1 Timothy 3:7 “Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.”
Today is the last qualification for the pastor of Jesus’ church and it has to do with the reputation of the man among those outside the church. The pastor is to have a non-offensive and above reproach name before the watching world. Though the world may not agree with the message of the church, they should not disbelieve it on account of the man who preaches it. One of the things it means to be made in the image of God is that we were born with an innate ability to see contradiction. The pastor who proclaims a holy and righteous life from the pulpit and yet himself lives a contrary life will mar the church of Jesus Christ. And the pastor who can live a life of sin before the watching world will soon snare himself like the devil; for his heart will have become so hard to not even care whether he walks in sin or righteousness.
The gospel has a fragrance to it. It is an aroma of life to those being saved and an aroma of death to those who are perishing. Yesterday I brought my wife to a mall so that she could buy some tea from Teavana. As we were walking the halls of the mall to find the store, we rounded a corner and knew we were on the right path. The aroma of the tea was so pleasing to the sniffer that it lead us directly through the front door of the store. I also have a sensitive sniffer to the smell of apple cider vinegar. It makes my whole body cringe when I get a good whiff. When the world rounds the last corner of the mall and finds themselves standing in front of a man holding a tea tin from Teavana; whether he holds an open tin of sweet tea or a pale of liquid vinegar; the man holding the tin should himself not be the cause of offense, the container should. Likewise whether the world smells the gospel to be life giving or death devouring, it should never be the man who causes the offense.