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Verse 1

This is a true saying - Πιστος ὁ λογος· This is a true doctrine. These words are joined to the last verse of the preceding chapter by several of the Greek fathers, and by them referred to the doctrine there stated.

The office of a bishop - Επισκοπης· The episcopacy, overseership or superintendency. The word ορεγεται , which we translate desire, signifies earnest, eager, passionate desire; and επιθυμει , which we translate desire, also signifies earnestly to desire or covet. It is strange that the episcopacy, in those times, should have been an object of intense desire to any man; when it was a place of danger, awl exposure to severe labor, want, persecution, and death, without any secular emolument whatsoever. On this ground I am led to think that the Spirit of God designed these words more for the ages that were to come, than for those which were then; and in reference to after ages the whole of what follows is chiefly to be understood.

A good work - A work it then was; heavy, incessant, and painful. There were no unpreaching prelates in those days, and should be none now. Episcopacy in the Church of God is of Divine appointment, and should be maintained and respected. Under God, there should be supreme governors in the Church as well as in the state. The state has its monarch, the Church has its bishop; one should govern according to the laws of the land, the other according to the word of God.

What a constitutional king should be, the principles of the constitution declare; what a bishop should be, the following verses particularly show.

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