|Posted by Ryan on January 17, 2014 at 9:55 AM|
In the sermon on Sunday we looked at the Bible’s qualifications for the office of deacon in I Timothy 3. The Lord Jesus Christ sets a very high bar for those whom He calls to the office of deacon.
As we consider deacon nominations, it’s important to remember that it is Christ who calls the deacons. The qualifications listed in the Scripture are there so we can distinguish the men that Christ has already called.
We should remember that Christ saves us all by grace alone through faith alone. We are not saved because of our works or how well we “do” as Christians.
Nonetheless, the men God calls as deacons (and elders) exemplify what it means to be a Christian. Typically, not every man in a congregation will be called as a deacon or an elder, in fact most will not be.
Simply because Christ does not call you to be a deacon or an elder does not mean you are excluded from service in the Kingdom and to the Church. Many today think that if they’re not an “officer” they can’t serve (whether it be in the WIC, the diaconate, or the session). Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The church in Acts 6 had about 20,000 members and only seven deacons. The relatively few deacons oversaw a much larger operation to which many members contributed vitally even though Christ had not called them to a particular office.
The men whom Christ calls as deacons represented Christ to His people and lived lives that were models of godliness for the people to follow.
Deacons called by Christ not only have an exceptional knowledge of God’s Word, but their reputation and character are flawless and “beyond reproach.”
It is important to realize that Christ’s qualifications for deacons do not include “sinless”! If that were the case, then no one (except Jesus) would be qualified.
But those who are qualified are quite aware of their sinfulness, quick to repent when they sin, speedy to seek the mercy of God for their transgressions, and do not delay in sincerely asking forgiveness from others whom they have wronged. Such men do indeed have the blameless character and reputation that is becoming of a deacon (and which all Christians are called to have).
The ones who know their need of Christ the most are the ones whom Christ gives to serve us, to help us to see all the better our own need of Him. It was, after all, the Apostle Paul who considered Himself to be the chief of sinners, and it was through Paul’s ministry that God brought so many sinners to Himself.