Thursday, October 30, 2014

Church Servants

1 Timothy 3:1-13
1 Tim. 3:1-7 gives us the spiritual qualifications of those called to lead the church. Paul gave insight into the call, the personal life, the family life, the church life, and the testimony of the one called to lead the church.
1 Tim. 3:8-13 we look at those who are called to serve the church, the office of Deacon. When God raises up a man to serve His church, He looks for hearts right with him, not talents, not human abilities, not social status, or occupation, but He raises up a spiritual men.
Lets take a few seconds to look at this word “deacon” and its many variations. Originally it meant performing menial tasks such as waiting on tables [Acts 6]. It grew into any service in the church. The word means “servant, minister, ministry, or service.” He is to be “kicking up the dust" in service.
What are the duties of a deacon? They assist the pastor in caring for the spiritual and temporal needs of the church under the pastors oversight. They carry out whatever tasks are assigned to them by the pastor or needed by the church.

The office of deacon is one of two ordained offices in the church and serve alongside the pastor meeting the temporal and spiritual needs of the congregation.

Pastors who lead and deacons who serve perform different functions, but the spiritual qualifications are almost identical except for 2 clear differences:

(1) The pastor is to be "apt to teach” [v.2].

(2) The pastor leads, gives oversight, and superintends the work of the church. The deacons serve the pastor and church in the work of the church (vs. 4-5, 8).

W.A. Criswell says, "There is no such thing as a "Deacon Board" but a "Body of Servants." Board has to do with a business or corporation. They are not managers but ministers.


Three "Lost" Parables

The themes of Luke 15:1-32 is three-fold:

1. God’s attitude toward sinners, which is quite different from the Scribes and Pharisees.

2. God rejoices when repentant sinners turn to Him and are "found." God saves anyone who repents and comes to Him on God's terms. There are two aspects to this salvation.

There is God’s part: the shepherd seeks the lost sheep, and the woman searches for the lost silver, and the loving Father looks for the lost Son.

There is man’s part in salvation: for the lost son willingly repented and returned home. To emphasize but one aspect is to give a false view of salvation, for both the sovereignty of God and the responsibility of man must be considered.

3. Joy comes when that which is lost is found.

We note a four-fold pattern: lost, search, found, and rejoice. This is the pattern of salvation: sinners are lost, they are sought by Christ, they are found, and rejoicing follows.

It is easy for us today to read these two parables and take their message for granted, but the people who first heard them must have been shocked. Jesus was saying that God actually searches for lost sinners not the self-righteous.

No wonder the scribes and Pharisees were offended, for there was no place in their legalistic theology for a God like that. They were like many today, to proud to admit their sinful condition.

Checkmate- The Scribes and Pharisees would affirm the search for the lost sheep, the lost coin, and the lost son, while condemning him for searching for and recovering lost souls.

The point is the same for these parables- sinners are lost, they are sought by Christ through us, they are found, and rejoicing follows.