1 Timothy 3:6-7

6Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. (1 Timothy 3:6‑7)According to this scripture, two important things were to be observed in regard to those who desired the office of a bishop; that is, of an overseer of a local assembly; and two dangers are pointed out as the consequence of neglect of these qualifications. A bishop, among other things, must not be "a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil." The word rendered condemnation is rather the ground, charge, or matter of accusation, on which condemnation is passed. (See Luke 23:40; 24:2040But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? (Luke 23:40)
20And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him. (Luke 24:20)
, &c) This passage therefore gives a remarkable insight into the cause of the devil's fall. He was puffed up with pride, either tempted on the side of the position he occupied, or on that of his own beauty and excellency (see Ezek. 28:11-1711Moreover the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 12Son of man, take up a lamentation upon the king of Tyrus, and say unto him, Thus saith the Lord God; Thou sealest up the sum, full of wisdom, and perfect in beauty. 13Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 14Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 15Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 16By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 17Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee. (Ezekiel 28:11‑17)); and, on this account, judgment was passed upon him. The same danger, as the Spirit of God warns us, might beset a "novice" if he obtained office in the assembly. He might be lifted up with pride, and fall as the devil had fallen. The second thing is that the " bishop " " must have a good report of them which are without, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." Here the meaning is quite different. If one who occupied the place of rule in the assembly did not possess a good report of those that were without, he would soon incur reproach, not so much for the name of Christ as for his bad repute; and Satan would not be slow to come in and use this as a snare wherewith to entangle his feet. How often have both these dangers been realized in the Church of God! The lesson is, that we should never, under any pretext whatever, depart from these plain and positive instructions of God's word.
E. D.