Tonight, of course, is the ordination for Brother Tyler Baker as a Deacon, and so I'm going to be preaching tonight about what the Bible has to say about the office of a Deacon, and what that means. Honestly, tonight is historic for a couple of reasons. Number one, this if the first time that Faithful Word Baptist Church has ever ordained a Deacon. Number two, in my entire life this is literally the first time I've ever been at the ordination of a real Deacon in my life. I've been at many ordinations of many Deacons, and I'm here to tell you tonight that the other Baptist churches are doing it wrong. I don't make bold statements like that without having my ducks in a row from scripture.
I'm not going to get up here and tell you, hey 99% of Baptist churches are doing this wrong, unless I have the scripture to back that up. Honestly, most people today don't even understand what a biblical Deacon is, because virtually no church follows the biblical model on what a Deacon is. This is a great event tonight as we gather around the word of God, and understand from the Bible what a Deacon is. This is not a complicated subject in the Bible, because there's very little scripture on Deacons, so it's not like we have to go over chapter after chapter after chapter, and sort through it all.
In fact, if we were to look up the word Deacon in the Bible you'll find that this is really in I Timothy, Chapter 3, the only chapter that talks about Deacons by name. The only other mention of the word Deacon in whole Bible is in Philippians, he talks about the Bishops and the Deacons as being at the churches of Philippi. In I Timothy 3 we have the qualifications for the Deacon.
If you would turn to Acts, Chapter 6, we're going to start in Acts, Chapter 6, because Acts, Chapter 6, is another scripture that deals with what we know as Deacons, and honestly they're not referred to as Deacons in Acts, Chapter 6, or anywhere in the Book of Acts. Honestly, I strongly believe that these are Deacons. Virtually every Baptist that I've ever met has agree that these are Deacons, it's pretty obvious in scripture that these are the first Deacons in Acts, Chapter 6.
What's interesting about this is that it's not just Acts, Chapter 6, but rather Chapter 7 and 8 are connected with Chapter 6 as dealing with Deacons, because the Deacons in Acts, Chapter 6. Then we see some of the works of some of the Deacons in Chapter 7 and 8, so these three chapters go together. Before we go any further lets bring Brother Tyler Baker up here, and we're going to have him sit up here during the sermon, so that I can preach right to him here, and so that he can be ready to be ordained.
First of all, as we get into this let me explain to you what the word Deacon means, and where the word Deacon even comes from. This word is one of those words that's transliterated directly from Greek, meaning it's not even translated, it's just brought straight into English. Sort of like their words in Spanish that we just bring straight over into English, like tacos, and burritos, and things like that. The point is that the word Deacon it's a Greek word, and it's just brought straight into English as such. That word simply means a servant, that's what the word literally means, a servant, that's what it means to be a Deacon.
In Acts, Chapter 6, we understand a little bit why there was a need for Deacons, and what the function of Deacon is. Look at Verse 1, the Bible reads, "And in those days when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples under them and said, "It is not reason," meaning it doesn't make any sense, "that we should leave the word of God and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look you out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business, but we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word."
"And the saying please the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost, and Phillip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. Whom they set before the apostles, and when they had prayed they laid their hands on them. The word of God increased, and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly, and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith."
Let me point out some things about his first reference to what we know as Deacons in the Bible in Acts, Chapter 6. The purpose of Deacons in the Bible was that the church had grown, and the disciples had multiplied greatly, and there was a need for someone to do the work of the ministry on a daily basis. He uses the term here, the daily ministration. We would basically say this as the daily administration, but it's the same word, in our [moniminactor 00:05:30] we call it call it administration, they just have it shortened to ministration. Not only that, but he uses the word business at the end of Verse 3.
He says, "Whom we may appoint over this business," meaning it's a job, it's work that is being done on a daily basis. You see it had become too much for the apostles just dealing with the menial tasks of serving tables, as they called it, and so they said, "We need help, we need workers to help us do some of this work in order to free us up to focus on the word of God and prayer, so that we're not so busy that we have to neglect things that are important." That was the purpose of having Deacons in the first place.
