Service Times

Worship Service
Sun. 9:30am - 10:30am

Sunday School
Sun. 10:45am - 11:20am

Prayer Meeting & Bible Study
Wed. 6:30pm - 7:30pm

Crusaders Club (Seasonal)
Thurs. 3:00pm - 5:30pm

Crusaders Teens (Seasonal)
Thurs. 6:00pm - 8:00pm

A Man of One Woman

1 Tim. 3:2

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. This is one of the most controversial verses in Scripture, and we are going to look at it in the light of all Scripture. It has been used by legalists and heretics to destroy ministry and people throughout church history. For centuries opponents of the gospel have ignored and desecrated the grace, mercy, and forgiveness of God by forcing their own heresy to become church doctrine! If you want to research long enough you can find support for almost anything you might like for Scripture to say. However, the best commentary on The Bible is The Bible! So when one has read all the commentaries, and done all the research, the only doctrine that stands against all criticism, is pure, and sound Biblical doctrine. When Jesus and the Apostles were here on earth, in everyday language that had nothing to do with Scripture, the word “husband” was always the broad designation or description of a man. The context in which it was used with adjectives, and other descriptive language defined the exact meaning of the word. i.e. A man of God, a man of wealth, a man of royalty, a man of poverty, and etc. It was used to designate man in his various positions and occupations, as well as distinguishing a man from a boy. It was also used specifically to designate the legal relationship of a man to a woman. In our passage the word “husband” is the title given to a man, who is legally married. The word “wife” has the same general meaning. It was used in common Greek language to literally to mean “female.” As with the word “man” the context and words used in conjunction with “woman” define her activity; position, relationship, and so on.

The literal translation of the phrase here in v. 2 is “the man of one woman.” Hence the phrase that appears in some Bibles “a one woman kind of man.” Many versions and translations use the phrase “the husband of one wife.” There is the thought that Paul was telling Christian men of the day that polygamy was forbidden by God. Even then, true Christian men and women were so adamantly opposed to that idea that arose out of sexual immorality and debauchery of pagan religions that the need to tell, even new Christians, it was wrong was unnecessary!  Another of the more popular interpretations is that Paul was teaching an overseer had to be married. If that were true Paul himself would be going against Scripture because he was not married. A third interpretation suggests Paul is ruling out remarriage if a man’s wife dies. The problem with that is that in Rom 7:2–3; 1 Cor 7:39; 1 Tim 5:14, The Holy Spirit inspired Paul to teach a husband or wife who lose their spouse to death, may in fact be married again. Then there is an interpretation that suggests Paul is prohibiting any man who has suffered the tragedy of divorce from serving as a church leader.

There are at least 4 reasons that interpretation is also inconsistent with Scripture. The 1stMatthew records in chapter 19 that Jesus Himself said divorce is permissible in the case of adultery or other sexual immorality. 2nd Paul adds to that teaching in 1 Cor. 7:15, when he says, “if the unbeliever leaves, let him leave.” 3rd If we impose on one qualification, not only what a man must now be, but also what happened in his past, we must impose those same restrictions on all the rest. In that case, no man anywhere, anytime, will ever be qualified to be an overseer.  More important than all these is the 4th reason it is wrong to impose divorce in this situation. That reason is – we violate NT theology of grace, forgiveness, and looking to the future. Remember, the NT never looks backward to the past; but always looks to the present and more importantly to the future. When we impose such restriction on ministry, we not only ignore the theology of salvation, we refuse to extend grace and the love of God to those who most often need it the most! One writer sums the proper Biblical approach to a man of one woman when he says, “we must not hold a man’s pre-conversion sins against him. Had Paul clearly meant to prohibit divorce, he could have said it unmistakably by using the Greek word for divorce (apolyō, as he does in other places. It is important to note Jesus and others use apolyo throughout the NT to mean divorce. May God grant that we are always those Christians who observe the “now” in any Christian brother or sister, without condemning them for their past. The best reason to do that is because God expects us to treat all others the same attitude we want to receive from Him ourselves; and, we ought to remember God will judge us the way we judge others.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

Comments are closed.