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Thursday, September 21, 2017

Reflections on the Church #3

The Church is unlike any other institution or body in society. That is why the Church must retain its special mission to present Jesus Christ to the world in a clear manner. Many think this is the pastor's job and they are willing to let him do all the work.

Yet it is clear in Scripture that God gives each Christian work to do. The job descriptions are listed in 1 Corinthians 12:27-30. Here Paul explains, “Now Christ’s body is yourselves, each of you with a part in the whole. And those whom God has appointed in the Church are…

First – apostles
Second – prophets
Third – teachers
Fourth – workers of miracles, and so on...

The qualifications for clergy are given in 1 Tim 3:1-13. Here we note that only those who are "in Christ" are to be added to the Church and only those who are mature in faith and stable in their relationships are to lead others.

In 1 Corinthians 3:1-17, Paul warns against bad conduct. Christian leaders to fail to adhere to the high moral standard of the Apostles harm the Church and give Christ haters occasion to speak evil of the Lord and his Church. Those who serve faithfully will be rewarded at Christ’s Judgment Seat.

The pastor is to follow the example of the Apostles. He is to instruct, correct, discern the spirits, rebuke, commend, and proclaim the Gospel. He is to gather the people for worship, for the study of God's Word, and for fellowship that builds the local congregation.

All Christians are to regularly participate in the life of the Church. “. . let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)

All Christians are to seek the truth by searching the Scriptures, as did the noble Bereans who "received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11

Related reading: All Christians are Ministers; Few are Priests; Reflections on the Church #1; Reflections on the Church #2

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