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Lesson 49 of 50 - Theology (part nine of ten)
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Ecclesiology (part one) - .mp3 Ecclesiology (part two) - .mp3  
     

Theology (part nine): Ecclesiology, the Study of the Church

Ecclesiology - The Study of the Church
 
Ecclesiology comes from the Greek word ekklhsia ekklesia which is a word built out of two Greek words ek ek means “out” and kaleo kaleo meaning “call”.  The word ekklhsia ekklesia then means “the called out” and was a Greek political term to refer to the summoning of people possessing citizenship to meet together in a public assembly for the transaction of public affairs. The word ekklesia is translated as “church” in these verses and others:
           
            “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.” Matthew 16:18

            “On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem.” Acts 8:1

            “The church throughout all Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace” Acts 9:31

            “For a whole year Barnabus and Saul met with the church and taught great numbers of people.”                                                                                                                               Acts 11:26

            “Paul and Barnabus appointed elders for them in each church.” Acts 14:23

            “This is the rule I lay down in all the churches.” 1 Corinthians 7:17

            “We have no other practice, nor have the churches of God.” 1 Corinthians 11:16

            “Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it.  And in the church God has                   appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, . . .”
1 Corinthians 12:28

            “Excel in gifts that build up the church.” 1 Corinthians 14:12

            “God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the    church, which is his body.” Ephesians 1:22-23

            “You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, to the church of the                  firstborn, whose names are written heaven.” Hebrews 12:22-23

Eklessia is used in Romans only in verses 16:1, 4, ,5, 16, and 23. Then it is used twenty-one times in First Corinthians, nine times in Second Corinthians, three times in Galatians, nine in Ephesians, twice in Philippians, four in Colossians, two in each First and Second Thessalonians, three in First Timothy, none in Second Timothy, once in Philemon, twice in Hebrews, once in James, none in First and Second Peter, none in First and Second John, three times in Third John and nineteen times in Revelation.  Most of these uses refer to a group of believers but a few times the word is still used to refer to an assembly of Greek or Roman citizens:

“If there is anything further you want to bring up, it must be settled in a legal assembly” Acts 19:39

“After he had said this, he dismissed the assembly.” Acts 19:41

Concepts of the Church
The church is made up of believers in Jesus Christ but in Scripture the concept can extend to three levels:

  1. The local church body that a believer is active in (the church that meets in Aquila and Priscilla’s house, one in Rome, Romans 16:3, and one in Ephesus, 1 Corinthians 16:19; the church that meets in the house of Nympha, Colossians 4:15; the church that meets in the house of Archippus, Phil. 2)
  2. The regional church in a city or a province (church of Galatia, church in Corinth, church of Thessalonica, etc.)
  3. The universal church which includes everyone, living and dead, on earth and in heaven, who has accepted Jesus Christ during the church age (1 Corinthians 12:13; Ephesians 1:22; Hebrews 12:23)

Denominational Concepts of the Church

Roman Catholic

“A body of men united together by the profession of the same Christian Faith, and by participation in the same sacraments, under the governance of lawful pastors, more especially of the Roman Pontiff, the sole vicar of Christ on earth”
– a definition by Bellarmine commonly adopted by Catholic theologians

Anglican

“The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in the which the pure word of God is preached and the sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ’s ordinance in all those things that or necessity are requisite to the same.“
-The Thirty-nine Articles (1563), Article XIX, “Corporate Religion: Of the Church”

Reformed

“I. The catholic or universal Church, which is invisible, consists of the whole number of the elect, that have been, are, or shall be gathered into one, under Christ the Head thereof; and is the spouse, the body, the fullness of Him that fills all in all (Eph.1:10). “
II. “The visible Church, which is also catholic or universal under the Gospel (not confined to one nation, as before under the law), consists of all those throughout the world that profess the true religion (1 Cor. 1:2; 12:12; Psalm 2:8; Rev. 7:9; Romans 15:9-12); and of their children (1 Co.7:14; Act 2:39; Ezek. 16:20-21; Rom. 11:16; Gen. 3:15; Gen. 17:7); and is the kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ (Matt. 13:47; Isa. 9:7), the house and family of God (Eph. 2:19; 3:15), out of which there is no ordinary possibility of salvation (Acts 2:47).
-The Westminster Confession of Faith, Chapter XXV, articles I and II, “Of the Church”, 1646

According to the 1982  World Christian Encyclopedia there were an estimated 1,900 church denominations.  Today there is an estimated 2,200 different Christian denominations.

