1 Timothy 3

* The qualifications and behaviour of gospel bishops. (1-7) And

of deacons and their wives. (8-13) The reason of writing about

these, and other church affairs. (14-16)

1-7 If a man desired the pastoral office, and from love to

Christ, and the souls of men, was ready to deny himself, and

undergo hardships by devoting himself to that service, he sought

to be employed in a good work, and his desire should be

approved, provided he was qualified for the office. A minister

must give as little occasion for blame as can be, lest he bring

reproach upon his office. He must be sober, temperate, moderate

in all his actions, and in the use of all creature-comforts.

Sobriety and watchfulness are put together in Scripture, they

assist one the other. The families of ministers ought to be

examples of good to all other families. We should take heed of

pride; it is a sin that turned angels into devils. He must be of

good repute among his neighbours, and under no reproach from his

former life. To encourage all faithful ministers, we have

Christ's gracious word of promise, Lo, I am with you alway, even

unto the end of the world, #Mt 28:20|. And he will fit his

ministers for their work, and carry them through difficulties

with comfort, and reward their faithfulness.
8-13 The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the

charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors

and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust

reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is

not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any,

till they are found fit for the business with which they are to

be trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take great

care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.
14-16 The church is the house of God; he dwells there. The

church holds forth the Scripture and the doctrine of Christ, as

a pillar holds forth a proclamation. When a church ceases to be

the pillar and ground of truth, we may and ought to forsake her;

for our regard to truth should be first and greatest. The

mystery of godliness is Christ. He is God, who was made flesh,

and was manifest in the flesh. God was pleased to manifest

himself to man, by his own Son taking the nature of man. Though

reproached as a sinner, and put to death as a malefactor, Christ

was raised again by the Spirit, and so was justified from all

the false charges with which he was loaded. Angels ministered to

him, for he is the Lord of angels. The Gentiles welcomed the

gospel which the Jews rejected. Let us remember that God was

manifest in the flesh, to take away our sins, to redeem us from

all iniquity, and to purify unto himself a peculiar people,

zealous of good works. These doctrines must be shown forth by

the fruits of the Spirit in our lives.

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