Temple Baptist Church - 9-9-2012
1 Timothy 3:8-13
A. In 1 Timothy, we find the mention of “office” of a deacon. Paul is not establishing the office but giving regulations for it. The establishment, as far as I can discern is found in Acts 6. In the early days of the church, thousands were saved in a short span of time. This created some problems for the baby church.
1. Thousands of babes in Christ with few mature Christians to mentor them. What a wonderful problem to have but a problem none the less.
2. An insurmountable work load for the men of God. Acts 2, in the later part of the chapter, found the church in great unity and in favor with both God and man but later, we find murmuring within the church.
3. The men of God were now having to leave the ministry of God’s Word and prayer to meet the needs of the people.
B. In this chapter, we also find the work of the deacons identified. Most churches of our day have no idea what a deacon’s responsibility is or is not. The biblical principle of First Mention gives both the reason for and responsibility of deacons. It has never changed.
1. The office of a deacon is not that of a ruling body. No place in Scripture is a deacon given one ounce of authority. Acts 6:2 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.
2. The office of a deacon is not a reward for men who have much to give not is it a gift given to the prestigious of the community. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
3. The office of a deacon was that of a servant. Acts 6:2 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.
4. The office of a deacon had qualifications. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
5. The office of a deacon was chosen of men, not called of God. Acts 6:3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
C. In 1 Timothy, we find an expansion of the qualifications of deacons and I find that they are almost the same as the bishop or pastor. The word “likewise” is expressive of this truth.
1. Grave – serious in mind and character. It means to have character, not to be one.
2. Not doubletongued – this is the only used of this word in the Bible and it means “two-tongued.” The Indian people used to say, “Speaks with a forked tongue!”
3. Not given to much wine – as the pastor is not to be given to wine at all, the deacon can use wine in temperance. Once again, this usage of “wine” has no reference to “strong drink” or “fermented” wine. Wine or fruit of the vine was a drink of special occasions. Throughout the Bible, when quenching thirst, water or milk was used. Fruit of the vine was used in entertainment or feasts.
4. Not greedy of filthy lucre – he was not to be either covetous or dishonest in his finances.
5. Doctrinally correct – holding the mystery of faith in a pure conscience. A deacon was to be able to convince and comfort with scripture.
6. Proved – tested under examination. Not a novice but a man who has experienced both good and hard times in life. One who has “passed” those tests and continued in faithfulness and verity.
7. Blameless – living a life that is above reproach or censure. Not sinless, but a good man.
8. Faithful, sober, closed mouthed, grave wives – the pastor’s wife has not qualifications. The reasoning is this: a prophet is not accepted in his own country so the pastor is normally one who was raised in another place. His wife is not known to the people in the church’s community so she just needs to be a “background” person within the church. I am not in favor of wives being the spiritual leaders of the women in the church! I am their spiritual leader. Too many pastor’s wives get hurt because their husbands expose them to it by letting them be what God did not intend them to be: leaders. Letting the elder women teach the younger has to do with being a wife and godly mother, not being a spiritual woman in the church. The deacon’s wife normally has lived in the community of the church for an extended period of time because the deacon must be “proved,” therefore, she also has been scrutinized over the years by those living in that community and must have a reputation of quietness, faithfulness, humility, and seriousness.
9. Husband of one wife – not divorced and remarried! Period!
10. Ruling their homes well – his wife and children must be in subjection and his home faithfully in all things. Financial, spiritual, and physical well-being.
Conclusion: We find the deacon rewarded, both now and later.
1. Rewarded now – “good degree … great boldness in the faith”
2. Rewarded later – for their faithful service at the Judgment Seat of Christ.