Summary: sermon for deacon ordination
I Chose You to Bear Fruit Aug 28, 2011
Deacon ordination of Brandon Wells,Roy Hankins, Bill Tiller.
Among the saints, Christ sets some people apart as deacons.
• But if you are where you belong, there has been a call from the Lord preceding, equipping, inspiring, and finally enabling your choice of being a deacon.
• If this were not so, ordination would be a sham.
For what we will do here in the next few minutes in the laying on of hands is confirm not Brandon, Bill’s and Roy’s choice of being a deacon, but God's choice of you gentlemen.
• "You have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." John 15:16
Therefore, be encouraged, Brandon, Bill and Roy, be very bold in your work, for Christ is for you, and his very honor is at stake in your success.
So you have been called as Deacons, “Servants” to the people of the church.
* Role of deacons places them in a leadership position.
* Extreme care is given in the selection.
* are to be “serious” people whose character engenders respect.
* Not to be dishonest, or materialistic.
* committed to the “truths of our faith”
* Not to be double tongued.
* Must be a man whose words can be depended upon.
* “a clear conscience” is the result of knowing that one honestly and genuinely holds to these truths and lives by them.
Deacons are not to be chosen hurriedly or thoughtlessly.
* The texts says, “Let them also be tested first”.
Deacon is to be the “husband of one wife”
* cannot be sure about the meaning of the phrase.
* Probably means one living wife….old times multiple.
* He is to be faithful to his one wife.
Deacons must manage their household well.
* If their family life is good, they will enjoy the respect of their fellow Christians.
Two results stem from the good service of deacons.
* They receive the esteem of others. They gain “good standing for themselves.”
Second: those who serve well will gain “great confidence” in the faith.
JOY deacon wives………….
Chosen to Bear Fruit
"And I have appointed you that you go and bear fruit."
If the origin and assurance of your call is election, Gentlemen, the immediate aim is fruit-bearing.
The context of John 15:1–16 answers three questions about this task.
First, what is it? Second, how shall we accomplish it? And, third, to what end should it be pursued?
First, what is fruit-bearing?
• What is the fruit you are called to bear—indeed must bear?
• I think fruit in this chapter is a broad term and embraces two things:
• Love for people and the conversion of sinners.
• If you bear fruit, you love people and win people to Christ.
The picture in verses 1 and 2 is that Christ is like a vine, and you, his deacon, are like a branch shooting off this vine.
• God the Father is like the vinedresser who prunes back the branches so they bear the most fruit.
• the fruit is simply the out-pouring of what has passed through the branch from the vine,
• We should ask what is it that we receive from the vine?
Jesus' answer is love.
• Remaining/Jesus means remaining/his love accordingly
• And it stands to reason, then, that what we receive from the vine flows through the branch and crops out in the fruit of love,
• For the nourishment and refreshment of other people.
There is another way to see the same thing.
If you don't bear fruit, you don't remain in the vine; you get snapped off and thrown in the fire (v. 6).
• So in order to remain in the vine or to remain in Christ's love, we must bear fruit.
The Way in Which You Bear Fruit
The second question that Jesus answers here about fruit-bearing is how it can be accomplished.
The answer he gives (and the word is repeated ten times) is: "Remain in me and I in you" (v. 4).
• Keep yourself attached, closely attached, to the vine.
• "I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me, and I in him, he will bear much fruit, apart from me you can do nothing" (v. 5).
Everything that you try to do, Gentlemen, will come to nothing unless you do it through a conscious, abiding dependence on the enablement of Christ.
• No matter what I say this morning gentlemen,
• you make it your aim for the rest of your life
• To discover in ever deeper experience what it means to remain in Christ.
It is the secret of all fruitfulness.
There are several pointers in the text that help us discover what this means in practice.