<< Previous | Index | Next >>
                        "SHEPHERDS OF THE FLOCK"

               Their Qualifications - Positive Qualities

INTRODUCTION

1. In our study of the qualifications of elders, we have seen so far
   that one must be...
   a. Blameless
   b. The husband of one wife
   c. One who rules his own house well, having children in submission
      with all reverence
   d. One with faithful children not accused of dissipation or
      insubordination

2. In the two lists provided by Paul (1Ti 3:1-7; Tit 1:5-9), the
   qualifications contain both...
   a. Positive qualities (what an elder must be)
   b. Negative qualities (what an elder must not be)

[We now turn our attention to "Positive Qualities" we have to yet to
consider, beginning with...]

I. TEMPERATE (1Ti 3:2)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., nephaleos - "it means, properly, sober, temperate,
         abstinent, especially in respect to wine; then sober-minded,
         watchful, circumspect" - Robinson
      2. Translated as:
         a. Vigilant (KJV)
         b. Temperate (NKJV, NASB)
      3. Used elsewhere:
         a. To describe women - 1Ti 3:11
         b. To describe what older men should be - Tit 2:2

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. Elders are to be "ever on the watch, as sober men alone can be;
         keenly alive, so as to foresee what ought to be done"
         - Jamieson, Fausset, Brown
      2. "Watchful; for as one who drinks is apt to sleep, so he who
         abstains from it is more likely to keep awake, and attend to
         his work and charge. A bishop has to watch over the Church, and
         watch for it; and this will require all his care and
         circumspection." - Clarke

II. SOBER-MINDED (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:8)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., sophrona - "prudent or, according to the etymology of the
         word, from sos, sound, and phren, mind, a man of a sound mind;
         lit., a sound mind" - Clarke
      2. Translated as:
         a. Sober (KJV), sober-minded (NKJV, ASV)
         b. Prudent (NASB), sensible (NRSV)
      3. Used elsewhere:
         a. To describe what older men should be - Tit 2:2
         b. To describe what young women should be - Tit 2:5 (discreet,
            NKJV)

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. "The idea is, that he should have his desires and passions well
         regulated. Perhaps the word 'prudent' would come nearer to the
         meaning of the apostle than any single word which we have."
         - Barnes
      2. "a man of a sound mind; having a good understanding, and the
         complete government of all his passions. A bishop should be a
         man of learning, of an extensive and well cultivated mind,
         dispassionate, prudent, and sedate." - Clarke

III. OF GOOD BEHAVIOR (1Ti 3:2)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., kosmion - "Seemly, decent conduct" - Robertson's Word
         Pictures
      2. Translated as:
         a. Of good behavior (KJV, NKJV)
         b. Orderly (ASV), respectable (NASB, NRSV)
      3. Used elsewhere:
         a. Of women regarding their apparel - 1Ti 2:9
         b. Where it is translated "modest" (orderly)

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. "The preceding term, sophrona, refers to the mind; this latter,
         kosmion, to the external manners. A clownish, rude, or boorish
         man should never have the rule of the Church of God; the sour,
         the sullen, and the boisterous should never be invested with a
         dignity which they would most infallibly disgrace." - Clarke
      2. "The most correct rendering, according to the modern use of
         language, would be, that he should be 'a gentleman.' He should
         not be slovenly in his appearance, or rough and boorish in his
         manners." - Barnes

IV. HOSPITABLE (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:8)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., philoxenos - "literally, a lover of strangers; one who is
         ready to receive into his house and relieve every necessitous
         stranger." - Clarke
      2. Translated as:
         a. Given to hospitality (KJV)
         b. Hospitable (NKJV, NASB)
      3. Used elsewhere:
         a. Proscribed for all Christians to practice - Ro 12:13; He
            13:2
         b. Even toward one another - 1Pe 4:9

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. "Ancient inns were usually of ill repute. Then, too, Christian
         travelers were often poor, and hesitated to place themselves
         under obligation to unbelievers. Thus, by entertaining such
         travelers, particularly such as were missionaries of the cross,
         the influence of the church could be extended, while at the
         same time the spirit of love and sympathy could be shown."
         - Erdman
      2. "Often saints by persecution were made homeless. The bishops
         must set the example of receiving such." - B. W. Johnson