“I Will Build My Church”
Six months before his crucifixion in Jerusalem, Jesus left Israel and traveled twenty-five miles north of the Sea of Galilee into the area of Caesarea Philippi at the base of Mt. Hermon. A massive rock formation stood at the base of Mt. Hermon, and during that time (first century AD), a powerful spring of water gushed from the face of the rock, forming a stream that ran into the Sea of Galilee. This rock formation is currently found in today’s Golan Heights.

The original name for Caesarea Philippi was Panias because it was the birth place of the Greek god Pan. The modern name for ancient city of Panias is Banias, which is just an Arabic corruption of the original name. In Old Testament times, this rock formation was a place of Baal worship (Josh 11:17; Judges 3:3). In 200 BC, it became a pagan shrine to honor the god Pan. Pan was portrayed as a half-man, half-god (a faun-like creature) who played a flute. In 20 BC, the territory was annexed to the kingdom of Herod the Great. This annexation was decided by Caesar Augustus. In turn, Herod built a temple on the sight and dedicated it to Caesar Augustus. So, in addition to the statues of Greek gods, the landscape was also dominated by white marble images that testified to the glory and deity of Caesar.  
Gates of Hades at Caeserea Philippi - "I will build my church."
The pagan world believed the water gushing from this cave came directly from the abyss and was, therefore, the official doorway to the underworld. Thus, the cave in the rock formation became known as “the Gates of Hades.” It was here that Gentiles met to worship the gods of the underworld and offer up sacrifices to Pan. Inscriptions were carved into the rock formation, and can still be seen today. They are Greek inscriptions recognizing the gods and the patrons who came there to worship the gods and give great monetary offerings to them. Statues and idols once sat in the niches of the cave. Ancient coins from Caesarea show which idols sat where. It appears a statue of Pan’s consort, a nymph named Echo, sat in one niche, while Hermes, Pan’s father, sat in another. Many other gods were placed in various spots along the face of the rock formation. 

When Jesus and the disciples arrived in Caesarea Philippi, they were surrounded by idols and shrines to the cult of Caesar, along with reminders of the many immoral worship practices that had taken place there. It was a truly corrupt and wicked place, but it was to be the place where the disciples would go through a graduation ceremony of sorts. Jesus had one lesson left to teach them before they were left on their own in this new age of the church. 

The disciples had learned by experience to take every word Jesus said as a word of power and prophecy. They knew by now that Jesus’ words always produced results. Whether he spoke to the wind, the demons, the lame, or the blind, his word was the key. Now Jesus was facing the greatest pagan religious shrine in the world as he spoke to his disciples. The account of the conversation between Jesus and his disciples at the Gates of Hades (the great rock shrine) is recorded by Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

“When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, ‘Who do                   people say the Son of Man is?’
            They replied, ‘Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or                            one of the prophets.’
 ‘But what about you?’ he asked. ‘Who do you say I am?’
            Simon Peter answered, ‘You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.’” Matthew 16:13-16

By responding, “you are the Son of the living God” Peter was challenging all the gods standing in the niches of the rocks and honored in the temples around them.

“Jesus replied, ‘Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by    man, but by my Father in heaven. And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this        rock I will build my church, and the Gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.’  Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he was the Christ.”
                                                                        Matthew 16:17-20

 

In these verses, Jesus uses a name he had given Simon the first time they met (John 1:42). The Greek word for Peter is “petros” and is masculine in word form. The word is found 154 times in the Greek New Testament, and, in all but one case, refers to Peter. In the Greek translation of the Old Testament (Septuagint or LXX) the word is used twice and both times it is referring to a stone. Greek dictionaries define “petros” as “a detached stone or boulder,” or “a stone that might be thrown or easily moved.” 

Pagan Temple Remains at Caesera Philippi
Galyn Wiemers stands among the ruins of the shrines
and the temples built in front of the Gates of Hades

 

Gates of Hades
The rock formation at Caesarea Philippi where Jesus said,
“I will build my church and the Gates of Hades will not overcome it.”



