A study on the qualifications for Bishops and Elders in the Body of Christ. This part covers vigilant, sober and good behavior.
Click Here to see all the studies in this series
by Mitch Kuhn and Mike Vinson
Audio Player:Bishops, Elders, Deacons, and Disciples Part 3
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one
wife, vigilant (G3524), sober, of good behaviour, given to
hospitality, apt to teach
This means to be a good watchman. To tell our brothers when we see evil
coming in their own lives or in the fellowship. We first have to watch over
ourselves before we can shepherd others.
From G3525; sober, that is, (figuratively) circumspect: – sober, vigilant.
The root word of vigilant means “to watch”.
Of uncertain affinity; to abstain from wine (keep sober), that is, (figuratively) be discreet: – be sober, watch.
2Ti 4:5 But watch (G3525) thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the
work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
1Pe 4:7 But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and
watch (G3525) unto prayer.
Prayer is to do the will of God, so we must watch vigilantly to do the will of
Here is how we watch unto prayer, both within ourselves and for the flock.
Eze 33:3 If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the
trumpet, and warn the people;
Eze 33:4 Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not
warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his
Eze 33:5 He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his
blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul.
Eze 33:6 But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the
trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take
any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his
blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.
Eze 33:7 So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the
house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn
them from me.
The Lord’s bishops are to keep watch over the flock, and warn the sheep
when the wolves are coming. These come within our own spiritual land, as
well as in false brothers and detractors.
Luk 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field,
keeping watch over their flock by night.
Act 20:28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over
the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of
God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Act 20:29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous
wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
Act 20:30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse
things, to draw away disciples after them.
Act 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember, that by the space of three
years I ceased not to warn every one night and day with tears.
If you desire the office (function) of a bishop, you must be able to discern the wolves,
both within and without, and warn others when they are present.
Gal 6:1 Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual,
restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou
also be tempted.
Col 3:16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching
and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.
Christ is our example of a good shepherd.
Joh 10:10 The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:
I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more
Joh 10:11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life
for the sheep.
Joh 10:12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the
sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and
fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
Joh 10:13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for
Joh 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of
We live by every word of God, so at first we are not willing or able to lay our
life down for the sheep. We see the wolves and we flee. It is so natural to
see our brother or sisters caught up in a sin and NOT tell them. We just
brush it aside and continue on like it never happened, which is being a
hireling. A bishop must go to the sheep and other shepherds and admonish
them in love and humility to save their life!
Be patient and wait to make sure that there is really a problem there to
address. The Lord will make it manifest.
1Co 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who
both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest
the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
If you do not yet have the spirit of the shepherd, repent and beg God for
the boldness to do so.
Eph 6:19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may
open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,
Eph 6:20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak
boldly, as I ought to speak.
Paul’s letters are examples of him being a good watchman over the flock
which the Lord had given him. Study to show yourself approved, and learn
to do the same. Even if you are not gifted to be a bishop or leader in this
life, you still are accountable to go to any brother who you see caught in a
Here are other studies that will be helpful to you:
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one
wife, vigilant , sober (G4998), of good behaviour, given to
hospitality, apt to teach
This means to have the mind of Christ, by being saved in our minds.
From the base of G4982 and that of G5424; safe (sound) in mind, that is, self controlled (moderate as to opinion or passion): – discreet, sober, temperate.
Here are the two root words:
From a primary word σῶς sōs̄ (contraction for the obsolete σάος saos, “safe”); to save, that is, deliver or protect (literally or figuratively): – heal, preserve, save (self), do well, be (make) whole.
– this word is most often translated as “saved”.
1Co 10:33 Even as I please all men in all things, not seeking mine own
profit, but the profit of many, that they may be saved (G4892).
Mat 10:22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved (G4892).
Probably from an obsolete φράω phraō (to rein in or curb; compare G5420);
the midrif (as a partition of the body), that is, (figuratively and by
implication of sympathy) the feelings (or sensitive nature; by extension
[also in the plural] the mind or cognitive faculties): – understanding.
1Co 14:20 Brethren, be not children in understanding (G5424): howbeit in malice be ye children, but in understanding (G5424) be men.
The root word of “understanding” here is VERY interesting.
Apparently a strengthened form of the base of G5424; to fence or inclose,
that is, (specifically) to block up (figuratively to silence): – stop.
Rom 3:19 Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to
them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped (G5420), and all the world may become guilty before God.
Heb 11:33 Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped (G5420)the mouths of lions
It took some digging, but we can now see clearly what it is to be sober. It
is to have our understanding saved. To be saved is to come to a knowledge
of the truth AND to do it!
Joh 17:3 And this is life eternal(aionios), that they might know thee the
only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.
1Jn 3:14 We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we
love the brethren. He that loveth not his brother abideth in death.
1Jn 2:3 And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant , sober, of good behaviour (G2887), given to hospitality, apt to teach;
This basically means love things of the spirit, not things of the world. Our
conduct should reflect this.
1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest (G2887) apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array
From G2889 (in its primary sense); orderly, that is, decorous: – of good behaviour, modest.
1Ti 2:9 In like manner also, that women adorn themselves in modest (G2887) apparel, with shamefacedness and sobriety; not with broided hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array; (you have this verse twice: re: above)
Probably from the base of G2865; orderly arrangement, that is, decoration; by implication the world (in a wide or narrow sense, including its inhabitants, literally or figuratively [morally]): – adorning, world.
1Pe 3:3 Whose adorning (G2889) let it not be that outward adorning of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel;
1Pe 3:4 But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.
Being of good behavior is not adorning yourself with the things of the world,
and paying a lot of attention to the flesh. While we certainly should take care
of our temple, we should not worship the temple, but rather the one that
lives in our temple.
1Jn 2:15 Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
1Jn 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.
1Ti 3:2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach
1Pe 4:9 Use hospitality one to another without grudging.
From G5384 and G3581; fond of guests, that is, hospitable: – given to (lover of, use) hospitality.