An Expositional/Topical Sermon
1 Timothy 3:1
Theme/Big Idea: God gives local churches overseers.
Aim/Appropriation/Application: Pray that God would preserve our overseers, and that He might give us more overseers.
(1) Early Creed on Church Order? (1 Timothy 3:1a)
(2) Who Can Be an Overseer? (1 Timothy 3:1b)
(3) What It Means to be an Overseer (1 Timothy 3:1b)
(4) “Elder” “Overseer” and “Pastor” in the New Testament (1 Timothy 3:1b; various texts)
(5) 3 Titles for the Same Local Church Office (1 Timothy 3:1b; Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5, 7; 1 Peter 5:1-5)
(6) Christ is Our Overseer
Questions for Further Reflection
(1) Should we not pursue to have the office of “overseer/elder/pastor” in a local church because we have seen it practiced unfaithfully? (hint… No!) Why?
(2) Who can be an overseer? Explain.
(3) What does it mean to be an “overseer”? “Epi” on or upon – “Skopeo” looking intently. What are the various implications of the meaning of “Episkope” (“overseer” or “bishop”)?
(4) What are some ways that you might be tempted to hide your sin from those whom God has appointed to care for your soul? How can you fight hiding in sin?
(5) From Genesis 1:2 to Revelation 22:17 what does the work of the Holy Spirit consist of? How does God’s attribute not of “confusion” but of “peace” impact how a church orders or structures itself?
(6) Is it good for a church to be orderly? Why? What are some ways that we might sin in embracing orderliness as a local church? What are some ways that we might sin in rejecting orderliness as a local church?
(7) Since our overseer/elder/pastors are not our Saviors, how should that moderate our expectations for them? In what ways must we be careful not to de-emphasize the holiness that men must reflect in order to be qualified, and at the same time recognize that they are sinners the same as any other disciple of Christ?
(8) If pastors are meant to reflect the shepherding of the Chief Shepherd who laid down His life for His sheep, why is it especially wrong if they abuse or misuse the office of pastor?
(8) How might we think about our overseer/elder/pastors in such a way that the flame our affection for Christ as our “Good Shepherd” (John 10) might grow stronger and brighter? Even as our overseer/elder/pastors are a weak and dim reflection of Christ, how can we take even the gift of pastors captive to the glory of Christ?
(10) What are some ways that we can obey Hebrews 13:17: “ Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.”