The reason that I say that all the other Baptist churches that I've ever been in are doing it wrong, is because you know if you've been a member of a Baptist church, this is not what a Deacon is in a Baptist church at all. He's not a full time worker, he's not a guy that's there every day working in the daily ministration. He's not there over the business, running it.
Actually, what's going on in most Baptist churches today, and I'm serious, 100% of Baptist churches that I've gone to, or been a part of, they appoint guys to be Deacons that are not even working for the church at all, they don't work for the church. They're not at the church on a daily basis doing anything. They are laymen, and they're all specifically laymen, none of them work for the church. Even a bigger church that will have Pastors, and Assistant Pastors, but then the Deacons are always laymen. That's not what we see in scripture here at all.
What they're doing today in Baptist churches with Deacons, is basically they're patterning the church, in many cases, after the United States Government. Our country has had this form of government since the late 1700's, that has become enshrined in a lot of people's minds as the perfect form of government. The United States Constitution is the ultimate document in a lot of people's minds. They've enshrined it so much that literally it takes the place of the Bible in running the church unbelievably, as strange as that may sound. Many churches, they follow this U.S. Government styled model of how the church is run, where basically the Pastor is like the President to them, and then the Deacons are like the Congress.
What they do with the Deacons, they're these elected officials to represent the people of the church, and to vote and make decisions, and basically to legislate the direction of the church. It's a rule of the church by committee, by a Deacon committee. They don't usually ever have one Deacon, like we have one Deacon that we're ordaining tonight. They don't have one, they'll go from zero to seven. This church went from zero to seven, because they had thousands of people in the church. They're just like it's time for Deacons, seven Deacons. Then, even though the church is running 200, but none of them work for the church, none of them have anything to do with the daily administration of the business of the church. They form a governing body that basically votes and makes decisions.
A lot of times you'll talk to Pastors, and they're say, "You know I really want to do this, but I don't think I can get it by the Deacons." Who's ever heard something like that before? Look at the hands all over the building. Hey, we'd like to do this, but I don't know, we've got to talk to the Deacons, In fact, a friend of ours, he wanted to start a church, and he wanted to be ordained by his church to be a Pastor, to be a Bishop. The Pastor wanted him, do you know the situation I'm talking about? The Pastor wanted him to be ordained, but he said, "You know, we've got to talk to the Deacons, and everything." Basically, they brought in the Deacons, and the Deacons vetoed the guy. Even though the Pastor believed in the guy, and a lot of the church members believed in the guy.
I'm going to say this also, and I know that this is anecdotal, and I know that the exception proves the rule. When I was growing up it seems like the Deacons were usually some of the least zealous people in the church. They were not fireballs, they were not the guys who were the spirit filled preachers, the top soul winners. They weren't like that at all. They were actually some of the deadest church members. My dad would always call them the moss-backed Deacons, that was his expression that he would use. They were so old and slow, and tired, that moss was literally growing on their back, that was the picture that he drew.
He'd be like, "All these moss-backed Deacons," because we were in so many churches where the Pastor's on fire for God. The Pastor's got a big vision, the Pastor's excited, and the Deacons are reining him in in, and slowing him down, because they're the most conservative church members in that sense. Usually when Deacons are being chosen, they're chosen because they're the people in the church who live in a nice house, drive nice cars, and are very respectable, maybe good looking people, and upstanding citizens of the community. These are usually the type of people that are chosen as Deacons. If you've been a Baptist for a long time you know what I'm talking about. Those are the people that are chosen to be the Deacons.
That's not the choice that we should make biblically when looking for Deacon. Looks played no part in it, no I'm just kidding. Anyway, I'm joking. The point is, in the Bible what you're looking for in a Deacon is a spirit filled man of faith, and you're looking for a preacher, that's what the Bible says here that they chose. Look what the Bible says, look down at your Bible. Not only is the average church wrong, because they have Deacons that are not paid, they're not even working for the church, they're not there on a daily basis, they're a layman. Secondly, they're choosing some of the least zealous people in the church to be Deacons. Whereas in the Bible they chose some of the most zealous, the most fired up, the most spirit filled type people were chosen to be Deacons.
