The Pastor Must not be a Novice
1 Timothy 3:6
Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

Not a novice.

I. THE ADVANTAGES OF EXPERIENCE IN A PASTOR. The apostle does not refer to youth, but to inexperience. Yet the qualification must be regarded relatively; for a longer or a shorter probation might be required, according to circumstances. The Church at Ephesus had been long enough established to admit of a selection being made out of men of Christian experience and wisdom. It is significant to remark that no definite age is assigned for candidates for the ministry. In a Church like that of Ephesus, threatened with heresy within and violence without, it was necessary that the elders should be men with a rare understanding of the mysteries of the faith, and with a large fund of sanctified experience.

II. THE REASON OR GROUND OF THE APOSTLE'S COUNSEL. "Lest, being besotted with pride, he should fall into the condemnation of the devil."

1. The risk of the novice is an undue self-elation, arising from the thought of the dignity of his office and of the estimation in which he is held on account of his gifts. His judgment would thus become clouded, and he would fail to see the true relation of things.

2. The consequence would be his falling under the very condemnation pronounced upon the devil. Thus a blinding pride would receive its just retribution.

3. It is evident that the apostle believed in the existence of a personal evil spirit, the adversary of God and man. It is equally evident that he regarded the fall of the devil as clue to pride, and that he regarded him as the tempter of man. - T.C.

Parallel Verses
KJV: Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.

WEB: not a new convert, lest being puffed up he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.

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