The Husband of One WifeBy Chad Wagner on Sunday, September 25, 2011.
"The Husband of One Wife" (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:6) I. One of the qualifications a man must meet to be ordained and hold the office of a pastor/bishop/elder/overseer is that he must be "the husband of one wife" (1Ti 3:2; Tit 1:6). A. Does this mean that a pastor must be married? B. Does this mean that a pastor cannot be a widower? C. Does this mean that a pastor who is a widower cannot remarry? D. Does this mean that a pastor cannot be divorced? E. Does this mean that a pastor that is divorced cannot remarry? II. The titles pastor, elder, bishop, and overseer are all names for the same office. A. Pastor - Etymology L. pastor-em shepherd, lit. ‘feeder, giver of pasture’, 1. A herdsman or shepherd. 2. A shepherd of souls; one who has the spiritual oversight over a company or body of Christians, as bishop, priest, minister, etc.; spec. the minister in charge of a church or congregation, with particular reference to the spiritual care of his ‘flock’. B. Elder - B. n. An elder person, lit. and fig. 1. a. A parent [cf. mod.G. eltern pl.]; an ancestor, forefather; hence, in wider sense, a predecessor, one who lived in former days. 4. a. In ecclesiastical use. ...the title given to a certain order or class of office-bearers in the early Christian Church.... C. Bishop - 1. A spiritual superintendent or overseer in the Christian Church. D. Overseer - 1. a. One who oversees or superintends, a supervisor; esp. one whose business it is to superintend a piece of work, or a body of workmen; a superintendent (of workmen, slaves, convicts, etc.). E. An elder is a bishop (Tit 1:5-7). F. An elder is an overseer (Act 20:17 c/w Act 20:28). G. A pastor is an overseer (Act 20:28). H. A pastor is an elder (Act 20:17 c/w Act 20:28; 1Pe 5:1-2). III. Jesus held these offices and was not married (in the natural sense). A. Jesus was a pastor (shepherd) (Joh 10:11; 1Pe 2:25). B. Jesus was a bishop (1Pe 2:25). C. Jesus was an apostle (Heb 3:1). D. Jesus was a minister (Rom 15:8). IV. The apostle Paul is our apostle and the example we should follow (Rom 11:13; 1Co 11:1). A. Paul was not married (1Co 7:7-8; 1Co 9:5). B. Paul was called an apostle, a teacher, and a minister, but he was not specifically said to be a pastor, bishop, elder, or overseer. 1. Paul was an apostle (1Ti 1:1). 2. Paul was a preacher and a teacher (1Ti 2:7; 2Ti 1:11). 3. A pastor is a teacher (1Ti 3:2; Eph 4:11). 4. Paul was a minister (Eph 3:7; Col 1:23). V. Consider some of the duties of a pastor, all of which Paul performed: A. Pastors, elders, and overseers feed their flock (Act 20:17 c/w Act 20:28; 1Pe 5:1-2). 1. Paul fed the flock (1Co 9:7-14). 2. Paul was performing the duty of a pastor. B. Bishops and pastors teach (1Ti 3:2; 2Ti 2:2; 2Ti 2:24). 1. Paul was a teacher (1Ti 2:7; 2Ti 1:11). 2. Paul was performing the duty of a pastor and bishop. C. Pastors preach the word (2Ti 4:2). 1. Paul was an ordained preacher (1Ti 2:7; 2Ti 1:11). 2. Paul preached (Rom 1:15; Rom 15:20; 1Co 1:17). D. Elders and pastors ordain elders (Tit 1:5; 2Ti 2:2). 1. The presbytery lays on hands and ordained elders (1Ti 4:14). a. Presbytery - The office of a presbyter; eldership or priesthood b. Presbyter - 1. An elder in the Christian church. c. Paul himself ordained Timothy (2Ti 1:6). d. Paul was the elder who ordained Timothy (1Ti 4:14 c/w 2Ti 1:6). 2. Paul and Barnabas ordained elders (Act 14:21-23). E. Pastors do the work of an evangelist (2Ti 4:5). 1. Evangelist - One who preaches the gospel. 2. Evangelists also baptize as did Philip the evangelist. 3. Philip was the only person in the Bible called an evangelist (Act 21:8). a. It was Philip the deacon, "one of the seven" (Act 21:8 c/w Act 6:3-5) who was the evangelist, not Philip the apostle. b. Philip the apostle was one of the twelve (Act 6:2 c/w Act 1:13) that ordered that the seven be chosen to help the twelve. c. It was Philip the evangelist/deacon that was scattered from Jerusalem and went down to Samaria and preached the gospel (Act 8:4-5) and baptized (Act 8:12), and then went to Gaza and preached the gospel and baptized (Act 8:26-27, 36-38). d. This was not Philip the apostle because the apostles stayed in Jerusalem (Act 8:1). 4. Paul baptized (1Co 1:16-17; Act 18:7-11; Act 19:1-5). 5. Since Paul preached the gospel and baptized, he was doing the work of an evangelist, which is what a pastor does. VI. Since it has been established that Paul was an elder and he was not married and did not have children, then it is evident that 1Ti 3:2 and Tit 1:6 are teaching that a pastor must only be the husband of one wife if he is married, and have his children in subjection if he has children. A. A single man who has never been married meets these qualifications. B. A widower meets these qualifications, as he no longer has a wife, and is therefore the husband of no wife due to his wife's death (Rom 7:2). C. A man who is divorced and not remarried meets these qualifications. 1. If no adultery or abandonment by an unbeliever was involved which frees him from the covenant of the marriage (Mat 19:9; 1Co 7:15, 27), then he is still the husband of one wife because he is still bound by the covenant he made with her. 2. If adultery or abandonment by an unbeliever was involved, then he is freed from the marriage and is the husband of no wife. D. A man who is freed from his marriage due to adultery or abandonment by an unbeliever (Mat 19:9; 1Co 7:15, 27) or by the death of his wife (Rom 7:2), and has married another woman also meets these qualifications because he is the husband of one wife, being only bound to one woman. E. A man who divorced his wife (for reasons other than her adultery or her unbelieving abandonment), or was divorced by his wife, and married another woman does NOT meet these qualifications because he is in an adulterous marriage, being the husband of two wives (Mat 19:7; Mat 5:32; Rom 7:2-3). 1. According to the word of God, he is still married to the first wife, else the second marriage wouldn't be called adultery. 2. Adultery - 1. Violation of the marriage bed; the voluntary sexual intercourse of a married person with one of the opposite sex, whether unmarried, or married to another (the former case being technically designated single, the latter double adultery). 3. One must be married to commit adultery. F. A polygamist obviously doesn't meet these qualifications as he is the husband of more than one wife.