Sermon Outline By Brian A. Yeager

"That I might make thee know the certainty of the words of truth..." (Proverbs 22:21).

The Qualification Of Elders - The Husband Of One Wife

A Study About Elders
(Part 3)
He Must Be The Husband Of One Wife
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I. Introduction:

A. Marriage is an honorable relationship (Hebrews 13:4) between a man and a woman whom have a right to each other (Mark 10:6-9).

  1. It is one relationship that allows us to understand more how the Lord views His people (Isaiah 54:5 and Ephesians 5:22-33).
  2. Think about the spiritual side of marriage as it relates to our lesson on elders (I Peter 3:7).
B. Having said that, marriages sometimes end (I Corinthians 7:10-16) and that fact brings about questions that generally involve remarriage.
  1. Remarriage is a very limited liberty (Matthew 19:3-12 and I Corinthians 7:39).
  2. Those who are bound to one person and choose to remarry another are committing adultery (Romans 7:1-3).
  3. Jesus is clear on this subject matter (John 4:5-18).

II. Body: He Must Be The Husband Of One Wife (I Timothy 3:2).

A. Could it mean one wife at a time (if lawfully remarried)? Could it mean as long as his first wife was dead when he remarried? Could it just be a qualification that only intends to eliminate polygamy? What does the word “could” tell you (Romans 14:23)?
  1. We must be able to test and know that what we are doing is acceptable to the Lord (Ephesians 5:6-10 and I Thessalonians 5:21).
  2. We have no instruction, example, or clear implication in all of the New Testament that allows a man to be an elder if he is remarried for any reason - lawful or not. Can we authorize something God has not (Proverbs 30:5-6, Isaiah 8:20, Galatians 1:6-12, and Revelation 22:18-19)?
B. Considering the singular marriage principle from another text concerning those whom were “widows indeed” (I Timothy 5:3-10).
  1. In the first century, when these qualifications were written, remarriage wasn’t wise for a widow/widower for a reason (I Corinthians 7:6-9; 25-28; 39-40).
  • Can we really conclude that a qualified shepherd would have ignored the authorized wisdom of an Apostle (Proverbs 19:20 and Ephesians 5:15-17)?
  • How would a man in the first century, called a bishop, explain that he was taught it was unwise to remarry but that such did not apply to him (Proverbs 1:7, Proverbs 12:8, and Proverbs 14:33)?
  1. Furthermore, in light of the first century situation, what would it have said of a man that “needed” to be remarried [ because he cannot contain - lacked temperance] (I Corinthians 7:1-9; cf. Titus 1:8)?
C. The qualification of being the husband of one wife makes a lot of sense when you think about…
  1. Remarriage muddies the water. Think of children from previous marriages (even of widows/widowers) and how that might impact other qualifications (I Timothy 3:4-5 and Titus 1:6).
  2. What questions arise when an elder speaks of “his first wife” or possibly of “his children and her children” (Romans 14:13)?
  3. As we think about elders, if (I am not meaning to imply this is a qualification) a man is married to the right woman that could help him be a better shepherd for various reasons (Proverbs 31:10-31).

III. Conclusion: A man that is married to his one and only wife is clearly the “husband of one wife” (Titus 1:5-6).