Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.




The Elders – Qualifications

In these lessons, we will look at the Divine qualifications for the ones who would be shepherds of the Lord’s body. Please note, and use the “Quick Glance chart of the Qualifications of Elders” also provided with this portion of this study.

We will look into these qualifications in a semi-organized way; looking at some of the basic elements first (A Man, Desires the Work), then the domestic qualifications (Husband of one wife, rules his own house well, number of children required, and faithful children), and finally all the other qualifications.

With these things in mind, let’s get started!

Lover of Good –

Titus 1:8but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled"

This refers to one who loves good things, good events, good character, good people and those who are doing, teaching, and accomplishing good.   Men who possess this qualification will do all within their power to encourage others in the performance of that which is good; every good talent of the Body of Christ must be developed and used. This is how the work that the Head (Christ Jesus), gives the body, is accomplished.

Ephesians 4:16from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.”

Just –

Titus 1:8but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled"

This specific qualification may well be one of the least spoken of; and yet, one of the most important needed in this list of qualifications. By definition, the just man is observant of right, righteous, equal, even, strict, exact, and rendering to each his due.

The weight of this qualification is found in a judicial nature. I want to be clear that this judicial practice is not the rendering of judgment on the soul that is the exclusive purview of the Lord; but sense of judicial prudence for the safety of the flock of God, the righteous removal of the disorderly and divisive (Romans 6:17-18; 2 Thessalonians 3:6), and finally the ability to judge accurately the spiritual needs of the flock (individually and as a whole; admonishing or encouraging). 

This man will not render judgments or decisions until all the facts are known. The just man will do all within his power to see brethren within his influence stop the practices of murmuring, disputing, complaining, and or speaking to gain advantage (Philippians 2:14; Jude 16). In addition, he will act as a spiritual source of restoration for the sheep lost in its ways (Galatians 6:1).

All of this just observance will be something he would perform for the sheep; great or small, without prejudice, or personal feeling. The only source and guide he would use in all measures of the flocks health and safety would be the given word of God!

Holy –

Titus 1:8but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled"

The word generally translated “holy” in the Bible is used here, and means, pious, devout, set apart to God. It is very similar to the terms ‘sanctified’, which is also a term describing the unique removal from all but God. All of us are to learn to be set apart from the worldly affairs and become true servants of the Most High God through Jesus Christ (in the sense that we are in the world – work, interaction with others, etc… but not of the world – we are not bound to serve any physical thing over the Most High God).

Romans 12:1-2I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.”

This man is given in every way to what has been revealed in the word of God, the way that God has revealed it, for the purpose God has given it, and because it was from God!

Not Given to Wine –

1 Timothy 3:3not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous”

Titus 1:7For 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”

The primary use of this instruction is to denote “One who sits long at his wine” and means to be drunken, and addicted to wine. Many translations give it an additional meaning of “quarrelsome over wine”; hence to be a brawler or abusive in drunkenness.

In fact, the two ideas of “sitting long at wine” and “quarrelsome over wine” go hand in hand, as one usually leads to the other.

A man considered to be an elder is not the caliber of person who would put himself in a situation whereby he sits long at anything that controls his conduct against other qualifications such as “vigilant”, “self-controlled”, and “not contentious”. In fact, this instruction has the same weight to every Christian in the same way!

Self-Controlled –

1 Timothy 3:2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach”

Titus 1:8but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober-minded, just, holy, self-controlled"

We actually covered most of this in Lesson 16, under “Temperate”, note:

“The basic idea of this qualification is “Having the mastery over, having possession of, or having control over oneself”; to be self-disciplined. The idea of vigilance or temperance is the quality where one has control of himself towards moderation of all that is lawful.

This potential candidate for shepherding God’s house is to be in control of his temper, his tongue, his desires, his recreation, his working time, etc… He is to be a man of moderation because he has control over himself, and is self-disciplined.”

It is an extremely important topic of conduct among potential men for the work of elders. It is a mandatory issue in the proper relationship with God, the Christ of God, to the civil government, to other Christians, to false teachers, to his parents, his children, his mate, to the elderly, to those he may serve with as elders, and even to his enemies. He is to be in control of himself, especially in light of his being able to allow the teaching of God through Christ Jesus to rule his heart and conduct. This also means that he is not controlled by the love of money, power, prestige, or any of the like. This would prevent any outside power to dissuade him from the duties he has been given to shepherd the flock under the Great Shepherd of our souls.

Concluding Thoughts –

1 Timothy 3:10But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.”

As Paul moves on to speak of Deacons, he implies that the elders were first proved before they served in the capacity of shepherd; in other words, they had been in the flock long enough for the brethren to know their works.

Both the man being considered as an elder, and the Christians who are going to have to submit to him as an elder have the responsibility of scrutinizing the man being considered before he assumes that responsibility (by the given qualifications, not by opinion, subjective thought, like, or dislike).

The failure of the Body of Christ to frankly teach these qualifications, and to use the instruction again frankly in application to those who may be considered, undermines everything that the Spirit of God has done to enlighten the Body to God’s order in Christ.

We know by the specific nature and the complete coverage of the character of those who would serve as elders that they could not come to be able to demonstrate these traits in their lives in a short period of time. It must be impressed upon the minds of the young men and the middle aged men in the Body of Christ that they begin to know and develop the characteristics of these shepherds now! That they may have already demonstrated, by the time of consideration, these qualities. This is the preparatory wisdom found in Titus 2:1-10 which allows the perpetual order of the Body of Christ, and its soundness in practice always!

Next: “Appointment of Elders!”