1 Timothy 3:4-7 One that rules well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he falls into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he falls into reproach and the snare of the devil.
‘Gravity’ [Greek: semnotes] solemnity; dignity; majesty. Translated “gravity” (3:4; Tit. 2:7) and “honesty” (2:2).
‘For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church [congregation] of God?’ If a man’s home rule is not good, how can he be trusted with the civil or religious government?
‘Lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.’ The reason for not putting a new convert in the office of a bishop or overseer is the lack of Christian experience and service. It is natural for men to feel exalted when entrusted with any form of government. This feeling must be entirely put to death before one can be a true ruler. The example of Lucifer is given to emphasize the absolute necessity of mortifying pride. Lucifer was trusted as the original overseer of the earth. He ruled for an indefinite period before Adam and was perfect in his ways until he was lifted up in pride to believe he could invade heaven and dethrone God (3:6; Isa. 14:12-14; Ezek. 28:11-17; Jer. 4:23-26; 2Pet. 3:5-8). Before learning the lesson of humility and the worth of his true self without grace, the new convert will likely fall as Lucifer did. We do not need any rulers of this type – haughty, proud, exalted, despotic, and self-important.
‘Lifted up with pride’ [Greek: tuphoo] to make dull, senseless, conceited, silly, stupid, or absurd. Translated as “lifted up” (3:6); “be proud” (6:4); and “be high-minded” (2Tim. 3:4). The Greek: tuphon (hurricane, typhoon) may best illustrate such conceited, puffed up behaviour of inflated ones in the ecclesiastical realm.
‘Lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.’ The reason why a bishop must have a good report from non-Christians is to avoid reproach and falling into the snare of the devil. Backsliders usually fall by the sins of their former life. On these lines, the devil concentrates on bringing about the fall of as many as possible.