Chapter 3

      It is well said, When a man aspires to a bishopric, it is no mean employment that he covets. The man who is to be a bishop, then, must be one with whom no fault can be found; faithful to one wife, sober, discreet, modest, well behaved, hospitable, experienced in teaching, no lover of wine or of brawling, courteous, neither quarrelsome nor grasping. He must be one who is a good head to his own family, and keeps his children in order by winning their full respect; if a man has not learned how to manage his own household, will he know how to govern God's church? He must not be a new convert, or he may be carried away by vanity, and incur Satan's doom. He must bear a good character, too, in the world's eyes; or he may fall into disrepute, and become a prey to the False Accuser.

      Deacons, in the same way, must be men of decent behaviour, men of their word, not given to deep drinking or to money-getting, keeping true, in all sincerity of conscience, to the faith that has been revealed. These, in their turn, must first undergo probation, and only be allowed to serve as deacons if no charge is brought against them. The women-folk, too, should be modest, not fond of slanderous talk; they must be sober, and in every way worthy of trust. The deacon must be faithful to one wife, good at looking after his own family and household. Those who have served well in the diaconate will secure for themselves a sure footing, and great boldness in proclaiming that faith, which is founded on Christ Jesus. So much I tell you by letter, although I hope to pay you a visit before long; so that, if I am slow in coming, you may be in no doubt over the conduct that is expected of you in God's household. By that I mean the Church of the living God, the pillar and foundation upon which the truth rests.

      No question of it, it is a great mystery we worship. Revelation made in human nature, justification won in the realm of the Spirit; a vision seen by angels, a mystery preached to the Gentiles; Christ in this world, accepted by faith, Christ, on high, taken up into glory.