Psalm 122:1 David said, I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the LORD."
I hope everyone here has the same attitude that David did. Every Lords day is special and we should rejoice in the privilege we have to gather together to make up the body of Christ. This morning we are going to be doing something that we don’t do very often. After the lesson this morning we are going to officially have 3 new deacons. Roger Dethloff, Jody Tidwell and Jerald Neil. I cant tell you happy it makes me to have these men serve in this capacity. So this morning lesson is going to be about Deacons and their qualifications and what it is they according to the Bible.
The word deacon comes from the greek word diakonos which is translated as servant, minister, or deacon. A deacon is a willing servant one who willing to take on the task assigned to them. In a general sense every Christian is to be a deacon because we are all to serve God in one form or another.
Romans 6:16 Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one's slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness?
Paul makes clear that everybody is a servant. Those who serve the Lord by obeying his word are lead to righteousness. Those who serve something else are living in sin and their pathway leads to death.
Mark 10: 42 But Jesus called them to Himself and said to them, "You know that those who are considered rulers over the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones exercise authority over them. 43 "Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you shall be your servant. 44 "And whoever of you desires to be first shall be slave of all. 45 "For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many."
Jesus is telling us if you want to be great if want to be first than you must be a servant to all.
Now we also have deacon used in an official sense that only qualified men can be. In fact as study the NT you only find two offices or positions that require certain qualifications. One being Elders the other being deacons. The only qualifications that can be found about deacons are located in 1Tim. 3:8-13 and the only other time deacons are mentioned specifically is
Philippians 1:1 Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons
Here you have 3 different groups you have in the church. The saints that is you and I , the Bishops which are the elders and the deacons. You always see a plurality of Elders and a plurality of deacons. Now please turn to 1Tim 3. In verses 1-7 we learn about the qualification of and elder. But were interested in verse 8 – 13 which tells us the qualifications of a deacon.
1 Timothy 3: 8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Vr8 Likewise. Just like the elders have to be qualified for their office a deacon must also be qualified for his office.
Reverent/ grave This means someone who is respectable. One who serious about serving God. This rules out those that are childish, disrespectful or smart-alec. This does not mean they are so serious that they never smile or laugh but simply that they are mature enough to carry out the work of the Lord.
Not Doubled Tongued. This literally means to speak twice. A doubled tongued person is one who will say one thing in one crowd and something different in another. A good term of this today is two faced. These kind of people will tell you what you want to hear and even agree with you on certain issues but when they go talk to their friend they will talk about you and how dumb you are about those same issues. This kind of person doesn’t take a stand on a issue instead they take both sides
Not be given to much wine. Some take this passage to mean that its ok to drink wine as long as you do it in moderation. However, I believe this concept to be foreign to the Bible. First of all must realize that the word wine has changed meaning over the years. During the 1st century the word wine simply means the fruit of the vine and can refer to plain grape juice or can refer to fermented grape juice. Another thing we must understand is that their fermented grape juice was not a powerful as our wine or alcohol that we have today. It would take a great deal more fermented wine back then to achieve the same results with our concentrated alcohol today. Even when they did drink fermented wine back then they usually mixed it with water. Back in the first century not only was wine a common drink it was also used for medical purposes.
1 Timothy No longer drink only water, but use a little wine for your stomach's sake and your frequent infirmities.
Apparently Timothy was having stomach problems but because he was a minister and an example he had only been drinking water staying away from the wine. But Paul lets him know its ok for him to use a little wine for his stomach. We cannot know for sure if the wine he refers to here is fermented or unfermented but only that he was to use a little. The whole idea here is that the deacons are not to be addicted a substance that can cause them to become drunk because being drunk is a sin.
Ephesians 5:18 And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit,
1 Corinthians 6: 9
Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the
Do you see serious a matter it is to not be a drunkard and the best way not to become a drunk is to abstain from those things that will make you drunk. I think everybody would agree that drinking doesn’t do anything but destroy peoples lives in one way or another and deacon certainly cannot be one who drinks wine or any kind of alcohol for pleasure.
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, Strong drink is a brawler, And whoever is led astray by it is not wise.
Proverbs 23:29-35 29 Who has woe? Who has sorrow? Who has contentions? Who has complaints? Who has wounds without cause? Who has redness of eyes? 30 Those who linger long at the wine, Those who go in search of mixed wine. 31 Do not look on the wine when it is red, When it sparkles in the cup, When it swirls around smoothly; 32 At the last it bites like a serpent, And stings like a viper. 33 Your eyes will see strange things, And your heart will utter perverse things. 34 Yes, you will be like one who lies down in the midst of the sea, Or like one who lies at the top of the mast, saying: 35 "They have struck me, but I was not hurt; They have beaten me, but I did not feel it. When shall I awake, that I may seek another drink?"
