1 Timothy 3:1-7
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desires a good work.…
If a man desire the office of a bishop from right principles, he desireth. — not a secular dignity — not a good benefice — not a post of honour or profit — not an easy idle life — but he desireth a work; a good work indeed it is: but still it is a work.
I. It may properly be called a WORK, if we consider the duties of the office, which require the utmost assiduity, and some of which are peculiarly painful and laborious.
II. It is a GOOD WORK, whether you consider, for whom, with whom, or for what you work. The ministers of the gospel work for God, who is carrying on the grand scheme of salvation in our world. His immediate service is the peculiar business of their lives. Ministers also work for Jesus Christ. It was He that originally gave them their commission; it was He that assigned them their work; it is He that is interested in their success. Again, the ministers of the gospel work for the souls of men. To do good to mankind is the great purpose of their office. Let us next consider with whom the ministers of the gospel work; and we shall see how good their employment is. "They are workers together with God." (2 Corinthians 6:1). They are also co-workers with Jesus Christ, promoting the same cause for which He became man; for which He lived the life of a servant, and died the death of a malefactor and a slave. They may also be called fellow-workers with the Holy Spirit, whose great office it is to sanctify depraved creatures, and prepare them for the refined happiness of heaven. They also act in concert with angels; for what are these glorious creatures but "ministering spirits sent forth to minister to them that shall be heirs of salvation"? (Hebrews 1:14). An angel once condescended to call a minister of the gospel his fellow-servant (Revelation 19:10). Ministers also are engaged in that work in which the apostles went before them. The office of a bishop will farther appear a good work, if it be considered for what it is that ministers work. They do not indeed work for a reward upon the footing of personal merit; but they hope for it on the plan of the gospel, through Jesus Christ. In this view, like Moses, they have "a respect to the recompense of reward" (Hebrews 2:26). And thus it appears, their laborious and painful work is good — good in itself, good for the world, and good for themselves.
(S. Davies, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.