1 Timothy 3



1 Timothy 3 focuses on the qualifications and characteristics expected of leaders in the church, particularly overseers and deacons. The emphasis is on personal integrity, sound character, and the ability to lead and serve effectively within the household of God. Paul underscores the importance of upholding the truth of the faith and the mystery of godliness.


  1. Qualifications for Overseers (1 Timothy 3:1-7): Paul outlines the qualifications for those aspiring to be overseers (bishops or elders) in the church. They must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not given to drunkenness or violence, but gentle and not quarrelsome. They must manage their own households well, and their children should be submissive and respectful.
  2. Qualifications for Deacons (1 Timothy 3:8-13): Paul also provides qualifications for deacons, who serve in a specific capacity in the church. Deacons must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, holding the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. Like overseers, they should be tested and proven before taking on the role.
  3. Purpose of These Qualifications (1 Timothy 3:14-16): Paul explains that he is writing these instructions so that Timothy will know how people ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God. He emphasizes the importance of upholding the truth and mystery of godliness, proclaiming the message of Christ, who was manifested in the flesh, vindicated by the Spirit, seen by angels, proclaimed among the nations, believed on in the world, and taken up in glory.