1 Timothy 3:1-7


1 Timothy 3:1-7


v.1 – overseers desire a “noble work” – not a rank! It is faithful labor –


John Calvin“the Apostle affirms that this is no inconsiderable work, such as any man might venture to undertake.”


Jamieson, Fausset & Brown – [A word on church polity – how a church is governed] – “the authority of a presiding pastor, the consent of the presbytery, and that of the people, all combining, is the nearest approach to apostolic usage”


v.2 – 


above reproach – blameless, unexceptionable, one who cannot be laid hold of, no grounds for accusation, not marked by infamy that would lessen his authority


John Calvin “There will be no one found among men that is free from every vice; but it is one thing to be blemished with ordinary vices, which do not hurt the reputation, because they are found in men of the highest excellence, and another thing to have a disgraceful name, or to be stained with any baseness.”

husband of one wife – one-woman man, also, marriage is preferred:


J, F & B“He who has a wife and virtuous family is to be preferred to a bachelor; for he who is himself bound to discharge the domestic duties will be more attractive to those who have similar ties, for he teaches them not only by precept, but also by example.”


self-controlled – vigilant, temperate, “ever on the watch”  cf. 1 Thess. 5:6-8


sensible – sober-minded, discreet

  • John Calvin – “a mature knowledge of things makes a man modest”


respectable – of good behavior, orderly

  • sensible refers to inward thoughts; respectable to the outward actions


hospitable – “loving strangers”; (steadiness, deep roots) carries the notion of a safe-house during periods of persecution! Congregants reassured


an able teacher – knowledge of doctrine, skill in communicating instruction, wisdom in applying the word of God judiciously to the advantage of the people   2 Tim. 2:24


v.3 – next four describe someone whose judgment is not impaired, keeping calm under pressure…


not addicted to wine  - “not beside wine” (alcohol is not his constant companion) watches his indulgences


not a bully, but gentle – Wuest – “not pugnacious but sweetly reasonable”, not ready to draw swords, non-threatening, forebearance


not quarrelsome – avoids disputes, resolves conflict


not greedy –  (whether he have much or little!) “he who wishes to become rich, wishes also to become rich soon.” opp. “satisfied with less than his due”


v.4 –  one who manages his own household competently – manages = rules, presiding over; evidence is dignified (gravity), controlled children!


Homer Kent“The way in which a man controls his home reveals his capacity for leadership and government.”


v.5 –  Jamieson, Fausset & Brown“How shall he who cannot perform the less function perform the greater?”


v.6 – not a new convert – novice, new believer, neophyte = lit. “a young plant” (green), inexperienced

  • the young convert has not yet been matured by afflictions and temptations!
  • become conceited = beclouded, wrapped in smoke, inflated with pride



v.7 – have a good reputation among outsiders – good report  cf. Acts 16:1-3  cf. 1 Peter 2:12


The reproach surrounding him for former sins might lead him into the snare of becoming as bad as his reputation. Despair of recovering reputation might lead him into recklessness. Jeremiah 18:12







Ephesians 6:18 praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints —

Ephesians 6:19 and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel,

Ephesians 6:20 for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.



Acts 14:23 So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.





Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.


Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.


1 Timothy 5:17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.


1 Timothy 5:19 Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses.





James 5:14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

James 5:15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.


1 Peter 5:2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly;

1 Peter 5:3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;

1 Peter 5:4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.