V. ABLE TO TEACH, EXHORT, CONVICT (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:9)

   A. THE WORDS...
      1. Gr., didaktikos - "one qualified to teach" - Robertson's Word
         Pictures
         a. Translated as:
            1) Apt to teach (KJV, ASV)
            2) Able to teach (NKJV, NASB), an apt teacher (NRSV)
         b. Used elsewhere:
            1) Of servants of the Lord - 2Ti 2:24
            2) Such would include preachers, evangelists, as well as
               elders
      2. Gr., parakaleo - "to address, speak to, (call to, call upon),
         which may be done in the way of exhortation, entreaty, comfort,
         instruction, etc." - Thayer
         a. Translated as:
            1) "exhort" (NKJV, KJV, NASB), "preach" (NRSV)
            2) "give instruction" (RSV), "comfort" (New Testament In
               Basic English)
         b. Used elsewhere:
            1) Paul exhorting the Thessalonians - 1Th 4:10; 5:14
            2) What Paul instructed Titus to do - Tit 2:6,15
      3. Gr., elegcho - "to convict, refute, confute; generally with a
         suggestion of shame of the person convicted; to find fault with,
         correct" - Thayer
         a. Translated as:
            1) "convince" (KJV), "refute" (NASB, NRSV)
            2) "convict" (NKJV, ASV)
         b. Used elsewhere:
            1) When confronting a brother who has sinned against you
               - Mt 18:15
            2) When rebuking an elder who has sinned - 1Ti 5:20
            3) What Timothy was to do when he preached the Word - 2 Ti
               4:2

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. "A shepherd must feed his flock; a pastor must break the bread
         of life for his people and must rightly divide the word of
         truth. Ability for this sacred task is the supreme requirement
         for those to whom is entrusted the care of souls." - Erdman
      2. "The true 'elder' must also be a guardian of the faith. He must
         hold fast the sacred tradition, according to the gospel as
         taught by the apostles, and he must be thus qualified because
         of his twofold duty as a teacher, first, to encourage and
         instruct believers, 'to exhort in the sound doctrine,' and
         second, 'to convict the gainsayers,' that is, to withstand
         unbelieving opponents, to reply to them successfully, to
         'convict' them of fault." - Erdman

VI. GENTLE (1Ti 3:3)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., epieikes - "equitable, fair, mild, gentle" - Thayer
      2. Translated as:
         a. "patient" (KJV)
         b. "gentle" (NKJV, ASV, NASB)
      3. As used elsewhere:
         a. Of moderation to be shown by all - Php 4:5
         b. Of which Titus was to remind all - Tit 3:1-2

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. An elder is "one who patiently bears all reproaches and
         injuries, puts up with affronts, and gives up what is his right
         and due, rather than contend, quarrel, and strike; who is
         patient towards all men, and does not bear hard on those that
         have offended, but is moderate and mild, and gentle in his
         censures, reproofs, and admonitions" - Gill
      2. "A Christian minister must be 'gentle,' sweetly reasonable,
         eager to show forbearance and kindly consideration;" - Erdman

VII. GOOD TESTIMONY FROM WITHOUT (1Ti 3:7)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., marturia - "record, report, testimony, witness" - Strong
      2. Translated as:
         a. "testimony" (NKJV, ASV), "report" (KJV)
         b. "reputation" (NASB), "well thought of" (NRSV)
      3. As used elsewhere:
         a. What was reported of the Cretans - Tit 1:12-13
         b. What was said about Demetrius - 3Jn 12

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. An elder must "have an established character which speaks well
         for the church among the unconverted" - B. W. Johnson
      2. "He must not only be favorably known by his fellow Christians,
         but he must also have a good reputation in the community where
         the church is located; otherwise his ill repute may bring
         obloquy (a state of disgrace, a malicious attack) upon the
         church, and the very fact that he is under suspicion and
         reproach may prove a temptation to recklessness and sin;"
         - Erdman

VIII. LOVER OF WHAT IS GOOD (Tit 1:8)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., philagathos -  "fond of good, that is, a promoter off
         virtue" - Strong
      2. Translated as:
         a. "a lover of what is good" (NKJV), "a lover of good men"
            (KJV)
         b. "loving what is good" (NASB), "a lover of goodness" (NRSV)
      3. Not used anywhere else in the Scriptures - yet cf. Php 4:8

