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According to Paul, 1 Timothy 3 was written-
“…so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth.
Paul gives specific instructions for those who are in leadership positions in the church. Then Paul closes with a great one-verse summary:
16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: God was manifested in the flesh, Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory.
Although God’s mysteries are great, his gift of eternal life is clear…
For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.
What did I learn from the passage that I didn’t know before?
What did the passage mean to those first century readers?
What does the passage mean to me?
What verse really stuck out to me?
What changes do I need to make in my life?
What verse gives me comfort or wisdom in my trials and difficulties?
What is God’s will for my life?
1 Timothy 3
Qualifications for Overseers and Deacons
3 Here is a trustworthy saying: Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task. 2 Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4 He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[a] respect. 5 (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) 6 He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. 7 He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil’s trap.
8 In the same way, deacons[b] are to be worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain. 9 They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.
11 In the same way, the women[c] are to be worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.
12 A deacon must be faithful to his wife and must manage his children and his household well. 13 Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus.
Reasons for Paul’s Instructions
14 Although I hope to come to you soon, I am writing you these instructions so that, 15 if I am delayed, you will know how people ought to conduct themselves in God’s household, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and foundation of the truth. 16 Beyond all question, the mystery from which true godliness springs is great: He appeared in the flesh, was vindicated by the Spirit,[d] was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory.
a. Timothy 3:4 Or him with proper
b. 1 Timothy 3:8 The word deacons refers here to Christians designated to serve with the overseers/elders of the church in a variety of ways; similarly in verse 12; and in Romans 16:1 and Phil. 1:1.
c. 1 Timothy 3:11 Possibly deacons’ wives or women who are deacons
d. 1 Timothy 3:16 Or vindicated in spirit