An elder must be blameless…
The first requirement to hold any position in Christian ministry is spiritual in nature and reflects our commitment to Christ. The Bible explains this in many different terms – such as, loving God, mature, a perfect man, above reproach, filled with the Spirit – and each of these gives insight into the nature of Christian maturity.
The meaning is that he would live a life that he would be willing for someone to examine carefully and thoroughly – that there were be no significant lapses of morality or character, or in his doctrine and beliefs. To some degree the word “blameless” points to one’s reputation more than to his personal character, but the meaning was clearly not that a good reputation, as important as that is, is all that mattered. He was addressing the maturity of the individual, the commitment in his heart to God that must come first and the fruit of this should be a good reputation.
The first concern for a Christian is to be certain that he is living for Christ and entirely committed to Him. This call to commitment and to blamelessness is not just for the pastor or the Christian leader, but for everyone of God’s children. This has caused me to ask myself where I stand in relation to this priority?
How is it with your soul today? Are you committed to Christ? Are there lapses and weaknesses in your life? Are there thoughts and habits that are simply not under His dominion? Paul wrote, “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5). Is every thought in your heart obedient to Christ?
I have often witnessed the decline and sometimes even the death of some churches. Almost all of these reveal some moral lapse in the heart and life of key leaders in the church. Pride becomes their heart’s reality, lust creeps in and pride does not recognize it for the evil it is, and moral slippage is in the heart of the church’s leadership.
Repentance is the cure from God – to turn from sin and self and turn to Him. How the world and the Church need spiritual leaders, men and women completely sold out to God! Many sincere servants forget this, and become discouraged. But do not be deceived. As a Christian leader, to remain sincere and committed to Him, to let every thought be taken captive, results in our lives being real blessings to others and to the work of God. If we will keep our eyes turned upon Jesus and let everything else fade from view, we will find that God can use us to do things through us that only He can truly accomplish.