When Jesus says “on this rock I will build my church” he uses the word “petra” meaning rock.  This is the feminine form of the word “petros” but is used much different in Greek writing. While other Greek writers used the masculine form to denote a stone that is easily moved, this form of the word was used in secular Greek to denote a large and solid rock, not easily moved.

In Exodus 17:6 in the Septuagint (LXX), the feminine word translates as “a cliff.” In the New Testament, “petra” is used twice in the parable of the man who built his house on a rock or “petra,” a huge rock formation (Matthew 7:24, 25). Josephus uses the word to describe the massive fitted stone blocks in the towers of Jerusalem. He says they are “huge rocks suited for the foundation of buildings” “as contrasted with “ordinary rocks (or petros) that men carry around.” 

Peter is called a “stone or a rock” and is told “on this rock formation or cliff” (the one they’re standing in front of), I will build my church. Jesus traveled twenty-five miles in order to show his disciples God’s plan for the church. The church would spread to Gentile lands, take over pagan temples, pagan philosophies, and pagan cultures. It would eclipse pagan societies. And Jesus promised there was absolutely nothing the Gates of Hades would be able to do to stop it.

The church wasn’t going to be a temple like the one in Jerusalem made of gold and stone. The building materials for the church would instead consist of stones like Peter—people who believed Jesus was the Christ. In I Peter 2:4-9, Peter writes:

“As you come to him, the living Stone – rejected by men but chosen by God and precious               to him – you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house.” 

Paul writes to the Gentiles in the Greek city of Ephesus:
           
            “Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God’s people and members of God’s household, built on the foundation of the apostles and       prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord. And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.”  Ephesians 2:19

The church began in the pagan Roman world where Caesar was worshipped. But after the Roman Emperor himself converted, Caesar worship was abolished. Pagan temples turned into churches. Barbaric tribes consumed with darkness and superstitions found Christ. Some of those tribes turned into great civilizations over the next 2,000 years.

Jesus told the church that there was not a demon, a philosophy, or a society they could not overcome. If the truth about Jesus and his word were proclaimed, the church would takeover the Gates of Hades themselves. Just as ancient cities were destroyed by enemy forces and then resettled by the conquerors, so would pagan societies be conquered, not with the sword, but with the truth about Jesus Christ.

 

Jesus said, “Upon this rock of the pagan worship and heathen societies I will build my church and the Gates of Hades will not stop it!” Sure enough, the dark philosophies of the heathen world and the idols once worshipped at pagan shrines began slowly disappearing. Societies were transformed as nations and tribes of all kinds began to follow God.

 

“After this I looked and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and in front of the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands, and they cried out in a loud voice: ‘Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb.’”                                                                                                        Revelation 7:9, 10

Views Concerning Who or What “this rock” Referred To

The “rock” is . . .

Supporters

Reasons to Support This View

Reason to Reject This View

Peter

Terullian, Cyprian,
Catholic Church

Christ was addressing Peter
Peter means “small rock”
Catholics hold that Peter was the first pope

The words for rock are different: petros, a small rock, and petra, a large, unmovable rock
1 Corinthians 3:11 says “no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
Thirty years later Peter calls himself “a fellow elder” (1 Peter 5:1) and not the first pope
Peter says Paul’s “letters contain some things that are hard to understand” (2 Peter 3:16) just days before he was executed

Christ

Augustine,
Calvin,
Zwingli

1 Corinthians 3:11; 1 Peter 2:4-8 refer to Jesus as the foundation and a living stone.
Petra is used of Christ in the New Testament
Peter is a petos and the church will be built on a petra

 

The Confession that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of the Living God

Chrysostom

Peter had just said this
This confession indicates understanding of the gospel

 

The Petra or Rock Formation that was the center of Pagan worship

 

The context and the wording match the location
The location outside of Israel indicated Jesus plans for the church to advance the kingdom into pagan territory
This plan (prophecy, prediction) is exactly what has taken place over the last 2,000 years

Not clear in the context without knowing geography and history


Comparing Israel, the Church and the Kingdom
The church was still a future event during the time of Jesus.  He said, “I will build my church” not “I have built my church” or “I will continue to build my church.”  The church was a new identity.  The church age was a mystery not revealed in the Old Testament (Ephesians 3:1-6; Romans 16:25-26). Peter called the day of Pentecost as “the beginning” in Acts 11:15 when he says:

            “As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit came on them as he had come on us at the beginning.”

