Choosing of a Bishop or Pastor
1 Timothy 3:8,9 -
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
Timothy had a calling of an Evangelist and so was instrument in setting up the Congregations, so Paul was giving guidance to Timothy on how the Congregation leader (Deacon / Overseer) should be selected.
One of the main reasons the Kingdom of God is suffering that we do not have good Deacons / Overseers.
In the Roman Catholic Church most people think the Deacon / Overseer (Priest - one assigned to do the works of the Tabernacle/ Congregation) is the Father but it is not so. The actual Deacon is the Bishop and in the Christian Churches is the Pastor. The RC Church Father is the same as the Elder as in the Christian Churches. When a Father is ordained he is given the authority on behalf of the Bishop to execute part the office of the Bishop towards the Congregation. The concept of Father / Elder is drawn from the first organizational Church set by King David; which was perfect according to the Kingdom of Heaven, imitating the Hierarchy of the Angels in Heaven.
Since we imitate the Angels, the Pastors, Bishops and also the Fathers /Elders (who work on behalf of the Bishop/Pastor) should be of godly character as specified by Paul. Paul does not say they should be holy people but says the basic characteristics should be there so as to avoid unholy people taking on the role.
The basic criteria's required are:-
1) Should be maximum having one wife (a man not in lust for the pleasures of the flesh)
6) Able to teach
7) Not addicted to wine (fully fermented wine /alcohol is a no in the Bible, what Jesus used is unfermented wine which we call grape juice, Timothy was given advice by Paul to have a semi fermented wine only when unwell).
8) Not contentious (ready to fight any given time)
9) Having no love for money
10) A good husband and father to his children
11) Not a resent convert, someone who has just come to know the Lord (Paul himself took 8 years to become from Saul to Paul)
12) Should be respected outside his congregation
13) Should be strong in the basic Faith foundation.
Paul in the same instruction also confirms that women too can become Bishops / Pastors. This we see happening in the Christian Churches but not in most RC Churches as yet.
If we do select Overseers on the basis of Paul's instruction we are sure to have a strong Congregation and a growing Congregation.
[ Prayer Starter ]
Lord, the earthly Church is an image of your Heavenly Body. Help us Lord to understand what we are imitating and thus do so without bring disrespect to the Body. Lord, guide your Body which is on Earth and bring them together in one understanding and let the right people be selected to lead It...
We make this prayer in Jesus' Name, Amen.
[ Reference Scriptures ]
1 Timothy 3:1-12
1 Faithful is the saying, If a man seeketh the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 The bishop therefore must be without reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, orderly, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 no brawler, no striker; but gentle, not contentious, no lover of money;
4 one that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (but if a man knoweth not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 not a novice, lest being puffed up he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have good testimony from them that are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Deacons in like manner must be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless.
11 Women in like manner must be grave, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things.
12 Let deacons be husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
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