In Acts 13 Luke recorded that the Holy Spirit chose Barnabas and Saul (the apostle Paul) for the important mission of spreading the gospel throughout Asia Minor. Near the end of that tour, he mentioned a return trip through several cities in that region. They were “strengthening” and “exhorting” the disciples “to continue in the faith.” The next verse states that Paul and Barnabas “appointed elders in every church” (Acts 14:21-23). Notice they did not appoint a single man to oversee a local church, but a group or plurality of men. These men were selected based on meeting certain criteria (qualifications) in their lives. Those you will find in Paul’s letters to Timothy and Titus (1 Tim 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9).
“Now as Jesus passed by, He saw a man who was born blind from birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned, but that the works of God should be revealed in him…” (John 9:1-3).
There may be several legitimate ways of raising funds to support the work of civic groups and social organizations, but the Lord’s church is of a different order than these. She is a spiritual institution, and operates on a different level. She is the bride of Christ and subject to Christ in everything (Eph 1:22; 5:24). Being subject to Christ entails respectfully submitting to the teaching and example of His apostles. The Holy Spirit has revealed, through the apostles, that the work of the church falls into three categories: Continue reading Funding the Work of the Church
The church we read about in the New Testament was not an “authoritarian” institution: characterized by demanding unquestioning obedience from her members, like a dictatorship.
The apostles were men, as in members of the human race, but in other ways they were different from other disciples of Jesus Christ. Luke recorded that Jesus “called His disciples to Him; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles” (Luke 6:12-16). About three years later He commissioned them to preach the saving news of Christ in all the earth (Matt 28:18-20). Sometime later, the Lord chose Saul or Paul to be an apostle as well, like “one born out of due time” he would write (1 Cor 15:8). Well, Jesus empowered these apostles with “the Promise of the Father…the Holy Spirit,” to fulfill that commission (Acts 1:4-8). Did the apostles speak, face to face, to every person on earth? No, but they brought the gospel to strategic locations throughout the world and taught others to carry it to the far reaches of the globe.