The gifts that Christ gave the church did not come until after his ascension and they were not here before:

            “To each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.  This is why is says: ‘When he
ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men . . . It was he who gave
some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and
teachers.” Ephesians 4:7-11

The Old Testament spoke of the Gentiles receiving the light and responding to God (Genesis 12:3; Isaiah 49:6; 60:3; 42:6). Yet, the Old Testament Law and Covenant was given only to Israel.

Israel and the church have the same God, share the revelation of the Old Testament, embrace the same basic doctrines (sin, angels, creation, judgment, resurrection, etc.) and moral code (don’t lie, steal, murder, covet, etc.).  But, Israel and the church are not the same.  Some people claim that the church had its beginning as Israel in the Old Testament.  Some believe that the church replaced Israel.  These ideas are called Covenant Theology or Replacement Theology.  Neither are correct when used to view Israel and the church as anything but two distinct groups that God formed to fulfill his purpose.

We must realize that there were people of God on earth before Israel was called around 2000 BC.  All people of God are members of the Kingdom of God.  Believers like Enoch and Noah are members of God’s Kingdom but they are not members of Israel or members of the church.

Kingdom of God

The coming of the church was not revealed in the Old Testament.  Paul calls the church a mystery in Ephesians 3:9.  A mystery in Scripture is something that has always been true and part of God’s plan but had not yet been revealed to men for their understanding.  The Old Testament revealed that God was going to draw Gentiles to himself (Romans 15:9-12 quoting Sam. 22:50; Psalm 18:49; Deut. 32:43; Psalm 117:1; Isaiah 11:10) but what the Old Testament did not reveal was that God was going to form a new group that for a certain time period that would draw Gentile and Jewish believers into one and the same spiritual family – the church (Ephesians 2:11-22; Colossians 1:24-27; Romans 16:25-26).

“Now to him who is able to establish you by my gospel and the proclamation of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery hidden for long ages past, but now revealed and made know through the prophetic writings by the command of the eternal God, so that all nations might believer and obey him.” Romans 16:25-26

“For he himself is our peace, who has made the two (Jews and Gentiles) one (church) and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations.  His purpose was to create in himself one new man (new creation) out of the two (Jews and Gentiles), thus making peace, and in this one body (the church) to reconcile both of them to God through the cross. Ephesians 2:14-16 (italic words added for explanation)

“I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church . . . the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the saints.  To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:24-27

Israel and the church are similar because:
They are both part of the people of God
They are both part of God’s spiritual kingdom
They are both created for God’s purpose
They both participate in the Abrahamic Covenant (Genesis 12:3; 15:6; Romans 4:16; Galatians 3:26-29)
They will both participate in the New Covenant (Jeremiah 31:31-34)
They will both exist forever as individuals but also as members of eternal Israel and the eternal church
Neither of them fully represents God’s plan or God’s Kingdom

Israel and the church are different because:

  • They have different heads: Moses or Jesus
  • They have different origins: Abraham or Holy Spirit (on Pentecost)
  • They have different sphere of operation: Earthly, a political kingdom, or Heavenly, a spiritual family
  • They have different governing documents: Law of Moses or Grace of Christ
  • They have different inheritance: the physical promised land or spiritual blessings in Christ
  • They have different memberships: Jews or all nations
  • They have different requirements for membership: physical birth with faith or spiritual birth
  • They have different promises: The line of David will rule from Jerusalem or the church will rule with Christ

In the New Testament the nation of Israel is recognized as a separate identity apart from the church (1 Corinthians 10:32; Acts 3:12; 4:8, 10; 5:21, 31, 35; 28:17-28).  When Paul speaks of “the Israel of God” in Galatians 6:16 he is not saying that the church is now Israel, instead he is either speaking of:  