Look what the Bible says in Verse 5, "The saying please the whole multitude, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost." It doesn't say a man with a full bank account, a man who was well respected in the community. A man who people looked at as an upstanding citizen, and someone who's responsible, cause the Pastor can sometimes get a little crazy, and we need somebody to rein him in, and tone him down. No, they looked for a guy that was full of faith, and of the Holy Ghost.
Then the next Deacon, Phillip, is another outstanding example of preaching, and being spirit filled. Then it lists five other Deacons that we don't really know anything about, except for the fact that it's clear that all seven of the Deacons that are chosen are Greeks. Do you notice that? Look at their names, these are not Jewish names. The disciples, the apostles, were obviously Jewish, and so this shows a shift in their ministry where they're saying, "You know what? We don't want this to be a Jewish Supremacist thing."
The Bible says there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek. There was even a murmuring at the beginning of the chapter where people felt like the Jews were somehow being preferred, and that the Greeks were a second-class citizen. I think part of the reason that they chose these seven Greeks was to show we're not partial toward Jew or Greek, because we're all one in Christ Jesus here. They picked them based on their merits, and all seven of them have Greek-style names, if you look at their names. One of them it specifically says that he was a proselyte, meaning that he was a "Jew", but it was only because he had converted to that before receiving Christ as Savior.
We see that these men are chosen because they're filled with the spirit, and filled with faith. Let's look at some of the works of the first Deacons. Look at Verse 8, "Stephen, full of faith and power, did great wonders and miracles among the people." It talks about him preaching, and in Verse 10, "They were not able to resist the wisdom and the spirit by which he spake." I'm not going to belabor you with the entire story, but the entire Chapter 7 of Acts is Stephen boldly preaching before the Jews. Preaching a great sermon that would get him stoned to death, and he became the first martyr.
The average Deacon today isn't on the verge of getting martyred for preaching too fiery of sermon. In fact, the average Deacon today doesn't even know how to preach, because they're laymen. There are laymen who know how to preach, but usually in Baptist churches these aren't even the Deacons. I'm not going to belabor you with the story of Stephen, because most people probably know the story of Stephen. Then right after the story of Stephen, we have stories about the second Deacon, Phillip, because when we get into Chapter 8, we get right into Phillip.
Look at Verse 4 of Acts, Chapter 8. "Therefore, they that were scattered abroad went everywhere preaching the word. Then Phillip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them. The people of one accord gave heed unto those things which Phillip spake. Hearing and seeing the miracles which he did, for unclean spirits, crying with loud voice came of out of many that were possessed with them; and many taken with palsies and that were lame were healed, and there was great joy in that city."
Jump down to Verse 12, "But when they believed Phillip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women." This is a guy who's preaching, he's evangelizing, he's winning souls, he's getting people baptized. This guys on the front lines serving the Lord. He's a man filled with faith and of the Holy Ghost. Then, of course, when we get to Verse 26 of the same chapter, we get into the famous story of Phillip and the Ethiopian eunuch. Did you know that Phillip here is one of the first seven Deacons? Stephen, Phillip, and then we get into the other five, and then we read following that the exploits of two of these Deacons.
He says in Verse 26, "Then the angel of the Lord spake unto Phillip saying, "Arise and go toward to the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza," which is desert. "He rose and went, and beheld a man of Ethiopia, a eunuch of great authority under Candace, Queen of the Ethiopians, who had charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship, was returning and sitting in his chariot; read the Isaiah's the prophet." Then the Spirit said unto Phillip, "Go near and join thyself to this chariot, and Phillip ran thither." This wasn't the moss-backed Deacon. He ran thither to him, and heard him read the prophet Isaiah's. And said, "Understand us thou what thou readest?" And he said, "How can I except some man should guide me.""He desired Phillip that he would come up and sit with him."
Jump down to to Verse 35, "Then Phillip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus." Of course, we know that Ethiopian eunuch, he gets saved, he gets baptized, and then when he's done with the baptism, look at Verse 39, "When they were come out of the water the Spirit of the Lord caught away Phillip, that the eunuch saw him no more, and he went on his way rejoicing. Phillip was found at Azotus, and passing through he preached in all the cities till he came to Caesarea."
