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October 20, 2019 8:00 am
Go to first Timothy chapter 3 all right first Timothy chapter 3, I will do my best to shake this off you. You've met many of you sit under me for decades. You know I stay with the text and preach the text. I'm not in a good way this morning.
Folks are God's holy is holy. How dare we bring the filth of the world in makes him up with the holy things of our God, the look where were sinners around our God, but to willfully embrace is just sure blasphemy. It's apostasy this morning. My father-in-law, Clifford battles is at a rehab center because his wife Miss Helen has been one of our instrumentalist for 40 years. 40+ years had a total knee replacement that she's real real private so don't tell anybody that all right CC just wouldn't want anybody to know about it so if you're listening in Singapore this morning in London this morning and they are not so worried about. She's doing great. She's coming along good with this morning he needed to be with her and I've said this, I think one or two times before, but when we first began to have elders at Grace like church. We as we always do.
Let the church family nominate the men they thought should be in that office of oversight and leadership, and two men got the same number of votes.
One of them sitting here this morning.
I will mention is 90 no school years and the other was Clifford battles you more of you said this might all be an elder than any other manager, and he came to me and said you're my son-in-law you're the senior pastor.
I just don't think it's wise that I've been elder to this could look bad. I'm going I'm going to resist request that you remove me from consideration. I'll just stay at deacon and I'll do the servant work at deacon in the church. Now I want to say about what I'm going to say is 100% true. We have wonderful outstanding deacons in this church and you so I'm not sure who they are. That's why they're so good. God didn't establish deacons that total position of notoriety and honor their the servants of the church and I believe there has never been a finer deacon and Clifford battles who the years he never used his relation to me anyway. Never, never, not one sentence, not one word difficult to think this all happened.
Never. I'm not exaggerating. Never over and over and over and over through the years. I get a call I get report you know your father-in-law came by and checked on me today. Your father-in-law brought us a meal today. Your father-in-law came over and fix my bathroom today. Deacon work he's just been the finest example of selfless serving deacon service so I wanted to dedicate this section of Scripture to him on dedicate to the honor of God.
But I will dedicate my phone. First Timothy chapter 3 while dissuading moment read the text, but let me talk about wiped blood sales white blood cells are amazing. Biological scientists call white blood cells. The first responders in your body. Should there be a germ virus a bacteria show up that could weaken earthly body. Here they come in. Mass army of white blood cells, they don't want any glory that only credit they just want the body to be healthy. They attack what's hindering are hurting or holding back her disease that has come into the body.
Matter fact at risk of being a little more graphic than Sunday morning should be when you have a plus coming out of the sore. Those are white blood cells that win and died. Try to cure the problem.
That's a great picture of what deacons do. Deacons are the first responders to spiritual germs and spiritual viruses are spiritual bacteria's that get in the local church body. They don't want to be known is not about position.
The Cavanaugh's Mykonos. The word in the Greek means servant. They just want to fix what's wrong so the body can go on healthy and give themselves to that end, in fact, it's a very biblical thought that should someone come to church pastor and say there's a murmuring over here. I understand there's a conflict between sister so-and-so and sister so-and-so understand somebody has a needed wooden bed and some people are upset about it.
The pastor's first goal should be where my deacons. I should be on that they should be fixing that. That's their job to take care of those things to knock those things back before the hurt, the body of Christ.
One of the marks of a mature church is the individuals in the church never waive their wants are there. Her is more important than the health of the body of the local church now as we look at first Timothy beautifying the bride were talking about how Paul is writing to his understudy Timothy who is overseeing the church at Ephesus Hospital a lot of time there. This is a more mature church, but there was more work to do and so he gives Timothy these instructions on how do fashion structure and function in the local church. These are not suggestions. These are not, you might consider this. These are God's ordained structures and functions for his church for all time. So Timothy's been studying this is Paul has written it to him and I'm sure he faithfully begin to implement what Paul told him to implement.
Now he's just recently spent a long time talking about church pastors or elders there several Greek words but they are used interchangeably for the one same office, whether it's translated Bishop, whether it's translated overseer whether it's translated elder are, whether it's translated Pastore the New Testament text is explicitly clear. These are just various ways of describing the work of the one office of elder are pastor in the church not spent three weeks on this of the apostle writing to Timothy spent a lot of time on that and why do you think he spent a lot of time and spoke about elders first will let me ask you this is because our rather this way in a war.
Who were the intermarried enemies arrows primarily pointed at.
