Text: I Timothy 3:8-13
In this study we’re going to look at the second of the biblical offices, the office of deacon – and before we look at its requirements and obligations, we ought to make a few simple observations:-
- There are only two leadership offices in Christ’s church, that of elder and that of deacon. The Bible knows nothing of a system of bishops over a number of churches.
- These two offices are equally essential and parallel in importance. The Elder and the Deacon are not in a hierarchy Both offices are of equal value and equal status. They are just different functions – yet deacons are closely linked to elders in their work. Philipians 1:1. A deacon will be expected to have a practical ministry within the church, and to be responsible for that ministry to the Church Meeting.
- Two applications of diakonos!
- In a general sense. The biblical word for ‘deacon’ is diakonos, – it simply means servant, and we are ALL servants!
- In a more specific sense. In Acts 6 deacons were chosen specifically to lead the church in areas of practical administration. The purpose was that the elders might be free to preach and to pray
- A deacon must be spiritually equipped for his task. He must be called of God to the task. He must be willing to learn – to be trained as a deacon.
Now, the office of deacon is so important, that the qualifications of a deacon are just as high as that of an elder. What are they? Read more…
The Heavenly Surveyor!
Text: Zechariah 2:1-5
In Zechariah’s third vision, we see:-
1. PERSISTENCE in his Manner of Seeking God!
I lifted up mine eyes again, and looked. To have a vision for the things of God requires great persistence! Zechariah has already had two visions, but yet he lifted up his eyes again! You will find that if you get a glimpse of Jesus through God’s Word, you will want more of Him! You will not be content until you have met Him again and again and again! Luke 11:7-Ask, and keep asking! Seek and keep seeking! Knock and keep on knocking! Lift up your eyes to the Lord! It will encourage you to lift them up time and again!
Eldership: A Good Work
Text: 1st Timothy 3:1
In this passage Paul instructs Timothy about eldership.
1. The Office of a Bishop. The office of a bishop
Now, what do we think of when we think of a bishop? The Bible tells us what a bishop is…
a) A Bishop is a Shepherd. The Greek word used here is επίσκοπος. A shepherd. Now this is a function within the church, – the’Biblical motif for ministry.’ What does that mean? It means that this person, the bishop is to be a pastor, a shepherd who will care for the sheep, lead the sheep, who will protect the flock from wolves, who will spiritually feed the flock. Some of the more modern translations render the term as ‘overseer.’ Probably quite close to the intention of the original text. But:-
b) A Bishop is an Elder! Now this is the other term used for leadership: in the early church. A πρεσβύτερος in Judaism an elder was a governor in the synagogue, and his office would have been quite familiar to the first Christians. He was responsible for the spiritual government of the people of God. Now, the interesting point is that the two terms were entirely interchangeable in the New Testament Acts 20:17, cf v28. The elders were also the bishops! They are one and the same!
Why then are these terms interchangeable? Well, the Jews knew exactly what an elder was. The Greeks were well used to the work of an overseer, a ‘bishop’ in the local towns and assemblies. So, in the New Testament Church, a `bishop’ is simply what we would describe today as a minister — a pastor!
The Horns and the Tradesmen!
Text: Zechariah 1:18-21
In chapter 1:18-21, we have Zechariah’s second vision. Four horns appear, symbolising the various enemies of God, following which four craftsmen appear to dehorn their bearers! Read more…
Christ’s Remedy for Christian Failure
Text: Luke 22:31-34, 54-62
We sin, and betray the Saviour every bit as much as Peter did, and the answer is not to attempt to depend on our own strength to stop sinning, it is to bring all of that sin to Jesus for forgiveness, so that we can be restored as Peter was, and then minister the fruit of that forgiveness to others. To see this principle set out for us, let’s look at Peter’s betrayal in the light of his earlier conversation with the Saviour. Note then Jesus’s… Read more…
The Man Amidst The Myrtle Trees
In this study, we begin to look at the eight visions of Zechariah. In this passage we see:- Read more…
Where Paul Defines Women’s Ministry
Text: 1 Timothy 2:11-15.
The Bible has a very high view of women. Despite the attacks of feminists and liberals, Paul was no misogynist, but he insists that there is one single thing that a woman shouldn’t do. Read more…