Phillip is referred to again later in the Book of Acts. Go to Acts, Chapter 21, Acts, Chapter 21. The Bible's talking about the apostle Paul here in his travels, and Paul runs into Phillip. It says in Acts 21, Verse 8, "The next day, we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea, and we entered into the house of Phillip, the evangelist." This guy Phillip is known as the evangelist. What does it mean to evangelize? It means to win souls unto Christ, it means to preach the gospel unto those that have not heard. Phillip, the evangelist, watch this which was one of the seven, and abode with him. Right there we see Phillip, one of the seven, one of those Deacons, known as the evangelist, known as a preacher, known as a soul winner, known as someone who does great works for God.
With that in mind let's go to I Timothy, Chapter 3, I Timothy, Chapter 3. When we talk about the qualifications for a Bishop in Chapter 3, and the qualifications for a Deacon, let's keep in mind also that in Chapter 4 of II Timothy, Paul tells Timothy, "Do the work of an evangelist." Do the work of an evangelist. Even the Bishop is to do the work of an evangelist, meaning that the Pastor should be a soul winner. Then the Deacon, if the Deacon's going to be anything like Stephen and Phillip, he's going to be a soul winner too. If he's going to follow in those biblical footsteps, he's going to do the work of an evangelist. Phillip, the Deacon, was known as Phillip the evangelist, because he was a soul winner, because he was a preacher.
When we're looking for a Deacon we want someone who knows how to preach the Bible, who knows how to preach the Bible behind the pulpit, who knows how to preach the gospel door-to-door. That is what we need, a spirit filled man of God, not just a layman. Not just someone who is a member of the church, but not a real active member, we need somebody who's zealous to fill this office of a Deacon, someone who is spirit filled.
The Bible says in Chapter 3 here of I Timothy, in Verse 8 is where we get into Deacons, it says, "Likewise must the Deacons be grave." I want to point out that word likewise. He just finished giving the qualifications for the Pastor, or the Bishop, in Verses 1 through 7. He's already laid out the qualifications for a Pastor, and then he starts out the qualifications for a Deacon as likewise. Meaning that the Deacon needs to have similar qualifications to that of the Pastor. If you look at the qualifications and compare them, they're pretty much the same qualifications to be a Pastor, and to be a Deacon. Basically, that's the type of guy that you're looking for. Somebody who could meet the qualifications to be a Pastor.
Now you say, in that case then, what is the difference? Why even have, if it's the same thing as a Pastor why even have Deacons? Or you could say, well why wouldn't he just go out and be a Pastor then if he's qualified to be a Pastor? Because God has different callings on different people's lives, and there are different phases in life that we go through, and different jobs that God has for us as individuals.
First of all, let me point out what the word ordained means, because we say we're ordaining Brother Baker as a Deacon. What does it mean to ordain him? There's another word that's used synonymously in the Bible with the word ordain, and that is the word appoint. Paul talked about how he was ordained a preacher and apostle, and then in the same parallel passage he said I was appointed a preacher and apostle. What does it mean to be ordained as a Deacon? It means that you're appointed. What that means is that the church tonight is basically saying, and that I as the Pastor am basically saying, that I believe that it's God's will that he be the Deacon at our church, that he serve in that capacity.
We are basically, as a church body, and I am as the leader basically saying that we have looked at him and decided that he meets the qualifications, and that we want him to fill this role. That's basically what it means to be ordained. It's the same thing when a Pastor is ordained. When we've ordained Pastor David [Burzans 00:22:02], or ordained Pastor Donnie Romero, what we're saying is we know this guy. He's not somebody that we've just barely met, or don't know anything about. We've known him, we have faith in him, we believe that he lives up to the qualifications to our knowledge, and we believe that it's God's will that he serve in this capacity.
People could be ordained to be a Pastor, or people could be ordained to be a Deacon, or there are people that could be ordained to be a missionary. Paul and Barnabas were separated under the work of missions, and prayed over, and sent out on a missionary journey. The Bible doesn't use the word missionary, it uses the word evangelist, about that type of person. The point is that these type of ordinations are a choice that's being made, a selection that's being made. Basically a stamp of approval saying this person has met the qualifications, and we believe that it is God's will that they serve in this capacity, that's what it means to be ordained.
