The Bishop’s Code – Authority
1 Timothy 3:1-7
What are the qualifications to lead the church?
What is the definition of a bishop?
1. Bishop in the Greek means over, watcher.
A. A bishop is someone who has oversight, a leader, an elder, a pastor.
2. God has specific qualifications for His leaders in His church.
A. This list is what God desires in His church.
B. No human is perfect and therefore this list should be all leaders goals for leading the Lords church.
C. All leaders should have a desire and should strive for these qualities which represent Godly maturity.
3. 16 leadership virtues:
A. Blameless: I believe this means maturity. I believe this is a lifestyle above reproach. (1 Timothy 5:5-7)
B. Husband of one wife: No polygamy – you can be a bishop without a wife. (1 Corinthians 7:8)
C. Vigilant: Watch-leaders pay attention to God’s word, the present danger of the world. (1 Peter 5:8)
1 Peter 5:8
D. Sober: A sound mind, self-controlled, discreet, serious, self-government. (Proverbs 25:28)
E. Of good behavior: I believe good behavior comes from the fruit of the Holy Spirit. God’s Holy Spirit as we choose to walk in Him makes us loving, happy, peaceful, patient, kind, good, faithful, gentle and self-Controlled. There is no law against behaving in any of these ways.
F. Given to hospitality: A lover of strangers – On my dad’s tomb stone it reads “A stranger was a friend he had not yet met.” Friendly receiving and treating guest and strangers in a warm friendly generous way. (Luke 14:12-14)
G. Apt To teach: Refers to the ability to communicate and apply the truth of Scripture with fruitfulness. This ability is not limited to public speaking and teaching. Some leaders are teaching by their example and counseling one on one. Example-Sunday school, small groups etc.
H. Not given to wine: Spiritually, alcoholism and drug addiction have destroyed many leaders. Alcoholism and drug addiction come from the spirit of death and Christ is the Spirit of life. A leader cannot lead with the wrong spirit.
(Proverbs 23:29-33; Ephesians 5:18)
I. No strikers: Can’t strike like a poisonous snake. No quarrelsome, no walking in offense or revenge. Not a persecutor or a prosecutor of those who differ or displease you. No harpooner or spear thrower.
J. Not greedy of filthy lucre: Money obtain dishonestly. Those who teach wrongly for the sake of money. To profit from honest work is not wrong.
(Matthew 25:14-29; Exodus 20:9-11)
K. Patient: Meek and gentle with a willingness to wait upon God and His perfect will.
L. Not a brawler: Not a fighter, no quarrelsome or contention. Quiet and peaceable. (Proverbs 21:9)
M. Not covetous, Wrong thoughts and desires, not a lover of money or wrong desire for possessions.
(1 Timothy 6:10)
N. Ruler of his own house well: Not by hardness or a tyrant but with honesty and fairness. Wife and children want to be family and share their lives together.
(1 Timothy 3:4-5)
O. Not a novice: Can’t put a new convert in a leadership role. The devil will use pride to take him out. A role of government and authority always makes a natural man feel important and prideful. In God’s church the Lord is exalted and it’s all about Him and His glory not ours. We can’t lead with pride and if we try, we will fall, all pride must go in order to be used of God. (Proverbs 16:18; Isaiah 14:12-15)
P. Of a good report from outsiders: Our goal is to reach as many people as we can so we don’t want reproach or disapproval or criticism. Understand the enemy will do everything he can to discredit us.
We never want to give place to the Lords enemies by disobeying God like David did with Bathsheba. (2 Samuel 12:14)
2 Samuel 12:14
4. In closing if a man can do these sixteen qualities in his life he will be a perfect minister. So this is our goal in the ministry, to be the best that we can possibly be. God’s favor and blessing be upon you as you love God with all that you are and your neighbor as you love yourself.