1 Timothy 3:12
A deacon must be the husband of but one wife, a good manager of his children and of his own household.
A Negligent Father1 Timothy 3:12
Evils of PolygamyDr. Moffatt.1 Timothy 3:12
Faithfulness in an Inferior Position Leads to a HigherR. Newton, D. D.1 Timothy 3:12
The Good DegreeE. Garbett, M. A.1 Timothy 3:12
Qualifications of Three Classes of Office-BearersR. Finlayson 1 Timothy 3:1-13
Accepting Mysteries of the FaithA. B. Grosart.1 Timothy 3:8-13
An Equivocal Life to be AvoidedChristian Herald1 Timothy 3:8-13
Double TonguedChristian Herald1 Timothy 3:8-13
The Ideal DeaconA. Rowland, LL. B.1 Timothy 3:8-13
The Mystery of the FaithBp. Bickersteth.1 Timothy 3:8-13
The Domestic Duty of DeaconsT. Croskery 1 Timothy 3:12, 13

The apostle here returns to add some further injunctions about deacons, as well as to suggest a reason for exacting the qualifications already described.


1. "Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife." The same qualification is needed for deacons as for bishops, for their houses were to be examples of purity, peace, and orderliness.

2. "Ruling their children and their own houses well." The father of a loving household would be best fitted for the sympathetic administration of funds allocated to the poor, while the pious order of his family would enhance the public confidence in the reality of his religious character.

II. REASON FOR THE VARIOUS QUALIFICATIONS DESCRIBED. "For those who have done the work of a deacon well obtain for themselves a good degree, and much boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."

1. The good degree does not refer to promotion to higher ecclesiastical office. The idea, indeed, would be quite an anachronism.

2. It refers to the place of honor and distinction that will be given to the faithful deacon in the day of final recompense. The doctrine of rewards is that of Scripture, and especially of our Lord's parables (Matthew 25:45; Luke 19:11-27).

3. There is the further idea of the joyful confidence toward God which would characterize him in view of a faithful discharge of his duties - a confidence springing out of faith resting in Jesus Christ. - T.C.

Husband of one wife.
I was once the guest, says Mr. Moody, of a Christian man, whose children were turning out badly. One night a conversation took place about them; and with tears trickling down his cheek he said, "My four eldest sons turned out badly, and I am afraid that the others are following their example." I said: "Let us look into this thing. Tell me about your family. How many nights do you go to church?" "On Sunday night. I am an officer in the church, and I am there on Sunday night." "What about Monday?" "Oh, I am a deacon, and I am at the church on Monday night." "What about Tuesday night?" "I am connected with the city government, and I have to attend committee-meetings of the council." "Wednesday night is prayer-meeting, and you go to church?" "Yes." "That is how you are occupied four nights. What do you do the other three?" "I belong to the Masons. I hold a high office in the lodge, and have to be there." "That accounts for five nights. Of course, as you hold a high social position, you are often out at dinner-parties and committees. You go out perhaps one night each week to dinners and committees." "It will average all that." "Then," I said, "there is one more night, that is, Saturday night; what do you do then?" "Oh, I am superintendent of the Sabbath school, and I lock myself in my room and prepare the lesson for my Bible-class on the following day." "You don't let your children into your room then, do you?" "No; certainly not." "Then your children have to get off early in the morning, and they are away from family prayer?" "Yes; some get off early, and others rise late, and they are not present at morning worship." "And you have to get away as early, as possible to your business" as soon as I get through worship I am off. What time do you take dinner. At six o'clock." "You see your children at six. But you are not always prompt. I suppose half-past six, is it not?" "Yes, that is about the average." "And your meetings begin about half past seven; so that you have but little time with your children. What have you done for them?" And at that very time he was trying to be made mayor of the city. He dropped his head, and said that he had never thought of it in that light before. There are many just like that. They are giving their time to public affairs, to the utter neglect of their children and their homes.

Titus, brother of Africaner, was the only individual on the station who had two wives, and fearing the influence of example, I have occasionally made a delicate reference to the subject and by degrees could make more direct remarks on the point which was one of the barriers to his happiness; but he remained firm, admitting, at the same time, that a man with two wives was not to be envied, and added, "He is often in an uproar, and when they quarrel he does not know whose part to take." He said, he often resolved when there was a great disturbance, he would pay one off. One morning I thought the anticipated day had come. He approached my door leading an ex upon which one of his wives was seated. "What is the matter?" I inquired. Giving me a shake of his hand, and laughing, he replied, "Just the old thing over again. Mynheer must not laugh too much at me, for I am now in for it." The two wives had quarrelled at the outpost, and the one in a rage had thrown a dry rotten stick at the other, which had entered the palm of her hand, and had left a piece about an inch long, and the thickness of a finger. The hand had swollen to nearly four times its usual size. "Why" I asked, "did you not bring her sooner?" "She was afraid to see you, and would not come till I assured her that you were a maak mensche(a tame man). Having made an incision and extracted the piece of wood, she was melted into tears with gratitude, while I earnestly exhorted her to a better way of life.

(Dr. Moffatt.)

Purchase to themselves a good degree
- The words refer, in the first place, to a faithful discharge of the duties attached to the office of the deacon. They that have "used the office of a deacon well" are they who have laboured in the diaconate with honour to themselves and glory to their MDr. Morrison wrote to his friends in England and asked them to send him out another missionary. A young man from the country came and offered himself. He came to the office of the Missionary Society and was introduced to the gentlemen of the board and had a long talk with them. They then asked him to call again in an hour or two, and they would give him an answer. In talking the matter over after he was gone, they came to the conclusion that this young man would not do to go as the colleague of Dr. Morrison. Finally, they said to Dr. Phillips, one of their members: "Doctor, you see the young man and tell him that we do not think him fit to be a missionary; but that if he would like to go out as servant to the missionary we will send him." The doctor did not like much to do this; but he did it. He told the young man just what the board said. Now, many a young man would have been angry on hearing this, and would have said: "No, I shall do no such thing. If I can't go out as a missionary, I won't go at all." But this young man did not feel or act so. After hearing what the doctor said, his answer was: "Well, sir, if the gentlemen don't think me fit to be a missionary I will go as a servant. I am willing to be a hewer of wood, or a drawer of water, or do anything to help on the cause of my heavenly Master." He was sent out as a servant, but he soon got to be a missionary, and turned out to be the Rev. Dr. Milne, one of the best and greatest missionaries that ever went to any country.

(R. Newton, D. D.)

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