Reading through the Bible together
The words bishop,
overseer, and elder are used interchangeably in the New Testament. A
man who “desires – covets” this position is to be motivated by the desire to do
a good work in serving Christ, not for personal honor (vs. 1-7).
This chapter gives further guidelines to the
church in its selection of elders, but especially is instructive for
those who are asked to serve as elders. An elder’s family reveals his
leadership, so also does his reputation in the community. The fruit of
his life must reflect Christ. Paul also warned of those who desire
position and power just for themselves. They do not do
God’s good work.
To be a deacon (vs. 8-13) is also a holy
calling that supports Christ’s work in the world. When Jesus said, “I am
among you as he that serves,” He was referring to Himself as a servant, a
deacon. Elders, deacons, deaconess who follow in the steps of Jesus help
to place His mold on their congregations. They give “servant-leadership,”
for Christ who is the Head of His church.
Paul wrote these things to enable young Timothy to give proper
leadership to the churches.
“The church, the pillar and ground of the
truth” (v. 15), built by Christ, founded on Him, is to stand as a pillar
to God’s saving truth. Worldly businesses or governments do
not stand as pillars to God and His salvation. If His church fails here,
where can people go to find Him? Verse
16 is a synopsis of the “mystery of God” – the wonderful fact of our
redemption through the incarnational life, death, and resurrection of Jesus
Christ. This great salvation
is what we the
church are to reveal to the world.
Let us remember to pray for and support those
selected to give leadership in the various ministries of our churches.
David Manzano, Retired Pastor
Member of the Retired Workers Association
Collegedale, TN U.S.A.