An Expositional Sermon
1 Timothy 3:1-3
“The Marks of a Pastor, Part 1”
Theme/Big Idea: Local church overseers lives must exhibit marks.
Aim/Appropriation/Application: Brothers, stretch forth for the office of overseer for the good of the church and the glory of God.
(1) Church Structure is Really Important (1 Timothy 3:1) – pursuing the regulative principle in church structure
(2) Visible/Public Character – Marks 1-12 (1 Timothy 3:1-3)
Sub-points under Point 2:
(1) Mark #1: Zealously stretches-forth – Aspiration (1 Timothy 3:1b) – (a) internal and (b) external call
(2) Mark #2: Above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2)
(3) Mark #3: One woman man (1 Timothy 3:2)
(4) Mark #4: Sober-minded (1 Timothy 3:2)
(5) Mark #5: Self-controlled/thoughtful/wise (1 Timothy 3:2)
(6) Mark #6: Respectable/”of good behavior” (1 Timothy 3:2)
(7) Mark #7: Hospitable/Lover of strangers (1 Timothy 3:2)
(8) Mark #8: Able to teach (1 Timothy 3:2)
(9) Mark #9: Not be a drunkard/Not addicted to much wine (1 Timothy 3:3)
(10) Mark #10: Not violent, but gentle (1 Timothy 3:3)
(11) Mark #11: Not quarrelsome (1 Timothy 3:3)
(12) Mark #12: Not avaricious/Not a lover of money (1 Timothy 3:3)
Questions for Further Reflection
(1) Will you commit to pray that God would grow each of us in these areas, and that God would protect brothers who would serve us as overseer-elder-pastors in our church in this way?
(2) On Mark #1 – Aspiration: Regarding gauging the internal call: (a) Do I want to do this? (b) Do I believe my life reflects the biblical qualifications required to do this? (b) Is there an external call?
(3) On Mark #2 – Above Reproach: When people bring charges against him at not being qualified, do they stick? Does his life reflect the marks that follow?
(4) On Mark #3 – As a “one woman man” how does he steward the gift of sexual intimacy? Does he live as a man who is committed to His wife? Does he look at pornography and act inappropriately? How does he talk about his wife? Yes, he’s married and doesn’t cheat, but how does he talk about other women? Does he flirt with other women who aren’t his wife? If he’s single, does he mislead sisters in Christ and cultivate inappropriate intimacy, companionship, and friendship? Is he careful and clear with the hearts of blood-bought sisters in Christ? As a good friend of mine wrote a number of years ago is he the kind of guy who “Test-drives” his girlfriends? Is he helping to cultivate commitment in sisters around him for the bridegroom, Jesus Christ? Is he thoughtful about helping sisters in Christ be “one man women” if they get married someday? Is he preparing himself and exhibiting the mark of a man who would be fully committed as “one woman man” if he ever gets married, reflecting Christ’s love toward His singular bride, the church?
(5) On Mark #4 – Sober-minded: Is he sober in food and apparel, and moderate in his affairs, to manage all things with right reason, undertaking nothing lightly or rashly, but gravely weighing and considering all his word?
(6) On Mark #5 – Self-controlled/thoughtful/wise: What kinds of things is he tempted to be addicted to and have cravings for? How does he approach those things? Food, alcohol, drugs, entertainment, music, sports, television, internet, video games, pornography, work, materialism, vanity, anger, quarrels, relationships, etc. How is he at, “thinking God’s thoughts after Him.” Is he impulsive or is he measured in how he responds to issues he feels strongly about?
(7) On Mark #6 – Respectable/”of good behavior”: Is this a man who is pursuing to let his life be worthy of the gospel (Phil. 1:27)? Is his life a picture of a life that is properly submitting to the authority that God has place over him – in society, in the home, in the church (1 Tim. 2:9; Titus 2:9; Rom. 13:1; 1 Tim. 2:2)?
(8) On Mark #7 – Hospitable/Lover of strangers: Is this a man who is quick to love people he doesn’t know? Does his love of the stranger include sharing the most loving thing possible, how sinners like us can be saved from God’s wrath by faith alone in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ alone? Is he able to even love the stranger that has harmed him or those he loves in the past like Ananias in Acts 9 as he was called to love Paul? Is he xeonophic? Is he racist/ethnicist? Is he homphobic? Does his love of the stranger reflect how God has loved us? “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God.” (Eph. 2:19)
(9) On Mark #8 – Able to teach: Can this man handle the Word of God in the Bible? Does he obscure and de-emphasize the gospel? Has he had any training or discipleship in being able to teach? If he isn’t as comfortable to preach at the gathering of the church, has his ability to teach been demonstrated in personal discipleship relationships, Bible studies, or in his family life? If the opportunity was there has he pursued instruction in theological education? Would he ever be open to it if the circumstances were right?
(10) On Mark #9 – Not a drunkard/addicted to much wine: This doesn’t mean that a man must never have alcohol in order to be qualified, but the question is how has he used it if he does? Would he be willing to abstain for the benefit of others in certain circumstances? As in many things, it’s not the object that is the problem with drunkenness, but the sinful idolatrous heart that fixates on the object. How does the man we would consider as an elder approach alcohol?
(11) On Mark #10 – Not violent, but gentle: Does this man have a chip on his shoulder, and an axe to grind on everything? Consider Galatians 6:1-3, “Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” Does he go into battle against sin with his guards of self-control and discernment up lest he be tempted by the sin he’s helping others fight with faith in the gospel? Is he able to be gentle, not confusing it with passivity or uninvolved weakness?
(12) On Mark #11 – Not quarrelsome: He he quick to get into disagreements and fights? Is he a peace-maker? Does he pursue reconciliation between himself and others? Does he help others reconcile with each other?
(13) On Mark #12 – Not avaricious/a lover of money: Does this man love money? Does he give to the church? Does he hoard wealth? Is he content with what he has? Sobriety in all of life touches this too. Is he able to live within his means? Does he talk about his financial assets all the time? Does he look down upon others because they have a different socio-economic status than him (whether higher or lower)?