"The position of a bishop..."
Text: 1 Timothy 3:1
The apostle once again wrote about “faithful sayings”. He may have collected a number of popular sayings in his time. We have two such sayings thus far.
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance,
that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners,
of whom I am chief.”
1 Timothy 1:15
“This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the
position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”
1 Timothy 3:1
1. Two forms of the “faithful sayings” may be noted:-
a) The full form.
“This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptance” 1 Timothy 1:15
b) The truncated form.
“This is a faithful saying…” 1 Timothy 3:1
2. Is there an essential difference in meaning?
The simple answer is “No!”
3. The significance of the full form
a) It has an additional thought.
b) It confirms the worth of “the faithful saying”.
4. The significance of the truncated form
a) The focus is on the worth of “the faithful saying”.
b) The second part of the sentence is assumed.
c) The second part is to be included in our reading and understanding of the text.
5. “If a man desires the position of a bishop”
a) This is not a wrong desire.
b) It is not sinful to desire to serve the Lord in “a higher capacity”.
c) The word “desire” (Greek: “oregomai”) expresses a strong sense of eagerness to serve the Lord.
6. “He desires a good work”
a) The word “desire” (Greek: “epithumeo”) may be used to describe something bad. It may be used to express evil desire.
b) It may also be used to describe something good. In this context it is used in combination with the first word that was also translated “desire”.
The ministry of a bishop is indeed “a good work”.