1 Timothy 3* The qualifications and behaviour of gospel bishops. (1-7) Andof deacons and their wives. (8-13) The reason of writing aboutthese, and other church affairs. (14-16)1-7 If a man desired the pastoral office, and from love toChrist, and the souls of men, was ready to deny himself, andundergo hardships by devoting himself to that service, he soughtto be employed in a good work, and his desire should beapproved, provided he was qualified for the office. A ministermust give as little occasion for blame as can be, lest he bringreproach upon his office. He must be sober, temperate, moderatein all his actions, and in the use of all creature-comforts.Sobriety and watchfulness are put together in Scripture, theyassist one the other. The families of ministers ought to beexamples of good to all other families. We should take heed ofpride; it is a sin that turned angels into devils. He must be ofgood repute among his neighbours, and under no reproach from hisformer life. To encourage all faithful ministers, we haveChrist's gracious word of promise, Lo, I am with you alway, evenunto the end of the world, #Mt 28:20|. And he will fit hisministers for their work, and carry them through difficultieswith comfort, and reward their faithfulness. 8-13 The deacons were at first appointed to distribute thecharity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastorsand evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trustreposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It isnot fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any,till they are found fit for the business with which they are tobe trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take greatcare to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ. 14-16 The church is the house of God; he dwells there. Thechurch holds forth the Scripture and the doctrine of Christ, asa pillar holds forth a proclamation. When a church ceases to bethe pillar and ground of truth, we may and ought to forsake her;for our regard to truth should be first and greatest. Themystery of godliness is Christ. He is God, who was made flesh,and was manifest in the flesh. God was pleased to manifesthimself to man, by his own Son taking the nature of man. Thoughreproached as a sinner, and put to death as a malefactor, Christwas raised again by the Spirit, and so was justified from allthe false charges with which he was loaded. Angels ministered tohim, for he is the Lord of angels. The Gentiles welcomed thegospel which the Jews rejected. Let us remember that God wasmanifest in the flesh, to take away our sins, to redeem us fromall iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people,zealous of good works. These doctrines must be shown forth bythe fruits of the Spirit in our lives.
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