Dr. E. G. Robinson did not regard the election of the seven, in <440601>Acts 6:1-4, as marking the origin of the diaconate, though he thought the diaconate grew out of this election.
The Autobiography of C. H. Spurgeon, 3:22, gives an account of the election of ?elders? at the Metropolitan Tabernacle in London. These ?elders? were to attend to the spiritual affairs of the church, as the deacons were to attend to the temporal affairs. These ?elders? were chosen year by year, while the office of deacon was permanent.
Secondly, helping the church, by relieving the poor and sick and ministering in an informal way to the church?s spiritual needs and by performing certain external duties connected with the service of the sanctuary.
Since deacons are to be helpers, it is not necessary in all cases that they should be old or rich, in fact, it is better that among the number of deacons the various differences in station are wealth and the opinions in the church should be represented. The qualifications for the diaconate mentioned in <440614>Acts 6:14 and <540308>1 Timothy 3:8-13 are, in substance wisdom, sympathy and spirituality. There are advantages in electing deacons, not for life, but for a term of years. While there is no New Testament prescription in this matter and each church may exercise its option, service for a term of years, with re-election where the office has been well discharged, would at least seem favored by <540310>1 Timothy 3:10 ? ?Let these also first be proved, then let them serve as deacons, if they be blameless?; 13 ? ?For they that have served well as deacons gain to themselves a good standing and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.?
Expositor?s Greek Testament, on <440506>Acts 5:6, remarks that those who carried out and buried Ananias are called oiJ new>teroi ? ?the young men? ? and in the case of Sapphira they were oiJ neani>skoi ? meaning the same thing. ?Upon the natural distinction between presbu>teroi and new>teroi ? elders and young men ? it may well have been that official duties in the church were afterward based.? Dr. Leonard Bacon thought that the apostles included the whole membership in the ?we,? when they said: ?It is not that we should forsake the word of God, and serve tables.? The deacons, on this interpretation, were chosen to help the whole church in temporal matters.
In <451601>Romans 16:1, 2, we have apparent mention of a deaconess ? ?I commend unto you Phube our sister, who is a servant [margin:
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