The reason for becoming a Deacon could be a few different reasons. First of all, there's a need for Deacons. In Acts, Chapter 6, they chose Deacons, because there was a need for Deacons. There was a need for someone to do the daily work, and for someone to help carry the burden. Not only that, there could be someday a young man that is raised up in our church, that wants to serve God, that wants to be a spirit filled man of God. That wants to preach, and that wants to serve God with his life, but he decides I don't want to go somewhere else and start a church, and move to a distant city.
I want to stay here for the rest of my life. I love Faithful Word Baptist Church, and I want to stay here, and that type of person could become a Deacon in the church. Then they could serve and reach their full potential in the church, and be a full time man of God and preacher in the church without having to leave and go start a church somewhere else. They could remain a part of Faithful Word, that would be one option. In Brother Baker's case, he's not going to be a life long Deacon, because he wants to go and Pastor a church. He desires that office of a Bishop, and he desireth the good work. He wants to do that, but his time has not come for that, he's going to do that in a little bit less than a year and half. He's going to do that next summer.
In the meantime, he wants to serve here as Deacon. We want him to serve here as Deacon. He's being ordained to fulfill that role here in the church, and to be a Deacon. What is the difference between a Pastor and a Deacon, because churches could have one Pastor and one Deacon, or a church could have multiple Pastors, or multiple Deacons, but what is the difference between the two? If you look at the words that are used for the Pastor there are three words that are used for the Pastor in the Bible, and they're used interchangeably. The reason that God uses multiple words interchangeably is to help us understand more deeply that position. God uses the words Bishop, Pastor, and Elder. Each of those three words have a certain significance.
Bishop means overseer or ruler, it has to do with basically the authority of the Pastor. Then you have the word Elder, which has to do with the maturity and experience of the Pastor. Then you have the word, what was that other one that I didn't bring up yet? I'm losing it, Pastor, yeah. Then the word Pastor basically means shepherd. We know that Jesus Christ, the chief shepherd, but the Pastor is the under-shepherd. He's basically, and the Bible also calls Jesus, the Bishop, cause he's the supreme overseer isn't he? He's really the one that's watching over, and making sure that we straighten up and fly right. The Pastor is like an under-Bishop or and under-shepherd unto Jesus.
Whereas the word Deacon means a servant. The primary difference, it's not that he's a lesser man of God, it is a position to be taken seriously. It is an honorable position to have, but it's basically that he's not the boss. It's not a position of authority in the church, it's a position of service in the church. It is a position, also, that would probably be given unto someone that had a little bit less experience maybe, than you would expect the Pastor to have, but honestly, the qualifications are pretty much the same.
As evidenced by the fact that he's being ordained Deacon tonight, and God willing, he's going to be ordained Pastor in just a little over a year. He's going to receive that calling when he goes out to lead, and be the Bishop of his own congregation that he's going to start, God willing, in a distant state. He hasn't quite picked the place yet, but the what of God's will is important than the where of God's will. You could pretty much put your finger down on a map and it's all good. Anyway, honestly, it's the what that matters.
What we see here in these qualifications, look down at your Bible in Verse 8. "Likewise must the Deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy if they'll deliver." The likewise there is saying, "Look just like the Pastor should be all these same things, the Deacon should be these same things as well." We should expect the Deacon to be like the Pastor in the sense of he should be as qualified to be a Pastor. The Bible says that he must also be grave, he must also be not one that is double-tongued.
What does it mean to be double-tongued? Someone who talks out of both sides of their mouth. They say one thing to one person, and then they say something different over here. It would be sort of like, being double-tongued would be like if on one hand he's pretending to be for the program of the church, and he loves Faithful Word Baptist Church. Then he gets with a certain faction and basically would talk bad about our church or something. Or maybe docturnally he'd say to one person, "Oh man, I'm against Calvinism, I don't believe in that stuff." Then over here's he's like, "Well they have some good points." That's double-tongued, people who are playing games like that. I just knew somebody like that recently, that's why I used that example.
