Summary: This sermon is a charge to the deacons at an ordination service.
Deacon Ordination Charge
This morning this church has gathered together to ordain the following two men – C. E. and J. O. – as deacons.
The term “Deacon” is a term which is our English transliteration of the Greek word diakonos. This Greek word is found 29 times in the NT. It is usually or generally translated either as minister or servant(s). It is translated in our English Bibles as “deacon” three times – these are found in Philippians 1:1 and 1 Timothy 3:8 and 12.
It is imperative to understand that when God calls people to serve in His church, He looks for those whose hearts are right with Him. Seeing that this morning we are going to install into the office of deacon these two men as servants of this congregation, it would be well for all involved – i.e., P... BC and these two men – to consider what is expected of them in this office.
The four fold expectation of this office is that they are:
1. To be servants to the faithful.
2. To be defenders of the faith.
3. To be evangelists who shares the faith.
4. To be standards before others as they live their faith.
A. Charge to the Deacon
1. Servant – Acts 6:1-7
The prototype of this office of deacon is found in this passage. Please note that these men were set aside by the church in Jerusalem to “serve tables.”
There was a problem in the first church. The Helenistic widows were being left out of the daily distribution concerning temporal needs. The Apostles wisely called the church together and told them to pick out from among themselves seven men to be appointed over this business.
Gentlemen – just like these seven men were appointed servants in the Church of Jerusalem so too have you been called to be servants of P... BC!
Now a servant is a waiter, an attendant, one who runs errands or does menial duties concerning the temporal things for the church. Today you are being set aside as a diakonos “servant.” Be aware of the task set before you. The Lord has placed you here in this office therefore serve it in a “humble-mindset” – [cf John 13:3-15]. – Here we see the Lord of glory humbling Himself and washing the feet of His disciples.
... Jesus …. said … You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great men exercise authority over them. It is not this way among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave; just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many. [“serve” = diakonos / “slave” = doulos]
I charge you deacons – to be Servants of the church!
2. Defender – Acts 6:8-7:60
Within this passage of Scripture we witness the story of Stephen’s great defense of the Christian faith despite the difficult situation that he was facing.
Gentlemen – just like Stephen there will be times both at the church and outside of the church in which you will be put into the situation of defending the faith. That you will be required to take a stand concerning the reality and truth of God’s Word. There will be some who will put “Tradition” over and above the Truth – when that happens, you will be required to be a defender of the faith.
… sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence.
I charge you deacons – be defenders of the faith!
3. Evangelist – Acts 8:26-40
The next episode that we observe of a deacon is found in Acts 8:26-40, which is of Phillip. Phillip who is called an “Evangelist” in Acts 21:8 is found here following the Lord’s leadership in sharing his faith with another.
Gentlemen – as a deacon you must be open to the leadership of the Holy Spirit and be willing to share the Gospel with others as the Lord opens up opportunities.
Now I make known to you, brethren, the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received, in which also you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast the word which I preached to you, unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received, that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures