Thursday, August 10, 2006

Doing Ministry Correctly: With Correct Doctrine, Proper Instruction And Under Proper Authority!

Christ has delegated elders as pastor/teachers to labor in the administration of the Word and sacraments within His and for His Church. This call is not to be neglectecd and is nota call that can be done by any Christian because they “see a need to do something about the state of the church in the modern times”. The call of the man of God is a call that has a great many responsibilities. The administration the elders are called to is administer the “keys of the kingdom” which includes a. guarding the doctrine of the Bible, b. lawfully administering the sacraments, and c. provide day to day counseling and instruction and discipleship for the guidance of the flock of God.

The elders are the officers of the kingdom. Their responsibility is to ensure there is sound biblical preaching and teaching in the doctrines of the nature and character of God, the person and work of Jesus Christ, salvation, the nature and place of the church in the life of the believer, and practical theology for progressive sanctification. (Acts 20:29-32) This gusrding of doctrine is in the hands of the men of God in the Church and is not in the hands of laity. Laity can minister their gifts in the “work of the ministry”, under the Church authority once trained in the unity of the faith.

(Eph 4:1) I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,

(Eph 4:2) With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;

(Eph 4:3) Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

(Eph 4:4) There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

(Eph 4:5) One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

(Eph 4:6) One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

(Eph 4:7) But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.

(Eph 4:8) Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

(Eph 4:9) (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?

(Eph 4:10) He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)

(Eph 4:11) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

(Eph 4:12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

(Eph 4:13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

(Eph 4:14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Many Christians think they can just read the Scriptures, privately interpret them and teach others without the Church and Her authority. In doing this they usually do away with the instruction and directives of the church which have been taught in the confessions and creedal summaries which were established to provide unity in the faith along with a summaries of Christian and Biblical doctrine. In doing so they spurn Church authority and fail to use Christ’s provision for His Bride.

In the Scriptures it is clear that the leadership of the leders in the Church is necessary. They are the ones that come together to test the doctrines being taught and then conclude whether they be correct or not. In doing this they then to gether with all other elders instruct the church for unity of the faith (One Lord, One faith, One baptism). AMEN!

We see this given to us by example in the Bible in Acts 15. The elders followed the instruction of the Bible and practiced testing doctrine – believe(ing) not ... every spirit, but try(ing) the spirits whether they are of God (John 4:1).The findings determined and denied false teaching while at the same time instructing the Church universal how to practice living in the faith. The Church then issued a binding doctrinal decree as a product of their study and deliberations. The Jerusalem court decreed what the error was, what the truth is, and what the church is to do in the practice of the correct doctrine. Therefore the decrees of the Jerusalem council bound the Church in what was to be believed and how this doctrine was to be practiced. “For it seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things; That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well, Fare ye well.” (Act 15:28-29)

Now once you have been instructed “in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God”, and are able to edify the body and instruct others then go see the elders, let them know of your desire and let them counsel you and oversee your project (s) so that they ensure correct doctrine and continued unity in the Church.

May God bless you as you properly use your gifts in the Church for the good of fellow Christian brethern and the advancement of Christ’s kingdom on earth!


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