Presentation on theme: "What is it?. The Biblical Foundation of the true Church of Christ 4:1-13 - 4 6. 7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it."— Presentation transcript:
What is it?
The Biblical Foundation of the true Church of Christ 4: But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8 This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men." 9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? 10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors /teachers, 12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
The Biblical foundation requires 1. Apostles 2. Prophets 3. Evangelists 4. Pastors/teachers
When the Apostles Died After the supernatural gifts given to only Apostles and then to prophets by Apostles, There were only 3 functioning roles in the Church of Christ. They are: Elder (Pastor/Bishop/Overseer), Evangelist, and Deacon.
Acts 20:27-31 For I have not hesitated to proclaim to you the whole will of God. 28 Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. 29 I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. 30 Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. 31 So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears.
Biblical Leadership– Elder (organization) 1. The elders were also known as: a. Bishops (Grk., episkopos, overseer) - for their duty was to oversee the local congregation - cf. Ac 20:17; 1Pe 5:1-2Ac 20:17 1Pe 5:1-2 b. Pastors (Grk. poimen, shepherd) - for their task was to shepherd and feed the flock of God - cf. Ac 20:17,28; 1 Pe 5:1-2Ac 20:17281 Pe 5: Elder, bishop, and pastor were not three distinct offices, but different ways to describe the men and their work -
Biblical Leadership- Elder (Organization) 3. A congregation that was completely and scripturally organized... a. Contained a plurality of qualified men serving as bishops - e.g., Php 1:1Php 1:1 b. They were assisted by qualified men serving as deacons - ibid. 4. Their authority was limited to their local congregation a. They were to take heed to the flock of God "among which" the Holy Spirit made them overseers - Ac 20:28Ac 20:28 b. They were to shepherd the flock "among them", serving as overseers - 1Pe 5:1-21Pe 5:1-2 c. The elders of one congregation did not have oversight of Christians in other churches
Biblical Leadership – Elder (Service) Elders were 'shepherds' (pastors) and 'overseers' (bishops) of the congregation a. Taking heed to themselves - Ac 20:28aAc 20:28a b. Taking heed to the flock of God among them - Ac 20:28b; 1 Pe 5:2Ac 20:28b1 Pe 5:2 c. Leading by example - 1Pe 5:31Pe 5:3 d. Watching out for trouble - Ac 20:29-31Ac 20:29-31 e. Depending upon God and His Word - Ac 20:32Ac 20:32
Biblical Leadership – Elder (Service) Elders were to be 'teachers' and 'rulers' of the flock a. Able to teach - 1Ti 3:21Ti 3:2 b. Able to rule others well - 1Ti 3:4-5; 5:171Ti 3:4-55:17 c. Holding fast what they were taught - Tit 1:9Tit 1:9 d. Able to use the word to exhort and convict - Tit 1:9Tit 1:9
Biblical Leadership - Evangelists Means “to bring good news.” Instruct brethren of their responsibilities – 1 Timothy 4:6 Reprove those that Sin – 1 Timothy 5:19 Keep the Commandments of God no matter what – 1 Timothy 5:21 To Preach the Word – 2 Timothy 4:1-2 a) Be prepared b) Correct c) Rebuke d) Encourage
Biblical Leadership - Evangelists To set in order things needed a. Encouraging the appointment of elders - Tit 1:5Tit 1:5 b. Training teachers, equipping the saints for ministry - 2 Ti 2:2; cf. Ep 4: Ti 2:2Ep 4:11-12 c. Teaching against false teachers and false doctrine - 1Ti 1: 3-4; Tit 1:10-11,13Tit 1: To set an example for the brethren a. In word, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity - 1 Ti 4:121 Ti 4:12 b. A pattern of good works, in doctrine showing integrity, reverence - Tit 2:7Tit 2:7
Biblical Leadership - Evangelists To be devoted to the Word of God a. Giving attention to reading, exhortation and teaching - 1 Ti 4:131 Ti 4:13 b. Being careful to handle the Word of God properly - 2Ti 2:152Ti 2:15 In contrast to the work of elders (i.e., pastors, bishops)... a. Elders are to take heed to themselves and to the flock of God - Ac 20:28Ac 20:28 b. Evangelists are to take heed to themselves and to the doctrine (teaching) - 1Ti 4:161Ti 4:16
Church Government after the Apostles Clement, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians, written in late in the first century, always speaks of the pastorate in the plural as “bishops,” serving along with the deacons. (Clement 1 Corinthians Letter Chapter 42) Half a decade later, in the early second century, Polycarp still is referring to a plurality of elders as “presbyters.” (Polycarp Epistle to the Philippians Chapter 5, 6)
What does Catholic mean? Catholic means universal or throughout the whole world
Ignatius, Epistle to the Syrmneans Chapter 9 “Revere God and the bishop… Honour thou God indeed, as the Author and Lord of all things, but the bishop as the high-priest, who bears the image of God-of God. Inasmuch as he is a ruler, and of Christ, in his capacity of a priest.…[there is no] one in the Church greater than the bishop, who ministers as a priest to God for the salvation of the whole world.…He who presumes to do anything without the bishop, thus both destroying the [Church's] unity, and throwing its order into confusion? For the priesthood is the very highest point of all good things among men… Let the laity be subject to the deacons; the deacons to the presbyters; the presbyters to the bishop; the bishop to Christ, even as He is to the Father.”
