Black Christians : Offices Of The Church

Discussion in 'Christian Study Group' started by cherryblossom, Sep 30, 2010.

  1. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Christ's Gracious Gifts
    As we observed in our study of the work of the church, Jesus provided the universal church with certain "gifts" to aid the completion of its work (Ephesians 4:7-16). This gift is partly comprised by the abilities that are graciously given to those who fulfill the offices and roles described in verse 11:

    "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers." Ephesians 4:11

    However, as we read through the Bible, we run across other labels and special roles, such as; bishop, elder, minister, Christian, saint, prophet, High Priest, etc. What do all these titles mean?

    As we investigate and compile these various references, we will find that many of the labels are used interchangeably. Many of the labels describe a unique facet of the office or role that they represent. For example, Christians are referenced by many different names, each describing an different aspect of their lives. Therefore, these titles serve more as labels, distinguishing the different works and roles rather than serving as a title. However, some of these labels are indeed made in reference to a special office. When we compile a complete list of the offices and roles found in the New Testament church, we discover the following list of offices in the church, along with the following synonyms:

    •Apostle, ambassador
    •Evangelist, minister,preacher, teacher
    •Elder, bishop, pastor, shepherd, presbyter
    •Deacon
    •Christian, saint, priest, children of God

    Of course, no study of the offices of the church would be complete without first examining the one who died for the church and by whose name it is called - Jesus Christ. He alone holds all authority over the church, filling many positions: Savior, High Priest, King, and Prophet.

    The Head of the Church
    The supreme office of the church belongs to Jesus Christ. He is the one from whom all authority and revelation flows (Ephesians 1:20-23; < span class="ref">John16:13-15). However, we see that Christ has submitted Himself to God the Father, and it is from the Father that Jesus received the message that He proclaimed (ICorinthians 15:24-28; John12:49-50; Hebrews1:1-2).

    The Bible uses several different terms to describe Christ's supreme position, each term illustrating a unique facet of His role. The book of Hebrews speaks of Christ being our High Priest (Hebrews 7:26-8:6; 9:1-15) because He offered a sacrifice, Himself, for the sins of the whole world. His work in this regards is similar to that of the Old Testament high priests, who offered animal sacrifices for the whole nation of Israel (Leviticus 16:1-34; 21:10-17). This explains His unique role in offering a sacrifice for all people and entering the "Most Holy Place" (which is in heaven, before the Father's throne) to make atonement for our behalf.

    Further illustrating His ultimate position, Jesus is also spoken of as a King and His people are referred to as citizens of His kingdom (Colossians 1:3; John 18:33-37). This reference denotes the authority of His position and office. He is the ultimate authority for us today, therefore; it is imperative that we never disobey His directives at the beckoning of any other man. Moreover, we must be vigilant to compare all human directives with the Bible - the words of Christ.

    In the recordigns of Acts, Luke commended the people of Berea for their diligence in checking the teachings of the apostle Paul against that of the Old Testament scriptures (Acts 17:10-12). Therefore, in our effort to obey Christ, Who is the head of the church, let us likewise "Test all things; hold fast what is good" and be sure that we "do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (I Thessalonians 5:21; I John 4:1). As head of the church, He is the supreme authority on all matters. This calls upon us to diligently study the Bible and adhere to Jesus' will, while bewaring the traditions of men that are substituted for God's Word (Matthew 15:1-14).

    Conclusion
    It is vital that we understand the various roles and offices that are a part of God's design for the New Testament church. We must be careful that we do not become guilty of "adding to" God's pattern by adding creating more offices. However, we must also fill the appropriate positions with qualified people, lest we be part of church that still has things "wanting" before God (Titus 1:5). In addition to being disobedient to God's will, perversion of His pattern for the church generates additional temptation, pressures, and finally, corruption that would not be present if we would "build all things according to the pattern".


    http://www.insearchoftruth.org/articles/officesofchurch.html
     
  2. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    Bishop

    Acts.1
    [20] For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

    Phil.1
    [1] Paul and Timotheus, the servants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons:

    1Tim.3
    [1] This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
    .[2] A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;

    ***.1
    [7] For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

    1Pet.2
    .[25] For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.
     
  3. cherryblossom

    cherryblossom Banned MEMBER

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    deacon

    1Tim.3
    1.[8] Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
    2.[10] And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
    3.[12] Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
    4.[13] For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus.
     
  4. Chevron Dove

    Chevron Dove Well-Known Member MEMBER

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    This is confirmation. I just referred to this issue in regards to a post concerning Eddie Long. I'm not sure but, I think his title was 'bishop' and also, I think I read that he was divorced.
     
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