Qualifications Of Elders And Deacons, And Their Work

1676 words - 7 pages

An elder must be sober-minded/not given to wine. I realize that the term sober-minded does not always refer to drinking, but drinking will always lead to the topic of being sober-minded. To be sober-minded can refer to being drunk, it can also refer to having control of ones emotions, not swaying with whatever he feels at the time. If a man is overcome with anger, does not keep it in check, and allows it to dictate his actions, he is no longer sober-minded. It could also refer to being level headed, or logical in his decisions. Not irrational, overly emotional, or impulsive.
An elder must be able to teach. I have already touched on this somewhat, and the reasons for this are the same as they were when I first stated them. If an elder cannot teach, how can he rebuke, exhort, convict, admonish, build up, or comfort? If an elder is uncomfortable behind the pulpit, the congregation will not see him as an authority figure most likely, and how can he be expected to lead the congregation according to God's will in such a way?
An elder must rule his own household well/have raised children in submission in reverence. The passage even says in 1 Tim 3:5, "For if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?" A man who cannot teach his own children the gospel, a man who doesn't make time for his family, a man who does not put the effort into his family that he needs to, and does not know how to keep his house orderly, teach his children obedience or respect, cannot be expected to lead God's church the way he needs to.

An elder cannot be a novice, "lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil". If a young man, new to the faith, a novice in Christianity were to become an elder, it would be too easy for him to get the attitude of "look at me! I just started this and I'm already an elder!".
An elder must have a good testimony from outside. Any man who is going to be put in a position of authority over a congregation needs to have lives such a life that those around him know that he is a christian. A man who is an elder, cannot behave the way God would have him to in the congregation, around members of the church, and behave an entirely different way at home, or in public.
Next we see the personality traits that you would find in a man that would become an elder. Temperate, meaning slow to anger, self restrained, or not extreme. A man who is temperate will be a practiced user of self control. Not extreme, meaning that he is level headed, logical, and neither extremely liberal, nor overly conservative. This means that he will not loose where God has not loosed, and will not bind where God has not bound.
An elder must be of good behavior. He is to be obedient of the word of God, of the gospel that he teaches. He must set an example for the church of how to live according to God's will. Any man should be able to see an elder, and understand how a Christian is to behave by his...

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