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Summary: Looking at the Office of a deacon from a biblical perspective.

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Why Have the Office of a Deacon? A Biblical View

13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. 1 Tim 3:13

1 Timothy 3: 8-13

Greek word: diakonos {dee-ak’-on-os}

Vine’s Word(s): Deacon, Minister, Servant

It is translated in the:

KJV - minister 20

- servant 8

- deacon 3 [Total Count: 31]

1) one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister

1a) a waiter, one who serves

Usage Notes: (Eng., "deacon"), primarily denotes a "servant," whether as doing servile work, or as an attendant rendering free service, without particular reference to its character. The word is probably connected with the verb dioko, "to hasten after, pursue" (perhaps originally said of a runner).

1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples (mathetes- pupils/learner) was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians (Hellenist- used in the NT of Jews born in foreign lands and speaking Greek) against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration (diakonia).

2 Then the twelve (Acts 1:23-26: The lot is cast into the lap, but the decision is wholly from the LORD. Prov 16:33) called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. (In the expression “serve tables,” the word serve is the verb form of the noun from which we get the English word deacon, so their function literally was to “deacon” tables.)

3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business (chreia- need or necessity).

(Three qualifications: 1) Of good reputation- Reputable; 2) Full of the Holy Spirit- Spiritual; 3) Full of wisdom- Practical)

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

(The order here is significant-first prayer, then the ministry of the Word. They made it a point to speak to God about men before speaking to men about God.)

5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:

6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them. Greek word: epithesis {ep-ith’-es-is} Vine’s Word(s): Laying on, Putting

KJV - laying on 3 - putting on 1 [Total Count: 4]

1) a laying on, imposition

The imposition of hands was a sacred rite transmitted by the Jews to the Christians, and employed in praying for another, or in conferring upon him divine blessings, especially bodily health, or the Holy Spirit (at the administration of baptism and the inauguration to their office of the teachers and ministers of the church).

So, Why have the Office of a Deacon?

7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith.

Acts 6:1-7 (KJV)


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