brethren church liveblog

04-Shepherding Conference (LiveBlog)

Is the character sketch of an overseer from 1 Tim 3 obtainable? Well, yes, in fact all believers should be characterized by 1 Tim 3 conduct—but w all come short. The elders aren’t perfect either but they are characterized by these perfect characteristics. Further a person can only really be effectively shepherding if he reflects a proper shepherding character. “Qualifications” conveys an idea of proving or disproving something at any particular time: in other words, qualifying for the work of an overseer is a continual process.

For instance, generators receive quality control testing before they are used, at their first usage and throughout their lifetime of usage. If at any point the engine starts to degrade in performance it is failing to meet the desired qualifications. These qualifications in 1 Tim 3 are not a 1 time qualification but something that is consistently true of the elders character.

The elder must be fit for the work in every characteristic way. There are men who don’t meet the characteristics and then try to organize the local church their own way. We might have a lot of “cheaters” in our churches—that is, people who want to oversee people and take a title instead of actually wanting to do the spiritual work of feeding God’s people.

The rest of the lesson consists of a word by word exegesis of 1 Tim 3:1-3. Instead of putting down long explanations of Greek comparisons and tenses, I’ll insert his overall outline points at the very end preceded by his concluding thoughts.

  1. Recognition of Elder: Called by God, the outworking of that call will be evident, then recognized by all (he is already at work)
  2. An elder?s active internal desire to shepherd will be evident by doing the work?he is compelled to shepherd
  3. When he ceases to work he ceases to be an elder
  4. If married, an elder is to be a ?on woman man? (his marriage upholds the biblical pattern to follow)
  5. An elder should be characterized by the following: blameless, temperate, sober-minded, good behavior, hospitable, apt to teach and patience.
  6. An elder should not be characterized by the following: substance abuse, violence, greed, contention and coveting
  7. The moral and social qualities to be evident in an elders character are the same that all believers should exhibit.
  1. 1 Tim 3:1
    1. A Faithful Saying
      1. This is absolutely true
        1. He uses it 3x in 1st Tim and 2x in 2nd Tim
        2. 1:15 Christ came to save sinners
        3. 4:8 Godliness is profitable in all things
    1. A Man
      1. Really means “If Any”
        1. This is not a gender specific word
          1. Don’t draw your battle lines on this verse
        2. But in this passage there are 8 modifiers that are distinctive modifers that paint a picture of a male
    1. Office of a Bishop
      1. Episkope: found four times, twice translated as visitation
      2. Inspection or superintendent
        1. Not particularly the office itself but the outworking of the overseer. Darby translates it as “exercise oversight
    1. Chosen of God—Confirmed by Men
      1. 2 Sam 5:1-3 IE: David
        1. Divine Call (Acts 20:28)
        2. Internal Call (1 Tim 3:1)
        3. Recognized by All (1 Thes 4:12; Heb 13:7; Heb 13:17; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5)
      2. Those future shepherds are likely shepherding long before they are recognized by all.
        1. There should be a high agreement on the matter
    1. Two “Desires” for one work
      1. First Desire(s)
        1. An outstretching. A covet after. Used 3 times. Literally means reach out and to grasp
        2. Tense is present: it’s an ongoing process
        3. Middle voice: the subject is acting on it’s own behalf—something within the individual that is acting in fact
      2. Second Desire
        1. An inner longing, continual and ongoing
    1. A Good Work
      1. A doing or laboring
      2. It is a profitable work

If a man continually desires an ongoing outreaching towards this he has an ongoing longing to continue doing a profitable work

  1. 1 Tim 3:2
    1. “The Overseer” or “Bishop”
      1. Bishop has a very big Anglican influence. It should be translated as overseer. We shy away from it because of the historical office
      2. Episkopos: title for someone in the local church
      3. Presbuteros: title for those in church leadership. 70 times used
    1. “Must Be”
      1. Necessary, it behooves
      2. Present tense; ongoing
      3. Active exhibition of this characteristic by the elder
    1. Blameless
      1. Angletos—irreproachable or above reproach. A character very hard to point fingers at
        1. Overriding quality (Titus 1:6-7) that the rest might fall under
        2. Can you point fingers at him? How is his home testimony? Church testimony? Social testimony?
        3. Not perfect, but above reproach
    1. Husband of One Wife
      1. A one woman husband
        1. Prohibits polygamy
        2. If married he reflects that he’s a one woman man
        3. Moral conduct, right living—the home is the measuring stick for the family.
      2. The focus isn’t married, the focus is the character in marriage
        1. He doesn’t think that Paul is saying “you must have two children and be married”
    1. Morally Blameless
      1. The person must be morally pure
        1. If this is a weakness stay out of elders
        2. NO inappropriate meetings with ladies
        3. NO inappropriate touching of any gender
        4. NO pornography (Gal 6:8)
        5. has accountability software
        6. Job 31:1 I made a covenant with my eyes—how then could I gaze at a virgin?
    1. The To Be’s
      1. Vigilant: Sober-minded or circumspect—not to be rash in behavior or prone to debilitating excesses.
      2. Sober: discreet, sober and self-control.
        1. What happens when you’re attacked.—how do you react?
          1. Don’t waste a good criticism
        2. Older men = Temperate
        3. Older women = discreet
        4. Young men = sound minded
      3. Of Good not loud or boisterous.
        1. How much am I talking? How much is the other person talking?
      4. Given to Hospitality: fond of guests
        1. 1 Pet 4:9. Some people have an idea that it’s a gift given out only to some—but hospitality is called of every believer. It’s a great blessing
      5. Apt to Teach: to know how to handle it
        1. Sense or knows false doctrine (Titus 1:9) and can apply the word of God to it
        2. All believers called to make disciples
  1. 1 Tim 3:3
    1. The Not to Be’s
      1. Not Given to Wine
        1. Not staying near wine
        2. Not a prohibition against drinking but against being mastered by wine.
        3. All believers “Be not drunk with wine” (Eph 4:8)
      2. Not Striker
        1. Not a hitter. Not quarrelsome. Not prone to emotional outbursts and quick to attack others.
        2. Instead be Patient and Gentle: moderate, patient, kind, forbearing, understanding (2 Cor 10:1—to see the meekness and gentleness of Christ)
      3. Not greedy for money (1 Tim 3:3; Titus)
        1. unmanufactured plus not for greed and not for filthy lucre
          1. He works and isn’t interested in the high risk gains
          2. He looks at the necessities of life

-Warren Henderson

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