Ephesians 4:11-16 (KJV)

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Strong’s G652 – apostolos 


  1. a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders

    1. specifically applied to the twelve apostles of Christ

    2. in a broader sense applied to other eminent Christian teachers

      1. of Barnabas

      2. of Timothy and Silvanus

The KJV translates Strongs G652 in the following manner: apostle (78x), messenger (2x), he that is sent (1x)

An apostle is one that is sent forth. In this passage, Jesus is sending forth his disciples to the lost sheep of the house of Israel and goes into detail as to what will happen and how they should handle themselves.

Matthew 10 (KJV)

1And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.   Now the names of the twelve apostles are these; The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;  Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;  Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed him.  These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:  But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.  And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.  Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses,  10 Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.  11 And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, enquire who in it is worthy; and there abide till ye go thence.  12 And when ye come into an house, salute it.  13 And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you.  14 And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.  15 Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.  16  Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.  17 But beware of men: for they will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues;  18 And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.  19 But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.  20 For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.   21 And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.  22 And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved.  23 But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.  24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord.  25 It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his lord. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household?  26 Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.  27  What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light: and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the housetops.  28 And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.   29 Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.  30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.  31 Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.  32  Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven.  33 But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.   34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.  35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.  36 And a man’s foes shall be they of his own household.  37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.  38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.  39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.  40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.  41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.  42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward.

Mark 3:13-19 (KJV)

13 And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him.  14 And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach,  15 And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:  16 And Simon he surnamed Peter;  17 And James the son of Zebedee, and John the brother of James; and he surnamed them Boanerges, which is, The sons of thunder:  18 And Andrew, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus, and Simon the Canaanite,  19 And Judas Iscariot, which also betrayed him: and they went into an house.

Luke 6:13-16 (KJV)

13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;  14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,  15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,  16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor.

  1. Simon(Peter)
  2. Andrew(Brother to Peter)
  3. James(son of Zebedee)(Boanerges-son of thunder)
  4. John(son of Zebedee)(Boanerges-son of thunder)
  5. Philip
  6. Bartholomew
  7. Thomas
  8. Matthew(the publican)
  9. James(son of Alphaeus)
  10. Lebbaeus(Thaddaeus)(Judas)
  11. Simon(the Canaanite)(Zelotes)
  12. Judas Iscariot

Acts 1:21-26 (KJV)

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,  22  Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.  23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.  24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,  25  That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.  26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

After Judas died, the apostles felt it necessary to replace him with someone who was with them from the beginning of Jesus’ ministry. They appointed two and prayed to God about it. The lot fell on Matthias who became the new 12th apostle. Of course, there was no way to keep this 12-apostle group going because eventually all witnesses of Jesus would die out.

Acts 2:37-47 (KJV)

37  Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do?  38 Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost.  39 For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call.  40 And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation.  41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  42 And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  43 And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.   44 And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  45 And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  46 And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,  47 Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.

Here we see the apostles preaching, evangelizing, testifying, exhorting, baptizing, had a true doctrine, performed signs and wonders, and made fellowship with the new believers.

Acts 5:12-32 (KJV)

12 And by the hands of the apostles were many signs and wonders wrought among the people;(and they were all with one accord in Solomon’s porch.  13 And of the rest durst no man join himself to them: but the people magnified them.  14  And believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.)  15 Insomuch that they brought forth the sick into the streets, and laid them on beds and couches, that at the least the shadow of Peter passing by might overshadow some of them.  16 There came also a multitude out of the cities round about unto Jerusalem, bringing sick folks, and them which were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed every one.  17 Then the high priest rose up, and all they that were with him, (which is the sect of the Sadducees,) and were filled with indignation,  18 And laid their hands on the apostles, and put them in the common prison.  19 But the angel of the Lord by night opened the prison doors, and brought them forth, and said,  20 Go, stand and speak in the temple to the people all the words of this life.  21 And when they heard that, they entered into the temple early in the morning, and taught. But the high priest came, and they that were with him, and called the council together, and all the senate of the children of Israel, and sent to the prison to have them brought.  22 But when the officers came, and found them not in the prison, they returned and told,  23 Saying, The prison truly found we shut with all safety, and the keepers standing without before the doors: but when we had opened, we found no man within.  24 Now when the high priest and the captain of the temple and the chief priests heard these things, they doubted of them whereunto this would grow. 25 Then came one and told them, saying, Behold, the men whom ye put in prison are standing in the temple, and teaching the people.  26 Then went the captain with the officers, and brought them without violence: for they feared the people, lest they should have been stoned.  27 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council: and the high priest asked them,  28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.  29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.  30 The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom ye slew and hanged on a tree.  31 Him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins.  32 And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him.

