USE YOUR THINKERS!
Paul's greeting to the "bishops and deacons" of Philippi has been heavily scrutinized (Chapter 1:1) in terms of ecclesiastical development.
It has brought the authenticity of his authorship into question for some. Diakonos is the greek word for deacon, it simply means servant;
it's root word, diako, means to run errands like that of a waiter or waitress.
1. And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and SERVE TABLES.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
Earlier biblical deaconship was depicted in the role of administrative assistance before evolving into an official office.
Regardless of what position one serves in; equality is a major tenet of the religion.
3. For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.
4. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
5. So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.
The ministerial role of bishop and deacon were already part of the church order by the time Paul composed his letter to the Philippians around 62 AD. We find in the book of Acts, written around the same time as the letter to the Philippians, references to the office of bishop.
For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his position as bishop (bishoprick) let another take. KJV
In the first century during the apostolic age, the term bishop and elder were used interchangeably, there was no distinction between the two. The office of bishop was classified under eldership. Being that Paul established the church of Philippi; it is more than likely he had major influence over the type of person who should serve in the office of bishop and the role of deacon. Paul would select trusted appointees, such as Titus to ordain (ELDERS)in every city in where they started churches (Titus 1:4&5). In Paul's letters to
both Titus and Timothy; He gives them a list of qualifications for bishops and deacons.
5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain (ELDERS)
in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a (BISHOP) must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
1 Timothy 3:
1.This is a true saying, if a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre;but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
Paul shows some versatility in his writing. Paul was from Tarsus (Acts 21:39). Tarsus was widely known in the antiquity as an intellectual community. As a Tarsian, the Greco-Roman educational system was accessible to him. They focused on areas of reading, writing, arithmetic, grammar, composition, oratory, and literature.
Interesting enough, under this academic framework, proficiency in letter writing was essential. Keeping in mind, this was the age of
the professional scribes; this skill was very important for the times.
Such education rendered scholastic achievement in the art of poetic language and vocabulary. This is evidently seen in the stylistic formation of Philippians 2:6-11. This segment's literary
anatomy is coherent with the whole content of His message.
The tone of the Paul's letter takes a turn with his polemic against the final quandary facing the church of Philippi (VS 1)
Some opponents were fostering dubiety to soteriology (2nd Timothy 4:3)
A group of Judaizers were attempting to get the Christians entangled in legalism (VS 2). Paul warns them about the danger of such a path. Faith in Christ's finish work at the Christ brings salvation (John 19:30). Those promoting circumcision ritual in order to be saved is actually opposing the act of faith. They're advocating trust in dead works.
Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto maturity; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
Growth is needed in our spiritual walk. We are expected to mature pass any hope in human power when it comes to redemption (Vs.3).
Faith goes beyond belief and confession. Demons believe and acknowledge who Christ is.
29.What do you want with us, Son of God?
Faith is not only what you believe, put trust in, and hope for;but it's the evidence (Hebrews 11:1).
Evidence implies that which not only exist, but manifest itself (VS.10)
So you cannot have faith in Christ without your heart, mind, spirit proving it... (VS. 11)
This could be why Paul teaches that it's worshiping God in our spirit that makes us His children (VS 3).
Paul brings to memory how foolish it is to depend upon the flesh. And how it doesn't profit
The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life.
If it was possible for anyone to acquire salvation for merely being and doing...it would be he...He was born Jewish and went through the requirements as early as eight days old to being a member of the Pharisee..very strict on obedience to every letter of the law and customs (Vs. 6). Paul took it a step further as to include, his actions were sincere..yet still he was in spiritual ignorance.
18 For I have told you often before, and I say it again now with tears in my eyes, there are many who walk along the Christian road
who are really enemies of the cross of Christ.
19 Their future is eternal loss, for their god is their appetite: they are proud of what they should be ashamed of; and all they think about is this life here on earth.