A Few Good Men
A Few Good Men
1 Timothy 3:8-13
1 Timothy 3:8-13
Deacons are servants whose character and conduct make them a dynamic conduit of selfless service to others.
Who Deacons Are-Servants (3:8-9)
Appointed and accountable to the congregation of the church, overseers/pastors are to lead and teach (3:1-7; Acts 14:23; 20; 1 Tim. 2:8; 3:1-7; 5:17-19; Tit. 1:6-9; Heb. 13:17; 1 Pet. 5:2).
The word “deacon” is used in the New Testament of serving others (Lk. 4:39; 10:40; 17:8; Jn. 2:5; 12:2), with Martha serving Jesus (Jn. 12:2; Lk. 17:8; 22:26-27), and the Apostles serving the church (1 Cor. 3:5; 2 Cor. 3:6; Col. 1:23; 4:7).
Appointed and accountable to the congregation of the church, deacons are to serve the church through deeds of mercy and compassion (3:8; Acts 6:1-7; 1 Tim. 3:8-13).
“Dignified” refers to a respectable and serious person who is careful in how they live life (3:8; 1 Tim. 2:2).
“Double-tongued” is someone who does not control his tongue so that he is unable to speak consistently and with integrity (3:8).
The Bible does not forbid the use of alcohol, but the abuse of alcohol as you are to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives (3:8; Ps. 104:15; Prov. 23:19-21; 31:6; 1 Cor. 5:11; 1 Tim. 5:23; Tit. 2:12; 1 Pet. 4:3).
Men who are “greedy” for “dishonest gain” disqualify themselves from being a deacon (1 Tim. 6:9-10; 2 Tim. 3:6-7; Acts 20:33).
Deacons possess a firm hold on-”the faith”-the Gospel message and the doctrines like Jesus’ resurrection, indwelling, and incarnation which uniquely qualifies them to assist the overseers in ministry (1 Cor. 15:51-52; Eph. 3:1-7; Col. 4:3; 1 Tim. 1:19-20; 3:16).
1) Critical to Kirby’s Message
”Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”-Acts 6:3-4
When the deacons are serving the physical and financial needs of the church, the overseers/pastors are freed up to lead and teach the church.
2) Crucial to Kirby’s Mission
“I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”-1 Timothy 3:14-15
Overseers and deacons acting within their God-ordained roles brings a Gospel witness to unbelievers outside the church by the word of God spreading (Acts 6:7).
How Deacons are Chosen-Carefully (3:10-12)
“Testing” is an examination process to review the creed, character and conduct of all deacon candidates (3:10).
“Blameless” means that one’s reputation is free from justifiable accusations in their observable conduct (3:10; 1 Thes. 3:13; Phil. 1:10; 2 Pet. 3:14).
“Wives” refers to the women who served in a deaconess role beside their husbands (probably when ministering to other women) (3:11).
“Husband of one wife” literally means a “one-woman man” which is a qualitative description showing that a man is in a committed, monogamous marriage (3:12).
Service in the church demands spiritual service at home as a deacon models the Gospel in loving his wife (as Jesus loves the church) while training and instructing his children (3:12; Eph. 5:21-6:4).
1) Seriously Evaluated
Strict evaluation is required because Jesus taught us to “beware of men” who inwardly are “ravenous wolves” but outwardly are “clothed” in “sheep’s clothing” (Mt. 7:15; 10:17).
Each of the deacon candidates were asked questions in regards to what they believe, how they live, and if they are willing to serve Kirby Woods (1 Jn. 4:1).
2) Set Apart
“For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands...”-2 Timothy 1:6
The act of praying and the laying on of “hands” is an ordaining and installation rite showing that a man is divinely gifted by God and recognized by the church to serve (Num. 8:10; 27:23; Acts 13:2-3; 1 Tim. 4:14).
What Deacons Do-Serve (3:13)
Deacons offer service to others through hands-on ministry because they are servants of the Gospel and the church (3:13; Col. 1:23-25).
In Scripture and throughout church history, deacons led the many mercy ministries of the church such as the care of the widows, the elderly, orphans, while also counseling in practical matters (Acts 6:1-7; Jms. 1:27).
“Good standing” refers to the legacy of a deacon within the church body when he serves well (3:13).
Service to Jesus and his church produces “great confidence in the faith” bringing an assurance of knowing produced by doing (Acts 4:13).
1) Jesus’ Servants
“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ.”-Colossians 3:23-24
Jesus is glorified by deacons serving as servants who take care of physical and financial needs of the church family.
2) The Church’s Servants
“The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”-Jesus in Matthew 20:28 and Mark 10:45
Being a deacon begins with bringing Jesus’ “hands-on” ministry into the lives of
hurting people (Lk. 22:27; Col. 1:25; 1 Tim. 4:6).