Route 21 - Elders and Deacons - Continued

Church of Christ
Locks Cross Roads
                                                          Deacons and Their Responsibilities

The word "deacon" comes from the Greek term diakonos:  One who executes the commands of another.  A servant.

21 - 1st Timothy 3:13
  - There are blessings to be derived from serving the church as a deacon.

21 - Acts 6:1-6
  - In the early days of the church, men were selected to relieve the apostles.  Their full measure of responsibility
consists in helping in matters that will relieve spiritual leaders (ex: elders), so they can tend to spiritual needs.

Qualifications of Deacons

While the word diakonos can apply to any faithful saint, it also applies to a specific office for which one must qualify.  
Deacons must be of good character, but it is not required that they satisfy all of the specific qualifications directed
towards elders.  Their qualifications are not intended to qualify them as leaders but as servants.

21 - 1st Timothy 3:8-12
  - Reverent - Serious.  A disposition that inspires reverence and awe toward spiritual things.  Commanding
    respect because of the holy conduct in life and in decisions made.
Not double-tongued - Not saying one thing to one person and giving a different view of it to another.  Not
    changing the meaning of a matter depending on who is being spoken to.
Not given to much wine - Not a drunkard.  Not a drinker of intoxicating beverages.  It can be shown from the
    Bible why it would be wrong to even drink socially today.
Not greedy for money - Not covetous, desirous of filthy or dishonest gain, or excessive desires for material
    goods that lead to ungodly methods to obtain them.
Holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience - That faith which has been revealed in God's
    word.  He has no guilty conscience because he lives in harmony with truth.
First to be tested - To test or prove with the expectation of approving for the office.  This testing comes from
    public examination of ones life, to determine if he is qualified for the office.
Blameless - not guilty of wrong doing.  When he sins, he will seek immediate forgiveness and restitution.
The husband of one wife - a married man, living in scriptural union with only one woman, as provided by the
    marital laws of God.
Ruling their children and their own houses well - Leading the household in a way that invites respect from
    the family.  No mention is made of believing children, but in having them in control.  This qualification is an
    indicator that the children can be younger; before the age of accountability.  With younger children is the
    implication that the man can also be younger as long as he is mature enough to qualify in the other areas.

               Qualifications and Responsibilities of Deacons' Wives (and Elders' Wives, as well)

21 - 1st Timothy 3:11
  - A wife must be of sound character as a compliment to her husband in his work in the church.  He can fail to
    qualify because of his wife, or she can later cause him to become disqualified.
Reverent - Serious.  A disposition that inspires reverence and awe toward spiritual things.  Commanding
    respect because of holy conduct in life and in decisions made.
Not slanderers - slander comes from the Greek word diabolos, from which we also get the word "devil."  She
    does not find fault with the demeanor and conduct of others and spreading innuendos and criticisms in the
Temperate - Sober, thinking with a clear head and self-control, so as to be very watchful.
Faithful in all things - faithfulness in the work of the Lord, in every phase of their lives.  Faithful in worship;
    faithful in Christian living; faithful in fulfilling her place in the church.  When her husband (as an elder or deacon)
    confides in her, she must not betray that confidence.  Submissive to her husband (Ephesians 5:22-23).  Faithful
    to all others in the church, holding their respect, and seeing to their needs.

Christians are people with both spiritual and physical needs.  In God's wisdom, He has arranged that there be, within
each local congregation, qualified men who can see to those needs in an orderly fashion.  Deacons will see to what
physical needs may be present in the congregation, taking care of those scriptural responsibilities so that elders
may be free to oversee the spiritual needs of the flock.  Elders will watch for the souls of the saints, warning them
when necessary, leading them both by example and teaching, knowing that they will give an account one day for
how they have carried out this spiritual work.  Their wives will assist their husbands in their work when needed.  
Knowing that by their lives they will help qualify their husbands or disqualify them, they will be women of spiritual
maturity, faith, and purity.
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