we preach what
the Bible teach
BIBLE STUDY - THE CHURCH.
Church is a New Testament teaching. The Church was never mentioned in the Old
Testament. The Church is not a building. The Church is made up of living stones.
We as, born again believers are the bricks and make up the house of God. 1
Peter 2:5, “You also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual
Timothy 3:15, “But if I am delayed, I write so that you may know how you ought
to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living
God”. 1 Corinthians 3:9b, “You are God’s building”. Howbeit
the most High dwelleth not in temples made with hands, Acts 7:48 and Acts 17:24.
Corinthians 3:16, “Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the
Spirit of God dwells in you”. Hebrews
3:6, “But Christ as a Son over his house, who we are if we hold fast the
confidence and the rejoicing of the hope, firm to the end”. There are
many more Scriptures to proof what the Bible teaches.
Greek word for church is; "ekklesia" and it means 'called out
assembly' or 'called gathering of people'. The word "ekklisia" comes
from two Greek words; "ek" meaning 'from' or 'out of' and
"kaleo" meaning to 'call'. In other words 'called out ones'.
The word Church is mentioned 108 times in the New Testament but not once in the
Old Testament. The Church can never be seen as the 'Kingdom of God', the Church
is part of the Kingdom of God. We cannot inherit ourselves but we can inherit
the Kingdom of God. The Church consist of true believers in Jesus Christ, the
Church is the body of Christ. The Church is a whole company of redeemed in all
ages, in Heaven and on earth, Hebrews 12:23 and Ephesians 3:14 - 21.
local Church may be defined as a company of redeemed people in a community, who
unite themselves voluntarily together as a part of the universal Church for the
purpose of establishing themselves in the faith of the Gospel of Jesus Christ
and to evangelize their community and to propagate the Gospel to the end of the
earth. Local Churches are mentioned many times in the New Testament. A local
Church may consist of two or three people, Matthew 18:20; Romans 16:5; 1
Corinthians 16:19. We believe that the believers are the ‘house of God’ and
the ‘temple of God’. We do believe that we have to have a building, or a
place where we can have fellowship. The building is to keep us from the weather
and to accommodate a multitude. He makes His abode with - in us.
Have you ever heard the saying; “I want to welcome you in the ‘house of God” or “Are you glad to be in the house of God”. How ignorant can a person be after all these years? The old traditional Pastor will sometimes be the one uttering these words. I believe in “fire in the pulpit, fire in the pew”. Remember ignorance will never be an excuse in God’s eyes. We are a house of living stones, built and woven together by the Holy Spirit of which Jesus Christ is the corner stone. We are members and part of the body of Christ of which He is the head. No person must ever think that he or she is the head, the body does not have two heads. If we do not function in the body, we are dead; we will be cut - off and thrown away.
man-originated organizations claim to be Christian churches. Any denomination
that does not preach and teach what the New Testament teaches or add whatever
they want to suit them; to enrich their status or pockets is not from God. The
Church does not consist of saved and unsaved people.
following points are essential for membership in a local Church:
The new birth and genuine Christian living.
The sole authority of the Bible, rightly divided and willful obedience to the
The freedom of conscience and personal responsibility to God.
Accepting the authority of the leaders and the organization in the local Church.
sole purpose of the Church is to do what Jesus Christ did on earth.
body of Jesus is being formed by the Holy Spirit. The Church was founded
when the ministry of Jesus Christ started, not on the day of Pentecost as many
believe. This statement is clear as can be seen from Scriptures such as 1
Corinthians 12:28, "God has set some in the Church, first apostles,
etc". When did Jesus set up the apostle, certainly not on the day of
Pentecost. On the day of Pentecost 3000 people were added, a few days later 5000
more were added. People are still being added daily, this addition will carry on
until the day Christ will come in the air to take away His New Testament Church,
together with the redeemed of all ages past.
Holy Spirit unites members with Jesus as members of His Church upon their
church is compared to a human body with its many members. Christ
is the head of the Church, Ephesians 1:22-23, ‘And hath put all things under
his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, which is
his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all. Ephesians 5:23-24.