Again we see the apostles performing many signs and wonders, healing the people, teaching, preaching, and being fully obedient to God.

Acts 15:1-6 (KJV)

1And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.  When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.  And being brought on their way by the church, they passed through Phenice and Samaria, declaring the conversion of the Gentiles: and they caused great joy unto all the brethren.  And when they were come to Jerusalem, they were received of the church, and of the apostles and elders, and they declared all things that God had done with them.  But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command them to keep the law of Moses.  And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

The apostles were elders that were sought after for their advice on tough Biblical questions.

We know that Paul was also an apostle, even though he wasn’t among the original 12 who was with Jesus during His 3 1/2 year ministry. We see this referenced in his letters such as Rom 1:1, 11:13, 1 Cor 1:1, 2 Cor 1:1, Gal 1:1, Eph 1:1, Col 1:1, 1 Tim 1:1, 2:7, 2 Tim 1:1,11, and Titus 1:1. Peter also referenced himself as an apostle in his letters in 1 Pet 1:1 and 2 Pet 1:1.

1 Corinthians 4:9-16 (KJV)

For I think that God hath set forth us the apostles last, as it were appointed to death: for we are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men.  10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but ye are wise in Christ; we are weak, but ye are strong; ye are honourable, but we are despised.  11 Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwellingplace;  12 And labour, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we suffer it:  13 Being defamed, we intreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the offscouring of all things unto this day.  14 I write not these things to shame you, but as my beloved sons I warn you.  15 For though ye have ten thousand instructers in Christ, yet have ye not many fathers: for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.  16  Wherefore I beseech you, be ye followers of me.

Paul says that the apostles were set forth last. This is because before Jesus came along, there were no apostles. These apostles have a unique job that has never been done before. This is why they are a spectacle(or theater) to the worlds, angels, and men. Paul goes out of his way to show how demanding the job of apostleship is. Paul urges the Corinthian saints to be like him and follow his example in Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:1-14 (KJV)

1Am I am not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?  If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord.  Mine answer to them that do examine me is this,  Have we not power to eat and to drink?   Have we not power to lead about a sister, a wife, as well as other apostles,and as the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?  Or I only and Barnabas, have not we power to forbear working?  Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock?  Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also?  For it is written in the law of Moses, thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen?  10 Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope.  11  If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things?  12 If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ.  13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?  14 Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel.

Paul says that to seal his apostleship, he must make apostles. These apostles even include women. Also, he tells us that apostles who minister in spiritual things should be compensated with physical things.

1 Corinthians 12:27-31 (KJV)

27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular.  28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles,secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.  29  Are all apostles?are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles?  30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?  31  But covet earnestly the best gifts:and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.

It is God who sets apostles in a church but not everyone is an apostle.

2 Corinthians 11:4-15 (KJV)

For if he that cometh preacheth another Jesus, whom we have not preached, or if ye receive another spirit, which ye have not received, or another gospel, which ye have not accepted, ye might well bear with him.  For I suppose I was not a whit behind the very chiefest apostles.  But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.  Have I committed an offence in abasing myself that ye might be exalted, because I have preached to you the gospel of God freely?  I robbed other churches, taking wages of them, to do you service.  And when I was present with you, and wanted, I was chargeable to no man: for that which was lacking to me the brethren which came from Macedonia supplied: and in all things I have kept myself from being burdensome unto you, and so will I keep myself.  10 As the truth of Christ is in me, no man shall stop me of this boasting in the regions of Achaia.  11 Wherefore? because I love you not? God knoweth.  12 But what I do, that I will do, that I may cut off occasion from them which desire occasion; that wherein they glory, they may be found even as we.  13 For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.   14 And no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light.  15 Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.

Paul considers himself less than the other apostles. He also tells us that there are false apostles. If there were only 12 original apostles and then Paul, there would be no reason to warn about false apostles because everybody knows who these 13 are. But since there were more than 13 apostles, Paul warns us to test them to make sure they are true apostles of Christ.

2 Corinthians 12:11-12 (KJV)

11 I am become a fool in glorying; ye have compelled me: for I ought to have been commended of you: for in nothing am I behind the very chiefest apostles, though I be nothing.  12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

Paul again considers himself less than the other apostles which is nothing to brag about. He also says that there are signs of an apostle which include patience, signs, wonders, and mighty deeds.

Ephesians 2:18-22 (KJV)

18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.  19  Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;  20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;  21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord:   22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.

