Qualifications For Deacons

Teachings of Alister John Lowe, Th.D., Ph.D.

Volume 41 May, 1995

Qualifications For Deacons


The English word for deacon, is de-rived from the Latin, diaconus; and the Greek, diakonos, a minister or ser-vant. In the Church of England and the Church of Rome, a person in the lowest order of the clergy, originally an overseer of the poor, but deacons do not now fulfil their original purpose. In certain denominations, one who attends to the secular affairs of the congregation.

Diakonos sees a servant in relationship to his work. The other major Greek word, doulos, sees him in relationship to his master. He is a bondservant or a slave.

1. Grave
From the Latin, gravis, heavy, weighty; ltalian and French, grave.
Serious; sedate; not gay, light, or trifling; weighty; momentous.
The Greek, semnos, originally meant, reverend, august, vcnerable. Then serious, grave. It is a combination of gravity and dignity. It inspircs reverence and awe: seriousness in purpose and self-respect in conduct.

2. Double-tongued
The Greek word, dilogos, means saying the same thing twicc, repitition. Saying one thing to one person and culd another thing to another. From dis. twice, and logos, word.

The English word comes from the French, double, which in turn is derived from the Latin, duplico, I make twice as much. Twice as much; twofold; being in pairs; deceitful; acting two parts, that is, two lines of conduct, open and secret.
Double-minded: unstable, unsettled, zavering.
Double-hearted: deceitful. treacherous.

3. Not Given to Much Wine
The English word for wine is derived from the Latin, vinum; Greek, oinos; Gothic, vein; Icelandic, vin. The fermented juice of grapes; intoxication; the juice of other fruits prepared in imitation of wine.

The Greek, oinos, is used in reference to breaking wineskins and implies fermentation.

Romans 14:13-23 Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way. I know, and am persuaded by the Lord Jesus, that there is nothing unclean of itself: but to him that esteemeth any thing to be unclean, to him it is unclean. But if thy brother be grieved with thy meat, now walkest thou not charitably. Destroy not him with thy meat, for whom Christ died. Let not then your good be evil spoken of. For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. For he that in these things serveth Christ is acceptable to God, and approved of men. Let us therefore follow after the things which make for peace, and things wherewith one may edify another. For meat destroys not the work of God. All things indeed are pure; but it is evil for that man who eateth with offence. It is good neither to eat flesh, nor drink wine, nor anything whereby thy brother stumbleth, or is offended, or is made weak. Hast thou faith? have it to thyself before God. Happy is he that condemneth not himself in that thing which he alloweth. And he that doubteth is damned if he eat, because he eateth not of faith: for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.

The deacon is to be an example, a pace-setter, a standard for other Christians. He is simply effecting the law of Christ, loving his neighbour as himself, considering those of a weaker disposition, taking the occasion not to serve himself, but by love, serve another.

1 Corinthians 8:4-13 As concerning therefore the eating of those things that are offered in sacrifice to idols, we know that an idol is nothing in the world, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) But to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. Howbeit there is not in everyman that knowledge: for some with conscience of the idol unto this hour eat it as a thing offered unto an idol; and their conscience being weak is defiled. But meat commendeth us not to God: for neither, if we eat, are we the better; neither, if we eat not, are we the worse. But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling-block to them that are weak. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge sit at meat in the idol's temple, shall not the conscience of him which is weak be emboldened to eat those things which are offered to idols; And through thy knowledge shall the weak brother perish, for whom Christ died? But when ye sin so against the brethren, and wound their weak conscience, ye sin against Christ. Wherefore, if meat make my brother to offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother to offend.

4. Not Greedy of Filthy Lucre
The Greek, aischrokerdes, means greedy of base gains.

The English word lucre, denotes profit; a gain in money, always in an ill sense.

Lucrative, comes from the Latin, lucrativus; Italian, lucrativo; French, lucratif, profitable. From Latin, lucrum, gain: Italian, lucro: French, lucro, gainful, profitable.

The English, filthy, means, foul; dirty; unclean; morally impure. It is derived from the Anglo Saxon, filth and the Icelandic, fyla, to stink, to putrefy. Dirt; defilement; foul matter.

Greedy comes from the Anglo Saxon groedig; Gothic, gredags, crying for food, hungry. Ravenous; voracious; having a keen appetite for food or drink, or for anything desired; vehemently desirous. Selfish desire; avarice.

5. Holding the Mystery of the Faith in a Pure Conscience

The English word for hold comes from the Anglo Saxon healdan, to keep; to observe: German, halten; Dutch, houden; to preserve; Icelandic, halla, guard. To stop; to detain; to have or grasp in the hand; to keep; to keep steady or fast; to contain; to possess; to be true; not to fail; to stick; to adhere; to maintain, as an opinion; Noun: a grasp, as with the hands; and embrace; power of keeping or seizing; influence; a fortified place; a prison.

The Greek, echo, means to have or hold; steadfast adherence.

Mystery: Latin, mysterium; Greek, musterion, a secret thing. Italian, mysterio; French, mystere. A profound secret; something wholly unknown; something awfully obscure or incomprehensible; that which is kept secret for a time to be afterwards revealed; a miracle play.
Mtysteries: secret rites and worship.

Greek, musterion, that which is known to the initiated. From meuo, to initiate into the mysteries. Meuomai, I have learned the secret.
That which is outside the range of unassisted natural apprehension, only known by divine revelation.
Illumined by the Holy Spirit.
Not knowledge witheld but truth revealed.

