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deacon ordination

deacon ordination

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Published by mark4519

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Published by: mark4519 on Feb 09, 2011
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02/09/2011

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Public Reading of the Text:
Acts 6:1-7
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.
Dominating Theme:
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, “
διακονους
”, 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.
Interrogative:
What does this passage say about deacons?
Transition:
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.
 
Point #
1
Division Title:
 
For His Glory
Text:
Acts 6:1-2, “
 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose amurmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the dailyministration. 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
”.
Explanation:
First and foremost you men are here to the glory of God. What I mean is that you have comeforward and accepted this call and look forward to serving to the glory of God. God is always glorified, or seenas manifestly holy when the church is doing what the church is supposed to do and when men are serving in her.And God is always glorified by the godly service of Christian men. Think of what Jesus said in the Sermon onthe Mount in reference to your service as deacons, “
 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your  good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven
”. You see Jesus said that Christians are the
light of the world 
”, and as such when the world sees us love one another and serve one another they see Jesus and inthat He is glorified. For Jesus the work of the cross was first and foremost a work of glory to God as He said inJohn 17:4, “
 I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do
”. And for the believer that fulfills God’s perfect will in their lives by obediently answering the call when it comes, thenwe too glorify God on earth.Let’s go back to that first verse for just a minute. You might ask, “What is the biblical job descriptionfor a deacon”? And that’s a good question, but one that can be difficult to answer for many deacons, but notone that is difficult to answer if we just look at the text of the Bible. Jesus talked about “
letting your light  shine
”, and that seems somewhat universal, but that’s ok because so is the biblical job description for a deacon;serve others. This passage in Acts lays the foundation for the office of deacon and does give us a little moreinsight into what they are to be doing in the church today.1. They were called to meet the demands of a
growing
church, “
 And in those days, when thenumber of the disciples was multiplied”.
Praise God the church was growing and alive! And when thechurch grows, changes have to be made to meet the needs of the ministry. God always equips each andevery church with what they need and who they need to do His kingdom work and this church was wellaware of that fact.2. They were called to meet the demands of a
groaning
church, “
there arose a murmuring of theGrecians against the Hebrews”.
But with growth often comes strife and differences and struggles; theearly church was no exception, but notice how God’s plan was a plan to bring unity to the church. Andso a chief reason for deacons is to bring unity to body. This early church was struggling because therewere many Hellenistic or Greek Christians joining with the ranks of the Palestinian Christians and itseems that their widows were not being ministered to like the Hebrew widows. Historians tell us thatthe Jewish people had a strong commitment to meeting the needs of the widows and the poor and theneedy and that commitment was based upon the Old Testament.3. They were called to meet the demands of a
giving
church, “
because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration”.
The early Christians kept up that tradition of feeding and serving thewidows, but some were being neglected. William Barclay tells us that every Friday morning in thesynagogue two collectors went to the market and homes to collect money and goods to give to the poor and needy. Some got temporary support and others got long term support called the “Kuppah” or Basket.As a Deacon your ministry will be to these people first and foremost. As we grow as a church you will becalled upon to serve those new families that come into your care. At the same time your ministry will be one of unity to combat the groanings that sometimes associate that growth. To do this you will have to stay on top of those families and their needs. That will require you to make relationships with them that allow you to know
 
their needs. And finally as a Deacon your ministry will be one of giving; giving of time, prayer, support,counsel, and distribution so that we as a church might closely follow God’s instructions to serve the body.
Point #
2
Division Title:
 
For the Gospel
Text:
Acts 6:4-7, “
 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and  Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whomthey set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith
”.
Explanation
: The church exists to glorify God and to spread the glory of God in the gospel of Jesus Christ.Therefore the second purpose for the Deacon ministry is for the propagation of the Gospel. If you notice thechurch was growing, but it was growing by the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. And the Deacons wereappointed because those tasks slowed that work and hindered the Bishops / Pastors from what the Bible calls the
ministry of the word”.
Now if we look at verse 3, “
Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven menof honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business
”, we can findthe place that many people confuse the biblical role of the Deacon. The Apostles appointed the Deacons to carefor the “business” of the church right? And what was that business? It was the daily ministration that they didnot have the time to do; it was the serving of the tables of the widows. The Greek word used in that passage for “business” is interesting, in 49 New Testament uses, only once is it translated business, for the word itself means “need, or necessity”. And so the Deacons were called to do the business of meeting the needs of thechurch from the very start. But that is crucial to the preaching of the Gospel. For as a result of the choice of these men, and their appointment to this office, “
the word of God increased; and the number of the disciplesmultiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith
”.1. Their ministry met the needs of the
Gospel
preachers, “
 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word”.
There is a reason why the qualifications that we looked at inTimothy are almost identical to those of an Elder or Pastor, it is because the Deacons are called to aidhim and minister to him in these areas, that he might be free to preach the Gospel and minister himself.2. Their ministry met the needs of the
Gospel
hearers, “
 And the saying pleased the wholemultitude”.
They were happy that God had a plan to meet these needs, and that these people would notgo un-served. But notice what happened next, it was the church that actually elected these men and thatis exactly why we did that very thing last Sunday night. Tonight as we ordain these men, we are merelysetting them apart symbolically for something that God has already gifted and qualified them for in the past.As Deacon your ministry will be one that supports the Pastor in the gospel ministry and supports the people inthe overall ministry of the church. This is not merely physical service, but spiritual service as well for the textis clear that as Deacons you must be qualified spiritually. Not only that you have each been given spiritual gifts by God at salvation that are still to be used in the overall work of this church. At times you will likely be askedto give spiritual counsel as your qualifications require you be able to do, “
 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience”. 
Your duties can be found in two categories; Practical and Spiritual. Practically the Deacon will support thework of the Pastor and staff. He will faithfully attend worship services, Sunday school, discipleship training,outreach events, and special ministry events. He will show a consistent commitment to Biblical stewardship of all things, including finances, time and talents. And finally he will faithfully attend Deacon Meetings and

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