                • Jewish believers who have entered the church by faith in Jesus, or
                • the church is now God’s instrument for manifesting his kingdom on earth instead of Israel since Israel has been set aside for a time (Romans 11:1-2, 11-12)

                Church Governments
                The Scriptures establish principles for local church leadership but do not appear to establish a clear, reproducible pattern that could be applied in multiple cultures around the world that span from the ancient world into our modern cultures.  Some principles concerning the local church that Scripture identify are:

                      • The local church must have leadership
                      • The local church must meet or assemble
                      • The practice of certain ordinances or sacraments such as the Lord’s Supper and water baptism

                There is flexibility in the Scriptures concerning how leadership is organized, where the church should meet and when the Lord’s Supper is presented. Some churches have elders some have a church board.  Some churches meet in cathedrals, some in homes, and some rent space in public buildings. Some churches serve the Lord’s Supper using wine and bread once a month others provide the Lord’s Supper using wafers and grape juice at Easter and Christmas.  These are all applications of a principle that Scripture does not appear to provide an exact pattern.  Due to church tradition or denominational orthodoxy a certain pattern may have been set in stone but it was not originally set in stone in the Scripture.

                The message of the Gospel can not be changed without destroying the gospel itself, but there are a wide variety of ways of presenting the gospel.  The modern church is in error, even heresy, if it alters the gospel, but a church can fulfill the great commission by creatively coming up with new ways of presenting the Gospel.  Also, every member of the universal church must have had a salvation experience.  Each Christian must have passed from death to life, darkness to light, sin to sonship by having placed faith in Jesus Christ, but this experience will come with great variations.  Some are saved in a moment but some over a process of years.  Some respond with emotions and tears others come to Christ through a rational realization of their hopeless state of sin and turn to the hope offered in the gospel of Jesus Christ.   Likewise, the establishment of a local church is an absolute doctrinal pattern that should be followed, but how, when, where that local church is established and governed can only be done by finding guidance in some principles established in the scriptures.

                In his book Basic Theology, Charles Ryrie describes a church in this way:

                “It is an assembly of professing believers in Christ who have been baptized and who are organized to carry out God’s will.”

                Ryrie then goes on to break that definition down into four points:

                            • “Those who do not make a profession of faith are excluded. The profession may not be genuine, but it must be made.”
                            • “Without debating the mode of baptism, it is clear that the New Testament knows noting of unbaptized church members.”
                            • “A church always has some kind of organization, and in the New Testament organization was instituted as soon as possible.”
                            • “A church exists for a purpose – to do God’s will.”
                              • Practicing baptism and the Lord’s Supper
                              • Evangelizing
                              • Teaching the Word of God
                              • Honoring the Lord with worship
                              • Edification of believers
                              • Giving
                              • Being salt and light to their generation

                 

                Here are a list and a brief definition of various forms of local church governments:

                1. Presbyterian (Federal, Elder Rule) – from the word presbuteros which means “older”, “more mature” or “wiser” and is translated “elder”.  These churches place the Greek words presbuteros (elder) and episcopos (bishop, overseer) on the same level.  They consider the bishop to be the Greek term for leadership and elder to be the Hebrew term for the same office. This is similar to our federal government in that the members of the church give their powers to certain men.  Presbyterian, Reformed denominations extend this beyond the local level to include their entire organization.  Some independent churches use this only at the local level with no higher power ruling over them.
                2. Episcopal (Hierarchical)– from the Greek work episcopos which is translated “bishop” or “overseer”.  This group separates the episcopos (bishop or overseer) from the elders. They place the episcopos (bishops) over the presbuteros (elders).  Churches that follow this form at different levels are Methodist, Episcopal and Roman Catholic.  In this case the local pastor or priest would be under the elders who are under a bishop which in the case of the Roman Catholic Church has a hierarchy over them that extends all the way to the pope.
                3. Congregational – this form is usually accompanied with elders but the power rests with the congregation.  In most cases the congregation votes for elders to represent them in the day to day matters of church business, but in certain decisions, including selection of the elders, the congregation will vote.  Usually there are no bishops or church councils over these churches. Many independent churches along with Baptist, Free and Congregational churches use this form of government.
                4. National – this is a church organization that is under the national or state government.  Sometimes this one state church denomination is the only legal church in the country. At other times non-support state churches are allowed to exist. Examples of this are the Church of England, or the Anglican Church, and the Lutheran Church in Germany.
                5. Minimal Government – groups like this are led by elders but the exercise of spiritual gifts of all members is encouraged.  Membership is often not officially documented or recognized. Plymouth Brethren are an example.
                6. Nongovernmental – these groups attempt to eliminate all forms of government including an appointed pastor or established speaker. They stress the spiritual side of the church’s leadership through the Holy Spirit.  This style of government is followed by the Quakers.

