As the Internet has grown and changed, so has the face of various ministries. Traditional preaching has always been and always will be God’s primary method for reaching the unbeliever. However, the Lord has made other tools available to us so that we may reach the masses. In the Apostle Paul’s day, one had to travel from town to town to spread the Gospel. The preachers were restricted to literally speaking face-to-face with others or sending letters. As technology evolved, people could easily spread the Word of God through print. One person could take the message of salvation to a town or region. Still, travel was required. During the twentieth century, we watched as technology gave us radio and then television. Both are excellent mediums to reach vast numbers of people, but both are exceedingly expensive. Today, we are truly in a magnificent age – an age where millions of people can be reached with the Gospel of Christ for very little, if any, cost. Thanks to the miracle of the Internet, we can give the message of the Gospel of Christ to anyone, almost anywhere in the world. The cost: very little more than the effort required to create the message. We hope you will spend some time here. Get to know us and let us get to know you.
1 Timothy 3:1 – 2a This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless
The previous lesson taught us that a woman should not teach (or preach) to men. In this passage, we will see what the qualifications for the Pastor are. When we compare the standards God set forth to many of the people who will stand in the pulpit this Sunday, we will see there is a great dearth of qualified men in the Pastorate. In this study, we need to understand that, though many believe there are two different offices, with one ruling over the other, the words Bishop and Pastor are synonymous with each other. Now, the qualifications.
The first qualification might seem impossible. The bishop (or pastor) must be blameless. How can Paul (or the Lord) expect someone to be blameless? After all, Romans 5:12, in part, tells us that all have sinned. Though all have sinned, all are not condemned to sin in the future. When someone is saved, the Holy Spirit of God moves into their heart. Yes, the third part of the Holy Trinity of God lives within all who are genuinely saved. Consider these two passages:
John 5:5-14 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years. When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole? The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me. Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk. And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath. The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed. He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk? And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
John 8:1-11 Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. And again he stooped down, and wrote on the ground. And they which heard it, being convicted by their own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst. When Jesus had lifted up himself, and saw none but the woman, he said unto her, Woman, where are those thine accusers? hath no man condemned thee? She said, No man, Lord. And Jesus said unto her, Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
In both cases, Jesus gave these people a very clear command: sin no more. Did these people have some mystical power we do not have? Do they have some super-natural ability we lack? No. They were healed – in other words, they were saved. When someone is saved, the Holy Spirit moves into their heart and begins to clean out sin. Second, we have something these people did not have – the complete Word of God. If you recall, when Jesus was tempted by Satan, Jesus did not call legions of angels, or even draw on His omnipotent power. Jesus gave us an example we, ourselves, can use. Jesus quoted Scripture to the Devil. How did the Devil respond? The Devil could not stand to the quoted Scripture.
Second, we have a clear promise from God:
1 Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.
God is promising us that every time we are tempted to sin, He has already made a way of escape for us. When we are saved, sinning is completely our choice. We can choose whether we will sin or not. We are still in our flesh, and we are weak. Still, the pastor should have a very clean testimony.
1 Timothy 2:11-15 Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived was in the transgression. Notwithstanding she shall be saved in childbearing, if they continue in faith and charity and holiness with sobriety.
In this passage, Paul addresses another critical problem: women and leadership. As we look around, we see many women claiming to be church leaders, deaconesses, even pastors. But this problem is nothing new. It is a problem Paul was dealing with in the early church. Please do not misunderstand what Paul said and what I am about to say. Godly ladies have a very important role in the home and in the church. Most churches could not function without some key Godly ladies. However, when they step out of those roles, there is a problem. Here, Paul is instructing Timothy to have the women learn, not to teach. In essence, Paul is instructing Timothy to ensure that the women of the church do not exercise any authority over men. In this passage, Paul is not restricting women to refrain from teaching, altogether, just from teaching (and, by extension, preaching) to men. When men are present and teaching, the Godly lady will listen. If it is a group of ladies, a lady can certainly teach. As Paul continues to explain this, he shows us that ladies are not second-class citizens, at all. So, why would God want women not to teach men? As Paul continues to explain, God created Adam first, and then Eve. Second, it was not Adam who was deceived. It was Eve who sinned first. Then, Adam, seeing that Eve had sinned, likely understood what the consequences were, and willingly chose to sin so that he could be with her.