Not greedy for money. A man who becomes a deacon is a serious servant of God and cannot be focused on material gain. Nor can he be a person that gains his money by dishonest measures. How can man take on the responsibility of serving the church if all he can think about is how much money he can lay his hands on? A deacon is one who is going to put God first in his life and is dedicated to serving the Lord.
Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. The mystery of the faith was one Pauls favorite ways to describe the scheme of redemption for mankind that was conceived in the mind of God. Thayer describes this way “Gods plan of providing salvation for men through Chirst which was once hidden but now is revealed.
Romans 16: 25 Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery kept secret since the world began 26 but now has been made manifest, and by the prophetic Scriptures has been made known to all nations, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, for obedience to the faith -- 27 to God, alone wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever. Amen.
. It was through the inspired men of the 1st century that the mystery of the faith was revealed. This of course refers to the word of God that we know have.
So to hold the mystery of the faith means to understand and be steadfast in the truth. So this means that a deacon can not be one who is unsound in the faith no matter how kind or wealthy they might be. The pure conscience in this verse means that they practice the truth. A deacon cannot just be someone who is knowledgeable in the word of God but he must also be one who lives a pure life.
Let them be tested. This means that these men will be tested to make sure they are qualified before they become deacons. For example some names may be submitted before the church as those who might become deacons. There should be a period of time for people to come forward and let people know if this individual does not meet the qualifications. If no one has anything they know that would keep this person from becoming a deacon of the church then they will be considered blameless. The word blameless means one who cannot be attacked because of his moral conduct. This is a man who right with God.
11 women or wives.
Not only do the men have qualifications for themselves their wives also have qualifications to meet so that their husbands can be deacons.
Reverent This means someone who is respectable. One who serious about serving God.
Not Slanders This means they are not to be prone to make false accusations about people or talk badly about people.
Temperate/sober This caries the idea of staying away from intoxicating drink.
Faithful in all thing. This is a women who takes being a Christian serious and does her best to serve God. Its important that a deacons wife meet these qualifications because if she does not then the husband and wife will most likely have problems at home and the man would have a difficult time serving the church as a deacon as he should.
12 Deacon is only to have one wife and they are to have children.
Rule their children and their household well.
Rule- be a leader, have authority over, manage; care for. Did the man lead or manage his children well while they were in household. Did he care for them or did he just let them fend for their own. If a man has little regard for his own flesh and blood he certainly would not give much regard to serving as a deacon for the church. However if you have a man who loved his family and was committed to them your going to have man who is committed to serving God.
13 A good standing For a deacon to be qualified he has already established a good standing but through laboring as servant for lord he will obtain even a higher standing of respect. Being a deacon is a good step toward becoming an Elder. Many good elders were once serving as deacons. But, this does not mean that one must be a deacon before they become an Elder and it does not mean that a deacon will become and Elder. The bible doesn’t really tells us what the work of an deacon is specifically. But here in our verse we can see that a deacon is one who serves and will serve well no matter what task is put before them. We have one possible example of deacons and their work found in Acts 6.
Acts 6: Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution. 2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, "It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. 3 "Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; 4 "but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word." 5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude.
In this chapter we learn about the first church squabble. The Grecian widows were being neglected in regards to the food distribution. So the apostles decide to appoint men that were full of the Holy spirit to see to this task. This is certainly a task that deacons could assigned to do. However I would be hard pressed to prove that these men were actually deacons. But again this is certainly a work a deacon could do.
We must always remember that the elders and only the elders oversee the church. The deacons do not have any authority and they to be under the guidance of the eldership. A person should not become a deacon just so a church can say we have deacons. The Elders should have specific area for the deacons to serve in. Their a many differing avenues a deacon can serve. For example they can take care of writing checks, organizing visitation, selecting people to serve during the worship service, supervising the care of the building and things of that nature.
I think its wonderful that we have 3 men this morning that stand before us as qualified men to take on the task of being a deacon. Be sure to encourage them and pray for their families that they might serve Gods church well.
These men will be serving specific task in this congregation however that does not mean that they are going to be doing it all. Everyone here who is willing to serve will have many opportunities to do things for Gods church. Don’t forget every single one us is a deacon in the general sense and we should all strive to find ways to serve each other and God.