                Church Leadership
                As recorded in the book of Acts, the early church had two classes of leaders established by the apostles: elders and deacons.  Consider these verses:

                1. In 44 AD the church elders in Jerusalem received a gift from the Antioch church (Acts11:30)
                2. In 45 AD James writes that if anyone is sick they should call the elders of the church (James 5:14)
                3. In 47 AD Paul appoints elders in the Galatian churches (Acts 14:23)
                4. In 48 AD Paul and Barnabus go to Jerusalem to see the apostles and elders concerning a question of doctrine (Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23;16:4)
                5. In 57 AD Paul stops in Miletus and calls for the elders from the Ephesian church to come see him (Acts 20:17). Paul then calls them “overseers (episkopos)” (Acts 20:28)
                6. In 61 AD, there were overseers (episkopos) and deacons in Philippi (Philippians 1:1)
                7. In 62 AD Paul writes Timothy giving instructions for selecting overseers (episkopos, bishops in the KJ) and deacons and listing the character of qualified overseers (episkopos) and deacons (1 Timothy 3:1-13)
                8. In 62 AD Peter calls himself a “fellow elder” when he wrote “to the elders among you.” (1 Peter 5:1)  Peter then tells the elders to serve as overseers (episkopos, bishops in the KJ) (1 Peter 5:2)
                9. In 64 AD Paul writes to Titus on the island of Crete to command him to appoint elders in every town.  Paul then lists the qualities of an elder. (Titus 1:5-9)
                10. In 85 AD the apostle John called himself an elder (2 John 1:1; 3 John 1:1)

                There are four terms we are interested in:

                1. Elder – is from the wordpresbuteroV presbuteros which is translated “elder” or “old man” and means “older”, “more mature” or “wiser”.  These men served in a position of authority and oversight in the church including areas of doctrine, holiness in the church, teaching and preaching.  Some elders, if not all, would likely have the spiritual gift of administration (1  Corinthians 12:28; Romans 12:8). Elders will do these things:
                  1. Administrative – rule the church (1 Timothy 5:17; Titus 1:7)
                  2. Pastoral – feed the sheep (John 21:15-17; 1 Peter 5:2; Jude 12)
                  3. Educational – teach the church (Ephesians 4:12-13; 1 Timothy 3:2)
                  4. Officiate – lead the functions and ordinances of the church (James 5:14)
                  5. Representative – represent the church (Acts 20:17; 1 Timothy 5:17)
                2. Deacon – is the word diakonoV diakonos which comes from a word that means to serve and is translated “servant” or “minister”.  The word originally referred to a waiter at a meal.  It grew to also include those who cared for the home and eventually to any person who helped or served.  It seems that the deacons in the church had been appointed to some form of physical management or service.  A woman could serve in this office and was called a deaconess (Romans 16:1; 1 Timothy 3:11). The widows in a church may have filled this order of service (1 Timothy 5:3-16).  Deacons will do these things:
                  1. Concerned with meeting the physical needs of the church members (Acts 6:1-6)
                  2. Relieve the elders to do their work (Acts 6:1-4)
                3. Overseer – is from the word episkopoV episkopos and is means bishop, overseer and guardian.  It appears in scripture to be the same office as an elder because the two terms are used interchangeably for the same office and the same men.  By the beginning of the second century, after the close of scripture, the office of bishop began to be recognized as an man in a city who oversaw all the churches and their elders within that city.  There is room for an episkopos (overseer, bishop) to be responsible for the oversight of a group of elders in scripture but it not a clearly identified position like an elder, deacon or pastor.
                4. Pastor – is the word poimen poimen which means shepherd or pastor.  The pastor is an elder with shepherding responsiblities and gifts for the local church.

