3:1-7 If a man desired the pastoral office, and from love to Christ, and the souls of men, was ready to deny himself, and undergo hardships by devoting himself to that service, he sought to be employed in a good work, and his desire should be approved, provided he was qualified for the office. A minister must give as little occasion for blame as can be, lest he bring reproach upon his office. He must be sober, temperate, moderate in all his actions, and in the use of all creature-comforts. Sobriety and watchfulness are put together in Scripture, they assist one the other. The families of ministers ought to be examples of good to all other families. We should take heed of pride; it is a sin that turned angels into devils. He must be of good repute among his neighbours, and under no reproach from his former life. To encourage all faithful ministers, we have Christ's gracious word of promise, Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world, Mt 28:20. And he will fit his ministers for their work, and carry them through difficulties with comfort, and reward their faithfulness.
6. not a novice—one just converted. This proves the Church of Ephesus was established now for some time. The absence of this rule in the Epistle to Titus, accords with the recent planting of the Church at Crete. Greek, "neophyte," literally, "a young plant"; luxuriantly verdant (Ro 6:5; 11:17; 1Co 3:6). The young convert has not yet been disciplined and matured by afflictions and temptations. Contrast Ac 21:16, "an old disciple."
lifted up with pride—Greek, literally, "wrapt in smoke," so that, inflated with self-conceit and exaggerated ideas of his own importance, he cannot see himself or others in the true light (1Ti 6:4; 2Ti 3:4).
condemnation of the devil—into the same condemnation as Satan fell into (1Ti 3:7; 2Ti 2:26). Pride was the cause of Satan's condemnation (Job 38:15; Isa 14:12-15; Joh 12:31; 16:11; 2Pe 2:4; Jude 6). It cannot mean condemnation or accusation on the part of the devil. The devil may bring a reproach on men (1Ti 3:7), but he cannot bring them into condemnation, for he does not judge, but is judged [Bengel].