Colossians 1:26 Even the mystery which hath been hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to his saints:

Faith: Greek, pistis, firm persuasion. English: from the Latin, fides, trust: French, foi: Italian, fede. Belief; trust; confidence; sincerity; belief in revealed religion; trust in God; a system of doctrines or tenets;
The Faith: The Christian Religion.

Pure: English, from the Latin, purus, to clean, undefiled: Latin, puro: French, pur, pure. Sanskrit, pu, to purify. Free from everything that can debase or render unclean; unpolluted; clear; not dirty; genuine; not adulterated; holy; guiltless; chaste; not foul; mere; absolute.
Greek: katharos, being cleansed; pure.

Conscience: Greek, suneidesis, a knowing with. A witness bom to one's conduct by conscience, by that faculty which we apprehend the will of God, as that which is designed to govern our lives.
English: From the Latin, conscientia, a knowing along with others, from con, together, and sciens, knowing: Italian, conscienza: French, conscience. Self knowledge or judgment of right or wrong; the power or faculty by which we judge the rectitude or wickedness of our own actions; justice; real sentiment; truth; candour; scruple.
Conscious: Latin, conscius, privy to. Possessing the power of knowing
one's own thoughts and actions; having knowledge of anything without extraneous information; aware; sensible.

6. First be Proved
Greek, dokimazo, to test; prove; try; examine.
English: Anglo Saxon, profian, to try; German, proben: French, prouver; Italian, probare, to try, to test.
To ascertain by trial or comparison: to subject to trial or test; to verify; to demonstrate; to deposit and register for probate, as a will; to be found by experience; to turn out; to be ascertained by the event.

7. Use the Office of a Deacon Greek: diakoneo, to serve.
Let them serve as deacons. They that have served well as deacons.

8. Blameless
Greek: anenkletos, that which cannot be called to account. With nothing laid to one's charges as the result of public investigation. It implies not merely acquittal but the absence of even a charge or accusation against a person.
English: French, blamer, to blame; Norman French, blasmer; Latin, blasphemare, to revile, to defame; Greek, blasphemien, to speak impiously; Italian, biasimare, to blame. To find fault with; to censure. Blameless: without fault; innocent; free from blame; guiltless. Unreproachable.

9. Wives Grave (Same as No. 1)

10. Wives Not Slanderers Greek: diabolos, slanderous, accusing falsely. Those who are given to finding fault with the demeanor and conduct of others, and spreading their innuendos and criticisms in the church.
English: French, esclandre; Old English, sclaunder, scandal, discredit, from the Greek scandalon, cause of offence, a snare. A false tale or report tending to injure the reputation of another; defamation; to injure by maliciously spreading a false report; to defame.

10. Wives Sober
Greek: nephalios, temperate. To be free from the influence of intoxicants.
Used in the N.T. metaphorically, in association with watchfulness. Vigilant.
English: French, sobre; Italian, sobrio; Latin, sobrius, not drunk. Teperate; not under the influence of
strong drink; possessing the habits of temperance; right in mind; not visionary or heated with passion; grave; serious. To bring to a right frame of mind.

12. Wives Faithful in All Things
Greek: pistos, faithful, to be trusted, reliable. Believing.
English: Constant; not ficklc; true.
(See No.S)

13. Husband of One Wife
Husband: Greek: aner, a man, an adult male. Used of man in various connotations, thrc meaning determined by the context.
English: Norman, husbond; Anglo Saxon, husbonda, the master of the house; from Anglo Saxon, hus, a house, and bonda; Laplandic, banda, a master; Bohemian, hospod; Latin, hospif, the lord, the master of the house; A man joined to a woman by marriage: an economist; the manager of the concerns of a shipn as in the phrase, ship's husband.

Wife: Greek: gune, a woman, married or unmarried. A wife.
English: Anglo Saxon and Icelandic, wif; German, weib, a woman, a wife:
In Anglo Saxon, the two sexes were distinguished by woepned-man, the weapon-man, and wif-man, the wifeman, wife being supposed to be derived from weaving, the sword and the distaff being taken as the type of the two exes; a woman united to man by marriage; a woman engaged in a petty trade, as fishwife.

14. Ruling Children and Own Houses Well
Ruling: Greek: proistemi, to stand before; to lead, to attend to (indicating care and diligence). Translated to rule in reference to a local church and a family.

English: Having control or authority; narking with lines as with a ruler; predominant; controlling; reigning.
From Latin regula; Provencal, regla; French, regle, a straight piece of wood. An instrument by which straight lines are drawn, or short lengths measured; something established for guidance and direction; government; supreme command; control; a prescribed mode of operation by which certain results may be obtained; in grammar, a statement by which some established order in the construction of words is expressed.
Children: Greek: teknon, a child. It is used in both natural and figurative senses.
English: Anglo Saxon, cild; Dutch and German, kind, a child: a son or daughter; an infant or very young person; one weak in knowledge or experience of the world.

Houses: Greek: oikos. a house, a dwelling; tabernacle; temple; the members of a household or family; a local church.
English: Gothic, hus; German, haus; Hungarian, haz, a house. Any building for habitation or shelter; domestic concerns; manner of living; a family of ancestors or kindred; the body, as "house of this tabernacle"; the grave, as "house appointed for all living"

Well: Greek: kalos, finely, good, fair; hat which is done rightly; very well.
English: Gothic, vaila, better; Old High German, wala; German, wohl, vell; Welsh, gwell, better. Done in a hoice or desirable manner; justly; ightfully; skilfully; very much; to a ufficient degree; perfectly; aword expressing satisfaction, or merely expletive, "well, well be it so; well, let us go."