It says, "Likewise must the Deacons be grave." What does grave mean? Serious, take this job seriously, this is a big job. I hope, Brother Baker, that you understand the seriousness of being a Deacon. You know what I always say? I always proudly say when I talk about my family, and my grandfather, one of my most proud statements that I make about my grandfather was, "That my grandfather was a Deacon at Faith Baptist Church in Canoga Park, California."
I think that that's pretty cool that he was a Deacon, because he wasn't the right style of Deacon, cause he wasn't there every day doing the work. You know what, just being honored with that position, it's a big deal, take it seriously, realize that this is something where God is giving you this position, this office, this title. He's giving you this opportunity to serve him in a greater way than you could as a layman. I believe that there's also the power of the Holy Spirit associated with this position, where God empowers people for service. He empowers Pastors, he empowers Deacons, look at the power on the life of Stephen and Phillip.
It's not something to be taken likely and say, "You know this is just the simulator, it's next summer that matters." No, it matters now, what you're doing for the next year plus is an important part of your life. By the way, it will live on. When you go to Pastor someday, what you did during this period will live on forever, it will renown, and honestly it will either be a great blessing to you, or it will be a curse unto you. If you took it lightly that will come back to you. If you use the office of a Deacon well, this is one of my favorite statements about Deacons, look down at Verse 13, I love this verse, because in a day where it's all about getting a degree. Go to Bible College and get a degree, I love this verse.
"For they that have used the office of a Deacon well, purchase to themselves a good degree." That's a degree, that's a great degree, put that on the wall, using the office of a Deacon well at Faithful Word Baptist Church. The Bible says, "They Perth themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus." How would you like that to characterize your life? To be known as a man of great boldness in the faith, that's what Stephen was like, that's what Phillip was like. You know what, Brother Baker has that opportunity to use the office of a Deacon well, and to be known as man of great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Boldness is something that I've prayed for many times. I constantly pray for boldness. Why? Because as human beings we're weak. The Spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. As human beings sometimes we don't have the courage, sometimes we don't have the boldness to say and do what we need to, and we're constantly praying for boldness if we're following the Biblical example. The Bible teaches here, if you're a Deacon, and you use that office well, the reward is great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Let's back up, I'm getting ahead of myself here. Not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre, and by the way, not greedy of filthy lucre does not mean unpaid, or paid a slave wage. The Bible says the laborer is worthy of his hire, the workman is worthy of his meat. People have a right to be paid for their work that they do, and to eat, and to drink, and live in a house, and have a wife and children, the Bible's clear on that. What it's saying their with greedy of filthy lucre, see filthy lucre is not money that you earn by the sweat of your brow. Filthy lucre is that which is earned by being dishonest, by cheating, by not doing what you ought to do. The Bible says it should be one that's not greedy of filthy lucre.
"Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience, and let these also first be proved." What does that mean proved? Tested. "Let them also first be proved, then let them use the office of a Deacon, being found blameless." It needs to be a person who has been in our church, and he's been tested, and he's been observed, and he has been found blameless. That doesn't mean that he's perfect, it doesn't mean that he's sinless. It doesn't mean that he doesn't make mistakes. It means that he doesn't have some glaring sin in his life, or some major, major thing where we look and say, "Whoa, this guys not fit for the office of a Deacon." Test him first.
What it's saying here is don't just make somebody a Deacon that you don't know. First prove him, then let him use the office of a Deacon being found blameless. That's why he's already worked for our church for a few months before he was given the title of being a Deacon, before he's formerly ordained as a Deacon, because he basically is being proven, being tested. The Bible says in Verse 11, "Even so must their wives be grave." Even the wife should take this seriously. "Not slanderers," it shouldn't be someone who's going around gossiping, and talking bad about other people.
The Bible says, "Not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the Deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children in their own houses well. 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. These things write I unto thee, hoping to come into these shortly, 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." The church today is God's great institution to do his work in the 21st Century, just as much as in the 1st Century, it's the local church that is his instrument, to do his work. It's the pillar and ground of the truth.