Paul says that once we become a Christian, we have become grafted in to be spiritual Jews. Jesus was the chief corner stone and the apostles and prophets were the foundation. We as Christians are the building that rests on this foundation.

Ephesians 3:2-6 (KJV)

If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)   Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Paul confirms that it wasn’t until the present day that God revealed through the apostles and prophets that the Gentiles can be grafted in to the body of Christ.

Hebrews 3:1 (KJV)

3 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;

The only time apostle is capitalized is when it is referring to Jesus, not the original 12 apostles. He is the Apostle that sends apostles.

Revelation 2:1-2 (KJV)

1Unto the angel of the church of Ephesus write; These things saith he that holdeth the seven stars in his right hand, who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;  I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them which are evil: and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:

Jesus says that the church of Ephesus has tried them which say they are apostles and are not. This means that there are true and false apostles. If the apostleship ended with the original 12 + Paul, then we wouldn’t have to test apostles, we would discard them altogether. But since it didn’t end, we must test each apostle to see if they are true or not.

Revelation 18:16-20 (KJV)

16 And saying, Alas, alas that great city,that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls!  17  For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,  18 And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!  19 And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate.  20 Rejoice over her, thou heaven, and ye holy apostles and prophets; for God hath avenged you on her. 

This apostate city that is destroyed in the end times will bring rejoicing to the apostles and prophets that exist during that day because it will finally come to an end.

Revelation 21:14 (KJV)

14 And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.

Paul mentioned in Ephesians 2:20 that the apostles were the foundation of the church. Here in Revelation we see that the original 12 apostles have the great honor of having their names in the foundation of the New Jerusalem.

In summary, apostles are people who are sent by God to do His work. This includes performing signs and wonders, teaching, preaching, evangelizing, and healing people. They give of themselves selflessly and take great joy in increasing the kingdom of God. An apostle is used for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for the edifying of the body of Christ. Paul warns us about false apostles. This means that it is possible for someone to become an apostle and abuse their position. In that case, we should always hold those in leadership positions to a high standards.

What did you think about this study on apostles? Send me a comment here or post a comment below.

Bishops-The Overseer of the Church

When you think of a bishop, what comes to mind? Today, I would like to comb the Scriptures with you to find out what the Bible says about this key position in the church. If you have a bishop in your church, then compare this analysis to what they do. It’s important that we stick to exactly what the Scriptures tell us about this position so that everything within the church will run smoothly. If you are called to be a Bishop, then I hope this study is a great resource for you! Let’s start with a couple of definitions:

Strong’s G1984 – episkopē  ἐπισκοπή

1)investigation, inspection, visitation

a)that act by which God looks into and searches out the ways, deeds character, of men, in order to adjudge them their lot accordingly, whether joyous or sad


1)overseership, office, charge, the office of an elder

2)the overseer or presiding officers of a Christian church

Strong’s G1985 – episkopos  ἐπίσκοπος

1)an overseer

a)a man charged with the duty of seeing that things to be done by others are done rightly, any curator, guardian or superintendent

b)the superintendent, elder, or overseer of a Christian church

So by these definitions alone, it would seem that a Bishop is an elder in the church who oversees the church affairs by making sure things are done rightly and that all investigations are performed appropriately. The Bishop is in charge of the other elders and officers that are appointed within the church. The following chart will help you to understand this concept. Please be sure to read my other blogs concerning the other positions.

Spiritual Gift administrations hiearchy chart

We see that the Bishop is at the top of the hierarchy. Positions not included in this chart would be treasurers, custodians, and other church members but these are the ones we’ll focus on. Also, we understand that God is the head of the church and not mankind.

Now let’s get into the scripture references for Bishops. The first is in Acts.

Acts 20:28 (KJV)

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

Paul is addressing the elders of the church at Ephesus. It’s unclear whether he is conversing with the bishops only or all the elders. Either way, Paul makes it clear that the Holy Spirit is the one who has appointed them to their positions and it is their responsibility to take care of the church of God. By the way, if Paul is talking with all the elders in the church and not solely the bishops, then what he says is true seeing that each position has it’s own activities to oversee.

2 Timothy 4:22 (GNV)

22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy Spirit. Grace be with you, Amen. ¶ The second Epistle written from Rome unto Timothy, the first Bishop elected of the Church of Ephesus, when Paul was presented the second time before the Emperor Nero.

In the 1599 Geneva Bible Version of 2 Timothy 4:22, the added footnote says that the first bishop elected at the church in Ephesus was Timothy.

