FROM THE DESK OF WILL SPOKES, SENIOR PASTOR
Words For Reflection:
…the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many. – Mark 10:45
For next Sunday:
Sermon Text: Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:8-13; Romans 16:1
Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing - Adoration
Arise, My Soul Arise - Adoration
How Deep the Father’s Love for Us - Grace
The Lord’s Prayer
Jesus, I Come - Response
The Christian’s Hope Can Never Fail - Communion
Doxology - Tallis Canon
The Bible Project:
As a way to help you grasp the over-arching story of the Bible, I am going to include each week a link to one of The Bible Project videos.
This week check out the Literary Styles in the Bible.
If you are looking for help to read the Bible in a more regular way, you may find this approach and this app helpful.
Singing To God (Psalm 95:1-5)
Jesus, I My Cross Have Taken
Soul, then know thy full salvation
Rise o’er sin and fear and care
Joy to find in every station,
Something still to do or bear.
Think what Spirit dwells within thee,
Think what Father’s smiles are thine,
Think that Jesus died to win thee,
Child of heaven, canst thou repine.
Bowing Before God (Psalm 95:6-7b)
Prayer of Confession
Father, we confess that we do not live up to the family name. We are more ready to resent than to forgive, more ready to manipulate than to serve, more ready to fear than to love, more ready to keep our distance than to welcome, more ready to compete than to help. At the root of this behavior is mistrust and self-love. We do not love one another as we should, because we do not believe that you love us as you do. Forgive us our cold unbelief. Show us what it cost you to give up your Son that we might become your sons and daughters. We ask this in the name of Jesus, our only righteousness. Amen.
Words of Grace
Beloved, we are God’s children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is. And everyone who thus hopes in him purifies himself as he is pure.
1 John 3:2-3
Hearing From God (Psalm 95:7c-11)
Sermon Text - Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:8-13
1. The origin of the office of Deacon (Acts 6:1-6)
2. The qualifications for the office of Deacon (1 Tim. 3:8-13)
The Heart of the Message
Jesus is the true Deacon! (see Mk. 10:45; Luke 22:27; Phil. 2:4-5,7) In contrast to the office of Elder, the origin of the office of Deacon is less explicit than the office of Elder. However, a careful reading of the Old Testament and the life and ministry of Jesus coupled with the book of Acts, the office of Deacon emerges quite clearly. Acts 6:1-6 gives us a picture of what we might call the prototype for the office of Deacon, which Paul then explicitly speaks to in 1 Timothy 3 and Phil. 1:1. However, one of the more striking features of 1 Tim. 3:1-13 is the similarity of qualifications for the office of Elder and Deacon. Why is that? The answer takes us back into the story of Jesus. He is the true shepherd and the true deacon. Both offices derive from Jesus and therefore both offices require similar qualifications though their functions are distinct (see Acts 6:2,4). In other words, the offices of Elder and Deacon are Jesus’ way of being physically present in the lives of his people by the power of His Holy Spirit through His chosen officers (see Acts 6:3). Taken together Jesus’ gift of these two offices reveals His design and intention for the preaching of the Word and the care of the most vulnerable and needy among His people. These two offices are a constant echo of His life and ministry and sacrificial death for sinners.
What features of these two passages stand out to you the most? What words or phrases or ideas grab your attention?
Why do we need two offices when their qualifications seem so similar?
Based on Acts 6:1-6 and the qualifications of 1 Tim. 3:8-13 how would you describe the basic function of the office of Deacon?
What does the office of Deacon teach you about Jesus and his love for his people?
What further questions do you have about the office of Deacon and your role in choosing elders?
Confession of Faith: The Westminster Shorter Catechism, c. 1648
Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.