The Bible says that we need to know how to behave ourselves in the house of God. The Bible says that all things should be done decently and in order. The Bible is teaching that we need to have standards for the Pastor, and we need to have standards for the Deacon, and we need the work of the church to go forward in a way that would honor and please the Lord.
If you go back to Acts 6, and we've pretty much looked at all the scripture on Deacons, because like I said there's not a lot of scripture. You've got I Timothy 3, with the qualifications, and then you've got the example of the Deacons in the Book of Acts. Then you have a scripture in Paul's epistles of every saint, the Church at Philippi, with the Bishops and Deacons, just referring to the fact that they're out there, the Bishops and Deacons.
Let me ask you something, has anybody seen this legislative body that we see in all these independent fundamental Baptist churches? We just looked at all the scripture. Has anybody seen these Deacon board meetings where a bunch of laymen get together with an emphasis on lame, and they all get together. They pick the lamest laymen, the lame of the laymen. There are lots of laymen that aren't lame. This church is filled with laymen tonight, and hope none of you are lame. In fact, my wife and I were sitting, sometimes before I preach the sermon, I preach it her a little bit. I bounce things off her, and preach to her, she's my focus group when I'm writing sermons.
I'll be preaching at her, so she hears every sermon twice or three times. If it seems like she's not paying attention sometimes, she's heard this one before. Anyhow, I'm just kidding. I'm preaching, and I was talking about it, I was like we were talking about the types of people that are usually made Deacons in churches. We were trying to think of lame people, the type of people. We couldn't think of anybody, because our church isn't lame, it's great. We thought of some people that have quit the church. We're like, "Yeah, they were lame, they would have been made Deacons in these other churches. In our church they couldn't take the heat, so they got out of the kitchen." Thank God, we couldn't think of a single lame church member that's currently going here that would have made good moss-backed Deacon material. We just don't have them, thank God.
Where's the board meeting? Can somebody help me out? I'm missing something. Why do they all do it, if it's not in the Bible? Where's this Deacon run church? Did the apostles say, "We need somebody to tell us what to do? We're getting out of control, Apostles Gone Wild." Where's the scripture in Acts, Chapter 6, where they said, "Man, we're preaching too hard, we're getting too crazy, we're being too irresponsible. We're flying by the seat of our pants. We need somebody to rein us in, and tone us down, and vote on stuff." No they said, "We need people to work, we need workers, we need people to do work for us." They said, "Let's get some people to serve, and the word Deacon means servant. Let's get some people to serve."
It's not a servant in the sense of a derogatory, a servant in the sense of being a low position, cause what did the Bible say? "Who servest greatest among you let him be your servant." In Christianity being a servant's not a bad thing. Anybody who says, "Oh, a Deacon means servant, I don't want to do that." You're heart's not right with God, cause Jesus said, "Who soever will be great among you, whoever wants to be great, let them be your servant." In Christianity being a servant is a great position. We follow the man who washed his disciples feet, that's our motto. Being a servant is a great position to be in, because it's a position where God says I'll bless you if you do it well, if you use that well, so it's great honor to be a Deacon.
Honestly, you don't see the model that we have out there today, and our church is not going to follow the crowd. I wouldn't get up here and say, "Hey, 99% of Baptists are doing it wrong." I wouldn't throw that out there unless I knew that I was right. I'm not that bold to off the cuff just declare my self right and everybody else wrong. Here's the thing, when they're wrong, they're wrong. This isn't something that I came up with yesterday. I've been reading the Bible my whole life, and I've never understood these Deacons, even when I was a kid I didn't understand these Deacons.
I remember reading about Jack [Hiles 00:39:35], back many, many decades ago, and he was one where the Deacons were trying to rein him in, or calm down his preaching, and stuff. The Deacons approached him one time and they said, "You know is it all right if we have a meeting about your preaching?" He said, "Yeah, sure, when do you want to have it?" They picked a date and time, and he didn't show up. He said, "If you guys want to have a meeting about my preaching you can. I'm not going to be there, cause I don't care what you guys think about my preaching."
