- Parent Category: FAQs
- Category: Bible Questions and answers about the Church
- Published on Friday, 20 November 2009 10:55
Tracing the development of Saul of Tarsus provides a helpful profile. His spiritual life began with submission to the Lord: "Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?" (Acts 9:6). His baptism expressed this also. A first mark in his life was prayer (Acts 9:11). From the beginning, Saul had a consistent interest in gospel work (vv 20-22). He had experience with God, getting to know Him and His truth (Gal 1:11-12, 17). The assembly was the center of his interests and gospel activities (Acts 9:26-29), although he spread the gospel in other places where no assembly existed (v 20). He had earned the confidence of more experienced workers, because Barnabas brought him to Antioch (11:25-26). Saul was able to work under the shadow of Barnabas (9:27; 11:30; 12:25; 13:2, 7) - and with others (13:1) - until God moved him to the fore (compare 13:43, 46, 50; 14:12, 15; 2, 12, 22, 25, 35). This fosters continuity of testimony from one generation to the next (2Ti 2:2).
Because preaching the Word is deacon service, the qualifications Paul outlined for deacons also apply to those commended by an assembly. As to their character, they have dignity (ESV for "grave"), honesty, and self-control (1Ti 3:8). As to the truth, they have convictions and are consistent with it (v 9). As to their work, they have experience by which they have gained the confidence of others (vv 10, 13). As to their family life, they are commendable (vv 11-12).