1 Timothy Chapter Three
I. Content of the Chapter
How God’s Workers Ought to Conduct Themselves in the House of God
I. Choosing the qualified ones to be bishops carefully (v.1-7):
A. the position of a bishop is a good work that men desire (v.1).
B. a bishop should have the good moral personal integrity (v.2-3).
C. a bishop should have the witness of a normal family (v.4-5).
D. a bishop should have sophisticated spiritual attainments (v.6-7).
II. Choosing the qualified ones to be deacons carefully (v.8-13):
A. male and female deacons should have good characters (v.8, 11a).
B. deacons should hold the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience (v.9).
C. deacons should be tested first and faithful in all things (v.10, 11b).
D. deacons should have the witness of a normal family (v.12).
E. the effect of serving well as deacons (v.13).
III. Learning the basic principles of walking in the house of God (v.14-16):
A. learning how to walk from the apostles’ teachings (v.14-15a).
B. building the church according to the truth (v.15b).
C. building the church according to the principle of God’s being manifested in the flesh (v.16).
II. Verse by Verse commentary
1Tim. 3:1 “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”
YLT: “Stedfast the word: If any one the oversight doth long for, a right work he desireth;”
Meaning of Words: “desire”: long for, aspire after, seek; “bishop”: supervision, looking after, overseer, taking care of, seeing from above; “desire”: set the heart upon, the will of desire.
Literal Meaning: “If a man desires the position of a bishop” The real intention of “bishop” is charging the accomplishment of some project and ensuring its quality. Bishop is also the elder (See Acts. 20:17, 28; Tit. 1:5, 7). Bishop stresses on the nature of the work, i.e. taking care of the house of God (See v.5). The elders stress on the features of their status. Generally, they are more advanced and sophisticated in years and the spiritual experiences.
“This is a faithful saying…he desires a good work.” “He desires a good work” indicates that he is moved by the Holy Spirit to have the ambition of joining a good work.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Since the position of a bishop is a good work, what one does should not be for his own glory and rights but for being the example of the flock.
2) If a man wants to be a leader in the church merely for the sake of serving God, it is not of the ambition but the communion of God according to His good pleasure (Phil. 2:13).
3) If men’s desire is for a good work, it does not conflict with the calling of God and they complement each other.
1Tim. 3:2 “A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach;”
YLT: “it behoveth, therefore, the overseer to be blameless, of one wife a husband, vigilant, sober, decent, a friend of strangers, apt to teach,”
Meaning of Words: “blameless”: not arrested, inculpate; “of good behavior”: neat, ordered; “hospitable”: friendly.
Literal Meaning: there is the word “therefore” in the beginning of this verse in the original (it has been left out in the English version). It shows that “the position of a bishop is desirable”, however, some conditions are necessary to qualify as a bishop.
“A bishop then must be blameless” “blameless” indicates that one has not made any mistake or fault which others could criticize or blame him.
“The husband of one wife” it indicates that one loves his wife single-mindedly, is faithful to marriage and not inconstant. It is the first example of the previous sentence------“blameless”.
Bible exegetes have five different opinions: 1) one should not commit the sin of faithlessness to his wife, i.e. not having the extramarital affair. 2) one should not divorce or marry again. 3) one should not have many wives at the same time. 4) a bishop should be married instead of being single. 5) one could only have one wife during his whole life and he should not marry again after his first wife was dead.
From the overall point of the Bible, the first three opinions could be accepted undoubtedly, however, the forth and the fifth opinions seem to conflict with the teachings of the Bible (See Matt. 19:10-11; 1Cor. 7:27, 9:5; 1Tim. 5:14). We should hold them and not approve them.
“Temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior” “temperate” in the original means “not mixed with wine”, indicating that one is good at controlling his temper and sentiment and dealing with men and things properly. “Sober-minded” indicates that one is sensible and has a good sense of propriety, i.e. he deals with things seemly, knowing the order of priority of things and executing them seriously after he has decided cautiously. “Of good behavior” indicates that one lives a regular life, keeps his clothes neat and attitudes grave and is respected by others.
“Hospitable, able to teach” “hospitable” refers to the friendliness to strangers who travel faraway, especially those were homeless because of persecution during that time and preachers who went out as pilgrims. “Able to teach” indicates that one has the ability to teach, including the wisdom and ardor of teaching and characters tallying with teaching.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) One has to bear the fruit of life in order to be a leader of the church and merely desire is not enough (See v.1).
