Presentation on theme: "1 Corinthians 7:17; Acts 8:14; 2 Peter 3:15,16 “so I ordain in all the churches” “Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also."— Presentation transcript:
1 Corinthians 7:17; Acts 8:14; 2 Peter 3:15,16 “so I ordain in all the churches” “Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles” “when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them”
The churches worked hard to maintain their unity as they spread out and became more diverse. The apostles and others wrote epistles to the churches, and also visited them. When a work developed in another region, apostles were sent to link it with what already existed.
Acts 15:6; 11:29; 15:36 “the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter” “The disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea.” “Paul said to Barnabas, "Let us now go back and visit our brethren in every city where we have preached the word of the Lord, and see how they are doing” [continued]
They met to resolve doctrinal issues. They supported each other financially. The apostles re-visited the churches to strengthen them. (Continued) It was vital to their continuing as churches of God that they maintain this unity as one community.
Jude 1:17; Ephesians 2:20 “You, beloved, remember the words that were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” “…having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets”
Initially the apostles were the leaders of the churches, because of the authority vested in them by the Lord. As the apostles died, they were not replaced (no other were qualified). Instead the leadership moved to other appointed elders.
Acts 11:29,30; Titus 1:5; 1 Peter 5:2 “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you” “Shepherd the flock of God among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly” “The disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.”
Their role was to care for the churches (1 Tim.3:5). The lack of such elders was something that needed to be corrected (Titus 1:5). Qualifications for those to be appointed are given in 1 Tim. 3:1-7 & Titus 1:5-9; they are really appointed by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28), and then recognized as such. Elders of the churches are mentioned first in Acts 11:30.
Acts 11:30; 16:4; 1 Thessalonians 5:14,15; 1 Timothy 3:5; 4:11,14; Titus 3:10; 1 Peter 5:3 Spiritual care of the saints [continued] Teaching the scriptures Guarding the doctrine Recognizing gift & giving responsibility Ensuring care of the needy Resolving conflict Applying discipline Being role models “Take care of the church of God”
Philippians 1:1; 1 Timothy 3:8-10 “To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons” “Likewise deacons must be reverent, likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy for money, holding the mystery of the faith with a pure conscience. But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons, being found blameless.”
Deacons are ministers (servants) of the church. They do much of the practical work necessary in any active church of God. Their qualifications are also given in 1 Timothy 3. All saints in a church of God can serve in various ways, but these men held responsibility of a deacon.
Ephesians 4:11,12; 1 Peter 5:1-4 “He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry” “The elders who are among you I exhort… shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers…when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”
It is the work of the elders to pastor (“shepherd”) the saints in churches of God. Specialized ordained pastors are not a requirement. A church of God consists of saints, all of whom have been gifted spiritually by the Holy Spirit; it is not intended that a few “professionals” do most of the service.