                The qualities of these men can be found in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 and Titus 1:5-9.

                Qualifications of Elders and Deacons

                Towards God

                Above reproach

                1 Timothy 3:2, 9; Titus 1:6

                Not a recent convert

                1 Timothy 3:6

                Holy

                Titus 1:8

                Upright

                Titus 1:8

                Loves what is good

                Titus 1:8

                Keeping hold of the deep truths of the faith

                1 Timothy 3:9; Titus 1:9

                Able to teach

                1 Timothy 3:2; 5:17; Titus 1:9

                Work is preaching

                1 Timothy 5:17

                Direct the affairs of the church

                1 Timothy 5:17

                Tested

                1 Timothy 3:10

                Towards Self

                Disciplined

                Titus 1:8

                Not quick-tempered

                Titus 1:7

                Temperate

                1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:7

                Not a lover of money

                1 Timothy 3:3

                Self-controlled

                1 Timothy 3:2

                Not given to drunkenness

                1 Timothy 3:3, 8; Titus 1:7

                Clear Conscience

                1 Timothy 3:9

                Towards Others

                Blameless

                1 Timothy 3:6

                Sincere

                1 Timothy 3:8

                Respectable

                1 Timothy 3:2, 8

                Hospitable

                1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:8

                Not quarrelsome

                1 Timothy 3:3

                Gentle

                1 Timothy 3:3

                Encourage others with sound doctrine

                Titus 1:9

                Refute those who oppose sound doctrine

                Titus 1:9

                Not violent

                1 Timothy 3:3; Titus 1:7

                Good reputation with outsiders

                1 Timothy 3:7

                Not overbearing

                Titus 1:7

                Not pursuing dishonest gain

                1 Timothy 3:8; Titus 1:7

                Towards Family

                One wife

                1 Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6

                Manage family well

                1 Timothy 3:4; Titus 1:6

                Have obedient children

                1 Timothy 3:4-5; Titus 1:6

                Have children who are not wild

                Titus 1:6

                Have children who believe

                Titus 1:6

                Church Discipline
                The church is made up of believers who are sanctified by the Holy Spirit positionally before God at the point of salvation and are commanded to sanctify themselves in thought, word and deed during their lives.  Believers are told to live holy lives and to live a peace with each other functioning together as one body.  Since believers still have a sin nature and the church at the present times is functioning assembly in the fallen cosmos there will be errors, problems, conflicts, sin, immorality and false doctrine. 

                God has given the church the responsibility and the authority to discipline people or groups who break fellowship or live in immorality.  These are some of the issues mentioned in scripture that required church involvement:

                1. Sinning against an other member of the church (Matthew 18:15-20)
                2. Divisive (Romans 16:17; Titus 3:10)
                3. Open sexual immorality (1 Corinthians 5:1-13)
                4. Teaching false doctrine (Romans 16:17; Galatians 1:8, 9; 2:11-14; 1 Timothy 1:20; 6:3-5; 2 John 9-11; Revelation 2:14-16)

                If the church neglects its responsibility the problem could spread in the body of Christ and the individual may face eternal damnation if they have never been saved, discipline from God if they are a believer which includes sickness and even an early death (1 John 5:16; James 1:14-15; 1 Corinthians 11:30).  This point here is not to say that every sickness and premature death is discipline from God because there are other reasons for these in scripture including: the reality of evil, the fallen state of the cosmos, the fallen state of man’s nature, Satan, demonic activity, God’s sovereign will, testing from God, poor human decisions, etc.

                Church Discipline Chart

                 

                Church Ordinances
                           


                A Variety of Views of the Lord’s Supper

                View

                Group

                Founder

                Presence of Christ

                Significance

                Who May Administer

                Who May Participate

                Transubstantiation

                Roman Catholic

                Thomas
                Aquinas

                Bread & wine change to Christ’s real body and blood

                Christ is sacrificed at Mass for atonement;
                The bread & wine are food for the soul to strengthen the person

                Ordained Priests

                Bread to Catholic church members
                only

                Cup withheld from laity

                Consubstantiation

                Lutheran

                Martin
                Luther

                Bread & wine do not change but Christ is actually present in, with and under them

