Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 2 - good and bad ambition. 1Ti 3:1-13

Class Outline:

Title: Joshua and Judges: The doctrine of leadership part 2 - good and bad ambition. 1TI 3:1-13


Announcements / opening prayer:  



The doctrine of leadership.


1. Good and bad ambition.


1TI 3:1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he desires to do.


1TI 3:2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach [character that wont reproach the cause of Christ], the husband of one wife [loves and dedicated to], temperate [self-control], prudent [sober minded], respectable [modest, orderly], hospitable [agape strangers], able to teach [skilled teacher],


1TI 3:3 not addicted to wine [quarrelsome over wine] or pugnacious [brawler], but gentle, uncontentious [not eager and ready to fight], free from the love of money.


1TI 3:4 He must be one who manages his own household well, keeping his children under control with all dignity


1TI 3:5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own household, how will he take care of the church of God?);


1TI 3:6 and not a new convert, lest he become conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil [conceit].


1TI 3:7 And he must have a good reputation with those outside the church, so that he may not fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.


The snare of the devil here likely refers to the belief that what is in the world is always wrong. There are always some fragments of truth in the world.


There are many people who will not walk into a church because they are sure that all they are going to hear is condemnation. The Son is the issue in the gospel and not sin. Yet this verse gets to the snare of condemnation for the sake of condemnation itself. This is why things like dancing, coed swimming, makeup, type of dress, smoking, drinking in moderation, and such things were the subjects of condemnation from many denominations. Many have been hindered from understanding the truth because of such things.


1CO 5:9 I wrote you in my letter not to associate with immoral people;


1CO 5:10 I did not at all mean with the immoral people of this world, or with the covetous and swindlers, or with idolaters; for then you would have to go out of the world.


1CO 5:11 But actually, I wrote to you not to associate with any so-called brother if he should be an immoral person, or covetous, or an idolater, or a reviler, or a drunkard, or a swindler —  not even to eat with such a one.


1CO 5:12 For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church?


1CO 5:13 But those who are outside, God judges. Remove the wicked man from among yourselves.


The Christian's reputation outside the church should not be "that guy who condemns everyone for what they do," but rather he should be known by his grace. He is gentle and full of divine love though he does not compromise on what is sin. No one is truly going to overcome anything without coming to know the Lord.


1TI 3:8 Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued [saying one thing and meaning another], or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain,


1TI 3:9 but holding to the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.


The mystery of the faith are the truths that were hidden from the world until revealed at the proper time of the church, and remain hidden still to those not illumed by the Spirit.


Holding on to the mystery doctrines of the church means they are of top priority to the deacon. He holds on to them like he would his most prized possession. The clear conscience is a clean conscience. This means that there is no conflict within him between the revealed church age doctrines and his intellect, conscience and will. He knows the truth and applies the truth in public as well as in private. He doesn't have secret idols hidden away in his soul.


Therefore, his relationship with the revealed truth of the church is not merely an intellectual one. He is vigorous to follow the duty which the mystery puts upon his office as well as in all aspects of his life as a child of God.


1TI 3:10 And let these also first be tested [pastors and deacons]; then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.


The test would not refer to a formal examination but to the general evaluation of the pastor in the case of deacons and the congregation or Christian community in the case of pastors.


1TI 3:11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.


These do not refer to the wives of those in authority but introduces a whole new category as the Greek adverb, translated "likewise" reveals to us.


These refer to women serving in the church.


ROM 16:1

I commend to you our sister Phoebe, who is a servant [diakonos] of the church which is at Cenchrea;


The same noun is used in 1Ti 3 but here in the feminine. Phoebe is considered by some as a deaconess. However, it is difficult to reconcile such a title with Paul's instruction for the church.


1TI 2:11 Let a woman quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.


1TI 2:12 But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet [not voicing authority].


So we would conclude that Phoebe served the church with great distinction but did not hold an office of authority. However, that does not mean that certain authority cannot be delegated to a woman serving the church with such distinction and virtue that Paul described in 1Ti 3.


1TI 3:11 Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips, but temperate, faithful in all things.


"malicious gossips" - dia,boloj [diabolos] = accuser, slanderer, used 34 times as a title for Satan.


1TI 3:12 Let deacons be husbands of only one wife [devoted to the love of one woman], and good managers of their children and their own households.


1TI 3:13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.


Great confidence is opposed to fear, ambiguity, or reserve when it comes to the issue of the truth or the church.


An assured position and a sound reputation in the church, with a pure conscience, would assure boldness of speech and of attitude in the Christian community and elsewhere.


Boldness refers to confidence and not arrogant. Some mistake confidence for arrogance because there are few confident people in the world that are also divinely virtuous and humble. When a believer's conscience matches that of the Lord, in other words it is clean or pure, with the result that what he professes to be is not in contradiction with how he thinks and walks and conducts himself then he has great confidence. Confidence carries with it courage. A believer who has great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus has great courage towards others and circumstances.


These virtues would apply to any leader, whether they be political, law enforcement, military, education, business, sports, husbands, and parents.


So when it comes to ambition, the good ambition is the desire to be a servant and never anything for self, even self-promotion. A man may aspire to be a pastor or deacon but he never self-promotes to that position. He aspires by training himself in the spiritual life and he awaits the actual appointment by God through the office of the church.


MAR 10:42 And calling them to Himself, Jesus said to them, "You know that those who are recognized as rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them; and their great men exercise authority over them.


MAR 10:43 "But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant;


MAR 10:44 and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be slave of all.


MAR 10:45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."


Jesus Christ was the greatest leader of all and He served. No one can properly lead who cannot also follow and serve.