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Qualifications, Personal

Levelheaded (nhfaleon - 1 Timothy 3:2)

The Greek word is translated "temperate" in the NKJV. "Levelheaded" is given as one meaning by Frederick William Danker and Walter Bauer, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed., p. 255.
 
Literally this is the opposite of intoxication. However, that characteristic is covered by the phrase, "not addicted to wine," in this same catalog of qualifications. Since the same list would not duplicate qualifications, "temperate" is probably being used figuratively. So used it indicates complete clarity of mind and its resulting good judgment (Dictionary of New Testament Theology, 1:514-515).
 

Self-Controlled (swfrwn - 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8)

The Greek word is translated "sober-minded" in the NKJV. "Self-Controlled" is given as one meaning by Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature, 3rd ed., p. 987.
 
This is the description of a person who has control over his ungodly passions and desires (Trench, pages 71-72). A candidate need not be impeccable. However, he should be familiar with the sin he is prone to commit and have it under control. NIV translates the word, "self-controlled."
 

Not Addicted to Wine (mh paroinon, mh oinw1 pollw prosexontav - 1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7)

1 Here and elsewhere the iota subscript is not available in this font.

"Not given to wine" and "not given to much wine" are the NKJV renderings.
 
Literally the word, paroinon,  means, "tarrying at wine (Vine, Expository Dictionary, 1:146)." Certainly an active alcoholic would be excluded. Only those who practice moderation or do not drink alcohol would be qualified.
 

Not Greedy for Wealth (afilarguron, mh aisxrokerdeiv, mh aisxrokerdh - 1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7)

NKJV translates the passages, "not greedy for money."

The striving for possessions, wealth, and property should not be the focus of an elder's life. Certainly any financial consideration that comes with being an elder should not be the motivation for a man to be an elder. The striving for possessions, wealth, and property should not be the focus of his life. That a candidate has been financially successful in business is not a qualification, nor a disqualification unless his greed was manifested in his vocation.

Humble (1 Timothy 3:6)

The NKJV reads "not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil."

God punished the Devil because of his pride (Isaiah 14:14-15). One problem with immature believers becoming elders is that they may rule as lords rather than as examples and as servants (Mark 9:33-37; Luke 9:46-48; 22:24-30; James 4:6; 1 Peter 5:3). They may not have replaced the pride of the old man with the humility of the new man.

Paul told Titus to appoint elders (Titus 1:5) in Crete (AD 66--House, Chronological and Background Charts of the New Testament, page 132). Since there were Cretan Jews present at the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:11; AD 32--House, page 129) it is possible that some of the elders Titus appointed had been believers for around 34 years.

Paul appointed elders in Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch (Acts 14:21-23; AD 49--House, p. 130).

If Nicolas had been part of a Christian community in Antioch (Acts 6:5; AD 34-35--House, page 129), the new elders could have been believers for 15 years.

Paul preached in Iconium in AD 48-49 (Acts 4:11; House, page 129). Thus the Iconium elders could have been Christians for just a few months before being appointed to the oversight. However, there was a strong Jewish community there (Acts 14:1). Thus some of these men could have been Old Testament believers for quite some time.

Paul was in Lystra in AD 49 (Acts 14:6, 8 and following; House, page 130). What was true of the Iconium elders could have also been true of the Lystra elders (Acts 16:1, 3).

Ed Glasscock argues for a minimum age of 30 years for elders. He indicates that the Qumran community required 30 years as the minimum age to serve as an elder in their community. Jesus was 30 years old when He began his public ministry. Paul may have been 30 years old when he cast his vote for the death of Christians (The Biblical Concept of Elder, in Vital Ministry Issues, Examining Concerns & Conflicts in Ministry, pages 140-141). However, none of these examples are directly applicable to local church elders.

Length of time as a believer does not always indicate that a candidate is humble. But often that is the case as spiritual maturity takes time. However, the emphasis in this qualification is on humility not on how long the candidate has been a believer. In any case, a new believer should not be immediately appointed an elder. Rather he should be observed long enough to be certain that he has his pride controlled and would control it as an elder. But a prideful man who has long been a believer should also be rejected.

Not Hotheaded (mh orgilon - Titus 1:7)

"Not quick-tempered" is the NKJV translation. "Not hotheaded" is a meaning made available by Danker & Bauer, p. 721.
 
He should not be quick to become settled in a type of anger that seeks revenge (Trench, page 131).
 

Loves to do Good Works (filagaqon -Titus 1:8)

The NKJV reads, "a lover of what is good."
 
He shall do good works. Some good works are defending and assisting the helpless, spending time in prayer and Bible study, discipling young believers, worshiping with his family, and so forth.
 

Upright (dikaion - Titus 1:8)

Translated by the NKJV with "just." The meaning, "upright," is one option provided by Danker & Bauer, p. 246.
 
The candidate should uphold the customs and norms of behavior expected by hiis community. This word is similar to the next.

Holy (o(sion -Titus 1:8)

He lives a life that is in accordance with standards of morality that are universally accepted in the church. He would not tell off color jokes or race stories. He would only attend morally good entertainments. He would not do anything that shames or embarrasses spiritually mature believers.

Self-Controlled (egkrath -Titus 1:8)

This word is a synonym to swfrwn, above.
 

He Must Live His Doctrine (1 Timothy 3:9)

The NKJV reads: "holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience."
 
This apparently has something to do with living a life that is consistant with Christian doctrine, "the mystery of the faith." For example, a believer would have a guilty, not a clear, conscience if he were prideful rather than humble. A passage parallel in meaning is Ephesians 4:1, "I, . . ., entreat you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, . . ." It enjoins the Ephesians to be humble (Ephesians 4:2) because of the doctrine taught in the preceding three chapters. "Truth must be united to a life lived with a clear conscience (The Ryrie Study Bible (NASV), page 1818)."

In 1 Timothy 3:16, the mystery is the work of Christ as it applies to Gentiles ("the nations"). The verse indicates their "godiliness" is to goal of His work. His work is described in doctrine.

Full of the Holy Spirit and Wisdom (Acts 6:3)

Thomas Ice (The Filling of the Holy Spirit: A Quality of Life, Chafer Theological Seminary Journal, Spring/Summer 1996, pp. 9-11) believes the Bible teaches two types of the filling of the Holy Spirit, the special filling and the normal filling.
 
The special filling ". . . is a work by which God gives men power by the Holy Spirit to do a divinely ordained service. This filling is temporary."
 
The normal filling is an abiding condition of fulness that progresses towards total control by the Holy Spirit. It is conditional because the believer is commanded to be filled by the Spirit (Ephesians 5:18).
 
The filling of Acts 6:3 is the normal filling because God is not described as bestowing the filling but rather the deacon candidates are judged by the congregation to be abiding under the Holy Spirit's control. 
 
The candidate must have done what is necesary to be filled by the Holy Spirit Who then equipped him for service as a leader, giving him the wisdom neeeded to accomplish the task.
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