It's tragic when any Christian fails, but a fallen pastor brings much more reproach and contempt on Christ's name for spring such pain and confusion to the body of Christ. Scriptural leaders have a greater potential to be tempted, slandered, maligned, and themselves sometimes act the hypocrite gods aware of this and he's faithful to provide grace and strength to undergo district undergird his servant spiritual leaders need accountability they need grace and they need strength from other men much strength of the pastor comes to the support and prayers of his church family, but also much strength and help comes from faithful men serving in the office of deacon. If the local church body is to be healthy. It must be free from infection and disease. This health greatly depends upon the faithful ministry of deacons. They are indeed the white blood cells in the local church body delegate first Timothy together. Let's look at verses 833 first into chapter 3 verses eight through 13 first Timothy chapter 3 verses eight through 13 deacons likewise must be minute dignity not double tongue darted addicted to much wine are fond of sordid gain, but holding to the mystery about faith with a clear conscience. These men must also first be tested, then let them serve as deacons if they are beyond reproach.
Women must likewise be dignified, not malicious gossips but temperate, faithful in all things deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own household. For those who have served well as deacons obtain for themselves a high standing and a great confidence in the faith that is in Christ Jesus in bad this life… Take the last hundred years or so, we find that the word deacon has about as many connotations as there are churches to declare it or bestow it. For example, some churches view the deacons as an official board of legally recognized manager. The pastors basically hired by them and accountable to them. He's the pastor's posterior marionberry and preach as long as he doesn't preach anything.
The deacon board disapproves of others seem to appoint anybody and everybody that might want to serve. I know it's a very common practice in Baptist churches, you just list all the men in the church's names on a on a piece of paper whether they been there in the last 20 years are not in the church family bolts or put a checkmark by the men they want to be deacons and the one to get the top boats get to be the deacons in the church that this is really really old but there used to be a television show that had a character on it called Deacon Fry. The members of the old paper member that and he he wore his office of deacon position. As a result, is a thing of honor and none of these are really right in the word of God.
It just seems to vary so much from church to church when someone says they're deacon you actually have to ask several questions to find out what, if anything, they actually do. But Scripture while it's not very specific concerning what deacons do. Scripture is very specific about what qualifies a man to be a deacon. Remember, we found that out about church elders or pastors, at least in this section of Scripture. The qualifications for Elder which emphasized their own and other places we have the work of the elders that are clearly but not so deacons would deacons. The qualifications are very well spelled out, but the role is not very well spelled out and there's a reason for that will elaborate on that if you moment but the point is that the church is to be very concerned about maintaining high standards of purity and integrity in its overall leadership is specifically for our text today for deacon.
There are three primary words translated are come from the root word deacon office in the New Testament. One main servant. One main service of one means to serve. Originally the word of economics of the kind Aust was used literally for those who waited tables.
It was it's not spiritual worded, it wouldn't word used in Israel for an official anything it just a word used in the culture. The pagans would use it. The irreligious would you set top the Jews would use it in the end, the Greeks would use it just to talk about someone who was serving some solid men.
The word is used at least 100 times in the New Testament in many different contexts.
For example, in John 25 and nine. It's literally used by those who waited tables in Johnny 1226 is used in a broad and general way about anyone who is serving in in Romans 13, three and four.
Those who are policeman are considered deacons are minister servant and then it came over into the church we find this over and over and over again where the early church leaders took the word just out of the culture and they brought it into the church to have its own special understanding within church life and the word deacon is actually a transliteration.
It's not a translation, they took the. The Greek characters.
The Greek letters and just put it in close corresponding English letters and made a new word deacon because if you translated you just say servant. So instead of saying deacon body. If you really translated the original break and say servant body is the same thing that happened to the word bad motives, so when King James who sprinkled babies into the Anglican church when he had his translators translate the King James version. They came to this word bad team so all problem because everyone knew that the Greek word always meant to dip are immersed in water. They said would be going to Dave King. If we teach this we sprinkled babies that it just me for un-biblical and the king said don't translated transliterated just make a new word. So they made the word baptism when you come to the word baptism in your Bible is not a translation it's a transliteration they created and the word should be translated dip are immerse his eyes, were deacon came from. It's a transliteration literally main serve our servant or to serve, so any believer in any form of ministry literally is a deacon Jeremy any church member in any form of service is a deacon means your servant and were all to be servants. They will not talk about three levels of service general services that were all to be general service in Ephesians 411 and 12.
We have this concept that all of us are to be servants of Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelist, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for the works of service to the body of Christ may be built up. That's not new American Standard Tommy but will tasting with the day I go to verse 12 to equip his people for the works of service. Notice that his people. The whole church were all that's the word deacon were also serving for the general service for all of us.
