“Deacons must be… holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.” – 1 Tim 3:8-9
If this one simple rule were implemented deacons would need to resign left and right. How many deacons know the mystery of Christ?
Yet, the verse is more than simply knowing the mystery, which we all are to do. It requires that the deacon be holding onto it as Paul instructs Titus:
“Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine…” – Titus 1:9
What a lofty attainment in order to be a deacon of the church. Yet, the rule for deacons does not stop there. The deacon must hold the mystery in a “pure conscience”.
Purity of doctrine is the concern of church deacons and elders. They will not compromise. They are committed to the truth of God’s word, and that rightly divided.
They have studied the doctrine, knowing its strengths and weaknesses, and are still holding on to it.
They are not holding to the faith, just because it gives them clout with their wife, family, friends, or social sphere. They are individually and fully persuaded so as to defend it in purity.
This is the qualification of a deacon.
Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience does not describe 99% of the deacons that exist in churches. And now we know the answer to the rejoinder, “why haven’t I heard this before?”
For His glory,
Justin “holding fast” Johnson