2) Though we are all incompletely, we should pay attention to our life and characters and should not let others find something to criticize us easily, lest these things become trouble to our service.
3) The essence of family is husband and wife and the most important thing of husband and wife is oneness. The elders or deacons of the church must be “the husband of one wife” (See v.12) and its spiritual meaning is keeping the witness of oneness.
4) We should honor marriage (Heb. 13:4) and should not sleep around. Everyone who desires to lead brothers and sisters should be watchful because Satan likes to corrupt God’s servants with lawless sexual desire the most.
5) Since we want to devote ourselves to serving the Lord in the church, we should take care of our behavior because brothers and sisters are looking at us. And therefore we should be temperate.
6) It may be not wrong for one’s being intemperate in words, just as the intemperate behavior is not the sinful behavior. However, since we desire to be God’s servants, we should be examples to others in words and deeds.
7) Leaders of the church should be temperate, sober-minded, and let their words and deeds appropriate and in this way they will gain others’ respect.
8) Good behavior is not hypocritical but temperate both inside and outside. And therefore we should do from the inner moderateness: be well-behaved both alone and before men.
9) When believers are hospitable and friendly to guests, the church will prosper. If believers always shut their doors to chance visitors, the church shall decline.
10) One is “hospitable” because his love is open and therefore his house is open.
11) One receives help when he is helpless------such action of love is of much power.
12) If one wants to be hospitable, he should break down the narrow idea of regions and not discriminate people from other provinces or countries.
13) Teaching by words is to convey the truth by words and teaching by deeds is to manifest the truth by life. The meaning of Saints is that “those upon whom Christ could live out”.
14) “Setting a good example with one’s own conduct” is the best way of teaching: the examples of life are more than the implanting of knowledge.
15) Only when need to hold an attitude of receiving teachings of God modestly and politely shall we be able to teach the children of God with His words. Only the tongue instructed by God will be good at teaching others (Is. 50:4).
1Tim. 3:3 “not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous;”
YLT: “not given to wine, not a striker, not given to filthy lucre, but gentle, not contentious, not a lover of money,”
Meaning of Words: “not covetous”: do not love money, not be fond of love.
Literal Meaning: “not given to wine” means lingering on wine in the original; it does not mean that drinking is forbidden but that excessive drinking and alcohol abuse are forbidden. It was common to drink in the ancient society and common ones drank water with a little wine (See 5:23).
“Not violent, but gentle” “not violent” means that one is not shot-tempered to those who are unwilling to receive instructions. “Gentle” indicates that one deals with men kindly, mildly and tenderly with understanding and is not strict. “Not violent” is negative and “gentle” is positive.
“Not greedy for money, not quarrelsome, not covetous” “Not quarrelsome” indicates that one is not noisy, unwilling to argue with men and does not adhere stubbornly to his own ideas. And he neither admires the vain glory nor seeks to prevail over others. “Not greedy for money, not covetous” means that one is not covetous of money. The love of money is a root of all kinds of evil (See 6:10). A leader of the church should not be covetous of the unrighteous money (See v.8) and even it is the righteous money, he shouldn’t be covetous of it.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) A temperate (See v.2) one should not be controlled by the abnormal life style first of all. When one is controlled by alcohol, tempers or lusts, he cannot live a temperate life.
2) The reason why the evil bondman was evil is that he began to smite his fellow-servants (See Matt. 24:49). If our words or deeds make Saints be sad or even make them fall down for these things, it could be counted as “violence”.
3) Leaders of the church should be willing to receive criticism humbly. Facing others’ misunderstanding and conflicts, they should not strike back but make the other side feel warm and it is “gentle”.
4) Christians should not love money but love guests (See v.2) and only those who do not love money shall love guests.
5) Leaders of the church should not suppose that godliness is a means of gain (See 6:5), lest they stray from the faith in their greediness, and pierce themselves through with many sorrows (See 6:10).
1Tim. 3:4 “one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence”
YLT: “his own house leading well, having children in subjection with all gravity,”
Meaning of Words: “rule”: stand before, get close to; “house”: building, family, household; “reverence”: gravity, respectable.
Literal Meaning: “one who rules his own house well” “rules…well” indicates that one is good at ruling and his ruling is near perfect.
“Having his children in submission with all reverence” only when parents themselves have reverent behavior shall their children learn to be submissive.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) A leader of the church is one who has devoted himself to God. He, as a householder of a family, should also devote his family to God (See Deut. 24:15). And therefore they should take care because brothers and sisters always fix their eyes upon the children of leaders of the church.
