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Summary: 2 of 4. Paul related the moral qualifications for deacons of the Church. Character traits for deacons of the church are definitive/unequivocal. ?How is the deacon’s fitness determined? The deacon’s fitness is decided thru...

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The DEACON’S FITNESS-II—1Timothy 3:8-13

Attention:

Our new dog, Winslow(compared to him, even the Wind is Slow) A former racing Greyhound found by my son Sam on the Blue Ridge Parkway, emaciated & huddled in a snowbank.

Anyway... unfortunately we ended up with Winslow. But Winslow is a very pet-worthy dog. He is both house trained & leash trained!—Halleluiah, no work for me! He is very well-behaved. He doesn’t growl or bark(unlike our other dog, Little Bit). Even little Bit is becoming better behaved with Winslow there.

Winslow’s Fitness as a pet is exemplary.

Paul related the moral qualifications for deacons of the Church.

Character traits for deacons of the church are definitive/unequivocal.

?What character traits define the deacon’s fitness for office?

?How is the deacon’s fitness determined?

Characteristics by which an deacon’s fitness for office is decided.

The deacon’s fitness is decided by...Collaborative/Collective ...

We discovered previously that The deacon’s fitness is decided thru...

1. His REVERENCE(:8a)

2. His HONESTY(:8b)

3. His SOBRIETY(8c)

4—The deacon’s fitness is decided thru...

His FREEDOM From MATERIALISM(:8d)

Explanation:(:8d) Greed/Compulsions/Financial Idolatry/Worship

:8d—“Likewise deacons must be reverent, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money,”

“Not Greedy for Money”—

...Is descriptive of a persons who makes no decisions for personal gain, particularly as it relates monetarily. No one can rightly serve God if his eye is always on his wealth.

If such is the case with a deacon &/or pastor, then he can be truly bribed, having his decisions swayed for the sake of gain rather than for the sake of Christ. Money indeed makes a good slave but a horrific master.

If a deacon &/or pastor is motivated by greed, certain would-be ‘power-brokers’ in the church will be enabled to ‘run the church’ rather than allowing God to motivate its operation. All such people give with strings attached so they can control their pet projects at church.

Such a scenario invites fleshly indulgence & isolations inherent to unsanctified personalities unsurrendered to the direction of the Holy Spirit.

“The deacon is to avoid the temptations of materialism.”..... & from ‘using his office for material benefit, even if no dishonesty or illegality is present.’—NAC

*The exact word(aiscrokerdhv) is employed in the same manner here & in :3. Lest we pass this off as inconsequential, in :3 the same word is paired with covetousness in order to reveal the truly ungodly & fleshly nature of such greed.

“Greedy for money/Greedy of filthy lucre/Fond of sordid gain”[See :3]—aiscrokerdhv— Adj.—Eager for base gain, greedy for money. ‘Filthy lucre.’ Strong—Sordid. Used 3X.

Argumentation/Illustration:

1Sam 2:12-17—“Now the sons of Eli were corrupt; they did not know the LORD. And the priests’ custom with the people was that when any man offered a sacrifice, the priest’s servant would come with a three-pronged fleshhook in his hand while the meat was boiling. Then he would thrust it into the pan, or kettle, or caldron, or pot; & the priest would take for himself all that the fleshhook brought up. So they did in Shiloh to all the Israelites who came there. Also, before they burned the fat, the priest’s servant would come & say to the man who sacrificed, “Give meat for roasting to the priest, for he will not take boiled meat from you, but raw.” And if the man said to him, “They should really burn the fat first; then you may take as much as your heart desires,” he would then answer him, “No, but you must give it now; & if not, I will take it by force.” Therefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD, for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.”

Ezek. 34:1-24—“And the word of the LORD came to me, saying, “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy & say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? “You eat the fat & clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock. The weak you have not strengthened, nor have you healed those who were sick, nor bound up the broken, nor brought back what was driven away, nor sought what was lost; but with force & cruelty you have ruled them. So they were scattered because there was no shepherd; & they became food for all the beasts of the field when they were scattered. My sheep wandered through all the mountains, & on every high hill; yes, My flock was scattered over the whole face of the earth, & no one was seeking or searching for them.” ‘Therefore, you shepherds, hear the word of the LORD: “as I live,” says the Lord GOD, “surely because My flock became a prey, & My flock became food for every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, nor did My shepherds search for My flock, but the shepherds fed themselves & did not feed My flock”-- ‘therefore, O shepherds, hear the word of the LORD! ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against the shepherds, & I will require My flock at their hand; I will cause them to cease feeding the sheep, & the shepherds shall feed themselves no more; for I will deliver My flock from their mouths, that they may no longer be food for them.” ‘For thus says the Lord GOD: “Indeed I Myself will search for My sheep & seek them out. As a shepherd seeks out his flock on the day he is among his scattered sheep, so will I seek out My sheep & deliver them from all the places where they were scattered on a cloudy & dark day. And I will bring them out from the peoples & gather them from the countries, & will bring them to their own land; I will feed them on the mountains of Israel, in the valleys & in all the inhabited places of the country. I will feed them in good pasture, & their fold shall be on the high mountains of Israel. There they shall lie down in a good fold & feed in rich pasture on the mountains of Israel. I will feed My flock, & I will make them lie down,” says the Lord GOD. “I will seek what was lost & bring back what was driven away, bind up the broken & strengthen what was sick; but I will destroy the fat & the strong, & feed them in judgment.” ‘And as for you, O My flock, thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I shall judge between sheep & sheep, between rams & goats. Is it too little for you to have eaten up the good pasture, that you must tread down with your feet the residue of your pasture--& to have drunk of the clear waters, that you must foul the residue with your feet? And as for My flock, they eat what you have trampled with your feet, & they drink what you have fouled with your feet.” ‘Therefore thus says the Lord GOD to them: “Behold, I Myself will judge between the fat & the lean sheep. Because you have pushed with side & shoulder, butted all the weak ones with your horns, & scattered them abroad, therefore I will save My flock, & they shall no longer be a prey; & I will judge between sheep & sheep. I will establish one shepherd over them, & he shall feed them--My servant David. He shall feed them & be their shepherd. And I, the LORD, will be their God, & My servant David a prince among them; I, the LORD, have spoken.”

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