OceanSide church of Christ
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QUALIFICATIONS OF DEACONS
Victor M. Eskew
A. According to Matthew 16:18, it was Jesus who built His church. He is the divine architect.
B. It was designed and built according to His specifications in every area, including church organization.
1. The church has six offices that have been or are occupied by members of the church: apostles, prophets, pastors, deacons, evangelists, and teachers.
2. In our lesson this morning, we want to focus upon the office of deacon.
I. THE NAME
A. The term “deacon” is a transliteration of the Greek word “diakanos.”
B. The word can be used in two senses.
1. In a general sense, it refers to anyone who is a servant.
a. Of household servants (John 2:5, 9).
b. Of disciples (Matt. 20:26).
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.
c. Of civil governments (Rom. 13:4).
d. Of women who served the church (Rom. 16:1-2).
2. In a very specific sense, of an office, or work, within the local congregation.
a. Philippians 1:1.
Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons.
b. I Timothy 3:8-13, especially verse 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.
II. THE QUALIFICATIONS
A. The qualifications for deacons are found only in I Timothy 3:8-13.
1. One commentator states correctly: “The qualifications of a deacon mean something, or they would not been given” (The Deacon and His Work, James D. Bales, “The Deaconship,” p. 12).
2. Note: These qualifications are not optional. They are essential (I Tim. 3:8a).
Likewise must the deacons be…
B. There are nine qualifications that must be met before one can assume the office of a deacon.
Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husband of one wife, ruling well their children and their own houses. 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 have already studied four of these qualifications when we looked at the eldership. Therefore, we will only delve into four of them in our study this morning.
1. Grave (4586).
a. Honorable, venerable, serious.
b. A deacon is one who knows that life is serious business and lives his life as proof of that understanding.
c. His Christian life and service are also viewed as serious.
d. This is very important because the deacon must take his assigned role in the church very seriously. The Lord, the elders, and the church are counting upon him to do his duty.
2. Not double-tongued (1351).
a. Literally: not one who tells a different story, saying one thing to one person and another thing to another person.
b. A deacon is not a politician; he is a servant.
c. He will deal with many people in the church. His yea should be yea and his nay, nay.
d. His words are the same whether he is in an elders’ meeting, at a restaurant with other members, at the office with a member, or on the phone with a dissenter.
3. Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
a. The mystery of the faith is the gospel of Christ.
1) In ages past it was not revealed and was a mystery.
2) Now is has been revealed (Eph. 3:3-4, 9-10).
b. To hold means to possess in the mind. Thus, the deacon must have a proper understanding of the truth.
c. Note: This Truth is to be held in a pure conscience. In other words, he must live in harmony with the mystery of the faith that is within his mind.
d. A deacon is both know and practice the Word of God in his life.
4. Qualified spouse (I Tim. 3:11).
Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
a. Grave: Serious and conscientious in living.
b. Not slanderers; control of her tongue, not a false accuser and gossip.
c. Sober: temperate, vigilant, abstaining from wine.
d. Faithful in all things: trustworthy, reliable, faithful in business and in service to God.
C. When we seek out men among us to be deacons, they must meet all of these qualifications. Don’t hedge on them. Don’t make excuses as to why one of the qualifications is not met.
III. THE WORK
A. The work is inherent in the title.
1. Literally: to kick up the dust.
2. A servant, one who labors and completes the tasks assigned to him in any given area.
B. The basic process:
1. The deacon is given his assigned area of work or a task to be completed.
2. He develops a plan of action to accomplish his work: money, supplies, workers, date, time, etc.
3. He works the plan and gets the job done.
4. He is then held accountable for the work that is to be done (Efficiently? Timely? Effective?).
C. Laziness, irresponsibility, neglect, sabotage, passing the buck, etc. should not be part of the deacon’s demeanor.
A. The church at OceanSide is in need of additional deacons, men who will eagerly and proudly tackle some major areas of work.
B. The church is being asked to submit names to the eldership.