The leadership in the church –
e. Positions 1 Timothy 3:1-13
Qualifications for the two offices in the church are set forth in this chapter, which are –
1). Bishops 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and –
2). Deacons 1 Timothy 3:8-13
We noted last week that –
a). Diakonos is translated deacon, servant, minister with the meaning defined according to the context.
b). Diakonos as viewed in the time of Christ by the Gentiles was that of property and whose very existence was to serve their masters.
c). Diakonos as viewed by God.
John 12:26 If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
And we were reminded of the –
d). Diakonos as the office in the church.
(1). Deacon is not called of God into the office.
(2). God gave four office gifts to the church. The office of deacon is not among these gifts.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
(3). The Apostles instituted the office of deacon. Acts 6:1-7
(a). The reason for the office is stated. Acts 6:1,2
Acts 6:1-2 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
(b). The method in choosing the deacons is stated. Acts 6:3a
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men…”
(c). The qualifications for the office are stated. Acts 6:3b
“…full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom…”
We emphasized that being full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom can, and should be, known by those around you.
(d). The work of the deacon is stated. Acts 6:3c
“…whom we may appoint over this business.” What business? “…It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.”
Imagine that you have been seated in a restaurant. You have the need of receiving food and drink. The waiter approaches you and ask how they can help you? You tell them what you want and they relay the message to someone who can supply what you need. The waiter is also often known as a ‘server’, serving their employer by serving you. The deacon serves God by serving you. They are to insure that the church members who were in need were cared for.
This morning we continue in the Scripture to learn of the –
e). Diakonos qualifications. 1 Timothy 3:8-13
The ministry of the deacon to the members of the church may involve learning information which the members desire to remain private, not revealed to anyone other than the pastor. The deacon must be a man that can be trusted with anyone’s personal information. Every member of the church should be held to this standard and it should be a normal aspect of Christian character. The Word of God instructs us in this –
Proverbs 11:13 A talebearer revealeth secrets: but he that is of a faithful spirit concealeth the matter.
We are not to flatter someone under the pretense of Christian care and then speak to others of their situation
1 Peter 4:11 If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Trust is essential for the ministry of the deacon, therefore we are given the following characteristics required of the man serve who will others –
1 Timothy 3:8-13
(1). Exemplifies truth and honour
1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre…”
Consistently telling the truth, not changing the story depending on who they are speaking to, as well as keeping away from alcohol in order to make right decisions, and not ministering with the hope of financial gain.
Philippians 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, (The same word translated ‘grave’ in 1 Timothy) whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
This exhortation should define every believer, prepared to be a blessing to others!
(2). Exalts the Lord through his unwavering faith
1 Timothy 3:9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
The man must have absolute confidence in his belief in God, in Him sending His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, to give His life for all men (The death, burial, and resurrection according to the Scriptures), with no other motive than to simply obey God in Truth. As Paul wrote of himself –
2 Timothy 1:12 For the which cause I also suffer these things: nevertheless I am not ashamed: for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.
A double minded man should certainly not be given the opportunity to serve others. We should remember that it is a privilege to serve God!
Psalm 123:2 Behold, as the eyes of servants look unto the hand of their masters, and as the eyes of a maiden unto the hand of her mistress; so our eyes wait upon the LORD our God, until that he have mercy upon us.
Seeking the opportunity to serve!
(3). Existing good testimony –
1 Timothy 3:10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
(4). Example of a Godly family –
1 Timothy 3:11,12 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
(6). Appreciated by the congregation for their faithful ministry unto God by ministering to the needs of His children.
1 Timothy 3:13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
We need to pray for the men the churches have chosen to serve in this office.
We need to pray that all of us would have the character of these men, loving God, honest, full of the Holy Spirit, and ready to help others – giving of ourselves to the Lord and those He loves.
This character begins with salvation –
2 Corinthians 5:17-20 Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
And continues through Him to others –
And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Are you saved?
Are you serving?