom God has called to lead His church. As soon as that humility fades, he is no longer qualified. His heart should be driven to humbly live out a Christ-like example for the sheep to follow. He has no hidden agenda and no desire for creating a pyramid scheme for power and authority, with himself at the top. cf. 1Peter 5:3

V. 2 ** At the beginning of verse two Paul repeats the name of the office in which this “fine work” will be accomplished. What does Paul mean by “Overseer”?

Paul uses the word episkopos which is rendered as “bishop” in the King James Version. Both English terms refer to the same role as pastor and elder.
cf. Acts 20:28, Titus 1:5-9 and 1Peter 5:1-2

** What are the Biblical responsibilities for men in the role of pastor, elder, bishop or overseer?

They rule over the flock - 1Timothy 5:17
They are to preach and teach - 1Timothy 5:17
They pray for the sick - James 5:14
They shepherd the flock - 1Peter 5:1-2
They must set a Godly example - 1Timothy 4:12
They establish church policy - Acts 15:22ff
They ordain other leaders - 1Timothy 4:14

** As the apostle now lays out the Biblical qualifications for leadership within the church, what is the first overarching requirement?

He must be a man who is “Above Reproach”! The Greek word anepilemptos means “not able to be held”. The above reproach church leader cannot be arrested and held as if he were a criminal; there is nothing for which to accuse him.

** Does this refer to this man’s entire life? Does the church need to find a man who has never had a pattern of sin in his life before placing him into church leadership?

Absolutely not!! If that were true, the apostle Paul himself would not qualify to be an elder, let alone an apostle. He was a murderer and self-righteous persecutor of Christ. cf. Acts 9:4

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