2) Family is the basic unit that one rules and the first lesson in which we exercise our responsibility of trusteeship.
3) On one hand believers should discipline their children strictly in the family and on the other, we should hold the attitude of reverence when disciplining children------we should not be irritable or deal with them by rude ways randomly.
1Tim. 3:5 “(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);”
YLT: “(and if any one his own house to lead hath not known, how an assembly of God shall he take care of?)”
Meaning of Words: “take care of”: care for, see after.
Literal Meaning: “for if a man does not know how to rule his own house” “a man” refers to parents and if they do not know how to rule their little family, God cannot entrust them the greater responsibilities.
“How will he take care of the church of God?” “The church of God” is the house of God (See v.15). In this verse, “his own house” is compared to “the church of God”: one is little and the other is great; one is worldly and the other is spiritual; one is the temporary house and the other is the everlasting house.
Please note that this verse does not mean that if a man is able to rule his own house well, he proves himself to be qualified or have the ability to take care of the church of God but that if a man cannot rule his own house well, how will he take care of the church of God well?
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Family is the spiritual testing ground for men. If a man cannot live well in his own family, he cannot do the spiritual things well.
2) If a man is unwilling to take care of, discipline or lead his children, he is unqualified to lead the church. We should not let the activities of the church influence us to fulfill our bounden duties to our families.
3) If a man is responsible to God in his own house, he will also be responsible to God in the church.
4) One’s life in the church should not be disconnected from his private life in his own house.
5) We must try our best to know the meaning of house, exercise the stewardship and live out the real witness of family in our own houses and then we shall be able to and worthy of take care of the house of God.
6) A normal Christian ought to serve the house of God the church well on one hand and on the other, he should not ignore his own house and ought to rule his own house well by God’s grace.
7) The key elements of family are love and life. Family is the place where one loves another and life is provided. The church is the house of God (See v.15) and it should be ruled by the principle of love and life.
1Tim. 3:6 “not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.”
YLT: “not a new convert, lest having been puffed up he may fall to a judgment of the devil;”
Meaning of Words: “novice”: newly planted, be newly in bud; “being puffed up with pride”: fume, envelop with smoke, bulge.
Literal Meaning: “not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride” “a novice” refers to a new believer who has received the grace newly. “Being puffed up with pride” indicates that he is confused by the conditions before his eyes and forgets his nature, i.e. becoming highly conceited, self-enhancement.
“He fall into the same condemnation as the devil” The devil fell and was driven out by God because of its arrogance (Ezek. 28:16-17) and shall be punished by the eternal life (Matt. 25:41; Rev. 20:10). The arrogant believers won’t be cast into the lake of fire, however, they shall be punished, so as by fire (See 1Cor. 3:15).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The spiritual life of believers is proportional to the responsibilities that they bear. The more progress one makes, the greater responsibility he will bear.
2) Naïve ones cannot bear flattery. They usually become highly conceited because they do not know themselves. And therefore the spiritually naïve ones should learn from others first.
3) Pride (arrogance) will influence men’s sentiments, blind men’s rationality and make the immature l ones become unbridled.
1Tim. 3:7 “Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.”
YLT: “and it behoveth him also to have a good testimony from those without, that he may not fall into reproach and a snare of the devil.”
Meaning of Words: “testimony”: witness; “reproach”: insult, shame, blame; “snare”: trap.
Literal Meaning: “Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside” “those who are outside” refers to the Gentiles who do not believe in the Lord. “A good testimony” indicates that they have a testimony of good behavior before the eyes of the world and they are manifested as “the light of the world” (Matt. 5:14-16).
“Lest he fall into reproach” “fell into reproach” in the original means that he is reproached by men. If the leader of the church is reproached by men, the church will be despised by men naturally.
“And the snare of the devil.” It is “the same condemnation as the devil” in v.6 and it is “the snare of the devil” in this verse. The devil not only commits sin itself but also entices others into committing sin. It not only shall be punished itself in future but also likes “drawing” others to be involved in (See Rev. 12:4, 9).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) In the negative aspect, those who have a good testimony among those who are outside won’t bring trouble to the church and in the positive aspect, they shall bring in good impression to the church and it profits the gospel.
2) If Christians do not have a good testimony of behavior, they shall shame the name of the Lord.
3) The elders may not have high standing. However, they should have a good testimony among those who are outside to manifest Christ in their life at least.