Every born again believer is a member set in the body with a function to
stress the importance of church membership - of belonging to a local church.
They teach us that it is not possible to be a Christian independent of the rest
of the body of Christ because God has foreordained that each Christian has a
place, a purpose and a function in the body that no other Christian can fulfill,
12:4-8, ‘For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the
same office: So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members
one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given
to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with
simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with
cheerfulness. See also, 1 Corinthians 12:14-18, 25; Ephesians 4:15-16.
has set us in the body to suit His purpose not ours, and if we refuse to join
ourselves to a church we are refusing to join ourselves to Christ, because He is
the head of the Church, 1 Corinthians 12:12. It is not wise for anyone to assume
that they can be intentionally separated from the body of Christ and still be a
member of His body. A body is an organised group made up of parts and members,
and nothing can function as a member if it is not attached or joined to the
body. This applies in both the physical and spiritual realms. No
member of a physical body can function if it is dismembered from the body, and
neither can members of the spiritual body, the Church, function if they become
dismembered from it, Hebrews 10:24-25.
Church is self-propagating. It
is a living organism reproducing itself as its members preach the Gospel of
1:16, ‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of
God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the
Greek’. Acts 2:38; 4:4; 5:12-14; 6:7; 11:19-26; 13:48; We see in Acts
11:26 that the term "Christians" was first used to describe the
followers of Christ in Antioch. To be called a Christian is the highest honour
any human being can receive, Acts 26:28; 1 Peter 4:14-16.
should be noted here in the light of so many scriptures referring to the Church
as the body of Christ, and that as Christ the head of the body is a man, it is
so that a teaching persists in Christendom that the Church is a woman - the
Bride of Christ. Apart from the fact that the real Bride of Christ is clearly
identified in scripture as male, nowhere in scripture is the Church ever
referred to by a feminine pronoun to support this teaching. In fact the Church
is only ever referred to as a man in scripture, Ephesians 2:15-16; 4:11-13. Some
modern translations and paraphrased versions of the Bible refer to the Church by
feminine pronouns in, Ephesians 5:25-27, but this is a contradiction in terms
because they refer to the Church as a man in, Ephesians 2:15 and 4:13. How can
the Church be a “man” in one teaching in scripture, and a “woman” in
another? God’s word does not contradict itself, it is the translators and
interpreters of those versions who are responsible for this contradiction.
Romans 7:4, Paul simply illustrates the Christian's freedom from the law with
the analogy of marriage showing how the death of one partner frees the other
from life-long obligations. He compares it to Christians, who having died to the
law are now free to follow Christ, to become one with Him, see Romans 7:1-6.
is the true Bride of Christ, Revelations 19:7-9 with 21:2, 9-10, 18-27. This is
the Bride of Christ: the Holy City, New Jerusalem. New Jerusalem is the Lamb’s
wife that “made herself ready” in verse 19:7, and was “prepared as a bride
for her husband” in 21:2. New Jerusalem is the City of God which God promised
to all the Old Testament saints and Jesus promised to all the New Testament
saints. They will all go to live in New Jerusalem together, John 14:1-3; Hebrews
11:1-2, 13-16; 12:22-23; 13:14; Revelations 3:12; with 14:1-5; 15:2-4; 20:4-6;
22:1-5. Finally, the Church is also referred to as a man in 2 Thessalonians 2:7.
The he who is presently restraining Antichrist from revealing himself is
the Church, 2 Thessalonians 2:1-9. This refers to the rapture of the
Church, when the Church will be “caught up” in the air with Jesus when He
comes to take all the saints of God back to heaven with Him at the rapture, 1
Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelations 20:4-6 John 14:1-3; 1 Corinthians 15:12-23,
32, 42-44, 50-58. Many Christians believe that the he of 2 Thessalonians 2:7
is the Holy Spirit, but that is not correct as the preceding scriptures clearly
show. Furthermore, the Holy Spirit will still be on earth after the rapture to
convict the multitudes of their sins who get saved during Antichrist’s reign.
