What type of man can be an elder in the church? As Alistair Begg teaches, the mark of the Spirit must be evident in every aspect of an elder’s life, from their personal character to their family life to their proficiency with Scripture. The bar for qualification is high because the task is challenging: those suitable for eldership must commit to pray for, protect, and provide for the flock they lead, just as Jesus does for all of us.
1The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. 2Therefore an overseer1 must be above reproach, the husband of one wife,2 sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. 4He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, 5for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God's church? 6He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.
8Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued,3 not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11Their wives likewise must4 be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well. 13For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
14I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, 15if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness:
He5 was manifested in the flesh,
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.
Copyright © 2021, Alistair Begg. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Scripture taken from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version. Copyright ©2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Text provided by the Crossway Bibles Web Service.