- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Wednesday, 18 November 2009 18:19
W.E. Vine (Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words) states that "deacon servants" and "bondservants" are servile workers. From the way these words are used in Matthew 22:1-14, he further suggests that their description as "bondservants" indicates their relationship to their master, whereas "deacon servants" indicates their relationship to their work. In Matthew 22, the king’s bondservants (verses 3, 4, 6, 8, 10) represented their master, invited the guests, and received mistreatment that was actually directed against the king. In verse 13, the king gives his deacon servants the work of executing his judgement.
With that distinction in mind, we note in the epistles that administering funds (Romans 15:25, 31; 2 Corinthians 8:4, 20; 9:12), preaching the gospel (1 Corinthians 3:3; 2 Corinthians 11:8; 1 Timothy 1:12), and teaching believers (Ephesians 3:7;1 Timothy 4:6; 1 Peter 4:10) are deacon work. In addition, Mark and Onesimus (2 Timothy 4:11; Philemon 13) gave personal deacon care. Phebe performed some deacon work, probably personal care consistent with a sister’s role.
Deacon service in the assembly can therefore be personal. Some, like the house of Stephanus, addict themselves to serving the saints as deacons (1 Corinthians 16:15). They labored and helped the apostle with his work (verse 16). Hospitality and other "support work" in spreading the gospel is deacon work. Assembly believers who preach the gospel, minister the Word to other believers, and who open or teach in Bible Readings serve as deacons. Someone administering special funds for the assembly likewise serves as a deacon. Overseers, however, guide the assembly (Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24) in distributing funds.