Deacons must be men of dignity
October 4, 2020
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Deacons must be men of dignity
Last week we examined the qualifications for the office of overseer.
In verse 8, Paul shifts to a new topic: the qualifications for deacons.
Then he abruptly turns his attention to “women” in verse 11.
Then he returns to the male deacons in verses 12-13.
the word “likewise”.
The Greek word means “in the same way” or “in the same manner”.
It introduces something new that is closely related to that which came before it.
We find the same word in 1Ti 2:9, and also in Tit 2:3,6.
the parallels between 3:2-7 and 3:8-13
“Deacons” introduces a new class that is closely related to the overseer.
Generally, it refers to anyone who performs a ministry of service to the church.
Deacons were similar to overseers in that they both served as leaders for the church.
Elders supervised the work, and appointed deacons to lead in specific areas.
Both the deacons and the overseers must be dignified, worthy of respect.
The prohibition against drinking to excess is common to both.
So is the warning about money.
It’s the deacons who must not be
Hospitality and ability to teach: elders only.
Both the deacons and the overseers must be above reproach.
The overseer is required not to be pugnacious but gentle and peaceful.
“double-tongued” is the tendency to deceive others with one’s words.
“fond of sordid gain” =embezzlement & misuse of church finances.
A mystery is formerly hidden knowledge that has now been revealed.
The mystery of faith refers here to the mystery of the gospel (Eph 6:19).
“with a clear conscience” links this knowledge to behavior in keeping with it.
The congregation and elders observed the behavior of candidates.
It introduces a new category that is very similar to the category which preceded it.
As the (male) deacon is to the elder
In verse 11, the Greek word gune can mean either woman or wife.
The qualities for the women parallel those for male deacons in verses 8-9.
The male deacons must first be tested. They must be “one-women men”.
And they must be good managers of their children and their own households.
Why are these requirements for the male deacons but not for the women?
They evaluate their fitness for leadership.
And women cannot serve in positions of leadership in the church. (1Ti 2:12)
So “women” in verse 11 does not refer to the wives of male deacons.
Rather, it refers to women who assist in the work of service.
1. The parallels between the qualifications in verse 8 and verse 11.
2. If gune meant wives, it would have been more common to indicate this…
with either “their wives” or “the wives”.
3. There is no parallel instruction concerning the wives of overseers.
4. A better explanation: no woman could share in the work of the elders.
5. There is no indication that these women are necessarily married.
6. There is no qualification relating to her relationship with her husband or her children.