1Tim. 3:8 “Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,”
YLT: “Ministrants -- in like manner grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not given to filthy lucre,”
Meaning of Words: “deacon”: servants, minister, ministrant, waiter; “reverent”: grave, respectable.
Literal Meaning: “Likewise deacons” “deacons” refers to those who help bishops to deal with great and small things of the church. “Likewise” indicates that the requests are close to that for bishops.
“Must be reverent, not double-tongued” “reverent” indicates that one does not deal with things rashly, thinks and lives strictly and is grave and upright. “Double-tongued” indicates that one is not honest in words and he is inconsistent: he has different opinions concerning one thing or has contrary words toward different ones.
“Not given to much wine, not greedy for money” “not given to much wine” refers to not drinking excessively. “Not greedy for money” indicates that one does not obtain money by mean ways.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The snake is double-tongued and those who are double-tongued are of Satan (Matt. 5:37). Saints should neither be yes and no nor bless and curse (James. 3:9-10).
2) Once drinking becomes one’s addiction, he will be given to much wine (Titus. 2:3).
1Tim. 3:9 “holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience.”
YLT: “having the secret of the faith in a pure conscience,”
Literal Meaning: “with a pure conscience” “a pure conscience” refers to “a good conscience” (See 1:5, 19).
“Holding the mystery of the faith” “the faith” refers to the way of faith. “The mystery” refers to the secrets that are only revealed to believers and are unknown to outsiders (See Eph. 3:4).
This verse indicates that we should hold the mystery of salvation that we believe in the conscience so that it won’t be stained.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If one works in the house of truth and he does not know the truth or knows but does not hold the truth, his conscience will not be good.
2) What’s the most important to those who serve God is always having a conscience void to offence no matter toward God and men (Acts. 24:16).
1Tim. 3:10 “But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.”
YLT: “and let these also first be proved, then let them minister, being unblameable.”
Literal Meaning: “But let these also first be tested” “these” refers to candidates for deacons. “First be tested” indicates that they are observed secretly in order to confirm whether they are suitable to take such work.
“Being found blameless” “blameless” in the original is the word used in court. It means something that could be used to accuse one and here it refers to the fault that may cause others’ reproach. I and “blameless” in v.2 are different words in the original.
“Then let them serve as deacons” “them” shows that deacons are plural.
Enlightenment in the Word: today, in some churches, the position of deacons has lost its importance and the church always asks new believers to hold this position. However, it is not the way told by the New Testament. Paul pointed out that only the one who has passed through tests is able to serve as deacons.
1Tim. 3:11 “Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.”
YLT: “Women -- in like manner grave, not false accusers, vigilant, faithful in all things.”
Literal Meaning: “Likewise, their wives” “their wives” is women in the original and therefore some Bible exegetes held that it should refer to the wives of deacons or common female believers. However, there was a female deacon in the early church (Rom. 16:1). And therefore it is mainly interpreted as female deacons. “Likewise” indicates that the qualifications for deacons are close to that for female deacons.
“Must be reverent, not slanderers” the word “reverent” is the same with “reverent” in v.8 and it indicates that one does not deal with things rashly, thinks and lives strictly and is grave and upright.” “Slanderers” refers to words that defaming others, idle talk and scandals.
“Temperate, faithful in all things” “temperate” is the same with “temperate” in v.2; “faithful in all things” indicates that one is faithful to the commission in all things and makes others relieved. And she won’t slip away when facing difficulties.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) From this verse we could know that here Paul gave exhortations specially aiming at mistakes that women usually make: a) they chiefly stress on beautiful clothes and seldom pay attention to their behavior (See 2:9); b) they like idle talk; c) they are usually not temperate (such as shopping); d) they want to fall back when facing trouble and they are unable to endure unto the end.
2) It is the faithful expression that one does not care for his own gain and loss and only wants to accomplish the commission.
1Tim. 3:12 “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.”
YLT: “Ministrants -- let them be of one wife husbands; the children leading well, and their own houses,”
Literal Meaning: “Let deacons be the husbands of one wife” This request is the same with that for bishop (See v.2). And it means he is unswervingly loyal to his wife and does not have improper thoughts to other women.
“Ruling their children and their own houses well” Please see the notes in v.4.
1Tim. 3:13 “For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.”
YLT: “for those who did minister well a good step to themselves do acquire, and much boldness in faith that in Christ Jesus.”
