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The Making of a Deacon

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The Deacon's Work, The Deacon's Witness and The Deacon's Reward

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The Deacon’s WORK

In Acts chapter 6 verses 1-7 we see the early church establishing the role of the deacon. The church at Jerusalem was seeing extraordinary growth and with that growth came more care needs for the leaders of the church.
Acts 6:1–7 ESV
1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. 3 Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. 4 But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” 5 And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. 6 These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them. 7 And the word of God continued to increase, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests became obedient to the faith.
According to the text, the first seven deacons were chosen so that they could assist the twelve Apostles with the temporal and logistical needs of the ministry so that they could devote themselves fully to prayer and the ministry of the word.
Deacons were selected so that they could serve as an extension of the ministry of the Apostles by serving the people physically and meeting practical care needs.
Deacons were chosen to lead the church by serving.
According to the work of the Deacon is:
A sign that the church is exhibiting Healthy Growth. (v. 1-3)
Essential to ensure the Care of the Congregation. (v.1-3)
A demonstration of Gospel Partnership. (v. 3-4)
Essential for the Multiplication and Maturation of Christian Disciples. (v. 6-7)

The Deacon’s WITNESS

By the time Paul writes First Timothy, the office of deacon has become normal in the life of the church but for the first time we see the Apostle lay out the criteria for the selection of the deacon. It is important to note that these are not qualifications as much as they are characteristics. The perspective deacon should have a life and witness that is characterized by the things that Paul lists in verses 8-12.
1 Timothy 3:8–12 ESV
8 Deacons likewise must be dignified, not double-tongued, not addicted to much wine, not greedy for dishonest gain. 9 They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience. 10 And let them also be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless. 11 Their wives likewise must be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things. 12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.
1 Timothy 3
According to the text Paul gives us characteristics of the Deacon’s Witness. He tells us that the Deacon must be:
One who is Honorable. (v. 8)
A man who is Dignified. “Deacons likewise must be DIGNIFIED...”
A man who is Genuine. “Not double tongued...”
A man who is Disciplined. “Not addicted to much wine...”
A man who is Content. “Not greedy for dishonest gain...”
One who is Faithful. (v.9) “They must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.”
The Deacon is one who is faithful in his Doctrine.
The Deacon is one who is faithful in his Deportment.
One who is Proven. (v.10)
Proven through his Service.
Proven in his Character.
One who is Domestically Qualified. (v. 11-12)
A man who is complimented by a godly wife. “Their wives likewise...”
A man who honors his marriage at all cost. “Let deacons each be the husband of one wife...”
A man who has earned the respect of his house. “Managing their children and own household well...”

The Deacon’s REWARD

After Paul gives us the characteristics that should be possessed by those who serve as deacons, he then moves to tell us the reward that awaits those who have been exemplary in their service as deacons in the Lord’s Church.
1 Timothy 3:12 ESV
12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.
1 Timothy 3:13 ESV
13 For those who serve well as deacons gain a good standing for themselves and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.
1 Timothy 3:13
It is a reward for those who serve Well. “For those who serve well as deacons...”
It is service marked by Dedication to Christ and His Church.
It is service marked by Collaboration with the Elders of the Church.
The Deacon is rewarded with Honor in the Church. “gain a good standing for themselves...”
It i the promise of The Lord Jesus Christ that the greatest in the Kingdom would be the servant of all.
Matthew 23:11 ESV
11 The greatest among you shall be your servant.
The Deacon should serve well whether he is celebrated or not, but it is the responsibility of the church to honor those who serve well.
The Deacon is rewarded with Confidence in Christ. “and also great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus.”
Faithful service is rewarded with confidence or “boldness” in Christ because it is through service that Christ makes his presence known. I gain confidence in Christ because I have seen him empower me for service.
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Isaiah 40:29–31 ESV
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
The reward of the deacon is a reward of genuine relationship with God, proven through service that provides him with the assurance needed to strengthen the church through encouragement and continued service. In other words, the deacon who serves well is rewarded with a TESTIMONY.
1 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
9 to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the one Spirit,
2 Corinthians 12:9 ESV
9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Isaiah 40
Isaiah 40:29–31 ESV
29 He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 30 Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.
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