5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you— 6 if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, 8 but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 9 holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.
Blameless – An elder ought to have a good testimony. He should have a good report of those that live in the community.
Husband of one wife – He ought to be a one-woman man or better married only once at any one time. He is to be faithful to his wife and love her as God has commanded in Scripture.
Having faithful children – He ought to be able to run his own household well.
Not self-willed – He ought to have the interests of other in mind
Not quick-tempered – He is to be slow to speak and quick to hear.
Not given to wine – He ought not to be a drunked.
Not violent – A man who is always looking for a fight is not ideal.
Not greedy for money – He ought to be a frugal man and a good steward of money.
Hospitable – One who is charitable to fellow believers.
Sober – The elder ought to be calm and collected in spirit, temperate.
Just – In other words he is to be fair minded.
Holy – He is to be a man that is set apart. He is a display the calling of God in his life and witness.
Self-controlled – An elder must be able to exercise control over his desires, feelings and emotions.
Questions to Consider
Crete is a small island in the Mediterranean Sea which had a large population of Jews. In verse 5 Paul writes about the things that are lacking.
- What do you think the believers of Crete were lacking?
There were a number of elders appointed to the various churches that Paul wrote to. Paul knew that every church needed good strong leadership. The men chosen to be elders were godly men of sound doctrine who helped the believers grow in faith and in spiritual maturity.
2. What is the role of an elder and why are they needed?
Paul gives a brief description of the qualifications that is required of an elder. Most of these points are based on character not on skill or academic knowledge.
3. Why is it important for an elder to have these qualifications.
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