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Should believers be concerned if they are elected?

Is it possible that some believers are not elected? Furthermore, can someone make themselves an elected person not by works but by faith? 

Clarify Share Report Asked January 03 2014 Mini Larry English

For follow-up discussion and general commentary on the topic. Comments are sorted chronologically.

Ray martinez portrait 073103b Ray Martinez

I can speak from experience as a former mayor for three terms. The burden you carry is to make sure that a Christian's moral character is above board; even though you will be attacked, regardless. I have found plenty of opportunity to share my faith, which for some churches is a breath of fresh air. It's important not to hide your faith. When first elected to office, I spoke to 49 congregations of different denominations about the comparison of city government and my faith; particularly in how does it all mix.

Many churches elect their deacons by a vote of the membership. Paul expresses the importance of character when putting someone in such a position.

The similarities of the qualifications for deacons and elders/overseers in 1 Timothy 3 are striking. Like the qualifications for elders, a deacon must not be an addict (v. 3,), not greedy for dishonest gain (v. 3), blameless (v. 2; Titus 1:6), the husband of one wife (v. 2), and an able manager of his children and household well (vv. 4–5). Furthermore, the focus of the qualifications is the moral character of the person who is to fill the office: a deacon must be mature and above reproach. The main difference between an elder and a deacon is a difference of gifts and calling, not character.

Paul identifies nine qualifications for deacons in 1 Timothy 3:8-12:

Dignified (v. 8): This term normally refers to something that is honorable, respectable, esteemed, or worthy, and is closely related to “respectable,” which is given as a qualification for elders (1 Tim. 3:2).
Not double-tongued (v. 8): Those who are double-tongued say one thing to certain people but then say something else to others, or say one thing but mean another. They are two-faced and insincere. Their words cannot be trusted, so they lack credibility.
Not addicted to much wine (v. 8): A man is disqualified for the office of deacon if he is addicted to wine or other strong drink. Such a person lacks self-control and is undisciplined.
Not greedy for dishonest gain (v. 8): If a person is a lover of money, he is not qualified to be a deacon, especially since deacons often handle financial matters for the church.
Sound in faith and life (v. 9): Paul also indicates that a deacon must “hold the mystery of the faith with a clear conscience.” The phrase “the mystery of the faith” is simply one way Paul speaks of the gospel (cf. 1 Tim. 3:16). Consequently, this statement refers to the need for deacons to hold firm to the true gospel without wavering. Yet this qualification does not merely involve one’s beliefs, for he must also hold these beliefs “with a clear conscience.” That is, the behavior of a deacon must be consistent with his beliefs.
Blameless (v. 10): Paul writes that deacons must “be tested first; then let them serve as deacons if they prove themselves blameless” (v. 10). “Blameless” is a general term referring to a person’s overall character. Although Paul does not specify what type of testing is to take place, at a minimum, the candidate’s personal background, reputation, and theological positions should be examined. Moreover, the congregation should not only examine a potential deacon’s moral, spiritual, and doctrinal maturity, but should also consider the person’s track record of service in the church.
Godly wife (v. 11): It is debated whether verse 11 refers to a deacon’s wife or to a deaconess. For the sake of this discussion, we will assume the verse is speaking about the qualifications of a deacon’s wife. According to Paul, deacons’ wives must “be dignified, not slanderers, but sober-minded, faithful in all things” (v. 11). Like her husband, the wife must be dignified or respectable. Secondly, she must not be a slanderer or a person who goes around spreading gossip. A deacon’s wife must also be sober-minded or temperate. That is, she must be able to make good judgments and must not be involved in things that might hinder such judgment. Finally, she must be “faithful in all things” (cf. 1 Tim. 5:10).

January 05 2014 Report

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