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1IT is quite true to say that a man who sets his heart on leadership has laudable ambition.

2Well, for the office of a bishop a man must be of blameless reputation, he must be married to one wife only, and be a man of selfcontrol and discretion. He must be a man of disciplined life; he must be hospitable and have the gift of teaching.

3He must be neither intemperate nor violent, but gentle. He must not be a controversialist nor must he be greedy for money.

4He must have proper authority in his own household, and be able to control and command the respect of his children.

5(For if a man cannot rule in his own house how can he look after a church of God?)

6He must not be a beginner in the faith, for fear of his becoming conceited and sharing the devil's downfall.

7He should, in addition to the above qualifications, have a good reputation with the outside world, in case his good name is attacked and he is caught by the devil that way.

8Deacons, similarly, should be men of serious outlook and sincere conviction. They too should be temperate and not sordidly greedy for profit.

9They should hold the mystery of the faith with complete sincerity.

10Let them serve a period of probation first, and only serve as deacons if they prove satisfactory.

11Their wives should share their serious outlook, and must be women of discretion and selfcontrolwomen who can be thoroughly trusted.

12Deacons should be men with only one wife, able to control their children and manage their own households properly.

13Those who do well as deacons earn for themselves a proper standing, as well as the ability to speak freely on matters of the Christian faith.

14At the moment of writing I hope to be with you soon,

15but if there should be any delay then what I have written will show you the sort of character men of God's household ought to have. It is, remember, the Church of the living God, the pillar and the foundation of the truth.

16No one would deny that this religion of ours is a tremendous mystery, resting as it does on the one who appeared in human flesh, was vindicated in the spirit, seen by angels; proclaimed among the nations, believed in throughout the world, taken back to Heaven in glory.

 <<  1 Timotius 3 >> 

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