1 Timothy 3:8-13
Qualifications for Deacons
May 10, 2009
A Southern Baptist Church
The Big Idea: Deacons (servants), although not responsible for the spiritual oversight of the church, must also be qualified as they lead in physical affairs.
The introduction of deacons – Acts 6:2; Philippians 1:1
I. There are certain qualifications for a deacon ministry – 8-13
a. A deacon must be a man of character - 8
i. He must be worthy of respect - serious
ii. He must not be hypocritical – lit. “double-tongued”
The word δίλογος (only here in the NT) has the idea of saying something twice, with the bad connotation of saying one thing to one person and something else to another.
iii. He must not be addicted to wine
iv. He must be free from the love of money
b. A deacon must be a man of biblical knowledge – 9
“Although the deacons do not hold the office of teaching, yet it would be exceedingly absurd to hold a public office in the Church, while being ill-informed in the Christian faith” (John Calvin).
i. He must hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience
The word mysterion was used in that day for a secret that was unknown to the masses but disclosed to the initiated. In the NT it signifies the secret of salvation through Jesus Christ, which is revealed by the Holy Spirit to all who will believe.
c. A deacon must have a proven track record - 10
i. He must be tested to prove blameless prior to service
The verb δοκιμάζω has three stages: (1) test, (2) prove by testing; (3) approve as the result of testing.
d. A deacon’s wife must meet certain criteria as well – 11
i. She must be worthy of respect – seriousness (same as in v. 8)
ii. She must not be slanderous –
Gr. Διάβολος – lit. “devilish” – for the word devil means “slanderer, false accuser”
iii. She must be self-controlled – same as in v. 2
iv. She must be faithful in everything
e. A deacon’s marital status and family life must be up to par - 12
i. He must not be divorced
ii. He must be in control of his own children and household
f. A deacon’s service is rewarding – 13
i. His faithful service earn him a good standing
ii. His faithful service earn him great boldness in the faith