                Person receives forgiveness and confirmation of faith.  Faith is necessary for effect

                Ordained
                Ministers

                Believers
                only

                Reformed

                Presbyterian.
                Reformed

                John
                Calvin

                Christ is not literally present in the bread & wine.  Christ is spiritually present as they are partaken

                Spiritual nourishment, takes person closer to presence of Christ. Commemorate Christ’s death

                Pastor,
                Church Leaders

                Believers
                only

                Memorial

                Baptist,
                Mennonite

                Ulrich
                Zwingli

                Christ is not present in the elements either actually or spiritually

                Commemorates
                Christ’s death.
                Serves as a vehicle to teach and remind person of the truth and reality of Christ’s work on the cross.

                Pastor, or anyone
                able to communicate the truth symbolized in the bread and the wine

                Believers
                only
                (options: Closed – only for local members.
                Open –
                for members of denomination)

                 

                A Variety of Views of Baptism

                Group

                Definition

                Statement

                Who can be baptized

                How is baptism administered

                Roman Catholic

                The means of saving grace

                Baptism effects the washing or regeneration by the element of water itself.  Faith does not have to be present.

                Infants,
                Adults

                Sprinkling

                Lutheran

                Provides saving grace when true faith is present

                For baptism to have effect, faith for salvation must be exercised

                Children,
                Adults

                Sprinkling,
                Immersion

                Reformed

                A sign and seal of the covenant

                Baptism is an outward sign that seals an inward reality. The baptism or sealing initiates person into the covenant

                Infants,
                Adults

                Sprinkling,
                Pouring

                Baptist

                An outward sign
                of salvation

                A symbol of an inward reality

                It is part of the believer’s testimony. It shows the church and local community that the individual is identified with Christ.  Baptism does not cause or effect salvation

                Believers
                (adults or
                children, never
                infants)

                Immersion

                 

                 Seven Roman Catholic Sacraments

                Sacrament

                What Catholics Believe

                How it is administered

                Baptism

                • Removes the guilt and effects of Original Sin
                • The sacrament of re-birth to a new, supernatural life
                • Incorporates the person into the Church
                • Catholics believe baptism is necessary for salvation
                • Baptism of infants gives them entrance into the Kingdom of Heaven (Pope Innocent III 1201 AD)
                • It is the first of three sacraments of initiation
                • Administered by washing with natural water and invoking the Most Holy Trinity.

                Confirmation

                • Necessary sequence for initiation after baptism
                • Person receives the Holy Spirit
                • The sacrament of maturity and coming of age
                • Bishop lays hands on person and they receive the Holy Spirit
                • Administered with prayer and blessing

                Eucharist

                • The Holy Eucharist consist of the Eucharist sacrifice, the sacrificial meal, and the sacrificial food which is the Mass, Communion and the Real Presence
                • Holy Mass is the renewing of the sacrifice which Christ offered for the person
                • Christ offers atonement for at this time for the person before God and also brings grace to the person
                • Transubstantiation occurs – when the Priest says “This is my body” the bread and wine become the body and blood of Christ

                Confession

                • Baptism removed sin and guilt but new sins are sins against the Trinity and betrayal of the church.
                • Confession has the character of a trial: accusation, sentence and satisfaction
                • Confession involves: Sorrow for sin, oral confession to a priest, absolution of sins by a priest
                • In earlier days this was done publicly
                • Today only the private administration is still in use
                • Person is sorry for sin, confesses to a priest who only has power to forgive sins by absolution or a judicial announcement of forgiveness

                Holy Orders

                • Confers on the person the priestly power to provide grace through these sacraments to others
                • Confers power to mediate between God and man
                • Ordination to office of bishop, priest or deacon
                • The bishop ordains the priest since they are successor to the apostles

                Marriage

                • A picture or sign of the union of Christ and the Church
                • Marriage is unbreakable because the relationship between Christ and the church is unbreakable
                • Vows are exchanged in the presence of a priest

                Anointing the sick

                • Provided for the sick to give them strength and to prepare them for death by strengthening the grace in their soul
                • Bishop anoints sick or dying person with consecrated oil

                 

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                QUESTIONS (back to the top)


 
 
 
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