Qualifications Of A Bishop. 05/28/2014 (Evening thought)

1st Timothy 3:1 This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.

This passage of scripture gives us in great detail, the Biblical qualifications that a Bishop must have, in order for him to fulfill the sacred responsibilities that come with the office. The entire passage, from verses one to seven, actually lists seventeen prerequisites that must be fulfilled before a person can even think about being a bishop. However, for the sake of time we can only deal with one. The first essential is that a bishop must be blameless. The word "Must" is used, indicating that there is no wiggle room for any of the many variations and deficiencies of the office of bishops that we see nowadays.

The word "Blameless" means without any known fault, whether private or public. Now it is true that we all have our faults and shortcomings, for as human beings we were born in sin and shapen in iniquity. Yet the psalmist David who penned those very words, also asked the Lord to cleanse him from secret faults. To be blameless therefore means that a bishop must not be harboring or practicing secret sin, furthermore, he must never be a partaker of any sinful behaviors in the eyes of his congregation or in the sight of the people, for if he does, he then sets a very dangerous precedent for those who are under his jurisdiction to follow.

This first qualification, as clearly stated in the Bible, is a far cry from what we are seeing today coming from the pulpit, and it leads us to conclude that something must have gone terribly wrong in modern Christianity. Over the past few years, scandal after scandal has erupted and  been uncovered that would cause the apostle Paul to turn in his grave. Reports of prominent televangelists and priests having intercourse with those of the same sex, has done harm and irreparable damage to the cause of Christ, and as a direct result, millions of potential candidates for the kingdom of heaven, are turned off by what they rightly view as a deep betrayal of sacred trust.

Regular members of the laity usually rise no higher that their spiritual leaders, hence the reason why such a weighty  responsibility rests upon the shoulders of those who desire the office of a bishop to walk the talk. However, on a more personal note, we are accountable to God for ourselves, and therefore a sacred duty devolves upon every Christian to search the word of God for themselves, and by the grace of God, to follow in the footsteps of Jesus, which if we do we can never go wrong.

There is a game that is commonly played known as "Follow the leader", but in this day and age in which we are living, the only true leader we can follow is Christ. We therefore end with a passage of scripture that teaches us the solemn duty of seeking Jesus by precept and example, for He is the one who said follow me. Let's read:

Hebrews 12:1 Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us, 2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

May Christ be our true role model in righteousness, for if we keep our focus on Him, we will never be led into false paths. "Good night" and God bless!