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The passages referring to the qualifications for an elder or deacon in the church are 1 Timothy 3:12 "A bishop (elder) then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of g...
Twenty Qualifications for being a Bishop/deacon: 1. Blameless in conduct. Greek: anepilemptos (G423). 1Tim. 5: 7; 6: 14 2. Husband of ONLY ONE wife, i. e., not a polygamist. However, One could be a bishop without a wife, as Paul (2Cor. 9: 5) 3. Their wives must meet certain qualifications (1Tim. 3:11). See the "Four Qualifications for Wives of Bishops" below 4. Each, the ruler of his own house (1Tim. 3:12), as required of bishops (1Tim. 3:4- 5) 5. Vigilant. Greek: nephaleos (G3524), drinking no wine; sober. Translated " vigilant" (1Tim. 3: 2); and " sober" (1Tim. 3: 11; Tit. 2: 2) 6. Sober. Greek: sophron (G4998), of sound mind; discreet; prudent; moderate; self- controlled; temperate. Translated " sober" (1Tim. 3: 2; Tit. 1: 8); " temperate" (Tit. 2: 5); and "discreet" (Tit. 2: 5). See also 1Tim. 2: 9, 15; 2Tim. 1: 7; Tit. 2: 4, 6, 12 7. Of good behavior. Greek: kosmios (G2887), 1Tim. 2: 9 8. Given to hospitality. Greek: philoxenos (G5382), lover of strangers. Tit. 1: 8; 1Pet. 4: 9 (cp. Rom. 12: 13) 9. Apt to teach. Greek:didaktikos (G1317), capable of teaching. 2Tim. 2:24 10. Not given to wine. Greek:paroinos (G3943), a winebibber. Tit. 1:7 11. No striker. Greek:plektes (G4131), not quarrelsome; one not ready to strike back at those who displease him; no persecutor of those who differ with him. Tit. 1:7 12. Not greedy of filthy lucre. Greek:aischrokerdes (G146), not desirous of base gain; not using wrong methods to raise money to increase his own income (1Tim. 3:3, 8; Tit. 1:7) 13. Patient. Greek:epieikes (G1933), meek and gentle (1Tim. 3:3), Php. 4:5 14. Not a brawler. Greek:amachos (G269), not contentious, but quiet and peaceable. Tit. 3:2 15. Not covetous. Greek:aphilarguros (G866), not a lover of money; not desiring the office for the sake of personal gain. Heb. 13:5; Lk. 12:15 16. Ruler of his own house, not by hardness and tyranny, but with honesty 17. Not a novice. Greek:neophutos (G3504), new convert to the faith. 18. Of a good report from outsiders 19. Grave (1Tim. 3:8). Greek:semnos (G4586). Translated "grave" (1Tim. 3:4; Tit. 2:2) and "honest" (Php. 4:8) 20. Not doubletongued (1Tim. 3:8). Greek:dilogos (G1351), liars; saying different things to different persons on the same subject. Four Qualifications for Wives of Bishops 1. Grave (1Tim. 3: 11; point 19, above) 2. Not slanderers (1Tim. 3: 11). Greek: diabolos (G1228), devils. See Jn. 6: 70 3. Sober (1Tim. 3: 11). Greek: nephaleos (G3524), not drinkers of wine (see point 6 above, 1Tim. 3: 2) 4. Faithful in all things (1Tim. 3: 11). These qualifications apply to wives of bishops, deacons, deaconesses, and Christian women in general.
The context of Eldership is the Ekklesia which consisted of Jewish disciples and their oikoi (households) who were called out of the assembly on Shavout, the Wheat Harvest Festival, then after that of Gentiles called out of their pagan temples and the world into Jesus Christ';s glorious body, the Ekklesia (Ac2:47). Apostles, Prophets,Evangelists, Shepherds, Teachers (Eph 4:12) were the holy, married Elders who were natural and mature role models in the "little Flock" (Lk 12:32). The teachers were to be given double honour, that is respect and full-time support to keep the Ekklesia on track to defend against the "savage wolves who came into the flock to destroy it (Ac 20:29) to attack the households. The major attackers were Jews whose mission statement was to reinstate the Jewish ways (Gal 3:1), false apostles and teachers (2 Pet 2). In actual fact it was Satan using such people. Thus the role of the Elders and especially Elders who were teachers was especially important to keep the Ekkelsia on track doctrinally. Selva Moses has quoted 20 qualification of the Elders and correctly included their wives who must be role models of submission. Their children have to be added and they must be obedient to their parents (Eph 6:1). The Elders were mature disciples of Christ Jesus and were men who manifested the agape love of Abba Father, the gifts (1 Cor 12) and fruit (Gal 5:22-23) of the Holy Spirit. I wonder how many men (and their families) who claim the title of Elder actually meet the stringent qualifications as outlined in God's word? Each head of an oikos (household) in the oikos was a Prophet, Priest and King of his own wife and children. As a prophet he spoke God's words of life, as a priest he ministered to his family, and as a King he was the protector and responsible for all the needs of his loved ones. He was submitted to Jesus the head of each oikos, as were his family members. Thus the Elders of the Ekklesia were excellent role models of The Way of living for all. I have yet to know of any church which can live like the first Ekkelsia which was created in Jerusalem 30 A.D. on Shavout. We will be doing well as fathers if we can meet most of the qualifications of an Elder! Our Godly responsibilities must be geared towards our own oikos. Husbands first submit to Jesus are commanded to agape their wives 5 times (Eph 5:22-33), wives are to submit and respect their husbands, and their children are to obey their parents. All this must be taught primarily by the parents. The husband can then defend his oikos against the wily attacks of Satan (Eph 6) with all the armour and weapons provided to him by the Holy Spirit. It is only when we view an Ekklesia which was continually under attack and persecution, from within and without, that we can appreciate just how important the Elders were to each and every one who elected to be the various parts of Christ Jesus''s glorious body, the Ekklesia (1 Cor 12; Ro 12, Eph 4:16, Lawrence NZ
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