Public Reading of the Text:
Title of Sermon / Textual Idea:
Why a Deacon?
/ The New Testament church was growing rapidly andchose seven special men to serve in the very unique office of deacon to allow the church to continue to growand reach the lost to God’s glory.
Deacons are servants that serve to glorify God.
Introduction / Burden
: Tonight is a special night for these men, their families and for our church. Last week,we as a church, and by way of a congregational vote, affirmed the calling of these men for the office of deacon.Having witnessed their lives over a period of time and recognized their spiritual qualifications. Nowtraditionally the church, more specifically the Southern Baptist church has recognized that there are two Biblicaloffices in the New Testament church: Elder / Bishop / Overseer / Shepherd / Pastor and Deacon. Now theElders are the ministers of the Gospel that are appointed in the church for the ministry of the Word. And thedeacons are the ministers in the church appointed for the ministry of service. We hear both offices usedtogether in 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
”. Now in the New Testament we can find the spiritual qualifications for the office of deacon in1 Timothy3:8-13. We can be sure of that because the Apostle Paul used that very word in that passage, “
”, aword that is not translated in our Bibles, but rather transliterated right into English. Since the English worddeacon doesn’t really mean anything, we have to determine what the Greek word means in this context. Wellthere are a few variations of this same word in our New Testaments that essentially all mean the same thing;service, or ministry. Now originally it is thought that the word was used to describe “waiters”, or those thatserved tables, but ultimately it came to be used to describe any kind of service. And so the title deacon meanssimply, one called to serve others. And when we look closely at the spiritual qualifications found in theTimothy passage we find out right away that they are almost identical to those of a Bishop, or Pastor, with theexception of a few things, specifically the ability to be, “
apt to teach
”. According to Paul in 1 Timothy 3:8-13,“
Likewise must the deacons be grave (dignity), not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre (fond of sordid gain); 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 husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase tothemselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus
”. And so though they arecalled to a high standard of Christian witness, as we all are really, they are called to that position in order toserve the body of Christ. Remember what Jesus said in Matthew 23:11, “
But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant
”. Now you might be thinking, “I thought we were all called to serve just like Jesus”. Well, yes we are, just as Matthew 20:26-28 states, “
But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you,let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Sonof man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many
”. But a deaconis one that is set apart by God to do a special work of service in the body to aid the ministry of the word, andspecifically the minister of the Word, the Pastor. And tonight we are merely recognizing God’s choice andaffirming as a congregation that we will support and pray for these men as the seek to serve us in a spiritualcapacity. And tonight we are going to look at another passage in the New Testament, that does not specificallyuse the word deacon, nor give the official description of a deacon’s duties, but one that does embody theministry that God has called every ordained deacon to.
What does this passage say about deacons?
This passage reveals three reasons why deacons serve.
The Purpose Bridge:
To challenge the new deacons to serve according to the Bible’s guidelines and tochallenge the church to support and submit to that service.