This is something, but this is something that churches have been mixed up on for a really long time. I've even been in churches where they literally have elections for the Deacons, where they go around campaigning. Who's ever seen that before? Like vote for me, they go around campaigning, because it's so modeled after the U.S. Government system, it's like running for Congress, running for Senate, or whatever, but it isn't Biblical. Thank God that we have the Bible as our guide. This has to be our guide, and if it ain't broke don't fix it, but this whole Deacon thing is broken, so we're fixing it tonight. We're setting the record straight, we're having a scriptural Deacon at Faithful Word Baptist Church.
You say, "Well we need seven." No, we can't afford seven of them, number one. Number two, we don't need seven because it's not a voting body. You could have one, you could have two, just like a Pastor, you could eventually have other Pastors. You could have an Assistant Pastor and things, but you don't have to, it's okay to have one Pastor, it's okay to have one Deacon, when that's what the size of the church would dictate. We're at the point where we need Brother Baker on board, because we need his help, we need that laborer, because it's too much at this point for one person to do. We have Brother Baker on board now to shoulder some of that burden, and to be a part of it.
I believe that everyone here agrees with me that Brother Baker is qualified for this position, that's what I believe from talking to the men of the church, and from knowing the heart of the church. I believe that everyone agrees with me that this is a good role for him to fill, and this is a great position for him to fill. It's going to be also a great preparation for him to be a Pastor next year, when he moves on, God willing, when he moves on to that next phase here. If you think that Brother Baker should be our Deacon then say amen.
That was not voting, because we don't care what you think. No, I'm kidding. We're going to have a word of prayer at this time. I'm going to lay hands on Brother Baker, and I'm going to pray that God will fill him with the Holy Spirit, and will give him great power. I would love to see Brother Baker do great works over the next year, and several months, that he's with us. I want to see him do great works beyond that when he goes out to start a church somewhere. I want the power of God to be on his life, because without the the power of God we can't do anything of value for the Lord.
Jesus said, "Without me you can do nothing." We have to abide in the vine, we have to be tapped in to the Holy Spirit's power if we want to do great things for our life. In the flesh you can't do the kind of work that we do in the flesh. You can't lead or serve this kind of church in the flesh. You can't be an affective soul winner in the flesh. You can't preach a sermon that is going to change lives. If you're in the flesh you've got to be filled with the Holy Spirit of God. The purpose this ordination is for us to come together as a church, and voice our affirmation that says, yes, we believe in Brother Baker, that he meets the qualifications, and that secondly we pray together.
I'm going to lead us in prayer, but let's all be praying together that Brother Baker will be endued with power, and that he would have the fullness of the Holy Spirit in his life, so that he could do his greatest works for God. Not in his past where he could brag about some works that he had done back in the day, but rather that his greatest works are just beginning. Pray that he would be like Stephen and like Phillip. I believe that he will be a great man of God, and that's why he's even up here tonight. If I didn't have faith in him, then he wouldn't be here. We need to pray for him, that he will reach his potential for the Lord. Let's pray right now, let's bow our heads together.
Lord, I pray that you would please bless Brother Baker tonight, Lord, and fill him with your Spirit. Lord, I pray that he would do great works for you that many people would be able to see them and glorify you, and marvel. Lord, I pray that many souls would be saved Lord, just as in the Book of Acts when those Deacons were added, so many people were saved as a result of having those seven extra workers.
Lord, I pray that Brother Baker would be used to see many people saved, that many people would go to heaven as a result of what we're doing here tonight. I pray that Brother Baker's preaching would be filled with the Spirit, and whenever he gets the chance to preach, whether it's behind this pulpit, or whether it's in a jail, or a nursing home, or at someone's door Lord, I pray that you would give him power, Lord. That you would fill him with your Spirit, Lord. Please use him in a great and mighty way as a Deacon in this church, Lord. Help him to use it well Lord. We love you, and we thank you, and in Jesus name we pray. Amen.
All right, let's go ahead and sing a song before we go. You can go ahead and have a seat Brother Baker. Be sure to congratulate Brother Baker on this important step in his life in becoming the first Deacon at Faithful Word Baptist Church. Let's sing a great song, 187, Jesus. All right we broke the record tonight. What's our new attendance record? 180 tonight, very good, excellent. Whenever we break the attendance record we have ice cream after the service, so everybody stick around for ice cream.