x515......Proved and tested and tried

A "deacon" must first be tested--or proved.

The word deacon is in fact the same word which refers to the "5-fold" ministry gifts. The "deacons" of the church in the Bible were in fact the apostles-prophets--evangelists--pastors and teachers. This is certainly not our church experience--but it is what the Bible purely states--and is the experience and part of the operational plan of the church in the Bible.


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.
14 These things write I unto thee, hoping to come unto thee shortly:
15 But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
(1 Timothy 3:1-15, KJV).


But when we read about "deacons" (Greek: diakonos), the Bible seems to say that they first must be "proved" or tested. This single, out of context verse has then been traditionally translated to mean that if someone wants to be in ministry, they have to be tested by their elders--they have to be "proved" by the "church authority".

Of course this usually leads to the traditional testing of a "minister" which means church attendance--and faithful service to the leaders of the church. Since we readily accept and operate by the wrong defintion of ministry itself--since we beleive that ministry is "authority over others"--we assume that the church leadership has the God-given right to be the judge of what a minister is--and who can minister within "their" church.

However, if we simply take the Bible in it's own context--in the context which God set it in--we would see that the "proofs" of a minister are simple requirements about their home--since they will be operating their ministry out of their own house (the NT "house of God" is the home of every Christian---at leaqst everyone who can meet the simple requirements as listed above!).

but let's study this concept of testing or proving.

this is the Greek word here translated as "proved":


dokimazo {dok-im-ad'-zo} v

--- prove 10, try 4, approve 3, discern 2, allow 2, like 1,
examine 1; 23

1) to test, examine, prove, scrutinize (to see whether a thing
is genuine or not), as metals
2) to recognize as genuine after examination, to approve, deem worthy


Again, when we study this out of Bible context, we could get the idea that ministry must be tested by someone. The obvious and traditional choice to test ministry is then thought to be the leadership of the church--the "authority" of the church. Tradition (brought to you once again by the Roman empire church of centuries ago!) has always said that it is completely in the hands of the church leaders to determine whether someone passes the "test" to be "in ministry".

But let's look at this word translated as "proved"--let's see its use once again in he Bible--with regard to the operation of ministry--

1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
(1 Thessalonians 2:1-6, KJV).

 

When we read these verses, Paul is stating here that it is God who "trieth" (Greek: dokimazo) or "proved" out their hearts--with regard to their ministry--with regard to the ministerial activity of apostleship. This makes perfect senses as we read the Bible and see that ministry is a gift from God--not a title of rulership. When we see that the example of Bible ministry is that of Paul, (Saul) the enemy of the church, who receives his ministry in a matter of days at the church of Damascus--and later speaks definetly about the fact that he did not receive his ministry from man's approval, but as a gift of God...

10 For do I now persuade men, or God? or do I seek to please men? for if I yet pleased men, I should not be the servant (minister) of Christ.
11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.
12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.
(Galatians 1:10-12, KJV).

the Gospel Paul received--as well as his ministry--did not come from the approval of man--from the testing of man--but rather came to him as a gift.

Read what Paul says about his way of ministering to the Thesalonians--as doing it gently--without the approval or ways of man--

1 For yourselves, brethren, know our entrance in unto you, that it was not in vain:
2 But even after that we had suffered before, and were shamefully entreated, as ye know, at Philippi, we were bold in our God to speak unto you the gospel of God with much contention.
3 For our exhortation was not of deceit, nor of uncleanness, nor in guile:
4 But as we were allowed of God to be put in trust with the gospel, even so we speak; not as pleasing men, but God, which trieth our hearts.
5 For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
6 Nor of men sought we glory, neither of you, nor yet of others, when we might have been burdensome, as the apostles of Christ.
7 But we were gentle among you, even as a nurse cherisheth her children:
8 So being affectionately desirous of you, we were willing to have imparted unto you, not the gospel of God only, but also our own souls, because ye were dear unto us.
9 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God.
10 Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe:
11 As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children,
12 That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory.
(1 Thessalonians 2:1-12, KJV).

 

And he ends with the statement that they also have the same type of calling on their lives--on all the people in the church--to walk in God's kingdom way of operation---to BE the church--to operate and look like Christ--all together as a group--praying of the sick--preaching deliverance--always reaching out to the lost with the Gospel--feeding the poor--especially those within the church--as well as "setting at liberty" (Greek: apostello) each and every soul--those "tested" and proved" and tried by God Himself (NOT man--NOT the pastor or the leader of the church!!)--to be free to serve God in the apostolic way--imitating Christ's ministry as a church.

The Bible sets us high goals--why not strive toward them?---instead of remaining stuck in our wrong "authority trip"??