US LOOK AT THE 5 MINISTRIES IN THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH:
He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some
pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the
faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of
the stature of the fullness of Christ', Ephesians 4:11 - 16.
apostle is the highest rank in the structure of the ministry, 1 Corinthians
12:28 and still would be if we could get a person today qualified as an apostle.
apostle would come out of the elders in your congregation. The word apostle
literally means 'one sent on a special mission'. We see in other words
that the apostle is like an ambassador. One that would remain behind sends, the
apostle. The one that is sent goes to accomplish the same work, that the one who
has send him would do if he went instead, of the one being sent. The elders are
there to feed the flock and to govern the spiritual flow in the congregation.
Christ was an apostle sent from God the Father, Hebrews
3:1, "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider
the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus". Jesus
chose others to be apostles after His ascension as can be seen in 1 Corinthians
12:28; Ephesians 4:11. When one gets to the place in God where he can do the
works of Christ, he is a true apostle, John 14:12; 1 Corinthians 9:1-6; 2
Christians believe that the ministry gift of apostle in the contemporary church
has been fulfilled in the ministry of the missionary, and there are doubtless
many missionaries who do function as apostles and should be recognised as such. The
ministries of apostles and missionaries are similar, they both evangelise, plant
churches, instruct, correct, and establish them in the faith, but whereas every
apostle is a missionary, not every missionary is an apostle. Furthermore every
apostle is a qualified elder in the New Testament church, but not every missionary
and it is the elders, collectively and co-equally, to whom God has committed the
direction and government of the local New Testament Church.
apostle who pioneers the church may be the only one to start with, but others
should be appointed as quickly as they are seen to be functioning in any of the
ministry gifts of Ephesians 4:11, and can satisfy the requirements God has laid
down for their ordination in 1
Timothy 3:1-7, ‘This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop,
he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one
wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
and Titus 1:4-9. The
number of elders in any Church will depend entirely upon the size of the
congregation. They then become co-leaders in the church with the leader,
Acts 15:1-27; 21:17-25. These
scriptures clearly confirm all that the foregoing scriptures teach - that the
direction and government of the local New Testament church is not vested in the
ministry of one man alone as it is in the contemporary church, but in the
plurality of elders co-equally. Then
there are false apostles - servants of Satan 2 Corinthians 11:13-15.
the Greek word ‘prophetes’
"a proclaimer of divine truth". The
prophet's main purpose is to comfort and edify the believers, 1 Corinthians
14:3. The prophet
is also mentioned as a class of minister to equip the saints for the ministry in
the early Church as can be seen from, Ephesians 4:11,12; Acts 13:1-5. Then
there is also prophecy as one of the Gifts of the Spirit. We read in 1
Corinthians 14:29-32, "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others
judge". Verse 31, "For you can all prophesy one by one, that
all may learn and all may be encouraged". Verse
32, "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets".
are placed second in the order of ministry gifts Christ gave to the Church to
prepare and equip it for service,
Ephesians 4:11-12; 1 Corinthians 12:28. Yet there are many who teach that
together with apostles the ministry gift of prophet no longer exists; that it
ceased with the first century church. But as our study on apostles show, that is
not correct, Matthew 24:14; John 17:18-21; Ephesians 3:1-12; 4:7-16; 5:25-27.
Scriptures clearly teach that Christ has given the ministry gifts of Ephesians
4:11 to His Church and ordained them all to remain there while ever the Church
exists. They are all vitally necessary - "for the perfecting of the saints
for the work of the ministry" It is their responsibility to bring
clarification and illumination concerning God's word to the Church and to those
they are establishing in the faith. They are both teachers and preachers.
teach that Scriptures are the only proof text we have against which we must
measure every teaching in the Church.
let us look at some of the characteristics of false prophets in the New
Testament church. Jesus, Paul, Peter and John all warn against them and we need
to be able to discern them. Jesus said they come in sheep's clothing. That means
their deception is subtle, they have the outward appearance of a true prophet
but inwardly are ravening wolves. But Jesus said we shall know them by their
fruit. That is why it is so important to be thoroughly grounded in God's word,
because the only way we can ever test any teaching in the Church is by the word
of God, Matthew 7:15-23; Acts 20:29-32; 2 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 4:1-6. All
teaching must be tested against the revelation of God's truth in Scripture.