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. "of good things; as prayer, preaching, reading, meditation,
         spiritual conversation, and every religious exercise: or of
         good men; for such an elder or bishop has chiefly to do and
         converse with; and if he is not a lover of them, their company
         will be disagreeable to him, and he will be of no advantage to
         them; and if he does not love the souls of men, he will not
         naturally care for their state, or be concerned for their
         good." - Gill
      2. "The appellation points here to that large heart which finds
         room for sympathy with all that is good and noble and
         generous." - J. W. Shepherd

IX. JUST (Tit 1:8)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., dikaios - "in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous,
         keeping the commands of God; in a narrower sense, rendering to
         each his due and that in a judicial sense, passing just
         judgment on others, whether expressed in words or shown by the
         manner of dealing with them" - Thayer
      2. Translated as:
         a. "just" (KJV, ASV, NKJV, NASB)
         b. "upright" (NRSV)
      3. As used elsewhere:
         a. Of Joseph, husband of Mary - Mt 1:19
         b. Of Zacharias and Elizabeth, parents of John the Baptist - Lk
            1:6
         c. Of Simeon who waited for the consolation of Israel - Lk 2:25
         d. Of Joseph of Arimathea - Lk 23:50
         e. Of Cornelius the centurion - Ac 10:32
         f. Of Jesus Christ, our advocate - 1Jn 2:1

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. An elder must be "righteous in his dealings with men, giving to
         everyone their due; upright and sincere in his conversation
         with the saints; and faithful in his counsel, admonitions, and
         reproofs." - Gill
      2. "The one who is just is one who tries strictly to perform his
         duties toward men - the duties which integrity and justice seem
         imperatively to ask of him in his relation with his neighbor."
         - Lipscomb

X. HOLY (Tit 1:8)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., hosios - "undefiled by sin, free from wickedness,
         religiously observing every moral obligation, pure, holy,
         pious" - Thayer
      2. Translated as:
         a. "holy" (KJV, ASV, NKJV)
         b. "devout" (NASB, NRSV)
      3. As Used elsewhere:
         a. Pertaining to hands lifted in prayer - 1Ti 2:8
         b. Applied to Jesus, our High Priest - He 7:26

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. An elder must be "devout towards God, constant in all religious
         exercises in the closet, family, and church; and living
         soberly, righteously, and godly in the world." - Gill
      2. He must be "one who reverences and worships God, and is of a
         spiritual and heavenly conversation." - Henry

XI. SELF-CONTROLLED (Tit 1:8)

   A. THE WORD...
      1. Gr., egkrates - "Originally, having power over; possessed of;
         hence, controlling, keeping in hand." - Vincent
      2. Translated as:
         a. "self-controlled" (NKJV, ASV, NASB)
         b. "temperate" (KJV)
      3. Not used anywhere else in the Scriptures, though a similar word
         (egkrateia) is enjoined:
         a. As part of the fruit of the Spirit - Ga 5:21-22
         b. As necessary to growing in the knowledge of Christ - 2Pe 1:
            5-8

   B. THE APPLICATION...
      1. Temperate "in eating and drinking; continent from the lusts of
         the flesh; and even abstaining from those things which might be
         lawfully used, though inexpedient, for the sake of the weak,
         the peace of the church, and the glory of God." - Gill
      2. "Holding all his desires and appetites in restraint so moderate
         in their gratification. The bishop not only must be able to
         control his tongue, his eyes, and his hands, but must show a
         just and wise moderation." - Lipscomb

CONCLUSION

1. Too often, people focus on a man's family life when selecting an
   elder...
   a. Is he the husband of one wife?
   b. Does he have faithful children?

2. Just as important is that we consider his personality and
   abilities...
   a. What kind of person is he?
   b. Will he be able to fulfill the task of shepherding the flock?

Noting the positive qualifications help us do that, as do the negative
qualifications which we shall examine in the next lesson...
<< Previous | Index | Next >>


Home Page
Have A Bible Question? | Want A Free Bible Study Course? | Looking For A Church Near You?
Want To Talk With Someone By Phone? | Want To Discuss The Bible By Email?
Search The Outlines

Executable Outlines, Copyright © Mark A. Copeland, 2011

eXTReMe Tracker