Seven men of good report, full of the Holy Ghost
The first seven deacons were installed to provide ministry to the local church. The study of names has been a popular over the years. In my curiosity, I decided to look at the names of these seven men. Is it possible that their names may tell us something?
Stephen – stefanov Stephanos, stef’-an-os – crown; crowned – Stephanus, Stephen modeled what it meant to be the 1st deacon. He was an example to all who would follow in the footsteps of Christ.
Philip – filippov Philippos, fil’-ip-pos – A warrior who rides a horse, Knight etc. (from 5384 – filov philos, fee’-los and 2462 – ippov hippos, hip’-pos); warlike – warrior; A friend to “horses” Philippus,–Philip. (The church needs evangelists who will go into the highways and hedges)
Prochorus – procorov Prochoros, prokh’-or-os – he that presides over the choirs – before the dance. (The church needs worship leaders)
Nicanor – Nikanwr Nikanor, nik-an’-ore – a victorious conqueror. (The church needs warriors of spiritual warfare, who can teach you to overcome)
Timon – Timwn Timon, tee’-mone -; priceless; Timon ; money paid, or (concretely and collectively) valuables; by analogy, esteem (especially of the highest degree), or the dignity itself:–honour, precious. (The church needs financial management)
Parmenas – parmenav Parmenas, par-men-as’; Consistent – Parmenides – a derivative of a compound of 3844 – para para, a primary preposition; very close, near; and 3306 menw-meno to stay (in a given place, state, relation or expectancy): literally–abide, continue, dwell, endure, be present, remain, stand, tarry; Parmenas. (Here is the one who resides. He will be the one who spends the most time in the house of God.) The church needs members who are faithful to the house of God.
Nicolas – Nikolaov Nikolaos, nik-ol’-ah-os – victorious over the people; Nicolaus,from 3534 – nikov nikos, a conquest (concretely), i.e. (by implication) triumph:–victory and 2994 – laodikeuv – literally means from Laodicia; Nicolas was a proselyte from Antioch. He represents the man who is “not one of them” but “became one of them.” He is the person “from the other side of the tracks”, “the poor man in a rich world”, “the rich man in a poor world,” etc. He is the bridge builder. (The church needs people who can bridge the social and cultural gaps that society creates.)
1Timothy 3:10 “But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.”
A Deacon must prove himself faithful in his commitment to the church. The proper beginning is simply “What would you have me do, Lord?” The response then will be obedience. When you look at the names of the seven men chosen to fulfill the roll of deacon leadership for the New Testament church, you also see WHAT those men need to be made of:
- They should to be crowned with the glory of God – “Full of the Holy Ghost”
- They should to be noble, courageous and willing to embrace spiritual warfare like the knights of old would engage those who would challenge the Kingdom.
- They should to be worshippers and leaders in worship.
- They should to be victorious conquerors bearing the testimony of the works of the hand of God in their lives.
- They represent the earnest of the spirit – The investment of God to the church. They are gifts to the church from God.
- These are men who are consistent, dependable, reliable; men who dwell very near, who abide, continue, endure; men who will be present, who will remain, stand and tarry. They are those who cannot mutter a formatted prayer and be finished but with each breath, they draw near to the throne of God to bring victory to the church.
Mathew 20:1-16 gives us a parable of the vineyard. Everyone was called, no one was left out. At every hour of the day the Lord of the vineyard went out and called men to work in his field. There were those who complained about the pay. They were paid and sent their way. Those who labored with joy received a higher calling and Jesus summed up the parable with this statement: “So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”
In Mathew 13:38, Jesus said that the vineyard is the world: “The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one;” The word of God brings forth children of God, the words of the devil bring forth children of the devil.
Godly deacons are molded and nurtured by the Word of God. They do not feast on the words of discord and confusion. Men who are fed by God become palm trees in the Kingdom. They provide shelter and security for the work of God. They are men who make provision for the flock of God without grievance or complaint but stand ready for whatsoever the Master may require of them.