Chapter Three, Lesson One
ABOVE REPROACH Page
V. 2 (Contd.)
** Then how is this extremely high standard to be applied?
The parallel passage in Titus 1:6 uses the term anengkletos
for above reproach. The present participle einai (be) indicates that the one being considered
for leadership is in a present state of being above reproach. That is
why we cannot select a new convert for church leadership. There must
be a sufficient period of time pass to observe the mans character
as he walks with Christ today. No matter what is in his past, if a man
of God has repented and walks faithfully with Christ for years, he can
be used in the position of elder because Christ has made him a new creation!
cf. 1Timothy 3:6 and 2Corinthians 5:17
** Paul is now going to get extremely specific in his terms to describe
the present character of a man who should be considered for church leadership. What is the first specific
to which Paul refers?
1) the husband of one wife - as stated earlier, this obviously
could not be a woman. The Greek text literally reads, a one-woman
man. Many churches today sadly use this verse to set aside a man
of God who has a divorce in his past. They would most likely have set
aside Paul, not wanting a murderer on their board of elders. But this
is referring to the mans present character and the fact that he
is solely committed to one woman in his life. A so-called non-divorced
man who has been married for years to the same woman could be disqualified
from leadership because he is attracted to many women even though he has not divorced
** What is the next specific qualification?
2) He must (presently) be temperate. Nephalios means
wineless or unmixed with wine. Metaphorically
this means alert, watchful or clear-headed.
Regarding this character quality William Hendriksen writes, His
pleasures are not primarily those of the senses...but those of the soul.
cf. Leviticus 10:9 and Ephesians 5:18
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