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Faithlife

Organization of the Church

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The Church should always follow the New Testament pattern for how it is organized and operates.

Notes & Transcripts
God has ordained three institutions that man must submit to:
Government (; ; )
Church leadership
Church leadership
Kendall, R. T. (2001). Understanding Theology, Volume Three (p. 343). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus.
Marriage and family relationships (; )
Marriage and family relationships (; )
We can find the one, true church today by examining the New Testament pattern.
We can restore the one, true church by following the New Testament pattern in all essential details.
The New Testament tells of:
The relationship of Christ and His church.
The descriptions of the church.
The beginning of the church.
The worship of the church.
The work of the church.
Another mark of identification of the one, true church - its organization.
Let’s begin our understanding of the organization of the Church by starting with what doesn’t change...
what
Jesus is the Head of the Church.
Jesus rules over the Church
Jesus gave/gives what needed for the Church
He gave the new Testament as our constitution...
He gave gifts for equipping it...

Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church. ;

Ephesians 4:11–16 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Ephesians 1:22–23 ESV
22 And he put all things under his feet and gave him as head over all things to the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all.
Jesus Christ is the Head of the Church.
Colossians 1:18 ESV
18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

The New Testament is the constitution of the Church. ; ;

John 14:26 ESV
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
John 14:26 ESV
26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.
John 16:1 ESV
1 “I have said all these things to you to keep you from falling away.
John 16:13 ESV
13 When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth, for he will not speak on his own authority, but whatever he hears he will speak, and he will declare to you the things that are to come.
1 Corinthians 2:12–13 ESV
12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God. 13 And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual.

God’s word is complete ().

James 1:25 ESV
25 But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.
Ephesians 4:11–16 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.

1. It “thoroughly equips us for every good work” (,).

2 Timothy 3:16 ESV
16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness,
-64-
2 Timothy 3:17 ESV
17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Eph 4:11-16

2. It contains “all things that pertain to life and godliness” ().

2 Peter 1:3 ESV
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence,

3. It is the “faith once for all delivered to the saints” ().

Jude 3 ESV
3 Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.

4. We must accept no other gospel ()!

Galatians 1:8 ESV
8 But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach to you a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you, let him be accursed.

5. We dare not go beyond what is written ()!

2 John 9–11 ESV
9 Everyone who goes on ahead and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God. Whoever abides in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. 10 If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not receive him into your house or give him any greeting, 11 for whoever greets him takes part in his wicked works.

6. We must not add to, nor take from, the word (,)!

Revelation 22:18 ESV
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book,
Revelation 22:19 ESV
19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

The Head (Jesus) has given the Church gifts with purpose.

Ephesians 4:11–16 ESV
11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, 14 so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. 15 Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, 16 from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.
Eph 4:11
So if the Church is out of order; if it is lost; if it is maturing/growing up; this is who the Church turns to .
The Government has no authority over the Church.
The Government does not equip the Church with what it needs to be sustained or to mature.
The Government does not dictate to the Church how it is supposed to be structured or how it is to operate.
Acts 5:29 ESV
29 But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men.

A CHURCH EXIST IN ONE OF FOUR POSSIBLE STATES.

A CHURCH MUST EXIST IN ONE OF FOUR POSSIBLE STATES.

1. A church may be Scripturally unorganized.

For a period after the establishment of a congregation, it may not be possible to appoint elders and deacons because no one is yet qualified.
The churches established by Paul and Barnabas on their first missionary journey existed for up to three years before elders and deacons were appointed ( and 14).

2. A church may be Scripturally organized.

This is the case when a church is able to appoint men who meet the God-given qualifications to serve as elders and deacons.
the God-given qualifications to serve as elders and deacons.
The goal of every congregation should be to have fully qualified elders ruling them and deacons serving them.

3. A church may be unscripturally unorganized.

If a church has men who are qualified to serve as elders and deacons, but refuses to appoint them, it is unscripturally unorganized!
Sometimes men who run the church by business meetings of the male members are reluctant to give up their power to elders.
We must not rebel against God’s plan for the organization of His church!

4. A church may be unscripturally organized.

This is the case when a church has unqualified men serving as elders or deacons.
This is the case when a church has unqualified men serving as elders or deacons.
It would also be the case if a church had only one elder or one deacon, or deacons without elders.
How should the Church operate in the absence of Elders?
Set a course to Biblical Leadership.
Your road map can only be the Bible.
The Evangelist, Elders/Pastors/Shepherds and Teachers need to continually equip the congregation toward Maturity.
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