So another words in no sense our deacons to do the service, while everyone else watches and there isn't a leadership level of elders and pastors a service level of deacons and in a spectator level made up of all other believers as some of your little bit spectator like and you need to repent and get with it, there's no such thing in the New Testament church. You join the body were all functioning members of this organism.
This local church body. There is no audience in God's local church were all in ministry were all in some capacity servant.
We've all been called to submit ourselves to the Lord Jesus Christ. He said where I am there shall also my servant the. If any man serve me, him with my father honored on 1226. We are all servant so in a general sense. Everybody's a deacon is everybody is to be about service.
Then there's the gifted service were first Corinthians 12. In Romans chapter 12 we have the spiritual gifts out outlined in Scripture and first you come into a church and you do what ever the leadership ask you to do. If you can do it that we would not ask you to do something that you're insecure about or you're uncomfortable with, but you'll just find stuff and just do it were better spiritual gift God was to build your character before he wants to get you in your gift. Some of you've never learned that in your frustrated irritated today because of it. You focus on what you all to be doing it to just doing what can be done and then as you do what needs to be done in the body of Christ God in his timing will put you in your role in your office. I spent eight years as your student minister and associate pastor before I became the senior preaching pattern. I needed those eight years asked Dr. Pittman's office was upstairs.
He was a big man he didn't like going up and down steps. He often say run up the steps and get my coat. I ran up the steps and got his coat because he was my pastor and I did what he said and I expect the young men who called me to this church that the same attitude I have. If you can't yield and submit to somebody else and honor him and you don't need to be pastor V9 God gives you your spiritual gift and he'll get you there when you need to get there and he'll get you there. Through the leadership of your church.
You're not smarter than God, that God can move the king's heart like rivers of water, and he can he can move the elders heart flow rivers of water.
Some of you need to bow your heart forgot about Nancy. Lord, I surrender, show me what I'm supposed to do, that's what I'll do often use the phrase cleaning toilets in the House of Lords a great improvement for man that I'll be in hell Barnhart survey we get some brand-new ones over here.
Those won't be so bad for a while. We never get them finished will see what happens. So we serve. Eventually, according to our spiritual gifts and then there's official service. In other words, God is ordained that there is a collectivity of people that come together with special authority to get certain task accomplish.
According to first Timothy three elders are to focus on teaching the word and overseeing the church and biggest deacons are to focus on implementing and applying what needs to be done to keep the body healthy. So in the church of the plurality of godly men first in the office of elder or pastor they oversee the work and then they are assisted in their work by deacons. I think one of the beautiful things to me that pictures this as were all serving together is when we take the Lord's supper together.
The Lord's table together because you have all these men down here and most of you aren't sure who said they're all either elders or deacons, but we all together disserve the body of Christ. Now coach Stadium is our vice chairman of the elders he leads and organizing that and I lead out in the worship service, but all of us just worship together and serve together and I think that's a beautiful picture where it's not all of this ultra-structured line. This will I'm that.
No, we just do what needs nine of the glory of God and his church.
Now we come to our Texas talk about the qualifications for deacons and I'm I'm watching our time. This belief the two-parter okay first of all the qualifications for deacons beginning in verses eight through 13 and I'll not say much because these are practically identical to the character qualifications for elders that we just looked at in the last three session resumes in verse eight. Deacons must likewise be men of dignity. The word dignity means worthy of respect. They can have a sense of humor, of course, but there known as serious men. They're not client's sometimes I say goofy that's in the Denmark them there audible. The respectable their stately that's with the word dignity means ever. Sadie also says they are not to be double tongued that means there is a sincerity about them in the fact that they're not hypocritical or dishonest. They have a consistency in what they say they're not saying one thing the one person in something else to someone. Thirdly, verse eight.
Not addicted to much wine again I've gone over this quite thoroughly. Wine was used a very watered-down week version because water is almost impossible to keep water pure fermentation, the content of the wind made it cleaner and so they almost always used wine in some capacity but from the balance of biblical truth. They made real efforts to make sure the intoxicating effect was as minimal as possible what we have is wind today would be considered hard liquor and Bible day's point is when he says not addicted to much wine he means this is not the guy who uses wine are intoxicating things as a beverage. The idea he's to have clear thinking and good self-control. Alcohol leads toward the opposite. He's not one who is known to frequent the happy hour are the bar setting is not addicted to much wine. The last one in verse eight, is not fond of sordid gain. He has no pattern or reputation of being a greedy chaser of dishonest gain these up right in his business practice of men who run businesses lose a deal loose money before you all compromise on your ethics's in a business deal will of man, who's known to do that should not be considered as a deacon in God's church. Verse nine holding to the mystery of the faith that again this word mystery in the New Testament doesn't mean things are mysterious. It means things that were hidden from the Jews. They only grasp a little of the truth of God's plan because God unfolded in types and in shadows to them.
