X241........."Likewise the Deacons"

1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 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 Timothy 3:1-13, KJV).

"If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work."

A bishop--a leader--is something that is to be "desired" or strived toward--

But not so the "deacons"

"Likewise must the deacons be......."

The "deacons" are defined this way in the Greek--

diakonos {dee-ak'-on-os} n m/f

----- minister 20, servant 8, deacon 3; 31

1) one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister 1a) the servant of a king 1b) a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use 1c) a waiter, one who serves food and drink


This is speaking of "ministers" and it is clear that to be a "minister" one does not have to "desire" or strive toward this position. It is in fact a gift that is "given unto every one of us" (yes--the much revered "5-fold" ministry are DEACONS!--see Ephesians chapter 4---please!!)--rather than a position which is to be sought after or desired.

It is also very clear that the two positions---bishop (leader) and deacon (minister) are separate. The two are not fused together. There are meant to be "deacons" in churches who are not leaders, but who rather perform the function of serving God in their gifting.

Do leaders minister? Absolutely---but so do "deacons" people who are not in the position of leadership but still are meant to function in their ministry gift and anointing.

This is clear when we read this verse

7* Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. (Ephesians 3:7)

The word "minister" above is the same "diakonos". Paul emphatically states that he was made a "diakonos" (a deacon --a minister) by "the gift of the grace of God". It was not something that he "strived for" or "desired"--but rather a gift from God which is latent in all of us.

One important thing to note is that there is no other group of people mentioned in the formation of a church. There is no "congregation"--a group of people (the majority) who have no ministry and serve no purpose in God other than to support "the ministry".

Also it is interesting that the word "diakonos" is translated as "deacon" only in these verses in 1 timothy 3. Why? Well it certainly would seem strange or unfamiliar to our experience as Christians in the organized church. It would have seemed wrong to the translators of the King James Bible and it still is strange to translate this word into "minister" as it is everywhere else in the Bible.

Let's try it--

1 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. 2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; 4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; 5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) 6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. 7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil. 8 Likewise must the [ministers] be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; 9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. 10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the [office of a minister], being found blameless. 11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. 12 Let the [ministers] be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 13 For they that have used [the office of a minister] well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus. (1 Timothy 3:1-13, KJV).

When we do this we clearly see that the "ministers' in the church are separate from the "bishops" (leaders). There are "ministers" who of course would function in the ministry gifts who are not leaders.

This would go against our experience in church. It is the tradition of church that the leaders of the church have all or most of the "ministry" or rather "are the ministry".

If this is meant to be then who are these "deacons" described in he Bible? Who are these people who are not leaders per se--yet are called ministers? Should we not face the fact that tradition handed down to us outside the word of God has fused ministry and leadership together--with the result that only "some" are allowed to minister? Do you think that God would like this result--the concept that only a handful of Christians are allowed to serve Him, and to do the functions of ministry--apostleship and prophecy and evangelism and shepherding and teaching. Does this not in effect limit the move of God? Aren't we stepping out of faith and not believing that God has give "gifts unto every one of us" to serve Him. And does this not lead to the result that only "some" people in our communities are saved--that we limit the number of soldiers in the army of Christ?

Notice that even the Strong's Greek definitions define these word by experience rather than by the simple Greek meaning--take a look--

diakonos {dee-ak'-on-os}

probably from an obsolete diako (to run on errands, cf 1377); TDNT - 2:88,152; n m/f

AV - minister 20, servant 8, deacon 3; 31

1) one who executes the commands of another, esp. of a master, a servant, attendant, minister 1a) the servant of a king 1b) a deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has charge of and distributes the money collected for their use 1c) a waiter, one who serves food and drink


The definition of "deacon" is simply a servant. Yet definition "1b" above describes the experiential defintion of the word--which describes things that are not Biblical or experiential according to the church described in the Bible. Since this chapter is the only use of the word "deacon" where does the definition come from--"by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church,"--??

(Answer: tradition!--traditional definitions which have been handed down to us from Roman emperors--dark ages catholic popes and protestant kings. Whether we realize it or not, these people, who lived centuries ago, have set defintions of function for the Christian church--definitions which to this day, take up much of our time effort and money, and direct it in non-puposeful ways--ways that do not promote the functions of Christ's ministry--which is supposed to operate through all of us as a body, out toward the world.)

The Bible never says that "deacons" are meant to be assigned by leaders or anyone else--they are not a subordinate position or whatever the leaders deem them to be--the deacons are the ministers who are not leaders--which should be--- every on of us!