The Epistle of Ignatius Who was Ignatius? Epistle of Maria to Ignatius - Maria, a proselyte of Jesus Christ, to Ignatius, most blessed bishop of the apostolic Church that is at Antioch, beloved in God the Father, and Jesus:
Ignatius “…so neither do ye anything without the bishop and presbyters.” Just in case one is left wondering what Ignatius means by such a distinction, he explains in another letter, “even as the bishop is the representative of the Father of all things, and the presbyters are the Sanhedrin of God.” (Ignatius, Letter to the Magnesians) VII (Ignatius, Epistle to the Tallians) III
The Catholic Church The combination “the Catholic Church” is found for the first time in the letter of St. Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans, written about the year 110 A.D. The words run: “Wheresoever the bishop shall appear, there let the people be, even as where Jesus may be, there is the universal Church.” (The Authority of the Bishop is the same as the Authority of Christ)
Ignatius of Antioch Chapter 2 - Be Subject to the Bishop - For, since ye are subject to the bishop as to Jesus Christ, ye appear to me to live not after the manner of men, but according to Jesus Christ, who died for us, in order, by believing in His death, ye may escape from death. It is therefore necessary that, as ye indeed do, so without the bishop ye should do nothing, but should also be subject to the presbytery, as to the apostle of Jesus Christ, who is our hope, in whom, if we live, we shall [at last] be found.
Ignatius of Antioch Chapter 7 - The Same Continued - And do ye reverence your bishop as Christ Himself, according as the blessed apostles have enjoined you. He that is within the altar is pure, wherefore also he is obedient to the bishop and presbyters: but he that is without is one that does anything apart from the bishop, the presbyters, and the deacons. Such a person is defiled in his conscience, and is worse than an infidel. For what is the bishop but one who beyond all others possesses all power and authority, so far as it is possible for a man to possess it, who according to his ability has been made an imitator of the Christ Of God? And what is the presbytery but a sacred assembly, the counselors and assessors of the bishop?
Ignatius of Antioch Chapter 13 – Conclusion - Fare ye well in Jesus Christ, while ye continue subject to the bishop, as to the command [of God]
Ignatius Epistle to Magnesians Chapter 6 – Preserve Harmony Chapter 6 - Preserve Harmony Since therefore I have, in the persons before mentioned, beheld the whole multitude of you in faith and love, I exhort you to study to do all things with a divine harmony, while your bishop presides in the place of God, and your presbyters in the place of the assembly of the apostles, along with your deacons, who are most dear to me, and are entrusted with the ministry of Jesus Christ, who was with the Father before the beginning of time, and in the end was revealed. Do ye all then, imitating the same divine conduct, pay respect to one another, and let no one look upon his neighbor after the flesh, but do ye continually love each other in Jesus Christ. Let nothing exist among you that may divide you ; but be ye united with your bishop, and those that preside over you, as a type and evidence of your immortality.
Ireneaus – Bishop of Lyons, France. Against Heresies A.D. Chapter 4 – The Truth is to be found nowhere but in the Catholic Church; section 1 - Suppose there arise a dispute relative to some important question among us, should we not have recourse to the most ancient Churches with which the apostles held constant intercourse, and learn from them what is certain and clear in regard to the present question? For how should it be if the apostles themselves had not left us writings? Would it not be necessary, [in that case,] to follow the course of the tradition which they handed down to those to whom they did commit the Churches?
Some Questions - Read Ephesians 4:1-13… What is missing in the writings of Ireneaus and Ignatius? What Commandment or tradition from God necessary for Salvation or to be a Christian should we follow that is not written down in the bible?
Christianity was terribly persecuted in the first century. It was not until Constantine “legalized” Christianity at the Edict of Milan in A.D Later, in A.D. 325, Constantine called together the Council of Nicea, in an attempt to unify Christianity. Constantine envisioned Christianity as a religion that could unite the Roman Empire, which at that time was beginning to fragment and divide. Just as Constantine refused to fully embrace the Christian faith, but continued many of his pagan beliefs and practices, so the Christian church that Constantine promoted was a mixture of true Christianity and Roman paganism.
Pagan Influences into Christianity – Isis the Queen of heaven
Emperor Justinian to Bishop John II (533 A.D.) “Therefore, We have exerted Ourselves to unite all the priests of the East and subject them to the See of Your Holiness, and hence the questions which have at present arisen, although they are manifest and free from doubt, and according to the doctrines of your Apostolic See, are constantly firmly observed and preached by all priests, We have still considered it necessary that they should be brought to the attention of Your Holiness. For we do not suffer anything which has reference to the state of the Church, even though what causes difficulty may be clear and free from doubt, to be discussed without being brought to the notice of Your Holiness, because you are the head of all the Holy Churches, for We shall exert Ourselves in every way (as has already been stated), to increase the honor and authority of your See.”