Philippians 1:1 (KJV)

1 Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

Paul address his Philippian letter to all the saints at Philippi including the staff which includes bishops and deacons. This word bishop can also be translated as overseer to include all the elders in the church, not just the Bishops. This would mean that everyone would be included in this letter and not a select few.

1 Peter 2:25 (KJV)

25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.

Here Peter references Jesus as the Bishop of our souls. Jesus is the one overseer who is in charge of the church as a whole. A Bishop is an overseer over a local congregation.

Now we will get into the details of what Paul outlines as the duties of a Bishop. Both Timothy and Titus were Bishops. Paul writes both of them letters outlining what a Bishop is. For Timothy, he writes about 7 verses. For Titus, he writes about 38 verses.

1 Timothy 3:1-7 (KJV)

1This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;  Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;  One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;  (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)  Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.  Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Titus 1:5-3:11 (KJV)

5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee: 6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. 7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; 8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; 9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers. 10 For there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the circumcision: 11 Whose mouths must be stopped, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake. 12 One of themselves, even a prophet of their own, said, the Cretians are alway liars, evil beasts, slow bellies. 13 This witness is true. Wherefore rebuke them sharply, that they may be sound in the faith; 14 Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments of men, that turn from the truth. 15 Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled. 16 They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.

2 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine: 2 That the aged men be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, in patience. 3 The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; 4 That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. 6 Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. 7 In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, 8 Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you. 9 Exhort servants to be obedient unto their own masters, and to please them well in all things; not answering again; 10 Not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity; that they may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. 11 For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works. 15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

3 Put them in mind to be subject to principalities and powers, to obey magistrates, to be ready to every good work, 2 To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all men. 3 For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. 4 But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, 5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; 6 Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; 7 That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life. 8 This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain good works. These things are good and profitable unto men. 9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain. 10 A man that is an heretick after the first and second admonition reject; 11 Knowing that he that is such is subverted, and sinneth, being condemned of himself.

The first chapter in Titus can be compared with the passage found in 1 Timothy 3. Here is a chart that compares the two.

Titus 11 Timothy 3
Husband of one wife
Steward of God
Not Self-Willed
Not Soon Angry
Good Behavior
Given to Hospitality
Lover of Good Men
Apt to Teach
Not Given to Wine
No Striker
Not Greedy of Filthy Lucre
Not a Brawler
Be Gentle
Show Meekness to all Men
Not Covetous
Rules His Own House Well
Having Faithful Children Not Accused of Riot or UnrulyChildren Subject With all Gravity
Not a Novice
Have a Good Report

So as you can see, there are some similarities and there are differences. Combined though, Paul gives all the prerequisites to becoming a Bishop over a local congregation. Since a Bishop is in charge of such a large group of people, much prayer, research, and consideration must be involved when making an important decision like this one. A person who feels led to become a Bishop must posses certain spiritual gifts. This graphic shows the minimum requirements. A Bishop could have more than the ones listed here though.

Bishop Gifts

When a person desires the position of being a Bishop, they should be focused on administering, guiding, and overseeing. They are a person who is a leader, who sees the whole picture, is able to delegate, and understands each of the roles of the administration gifts, each of the functions of the operations gifts, and each of the uses of the manifestations gifts. A good example of a Bishop besides Timothy and Titus would be to study Nehemiah. He displayed extraordinary leadership skills despite the atmosphere of the people.

Obtaining the office of a Bishop does come with some disadvantages. That much power and authority can be used in a negative way if the person is not careful. If you are seeking this office, follow these suggestions:

  • Don’t become lazy by telling other people what to do and never doing anything yourself.
  • Be sensitive to the needs and situations of others when dictating demands.
  • Don’t use people for your own selfish desires.
  • Don’t overlook character flaws in people who shouldn’t hold certain positions or responsibilities.
  • Don’t overload people with tasks.
  • Don’t overstep your authority.
  • Be open to listening to other people’s ideas.
  • Don’t neglect praying.
  • Don’t take foolish pride in your position.

Above all, keep Christ at the head and seek His will for all decision making. Trust that God knows what’s best and lean not on just your own understanding. Remember what Gideon said to the men of Israel:

Judges 8:23 (KJV)

23 And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the Lord shall rule over you.

Challenge Questions:

If you have a Bishop in your church, do they meet these qualifications?

If you don’t have a Bishop in your church, why not?

Do you agree with the assessment of which spiritual gifts a Bishop must have?

After looking over this study on Bishops, do you agree with my assessment that a Bishop is a singular individual in charge of the other administrative positions, or do you believe that a Bishop is plural and encompasses all the administrative positions?

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