Friday, December 2, 2011

1 Timothy 3:8-13 Deacon Qualifications

8 Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, 9 holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. 10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless. 11 Likewise, their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.

In this section the Apostle Paul lays out the requirements for the position of deacon. Basically, a deacon is a servant of church, one who exercises church authority under the auspices of the Overseer/Pastor. Thus he is often involved in duties of trust and oversight. The position has its origins in Acts 6:1-7; but is not limited to the duties mentioned there. The qualifications are given bellow.

Vs. 8-13
Deacons must be reverent. That is a person who is Godly; morally sound and ethically principled, one who has respect for the Word of God and the institutions that expound it. That is paramount.

Deacons must not be double-tongued. The word literally means telling a different story; in essence a lie. Therefore they must not be deceitful or hypocritical (Titus 3:2). Deacons must be men of their word inside and outside of the house of faith. And like the Pastor proclaim the Word of God with integrity.

Deacons must not be given too much wine. No vices. Yet if cultural norms are wine with a meal there are no Biblical grounds for commanding abstinence from that sort of wine consumption (Matt. 26:26-30). There are though many commandments and warnings forbidding its abuse (Lev. 10:8-11; Prov. 20:1; 23:29-35; Gal. 5:20-21; 1 Cor. 11:20-22; Eph. 5:18). For drunkenness is not for those who aspire to governance (Isaiah 5:22; 28:7-8; Prov. 31:4-5).

Deacons must hold the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. In other words they must hold onto the mystery of the faith and not deviate into strange teachings (Heb. 13:9). As well they must live the truths of the Christian faith (vs. 9). A person who lives two lives, one in the church and one away from it should never even be considered. The position is one of integrity, not duplicity.

Deacons are to be tested. Then if found blameless (that is above reproach) they can be commissioned into church service.

Deacon’s wives must also be reverent. Not slanderers (malicious gossips NKJ margin). That is honourable in character; reverence in their conduct; temperate, faithful in all things.

 Deacons must be husbands of one wife. Ruling their children and houses well. The word the Apostle Paul uses in regards to ruling means to be at the head of; or set before; for oversight, guardianship, and care. It also appears in (Rom. 12:8; 1 Thess. 5:12; 1 Tim. 3:3-4; 12; 5:17) and in Titus 3:8, 14 where it is translated maintain in the sense of being devoted to good works. While the word Apostle Paul uses regarding deacons houses means ones whole household, i.e. his family, property and anyone or anything entrusted to him and or under his auspices. This is the same requirement of a Pastor in vs. 3-4. For if a deacon cannot manage his own affairs well then it is unlikely he can manage the churches. Verse thirteen concludes with a promise that those who serve well as deacons obtain for themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith. A very great blessing indeed.

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville : Thomas Nelson, 1982

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