Passage I Timothy 3:1-5
Synopsis of the passage Qualifications for overseers and deacons
Message Outline Leadership qualities are mostly about Maturity, which is goal for all.
Sharing for last month, and homework.
Requirements of an overseer #2 – Sexual Fidelity
Q: Small group discussion & sharing
Application Focus on Qualification: Sexual Fidelity, Relationships for Growth
Title Intimacy and Fidelity 性的忠実と成長
1 Tim 3:1 It is a trustworthy statement: if any man aspires to the office of overseer, it is a fine work he
desires to do. 2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate,
prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, 3 not addicted to wine or pugnacious, but gentle,
peaceable, free from the love of money. 4 He must be one who manages his own household well,
keeping his children under control with all dignity 5 (but if a man does not know how to manage his own
household, how will he take care of the church of God?),
1. Introduction (2 min)
1. Pre-introduction (version 2)
○ We are trying something different for a while, coming from recent training about
■ focusing away from 30 min lecture to a short lecture + small group discussion
■ to shift focus from to discipleship, putting what we learn into action
○ So please quickly move into small groups
■ Preferably the same people as before
○ Now last time
■ We started going through the list in 1 Tim 3 of character qualities of mature
Christians required of people who want to lead in the church.
■ We talked about maturity for every Christian, and even every person.
● How important it is in using our gifts. Immaturity can destroy our
contribution to the church and to society as a whole.
■ And we talked about ‘being above reproach’, that is, our reputation.
● Our reputation is how other people view our maturity, and so our reputation
is important as we try to serve or influence others..
○ So, as we are trying to set a discipleship focus, I asked you to consider something that
you could do to work on your maturity and your reputation.
■ I’d like you to spend the first 10 minutes in your groups talking about
● anything since last time about maturity
● and specifically, if you decided last time to take some action, how it went.
● Remember, we are looking at being disciples, so following up is really
○ After 10 minutes, I’ll give a short message about today’s topic,
■ and then you’ll have the chance in your small group to discuss and think about
how you can respond concretely to the teaching.
Okay, now let’s start.
2. Sharing time (10 min)
3. Today’s topic: Sexual Fidelity & Growth (9 min)
3.1. Control of our sexuality (2-3 min)
● v2 ‘husband of one wife’.
○ Actually, literally this is ‘husband of one woman’
○ This was not a custom in that area of the world.
■ But they might be involved sexually with several women, eg. mistresses, or their
female slaves, or prostitutes in the idol temples (esp. in Ephesus), etc.
○ So this is not necessarily speaking about being married to one woman, but about control
of your sexual life at the current moment.
● The bible speaks of how to conduct ourselves sexually:
○ Paul: don’t visit prostitutes, because it is a violation of God’s design for marriage, which is
one flesh – an intimate and lifelong relationship.
■ 1 Cor 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself?
Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute?
Never! 16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is
one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.” 17 But
whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.
■ We are to be limited to one partner.
○ Jesus: don’t break the marriage bond. God allows divorce because marriage is hard for
sinners, but he hates divorce.
■ Matthew 19:6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God
has joined together, let no one separate.”
7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a
certificate of divorce and send her away?”
8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your
hearts were hard.
■ The relationship is meant to be stable, lifelong.
○ Jesus: not only don’t commit adultery, but do not look with lust. That is, control your
■ Matthew 5:27 “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit
adultery.’ 28 But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has
already committed adultery with her in his heart.
■ Sex is not just a physical thing.
● However in our day, since the Sexual Revolution (性の革命) sex outside of marriage is being
much more accepted, particularly in the West.
○ But that isn’t a good thing. For example, studies in the US show:
■ Particularly for women, having sexual experience before marriage, especially with
someone other than their future husband increases the likelihood of divorce by
double or more. An even as society is more accepting of sex outside marriage.
these trends remain. It seems to be built into us by God’s design that favours
controlling our sexuality, and there is a cost to violating it.
