Reading for Today:
- Jeremiah 33:1–34:22
- Psalm 119:57-64
- Proverbs 27:21
- 1 Timothy 3:1-16
Jeremiah 33:15 A Branch. This is the Messiah King in David’s lineage. He is the King whose reign immediately follows the Second Coming when He appears in power (Dan. 2:35, 45; 7:13, 14, 27; Matt. 16:27–28; 24:30; 26:64).
Jeremiah 34:18, 21 cut the calf in two. God will give the guilty over to death before the conqueror, for they denied the covenant ratified by blood (v. 21). In this custom, as in Genesis 15:8–17, two parties laid out parts of a sacrifice on two sides, then walked between the parts. By that symbolic action, each pledged to fulfill his promise, agreeing in effect, “May my life (represented by the blood) be poured out if I fail to honor my part.”
1 Timothy 3:1 desires…desires. Two different Greek words are used. The first means “to reach out after.” It describes external action not internal motive. The second means “a strong passion” and refers to an inward desire. Taken together, these two words aptly describe the type of man who belongs in the ministry—one who outwardly pursues it because he is driven by a strong internal desire. bishop. The word means “overseer” and identifies the men who are responsible to lead the church (5:17; 1 Thess. 5:12; Heb. 13:7). In the New Testament the words “bishop,” “elder,” “overseer,” and “pastor” are used interchangeably to describe the same men (Acts 20:17, 28; Titus 1:5–9; 1 Pet. 5:1, 2). Bishops (pastors, overseers, elders) are responsible to lead (5:17), preach and teach (5:17), help the spiritually weak (1 Thess. 5:12–14), care for the church (1 Pet. 5:1, 2), and ordain other leaders (4:14).
1 Timothy 3:6 not a novice, lest…puffed up with pride. Putting a new convert into a leadership role would tempt him to pride. Elders, therefore, are to be drawn from the spiritually mature men of the congregation. fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Satan’s condemnation was due to pride over his position. It resulted in his fall from honor and authority. The same kind of fall and judgment could easily happen to a new and weak believer put in a position of spiritual leadership.
1 Timothy 3:8 deacons. From a word group meaning “to serve.” Originally referring to menial tasks such as waiting on tables (Acts 6:1–4), “deacon” came to denote any service in the church. Deacons serve under the leadership of elders, helping them exercise oversight in the practical matters of church life. Scripture defines no official or specific responsibilities for deacons. They are to do whatever the elders assign them or whatever spiritual ministry is necessary.
DAY 24: What does it mean for an elder to be “the husband of one wife”?
In 1 Timothy 3:2, the Greek is literally a “one-woman man.” This says nothing about marriage or divorce (v. 4). The issue is not the elder’s marital status but his moral and sexual purity. This qualification heads the list, because it is in this area that leaders are most prone to fail. Various interpretations of this qualification have been offered. Some see it as a prohibition against polygamy—an unnecessary injunction since polygamy was not common in Roman society and clearly forbidden by Scripture (Gen. 2:24), the teaching of Jesus (Matt. 19:5, 6; Mark 10:6–9), and Paul (Eph. 5:31). A polygamist could not even have been a church member, let alone a church leader. Others see this requirement as barring those who remarried after the death of their wives. But, as already noted, the issue is sexual purity, not marital status. Further, the Bible encourages remarriage after widowhood (5:14; 1 Cor. 7:39). Some believe that Paul here excludes divorced men from church leadership. That again ignores the fact that this qualification does not deal with marital status. Nor does the Bible prohibit all remarriage after divorce (Matt. 5:31, 32; 19:9; 1 Cor. 7:15). Finally, some think that this requirement excludes single men from church leadership. But if that were Paul’s intent, he would have disqualified himself (1 Cor. 7:8).
A “one-woman man” is one totally devoted to his wife, maintaining singular devotion, affection, and sexual purity in both thought and deed. To violate this is to forfeit blamelessness and no longer be “above reproach” (Titus 1:6,7).
From The MacArthur Daily Bible Copyright © 2003. Used by permission of Thomas Nelson Bibles, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc, Nashville, TN 37214, www.thomasnelson.com.