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Posts Tagged ‘Church Offices’

An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith- Appendix Point 19

19. A disciple gifted and enabled by the spirit of Christ to preach the Gospel, and stirred up to this service by the same spirit, bringing home to his soul the command of Christ in his word for the doing of this work, is a man authorized and sent by Christ to preach the Gospel, see Luke 19:12, &c. Mark 16:15, and Matt. 28:19, compared with Acts 8:4, Phil. 1:14; 3 John 7. And those gifted disciples which thus preach Jesus Christ Who came in the flesh, are to be looked upon as men sent and given of the Lord, I John 4:2; Romans 10:15; Eph. 4:11,12,13. And they which are converted from unbelief and false-worship, and so brought into Church-fellowship by which Preachers according to the will of Christ, are a seal of their ministry, I Cor. 9:2. And such preachers of the Gospel may not only lawfully administer Baptism unto believers, and guide the action of the Church in the use of the Supper, (Matt. 28:19; Acts 8:5-12; I Cor. 10:16.) but may also call upon the Churches, and advise them to choose fit men for officers, and may settle such officers so chosen by a Church, in the places or offices to which they are chosen, by imposition of hands and prayer, Acts 6:3-6; Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5

Benjamin Cox- An Appendix To A Confession Of Faith

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What Spirit Should Characterize Elders on a Plural Eldership?

by Phil Newton

When the New Testament writers sought to teach churches about elder plurality they did not start with an organizational manual or flow chart or rationales for effective management. They started with the sufferings of Jesus Christ. In that model demonstrated by Jesus Christ, elders work together, serve one another, and shepherd the flock of God.

Paul taught the Ephesian elders “to shepherd the church of God which He [Jesus] purchased with His own blood” (Acts 20:28). The weight of Christ’s redemptive work at the cross fills that phrase, “purchased with His own blood.” Shepherding first takes place when the elders come to terms that the church does not belong to them. They serve the purposes of the One who laid down His life for the sheep. So any jockeying within the eldership to gain the upper hand over the fellow elders or over the congregation in order to satisfy selfish desires…

 

 

 

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Some believe that the only Interpreter they need is the Holy Spirit

July 15, 2014 1 comment

Arthur PinkOthers take the position that the only Interpreter they need, the only One adequate for the task, is the Holy Spirit. They quote:

“But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things… but the anointing which ye have received of Him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you” (1 John 2:20, 27).

To declare that I need none but the Holy Spirit to teach me may sound very honoring to Him, but is it true? Like all human assertions that one requires to be tested, for nothing must be taken for granted where spiritual things are concerned. We answer that it is not, otherwise Christ makes superfluous provision by giving

“pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry” (Ephesians 4:11, 12).

We must ever bear in mind that it is a very short step from trusting God to tempting Him, from faith to presumption (Matthew 4:6, 7). Neither should we forget what is God’s common and usual method in supplying the wants of His creatures—mediately and not immediately, by secondary causes and human agent. That pertains as much to the spiritual realm as to the natural. It has pleased God to furnish His people with gifted instructors, and instead of haughtily ignoring them we ought (while testing their teaching— Acts 17:11) to accept thankfully whatever help they can afford us.

Far be it from us to write anything which would discourage the young believer from recognizing and realizing his dependence upon God, and his need of constantly turning to Him for wisdom from above, particularly so when engaged in reading or meditating upon His Holy Word. Yet he must bear in mind that the Most High does not tie Himself to answer our prayers in any particular manner or way. In some instances He is pleased to illumine our understandings directly and immediately, but more often than not He does so through the instrumentality of others. Thereby He not only hides pride from us individually, but places honor on His own institution, for He has appointed and qualified men to “feed the flock” (1 Peter 5:2), “guides over us” whose faith we are bidden to follow (Hebrews 13:7). It is true that, on the one hand, God has so written His Word that the wayfaring man, though a fool, should not err therein (Isaiah 35:8); yet, on the other hand, there are “mysteries” and “deep things” (1 Corinthians 2:10); and while there is “milk” suited to babes there is also “strong meat,” which belongs only to those who are of full age (Hebrews 5:13, 14).

Arthur W. Pink-Interpretation of the Scriptures

Elders Represent the Knowledge of Christ in the Church-Conclusion

This brings us, finally, back to our beginning text, wherein is shown the manner in which those who preach and teach the church must regard those whom they teach; in other words, their example of living by the Spirit imparting the grace of God in Christ Jesus to their own lives, in various circumstances, demands that they see the results of that great sacrificial death in those they are preaching and teaching the doctrine of Christ too.