■ STD is also a big and growing problem, in Japan, the US and many other parts of
■ In US, 90% of abortions are for unmarried women. There are no official statistics
for Japan by marital status, but there are reasons to believe it is similar situation
■ And there are other problems, but maybe that is enough for today.
○ So we are to manage our sexuality according to God’s design.
3.2. Marriage for personal growth (2-3 min)
● But this passage tells us something about marriage.
○ v4-5 A leader is supposed to be assayed in the context of being a head of household.
○ In this culture, men were expected to be married and lead their households, so their ability
to care for a group of people is tested in their marriages.
○ And a proof of their ability to lead spiritually is whether his children follow him in the faith.
Because in that age, children naturally followed their family values, traditions, religion.
Titus 1:6 An elder must be blameless, faithful to his wife, a man whose children believe
and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.
● And if we think about it more, there is something else we can learn here.
That is something that married people know very well:
○ Marriage is hard.
○ It puts us into an relationship which is
■ broad and intense, touch all aspects of our life, including
● sexual, carrying on our bloodline to the next generation, emotional life,
financial, and impacting our priorities, how we spend our time and
■ permanent (in theory) and exclusive in many aspects
● So marriage is a good test of our maturity , because it will expose us for who we really are.
○ It can bring out the worst in us, and thereby forces us to deal somehow with our personal
○ OTOH, because it is permanent and exclusive, it is also a safe space where we don’t
have the constant fear of rejection or abandonment. We can get away with a lot at home
that we wouldn’t dream of elsewhere.
● So because it is both demanding and safe, marriage is an ideal environment for personal growth .
● But if there is no commitment or if the relationship is abandoned by divorce, there is a loss of the
opportunity to grow in those areas that have been challenged.
○ Some studies show that is better to stick through problems in marriage rather than
divorcing and marrying someone else, because we will have to work through issues. But
it really depends on each case.
● Or if the couple sets certain areas as off-limits, then no growth is going to happen in those areas.
E.g. values, emotions, money, religion, etc.
● So here is a challenge to make the most of our marriages to support each other’s growth in
3.3. Friendships for personal growth (2-3 min)
● But besides the marriage relationships, friendships can also be a great context for supporting our
● (Acts 4:13 When they saw the courage of Peter and John and realized that they were
unschooled, ordinary men, they were astonished and they took note that these men had been
with Jesus. )
● You often hear church leaders say that a circle of fellow pastors who they can share with is
important to their spiritual health.
● But it is not just leaders. For all of us, having friendships that support our personal growth is very
○ We may not be married, but we can choose to build thick relationships with people,
especially fellow believers, that are going to help both of us to grow in maturity.
○ We are not talking about friendships where we are just networking, or developing
resources to help us get things done.
○ We are talking about human relationships where we can love and be loved, where we can
help each other grow to be better and more mature people.
● Here are some principles for healthy friendship
○ Selectivity – choose your friends wisely.
○ Proximity – face-to-face interaction is more transparent.
○ Boundaries – not demanding more than each side is prepared to give.
○ Mutuality – a two-way street, and shared interests
○ Respect – respect the relationship, and the other person.
○ Candor – Be honest and speak out of love
○ Forgiveness – deal with the friction of closeness with forgiveness
○ Constancy – be reliable, even when some sacrifice is required.
4. Small Group time (10 min)
● Small group (w/discipleship focus => practical goal and actions)
○ What did you learn today?
○ To consider and discuss
■ How do you manage your need for intimacy appropriately, especially in your
relationships with the other sex?
■ If you are married, how does your married relationship support personal growth for
each of you?
■ How do your friendships foster growth in you and the other person?
■ How do your relationships stack up against the 8 principles?
■ What steps can you take to improve?
○ Share (optional)
5. Closure (1 min)
Sexual fidelity is important for us and for society
Self-control in this area is necessary
People grow best in relationships that are both close and characterized by love and mutual interest
We have to be intentional in all our relationships if we want both sides to get the benefits
Is God telling you something you need to do about your relationships?
Passage I Timothy 3:1-5