Meaning of Words: “standing”: step, grade, degree.
Literal Meaning: “For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing” “a good standing” refers the position that is respected by others and it is of good reputation. One does not gain it by pursuit but is worthy of it by the expression of life.
“And great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus” “In Christ Jesus” indicates that the reason why he could have such performance and achievements is not of himself but fully of the life of the Lord. “Faith” refers to the way of faith. “Great boldness” indicates that one’s faith increases because of the result of his service and dare preach the gospel to others boldly.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Every deacon will have the good end naturally if he is devoted to the position.
2) If a deacon is able to accomplish his position well, his spiritual life shall be well edified at the same time.
1Tim. 3:14 “These things I write to you, though I hope to come to you shortly;”
YLT: “These things I write to thee, hoping to come unto thee soon,”
Meaning of Words: “hope”: except, confide.
Literal Meaning: “though I hope to come to you shortly” at that time Timothy was at Ephesus (See 1:3) and Paul himself worked for the Lord in various places of Macedonia. He intended to winter in Nicopolis and meet Titus there (Tit. 3:12) and then go to Ephesus in Asia to meet Timothy (See 4:13). It is said that Paul was arrested again when he passed Troas on the way to Ephesus and captured in Roman prison and died there. And he had not met Timothy (2Tim. 4:6, 13).
“These things I write to you” It shows Paul’s motive for writing the first epistle of Timothy. “These things” refer to all the teachings of this epistle.
1Tim. 3:15 “but if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.”
YLT: “and if I delay, that thou mayest know how it behoveth to conduct thyself in the house of God, which is an assembly of the living God -- a pillar and foundation of the truth,”
Meaning of Words: “house”: dwelling place, household, family members.
Literal Meaning: “but if I am delayed” it implies that he cannot make the trip shortly.
“I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God” Paul asked Timothy to do according to the teachings in this epistle. Here “the house of God” emphasizes on two points: 1) God’s sovereignty in the church; 2) the relation among believers is as close as that among family members.
“Which is the church of the living God” “the church of God” indicates that God lives in and among believers.
“The pillar and ground of the truth” “the pillar of the truth” means that the church is the power supporting and upholding the truth. “Ground” refers to the immovable part and the church indeed holds fast to the truth.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Wherever Paul was, what he bore in his mind constantly was the church and he considered the church more important than himself. His love of the church is worth our study.
2) The church is the house of God and we are all children in the house of God. What’s the most important in the house is loving one another. Only when brothers and sisters are deeply attached to each other will it be counted as the true church.
3) The church does not belong to any spiritual giant but belong to God. And therefore we should let God be the householder and all should obey His guidance.
4) Our God is the “living God” instead of the dead idol. We must truly feel that God whom we serve is true and living (1Thess. 1:9) and we could be reckoned to bear the witness of the church.
5) The existence of the church is manifesting the truth and holding fast to the truth.
6) The house of God must take the responsibility of preaching the truth and therefore we should walk according the truth in everything and then the church will become the ground of the truth.
7) Every believer is the witness of the truth and has the responsibility of preaching and confirming the truth. And therefore in some ways we are all the pillar and ground of the truth.
1Tim. 3:16 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: 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.”
YLT: “and, confessedly, great is the secret of piety -- God was manifested in flesh, declared righteous in spirit, seen by messengers, preached among nations, believed on in the world, taken up in glory!”
Meaning of Words: “godliness”: like God, good pious expressions; “justify”: confirm, prove.
Literal Meaning: “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness” “great” shows that the mystery is extensive and profound. “The mystery of godliness” indicates that the mystery of God has been made manifest now (See Col. 1:26). “Without controversy” shows that men all know, acknowledge and believe. And it is generally acknowledged.
“God was manifested in the flesh” The word “God” is “He” in the old scriptures, showing that the Lord Jesus was manifested in the world by incarnation (John. 1:14, Rom. 1:3; Gal. 4:4).
“Justified in the Spirit” “justified” refers to being judged just or reasonable. The Lord Jesus is declared to be the Son of God in the Spirit of holiness by the resurrection from the dead (Rom. 1:4; See 1Pet. 3:18).
“Seen by angels” It indicates that the whole life of the Lord Jesus (from His birth to His resurrection and ascension) is seen by angels (Luke. 2:9; Matt. 28:2; Luke. 24:4-7; Acts. 1:10-11).
