3:8-13 The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are found fit for the business with which they are to be trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take great care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.
13. purchase to themselves a good degree—literally, "are acquiring … a … step." Understood by many as "a higher step," that is, promotion to the higher office of presbyter. But ambition of rising seems hardly the motive to faithfulness which the apostle would urge; besides, it would require the comparative, "a better degree." Then the past aorist participle, "they that used the office of deacon well," implies that the present verb, "are acquiring to themselves boldness," is the result of the completed action of using the diaconate well. Also, Paul would not probably hold out to every deacon the prospect of promotion to the presbytery in reward of his service. The idea of moving upwards in Church offices was as yet unknown (compare Ro 12:7, &c.; 1Co 12:4-11). Moreover, there seems little connection between reference to a higher Church rank and the words "great boldness." Therefore, what those who have faithfully discharged the diaconate acquire for themselves is "a good standing-place" [Alford] (a well-grounded hope of salvation) against the day of judgment, 1Ti 6:19; 1Co 3:13, 14 (the figurative meaning of "degree" or "step," being the degree of worth which one has obtained in the eye of God [Wiesinger]); and boldness (resting on that standing-place"), as well for preaching and admonishing others now (Eph 6:19; a firm standing forth for the truth against error), as also especially in relation to God their coming Judge, before whom they may be boldly confident (Ac 24:16; 1Jo 2:28; 3:21; 4:17; Heb 4:16).
in the faith—rather as Greek, "in faith," that is, boldness resting on their own faith.
which is in Christ Jesus—resting in Christ Jesus.