But now in the New Testament. The plan came because the man came Jesus Christ, you can't understand the plan of God until the man of God is going to carry out the plan of God appears and he has appeared Jesus Christ lived a sinless life, taught the truths of grace and redemption gave his life on Calvary to pay for the sins of his children was buried in the grave was a raise for their justification ascended back up into heaven, where he seated at the right hand of the father where he ever is faithful to intercede for his own. That was a mystery at one time. Now it's unfolded what it means is, these are men who know what sound doctrine is can they stand on. These are men. When the pastor says what your pastor said this morning about who were going to fellowship with something in her heart says amen I'm with you.
That's the kind of man makes a good deacon holding to the mystery of the faith.turnoff soundest brothers and sisters there are things in the Bible we don't fight over there many many many things we can disagree on.
But there's some things that we cannot backup all a deacon needs to be the kind amendment knows the difference.
The things that matter and he's got a backbone like assault log and is not moving. Then he says a clear conscience simply that, as a pattern his conduct does not contradict his profession as a pattern.
He lives what he says he is not again be careful you put our good deacons under a strong enough microscope. You'll find some flaws but I don't believe I've known these amendment in them for decades.
I don't believe you'll find open patterns that would cause them to be disqualified and I'll be honest through the years we've had men step down on their own initiative, but I didn't know exactly why, but this felt like hey you know this. This might not hurt the Lord's reputation little bit. It may not be sin, but I'd be better off not being on the elder body of the deacon body and I respect that kind of godliness.
Then he says in verse 10, they have to be tested. It's the same word you would use in the chemistry of the day for testing of metals means he's proved himself faithful in the service of the Lord. He's proven his maturity over time in the ordinary activities of life is faithful in little thing.
Therefore, he'll be faithful and much I'll close with this story. Years ago, Dr. Adrian Rogers so thankful I got to know him personally before the Lord took him home. If I might backtrack a little bit. The leader's former leaders in the Southern Baptist convention were still here even though I disagree with some things, but nevertheless they were good and godly myth if Adrian Rogers I believe were allowed together he be denouncing boldly the stuff were single all we just don't have men like that anymore. Well, not in southern that distracts Dr. Rogers tells a story of a young executive who enjoined a big company and this young executive was very effective.
He had all the gifts and the company president had watched him and been watching them and thought this guy's going to be something he decided I'm going to promote him to VP is young but he special and so he was going to tell him that day at lunch and they went to the company cafeteria for lunch is one of these.
We go through the line and you pick out from the buffet. What you want. It was back in those days when butter came on a little square white pad young remember those little pads butter I member those from going to the that the café in Nashville Tennessee.
Back when we drive from Larkspur to go to Nashville to find culture on something and then we go through their and and so that the man and in this young executive that he's going to promote the vice president of their line and they go along.
And the young man got a couple of those little pads butter their two cents apiece and he took his little finger and he pushed his neck and over those pads, butter, something he learned from his father didn't amount to nothing, but he found that he just push you neck and over they will charge you for they will see company president saw another corner of his and went to the line and paid for the meal and they sit down and company president looked at the young man said you're special. You have unique gifts. Your valuable, but I saw you slide that two cent pat of butter on your neck can and you didn't pay for the fuel steel two cents for me, you'll still 2 million from the previous chant I was going to make you vice president and today you're fired all over a two cent pad butter.
A deacon has to be the kind amendment his profession in his conduct lineup that anybody in here hundred percent not guilty somewhere sometime than you be a repent. And don't let that be a pattern and God for bid.
I'll take you up on these buildings and beat you with a 20 foot rod. Don't teach your children, your grandchildren, that kind of nonsense because you know what daddy listen to me granddaddy you listing to me know.
Take it from you. If they watch you take it wrong from others.
Let's expand this out and I'm done release for this morning were all service. Don't fight with those qualifications of Jeff that with the last three weeks. That's just pastors and now this servant stuff that's just deacons when it includes them. Your all to be faithful service with integrity and dignity holding to the faith. Your conduct in your profession, winding up that it not be said in this community. I know Joe so-and-so I know Sally so and so she's a member of your church and at work.
She done that… Linda is make sure as God's servants are conduct in our profession always lineup