Published January 23, 2020 in Diakonos
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A Message from the Dean of Baptist Bible Seminary
Diakonos is an e-newsletter produced by Baptist Bible Seminary as a resource for ministry and theology in the midst of your busy schedule. Our desire at BBS is to partner with you for the proclamation of the gospel and the glory of God in this age.
So why begin this publication? Why diakonos? A diakonos is a servant on behalf of another; one who gets something done, an assistant. The action of a diakonos performs an obligation or renders assistance.
Peter’s first letter encourages its readers to live holy in a hostile world, with the final section of his letter encouraging them to be responsible people of God. As they live within their community, they are to live appropriate Christian lives. He states in 2:11-12 that believers are to make sure their lives are good, gracious, lovely and honorable before others. With this in mind, stop and think about what others may see when others view your life. Certainly, Peter’s intent is an exhortation toward lifestyle evangelism.
Peter concludes the exhortation section (2:11-4:11) of his letter with a doxological statement of praise. He emphasizes the stewardship of the gifts that God has given the believers (4:10-11); specifically, writing the directive to serve others (v. 10) within the Christian community. The expected behavior for believers is to benefit others through the use of the gifts that have been provided by a gracious God. Literally Peter states, “serve it to one another;” that is, as managers of the gifts given by God–bring God honor by benefiting others. Serve others, meet their needs, act as a servant and assist others in whatever way God has gifted you.
Peter continues in verse 11 by stating, “whoever serves, let him serve using the strength that comes from God.” And the purpose for this service is that ultimately God would be glorified. J. Ramsey Michaels, in his commentary on 1 Peter writes, “The point of the doxology is that the ministry of Christians to one another counts as authentic worship toward God as well, whether it is done with ‘words from God’ or ‘out of the strength God provides’” (WBC, 252).
This is our goal, to serve others through the use of the gifts God has graciously bestowed upon the faculty at BBS. We are taking the opportunity to be both a resource and service to the community. God has not only provided us with a level of scholarship through our unique gifts, experiences and the highest academic credentials; but God has also given us the privilege to serve in local churches.
Therefore, we carefully blend academic rigor with our church-related experiences. This strategically positions BBS to serve others so that they might gain knowledge and wisdom from the Word of God, insight to correctly handle the Word of God and the scriptural discernment necessary for both life-long learning and serving Christ in present and future ministry opportunities. We have lived ministry, have a love for ministry and strive to pass on that love of ministry to others. We are striving to follow the directive from Peter—to God be the glory.
Wayne Slusser, Ph.D.
Professor of New Testament
Read more articles found in past issues of “Diakonos.”