“Preached among the Gentiles” It indicates that the great work of redemption that the Lord Jesus has accomplished has been preached by apostles and believers (Matt. 28:19-20; 2Cor. 5:19-20).
“Believed on in the world” indicates that the gospel of the Lord Jesus has been believed and accepted by many people.
“Received up in glory” refers to the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus and His ministry in heaven now (Acts. 1:9-10; Heb. 1:3; 8:2; Rom. 8:34; Heb. 7:25).
In the original there are six “was” and “in” in this verse and this sentence could be divided into three comparisons: 1) “manifested in the flesh” is relative to “justified in the Spirit” and His humanity and divinity are shown (Rom. 1:3-4); 2) “Seen by angels” is relative to “preached among the Gentiles” and His transcendence and presence are shown; 3) “Believed on in the world” is relative to “received up in glory” and these show that He who came down from heaven is in heaven (John. 3:13).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Godliness is God’s being manifested in the flesh, i.e. God’s life in us is manifested through our flesh. If we are indeed saved so that our thoughts, words, deeds and attitudes are no longer ours and we let Christ live through us, it will be the godly life.
2) The Lord Jesus is the mystery of all godliness and the birth, death and resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus are the root of our godliness. The more we believe in these, the more we shall be godly.
3) Jesus is a man and His life is perfect and therefore His life is the perfect example to us. Jesus is also God and He gives us power to do things that glorify God and profit men.
4) All services in the church should hold the ground of the principle of the mystery of incarnation. Every concrete thing that is “in flesh” must contain the constitution of the mysterious Christ so that the mysterious Christ will be magnified.
5) Christ became the flesh and humbled Himself. His principle is “was”------“was Justified in the Spirit, Seen by angels, Preached among the Gentiles, Believed on in the world, Received up in glory”. It should be the principle according to which the broadened incarnation------the church walks. Just as Christ is obedient in everything in order to show God’s sovereignty upon Him, the church should be obedient to manifest the leader’s ruling upon her.
6) The Lord Jesus became the flesh and was made in the likeness of man. Since He did not consider it shameful as a man, we should not look down upon our flesh and should make good use of our flesh to live the life of glorifying God and profiting men.
7) The whole life of the Lord Jesus was misunderstood by men. And the greatest misunderstanding is that He was crucified by men as a criminal. However, He was justified in the Spirit finally. Our being misunderstanding is nothing and He shall redress the injustice for us finally.
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
The Conditions for A Bishop
I. In the aspect of one’s moral life (v.2-3):
B. the husband of one wife
E. of good behavior
G. able to teach
H. not given to wine
I. not violent
K. not quarrelsome
H. not greedy for money, not covetous
II. In the aspect of one’s family life (v.4-5):
A. ruling his own house well
B. having his children in submission with all reverence
III. In the aspect of one’s spiritual life (v.6-7):
A. not a novice
B. having a good testimony among those who are outside
I. The position of a bishop is a good work that men desire (v.1).
II. Qualifications concerning the bishop himself (v.2-3).
III. Qualifications concerning the family of the bishop (v.4-5).
IV. Qualifications concerning the spiritual life of the bishop (v.6).
V. Qualifications concerning the neighborhood of the bishop (v.7).
The Conditions and Results for Deacons
I. In the aspect of one’s moral life (v.8, 11):
B. not double-tongued
C. not given to much wine
D. not greedy for money
E. not slanderers
II. In the aspect of one’s family life (v.12):
A. being the husbands of one wife,
B. ruling their children and their own houses well
III. In the aspect of one’s spiritual life (v.9):
A. holding the mystery of the faith
B. with a pure conscience
IV. In the aspect of one’s service (v.10, 11b):
A. first be tested and being found blameless
B. faithful in all things
V. The effect of serving well as deacons (v.13):
A. obtaining for themselves a good standing
B. obtaining great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus
I. The characters of a deacon (v.8).
II. The spiritual life of a deacon (v.9).
III. The life of a deacon (v.10).
IV. The family of a deacon (v.11-12).
V. The effect of a deacon (v.13).
What We should Know in the Church
I. The teachings of apostles in the epistles are the source of “knowledge” (v.14-15a).
II. Knowing what is the church (v.15b):
A. the church is the house of God.
B. the church is the church of the living God.
C. the church is the pillar and ground of the truth.
III. Knowing the mystery of godliness (v.16):
A. it is that God is manifested in the flesh------the six facts or steps of Christ’s manifestation.
B. the function of the church on earth is to manifest God.
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Sharon Ren