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January 27, 2011
In Biblical churches, there are only two offices: the Pastor and the Deacon. We have examined the first office, the Pastor. In this article, we will look a the second Biblical office: The Deacon.
Acts 6:1-4 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. (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. (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. (4) But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
In this passage we see the calling of the first deacons and we see why they were called. In the passage, we see that the number of Christians is growing. In fact, the number of believers has grown to the point where the Apostles could not attend to the needs of all the widows as well as the instruction of the Word of God. The Spiritual feeding of the flock of God is far more important than the waiting of tables. Yet, attending to the physical needs of the church are important as well. Which should be neglected? God's answer was to add the office of the deacon to the church. God instructed these men to choose out a number of faithful men to attend to the daily needs of the flock while the Apostles dealt primarily with the Word of God. In today's church, the deacons should, in a sense, insulate the Pastor from the daily distractions of the church so that he can dedicate himself to study. The Pastor should be devoted to studying the Word of God that he may feed and protect the flock. As God gave certain qualifications for the Pastor, He also gave a clear set of qualifications for the Deacon. We will not rehash them here as they are practically identical to the qualifications of the Pastor.
1 Tim 3:8-13 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; (9) Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. (10) And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. (11) Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. (12) Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. (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.
The Bible clearly states that the Deacon must be grave or serious, not a liar, not a drinker, one who is saved with a pure conscience. The Deacon must be proved. In other words, he must be a mature Christian. Like the Pastor, he must be blameless. The deacon must also be the husband of one wife. Sorry, but that means there cannot be any deaconesses! And, as the Pastor, the Deacon must have his own house and children in order.