The proposition put forth is that of not seeing those who are bought by the death of Christ as if they were in their carnal estate, but as if they are already in their eternal estate. The second proposition put forth is that the first is done because they no longer look to Christ as He was before His glorification, but indeed, as having died and risen in glory. We might well reverse these propositions thusly: Since Christ has suffered death for those He purchased for God, and has risen in glory as the first to be resurrected, preceding all those encompassed in that propitiatory death, we do not look at Him as He was before that death, but as He is, sitting on the right hand of majesty; since all He died for are, indeed, encompassed in His death and resurrection, we view them according to the work of our Lord which was completed upon their behalf. These propositions necessarily entail our looking at one another according to the new creation God began in the resurrection of His Son, so that we all consider ourselves according to that new creation, and not in light of the old creation, which has commenced passing away, and which new creation will be fully realized at the eschaton, where we are given, of God, those new, glorified bodies which will be like our Lord’s glorified human body, to dwell in the perfection of God’s completed new creation eternally, per His glory in Christ Jesus.

 
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Elders Represent the Knowledge of Christ in the Church-Part 5

Now, we are up to chapter 5 of this second epistle to the Corinthians, and the theme of temporal loss, followed by the comfort God gives through His grace in Christ, as patterned by the elders for the sake of each member of the covenant community to emulate that pattern by the same grace, continues immediately.

The first four verses of this chapter reach all the way back to the apostle’s words in chapter one:

2 Cor. 5:1-4: For we know that if our earthly house, this tent, is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven, if indeed, having been clothed, we shall not be found naked. For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life (cf. 2 Cor. 1:3ff.) Again, we see the thrust of the apostle in sharing his and his companions’ trials with the Corinthian believers, a further unfolding of the reason for these sufferings and the comfort that accompanies them in the lavishly bestowed grace of God our Lord Jesus Christ has earned for us; a grace that is bestowed so abundantly because it is of the eternal and infinite riches of God in Christ (Eph. 1:7-8). This is the grace that not only saved us, but is conforming us – even giving us the desire to be conformed – into that image of our Lord, and this transformation is proven not only by the shared sufferings of the shepherds of God’s churches, but among the saints, as they apprehend the meaning of the apostle’s words.

 
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Elders Represent the Knowledge of Christ in the Church – Part 4

Continuing our look at the pastoral perspective of these first five chapters of 2 Corinthians. as we go quickly through chapter 4, we see the apostle citing again the mercy of God as the reason for not losing hope, which would be a direct reference to what we were told in chapter 1 of this epistle, as well as similar statements in our current chapter.

Paul appeals to the conscience of the Corinthians by stating his doctrine is not by using the word of God in deception, trying to change that which God has revealed, and includes his companions’ pastoral endeavors in this appeal, again citing that such commendation is “in the sight of God.” (v. 2). Then, no doubt in consideration of those who denied that the apostle was, indeed, an apostle of Christ (and, by extension, the other apostles of Christ, as well as those who joined him in his ministerial endeavors were, indeed, God gifted evangelists and elders – 2 Corinthians 11:12-14), Paul speaks of those to whom his gospel is hidden, and how it is the god [1] of this world that has so hidden it from such false believers and false workers (vv. 3-4). This is followed again by the fact that they are proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ as His servants, and that God has shone the light of this gospel into the formerly darkened hearts of Paul and his companions (and, by extension, to all who are saved by His grace, such as the Corinthians reading this epistle, and future generations of believers, such as ourselves) to give the darkness dispelling light of His glorious knowledge in the face (person) of Jesus Christ.

 
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Elders Represent the Knowledge of Christ in the Church – Part 3

Chapter 3 of this second epistle to the Corinthian church gives Paul’s defense of his authority in and of from God further weight, as he stresses that not only is he not seeking to appeal to or please men by his words, but that God has written that upon the hearts of those he is writing to, so much so, that they are “our letter of recommendation,” and the weight of this letter of recommendation is not even their own testimony (although such is implicit in a secondary sense), but the fact that the law of God has been written on their hearts as surely and more effectually than it was on the tablets of the decalogue (vv. 1-4), and that is the entirety of the foundation for Paul and his companions confidence, which confidence has, as its sufficiency, God, and which confidence is communicated in all that they suffered, will suffer, are consoled in, and share with the Corinthians for the sake of their being built up in the grace of God.

 
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