1 Timothy 3:1-13 is a Scripture we go to to find what we often call the “qualifications” for elders and deacons in the church. It gives us certain requirements and character traits to go by in selecting those who will fulfill these roles.
While there are certain requirements in this text that specifically apply to those who can be an elder or deacon, we find that the character traits listed do not only apply to those who will be elders or deacons. In truth they apply to every single Christian.
The requirements that specifically apply to elders and deacons are as follows: they are to be male, married, and have children. These requirements are not needed to be a Christian. But they are needed for those who will be elders and deacons.
However, all of the character traits apply to every follower of Christ. Elders and deacons are meant to lead us in these character traits. Look at how they all apply:
We all must live a blameless, above reproach life in Christ.
All husbands and wives must be faithful in their marriages.
All of us are to be temperate and self-controlled.
We need to be sober-minded and of good behavior.
We all need to be hospitable and loving.
We all need to be able to teach others the good news of Jesus Christ whatever way we can.
We must not be given to wine, nor violent, and not greedy for money or covetous.
We are to be gentle and not quarrelsome.
Fathers need to rule their houses well with the help of mothers to have their children in submission with all reverence.
None of us are to be puffed up with pride.
We should all be spoken well of by those outside the church.
We must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience, and blameless.
Not slanderers. Temperate. And faithful in all things.
All of these characteristics are “qualifications” for all who would be faithful followers of Christ. We should all be living by this standard. God’s standard. Are we meeting these “qualifications”? Or are there things we still need to be working on? Let’s apply these characteristics to our lives so that we will all be well pleasing to God.