Summary: charge to deacons--You Should Be A Good Deacon, Protecting the Word, a Godly Deacon, Practicing the Word, and A Growing Deacon, Progressing in the Word.
GRACE BAPTIST CHURCH
Tonite’s charge is addressed to these men…all are welcome to listen in.
I Tim. 4:1, 2, 6
I Tim. 3 gives the qualifications of Pastors and Deacons. If we’ll just look a bit farther to ch. 4 we will find the duties and character qualities both should have in order to succeed. We tend to think Deacons should just handle the business/finances, as they should…but we neglect to see what God wants them to accomplish spiritually…why Acts 6 says they should be full of the Holy Spirit and full of wisdom!
3:8—“deacon”=servant 4:6—“minister” (same exact word)=servant
You should be 3 things:
A Good Deacon, Protecting the Word
We’re all supposed to preach, everywhere we go. (“Sermon in Shoes”)
v. 1: Apostasy is predicted. And Paul says there are 6 characteristics that will be prevalent in the last days.
Seducers/evil spirits/false doctrine/false teachers/hypocrisy/human precepts…I don’t have to tell you that we are living in that day!
Cults are growing at an alarming rate. From 1988 to 1998 the Mormons experienced a 124% growth rate. JW’s were right on their heels. (Proselytizing and preying on ungrounded church members!)
Ill: young children are more flexible and pliable than those of us who are set in our ways, in the same way: a young believer can be easily influenced both for good, or for evil.
“I took a piece of plastic clay, and idly fashioned it one day
and as my fingers pressed it still, it moved and yielded to my will
I came again when days were passed, the bit of clay was hard at last
The form I gave it still it bore, but I could change that form no more.
I took a piece of living clay, and touched it gently day by day
And molded it w/ prayer and art, a new believers’ yielding heart
I came again when years were gone, it was a mind I looked upon
That early impress still he bore, and I could change that form no more.”
A Good Deacon will pay special attention to our newest believers/members, protecting them from those who would spiritually seduce them…from without…and, unfortunately, from within.
Yes, Satan uses church members, too: “I’ll show you the ropes, kid. That lady over there, she
Thinks she’s too good for us…and that guy, he cheated on his wife!”
Ill.: Eddie Stonecipher: new kid at school…”I hate him already”
Seducers are everywhere. We need Good Deacons to help keep people in the fold. (front door/back door)
Seducing spirits/Also, doctrines of devils
30 years ago we laughed at ghosts and witches…we’re not laughing anymore!
A survey was done in a high school recently. 45% of students said they had encountered a dark presence in their bedroom. 49% had bad thoughts about God. 69% had heard voices in their head. 22% frequently thought about suicide.
By the way, this survey was taken in a “Christian” high school.
And kids’ books like Goosebumps and Harry Potter prove that no age group is safe anymore. Shame on the parent who allows it, yes, but shame on the pastor/deacons who don’t recognize the Satanic battles going on right in our own pews!
We can’t get out of touch, guys. Not with this world we live in, and not with this book, the Bible.
v. 6—nourished by doctrine.
Pastor to little s.s. boy: Who broke down the walls of Jericho?
Boy: I didn’t do it.
To teacher: Why did he say that?
Teacher: I’m sure he didn’t do it.
To superintendent: the boy and his teacher both said the same thing!
Superintendent: I know both of them and I’m just sure they didn’t do it.
To Deacon: all 3 said this…
Deacon: let’s just forget about it, we’ll get it fixed and charge it to the bldg. Fund!
We must be grounded in order to help others stay grounded. We can’t think that Noah’s wife was Joan of Arc!
Our churches are confused doctrinally, more than ever.
Our charismatic leaders aren’t helping at all. They’re conditioning people to believe every wind of doctrine that comes along. I thought we had heard it all when Oral Roberts claimed a 900 foot tall Jesus was holding him hostage until he raised X million dollars, (extortioner) but recently on TV I heard Benny Hinn get the crowd going with this statement:
“Did you know that Adam, he coulda fly?” He went on to say that God gave him dominion over the animals and so he could do anything they could. The crowd went wild. (blow water out his trunk?)
A good deacon will help maintain and protect the fold from false doctrine.
Protecting the Word, also:
2. A Godly Deacon, practicing the Word.
v. 7 “exercise”
“in word”—people scrutinize every word you say, even in private conversations.