Faithlife Sermons

The Organization of the Church

Systematic Christian Doctrine  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Good morning, friends, we’re so glad you have tuned in to hear God’s Precepts and Promises this morning brought to you by the Rome Church of Christ.
We’re examining Christianity systematically--taking all the Bible has to say on a subject and putting it together as best as possible.
Letting the Bible speak
Today we want to look at the organization of the church—its universal and local organization
It’s Universal government
•Christ, the head of the church (Eph 1:19-23)
•The church submits to Christ, not any other authority (Eph 5:23-24)
•An absolute monarchy, Christ the “only Potentate” or ruler (1 Tim 6:15)
•Kingdom submits to the King’s Law (Gal 6:2)
•Ambassadors: the apostles (2 Cor 5:20; Lk 10:16; Acts 5:3-4)
ID/ Q & A
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Q: Who runs the church of Christ? Where are its headquarters?
A: There are no headquarters on earth. The head of the church is in heaven, sitting at the right hand of God (Eph 1:20-22). The Lord planned that each congregation be autonomous or self-governing in matters of judgment. If one church goes bad, it does not have to effect surrounding congregations. The church we read of in the Bible has no convention or synod over it. No church hierarchy ever mentioned in the NT, like we see in so many denominations. Just the king and his kingdom. The bridegroom and his bride. The builder and his house.
Its local organization
•Each congregation is autonomous or self-governing under a group of elders (Acts 14:23)
•Elders serving under the chief Shepherd (1 Pet 5:1-4)
•Elders charged with shepherding the flock (Acts 20:28)
•Serving the elders are deacons (Phil 1:1)
•Both groups are to meet qualifications (1 Tim 3)
•Careful about the qualifications but careful not to add qualifications that are not there
Two opposite tendencies, both incorrect, have been exhibited toward these lists of qualifications. One is to set the standards so high that virtually no one can meet them and so not appoint men to the work. The other is to minimize the requirements with the attitude of choosing the best available even if unqualified. Both approaches have the consequence of ignoring or setting aside the instructions and thus not taking seriously the biblical standards for congregational leadership.
Everett Ferguson, The Church of Christ,324.
•A church is “wanting” (deficient) without elders (Titus 1:5)
Denominations have a number of different ways to organize—where are these in Scripture?
hierarchy—Catholic or Episcopal
a convention
Regional Synod or Presbytery
A pastor system
Evangelistic Authority—preacher has authority even over the elders
Why not follow the NT pattern? Let’s return to the Bible (Acts 20:29-30)
Sum: Let’s go back to the Bible way of doing things!
Next Week: We’ll continue to look at the fundamental of Christianity.
Until then, We encourage you to hear His precepts and trust His promises
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