My beloved brothers and sisters in Christ God,
CHRIST IS IN OUR MIDST! HE WAS, IS, AND EVER SHALL BE.
QUALIFICATIONS FOR THE BISHOPS ACCORDING TO
THE HOLY SCRIPTURE.
The Apostle of the Nations, Saint Paul writes to Timothy, bishop of Ephesus in the year 64-65 A.D. Saint Paul speaks as an experienced mentor instructing his student, his "son," in his role as Apostle and bishop.
In Ephesus, where Saint Paul had left Timothy as bishop or overseer (episkopos), some Church members were promoting a variety of theological opinions–from the irrelevant to the DANGEROUSLY HERETICAL (1:3-7;4:1; 2:7; 6:3-5). Saint Paul found it NECESSARY TO EXCOMMUNICATE A COUPLE OF THE SPECULATORS (1:19-20). The Church was also dealing with external pressures from the Hellenistic mystery religions which made much misuse of the terms "SALVATION" and "SAVIOR"; and from the cult of emperor worship, according to which Caesar is "lord."
The holy Apostle Paul writes to guide Timothy as he encounters pastoral challenges and questions.
Church government in the Pastorals. Saint Paul uses episkopos (Greek, translated "bishop") synonymously with PRESVYTEROS (Gk.; translated "presbyter, "elder" or "priest"). Saint Timothy and Saint Titus have extraordinary assignments. They are responsible for several communities (Titus 1:5) they take part with the presbytery in ordinations (5:22) AND BRING UNITY TO THE PRESBYTERS (5:17-22). The original Apostles soon will face death and are passing on their Apostolic authority to a new generation of Church leaders.
1 TIMOTHY 3:1-7
"This is a faithful saying: if a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover, he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Saint John Chrysostom on "BLAMELESS: writes, "Every virtue is implied in this word. [The bishop's] life should be unspotted so that all should look up to him, and make his life the model of their own."
The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to
The circumstances, content, and organization of Titus are similar to 1 Timothy. The two books were probably written about the same time, A.D. 63-65. The major theme of the epistle is the overseeing the Church according to the True faith. As the Church grew, it naturally developed theology and structure and encountered heresy and sub-Christian behavior among its members, as had been prophesied. The holy Apostle Paul advises Titus as he faces these issues.
Titus was a Gentile (Pagan) converted to Christ by Saint Paul (1:4). He became an associate of Barnabas and Paul at Antioch and went to Jerusalem with them, receiving the approval of the Twelve to remain uncircumcised (Galatians 2:1-5).
After Saint Paul was released from prison in Rome, about A.D. 63, he and Titus visited Crete (1:5). When Saint Paul moved on, he appointed Titus as Apostolic overseer of Crete. Thereafter, Saint Paul wrote this letter asking Titus to meet him in Nicopolis (probably the Nicopolis on the Western coast of Greece) as soon as possible (3:12). When Saint Paul was again imprisoned in Rome he sent Titus to Dalmatia in Illyricum, Yugoslavia (2 Timothy 4:10). According to Holy Tradition, Titus became bishop of Crete and died there in old age.
Once again Holy Apostle Paul advises Titus on the ordination of sound presbyters (1:5-9). Saint Paul writes:
"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–if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination. For a bishop must be blameless, as a steward of God, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not given to wine, nor violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled, 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.
All Christians are priests in Christ. Candidates for eldership, that is, for the special priesthood within the general priesthood of all, should exhibit (1) a wholesome and united family life (v. 6), (2) control over passions and emotions 9v.7), (3) loving and righteous relations with others (v. 8) and (4) careful adherence to tradition (v. 9)
1:10-16 False leaders also exhibit certain characteristics. They (1) upset rather than reconcile (2) have an eye for personal profit (3) lack discipline and integrity (4) misjudge reality–here setting up external laws when the uncleanness is internal and (5) are immoral. Bad theology leads to bad behavior (v. 16). Good theology helps lead us to good behavior. [Source: Orthodox Study Bible]
"Glory Be To GOD
+ Saint John Chrysostomos
+ + +
With sincere agape in His Holy Diakonia (Ministry),
The sinner and unworthy servant of God