Sunday, February 28, 2021

The Office of a Deacon

 Temple Baptist Church - 2-28-2021

Philippians 1:1;1 Timothy 3:8-13


Introduction:  I want my eldest deacon and friend Bro. Harold Smith to come sit with these three men who are to be ordained this morning.


A.  This morning, we will give our time over to the ordination of three men as deacons of Temple Baptist Church.


Bro. Robert A. H********* III

Bro. Chris H*****

Bro. Bret Clinton G***** II


B.  There are two “offices” found in the local church: The Office of the Bishop and the Office of the Deacon.  Both offices are found mentioned in 1 Timothy, chapter 3.


C.  I chose my text for this morning because both the Bishop and the Deacons are first mentioned here.  Paul, while writing to the Church at Philippi, mentioned three types of members of that church.  I believe that the order is important:


1.  First - “To all the saints in Christ” – every member of the local church is equally important to the Lord and to the fellowship and welfare of the body.  God is no respecter of persons and neither should we be such.  There would be no local church without a corporate body of believers.  The local church is ALL about the welfare of the saints.  What we are doing this morning is for the benefit of all! 


2.  Second - The deacons of the Church at Philippi were placed on an equal plane with the bishops in this verse. 


a)  The reason being that both offices are for ministering to and serving the saints of God!  Many pastors become dictators who feel that they are superior and need to be served.  Also, there are many instances of deacons who feel that they are spiritually superior to the people of the churches and also feel that they are in authority instead of servants.


b)  Deacons are only mentioned in the two passages of Scripture that I read this morning.  Though placed on an equal plane in Philippians and given their qualifications in 1 Timothy, deacons are no longer mentioned throughout the Bible because they are servants.


Romans 12:3-5  For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.  (4)  For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:  (5)  So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.


D.  There is little said concerning either the deacons or their work within the body of the local church. 


1.  Many people apply Acts, chapter 6, to the election and work of the deacons but they are not called such by the Scriptures. 


2.  Also some of them (Phillip and Stephen especially) were evangelists and preached elsewhere (Samaria and Gaza are specifically mentioned) instead of serving in the church at Jerusalem.  


3.  If these men were elected to the Office of a Deacon, I believe that they would have served in that capacity instead of preaching elsewhere.  I also believe that the Bible would have been consistent and called them deacons.


E.  Our word “deacon” comes from the word “diakonos” which has several meanings:


1.  To attend

2.  To wait upon

3.  To minister

4.  To serve


F.  The word “diakonos” is normally translated “servant.”  In its general use, all of us are servants.  In


Galatians 5:13  For, brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion to the flesh, but by love serve one another.


G.  Most of the time, the word “diakonos” is translated as “servant,” which is appropriate because we are all called to serve.


1.  In Romans, chapter 16, Phebe is called a servant of the church in Cenchrea.  The word “servant” in verse 1.  While the underlying Greek word is “diakonos,” your King James Bible is rightly translated.  She is called a servant instead of a deacon as she was neither qualified for nor elected to the Office of a Deacon.


Romans 16:1-2  I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea:  (2)  That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also.


2.  The word “deacon” is used 5 times in Your King James Bible.  Each of the 5 times, the word “diakonos” is transliterated as “deacon,” with each instance referring of the Office of the Deacon.  You can trust your King James Bible as it is verbally, plenarily, as well as doctrinally correct.  Deacons play an important part in the work and welfare of the local church.


H.  The qualifications of the deacon:  1 Timothy 3:8-13


1.  Verse 8 – Their Integrity

2.  Verse 9 – Their Maturity

3.  Verse 10 – Their Proving

4.  Verse 11 – Their Wives

5.  Verse 12 – Their Ruling

6.  Verse 13 – Their Reward


J.  The work of the deacon:


1.  Deacons are to be servants, not masters – nowhere in the Bible do we find deacons having authority in the local church.  In many churches, Deacon Boards and Trustee Boards oversee the local churches and problems abound.  The Bible first and then the pastor second is to have the authority.


2.  Deacons are to be a blessing to the Local Church, not a burden.  Being a deacon is not a thing of pride but one of humility, serving the pastor and local church in love.  This takes a special grace because their existence is that of service to others.


3.  Deacons are to be able to lead as well as to follower.  Though servants, because of their work they are conspicuous.  The time may come when this pastor is no longer to lead the church.  These are men who can lead the church in search of a new pastor while holding the church together in the absence of one.


4.  Deacons are to be faithful to their local church as well as to the Office of a Deacon that they hold.  Paul said that the Lord counted him faithful putting him into the ministry.  Thus it is with a deacon.  He cannot be a servant to others if he is not a faithful man.


Conclusion:  I hold these three Deacons in high esteem and believe that they will discharge their duties with love and integrity in the days to come.

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