John's admonition to the Church in 1 John
4:1 to "try the spirits whether they are of God" makes it
obligatory upon Christians to examine and prove every teaching in the Church,
Acts 17:10-11; 1 Thessalonians 5:21; 2 Peter 1:16-19. Scriptures are the only
proof texts we have, and if any teaching cannot be proved by them then it must
be disregarded, irrespective of who is teaching it. Be aware of paraphrase
translations of the Bible.
souls get saved when a person preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ that person
has the office of an evangelist.
Timothy had the ministry of an evangelist as can be seen in 2
Timothy 4:5, "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the
work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry". We also read of
Philip the evangelist, Acts 21:8, "On the next day we entered the house of
Philip the evangelist. There is no confusion in the
contemporary church over evangelists as there is with apostles and prophets.
Evangelists, from the Greek word “euaggelistes”,
are preachers of the Gospel; ones who declare the good news of Christ, Romans
preach to the unsaved, whereas apostles and prophets preach to both the saved
and the unsaved.
evangelism is not only about preaching, it is also about the demonstration of
the Holy Spirit and of power Mark 16:16-20; Romans 15:18-21; 1 Corinthians
2:4-5. Jesus not only preached; He also demonstrated
the power of God over all the forces of evil that brought sickness, disease and
death to the human race: He raised the dead; cast demons out of people, and
healed them of their sicknesses and diseases.
He made the lame to walk, the blind to see and the deaf to hear. He even
exercised authority over the course of nature, Luke 8:22-56. These are but a few
of the miracles Jesus wrought when He preached. He brought the good news of the
Gospel by word and deed and not by word only, 1 Corinthians 4:20. The
demonstration of the Holy Spirit and of power are signs that awaken others to a
consciousness of the presence and the power of God and raise their faith in
Jesus for salvation, Acts 6:1-10; 8:4-8. Over five thousand people were
saved as a result of one miracle, the healing of a crippled beggar, in the first
century Church Acts 3:1-4:4.
term "pastor" is derived from the Greek word ‘poimen’,
which means a "shepherd". ‘Poimen
is used 18 times in the New Testament but it
is only translated "pastor" once, Ephesians 4:11. The other 17
times it is translated "shepherd". It is used 11 times either directly
or indirectly in reference to Jesus, Matthew 25:32; 26:31; Mark 14:27; John
10:2, 11-12,14,16; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; Jesus uses it twice in reference
to others, Matthew 9:36; Mark 6:34, and it is used 4 times of the shepherds who
visited the baby Jesus, Luke 2:8,15,18,20. These scriptures prove the statement
made earlier in our study on apostles, that nowhere in scripture is the term
"pastor" ever used as it is in the contemporary church to define rank,
authority or title of anyone, in the New Testament Church. A
pastor is seen as a shepherd. The Bible also refers to a pastor as a bishop. He
is one that watches over the flock of God.
A pastor's assistant is a deacon as can be seen in the Scriptures. A pastor is a
person that would come out of the believers where a church has been established
in a community.
teacher is one that teaches others and they understand things better.
Jesus is a good example of a teacher, John 3:2, "Rabbi, we know that you
are a teacher come from God". We read that Paul was also a teacher, 1
Timothy 2:7. A teacher is one that knows God, the Scriptures, is a leader and
can have one or all of the above mentioned ministries. Teachers
are placed third in the divine order of ministry gifts for the Church, 1
Corinthians 12:28. Teachers in the New Testament
Church do not teach the mere letter of the word or doctrine as such, but being
blessed with revelation in the word they teach prophetically, presenting deep
truth in such a way as to build up faith in the Church, helping to prepare and
equip it for God's service. The teacher's function is to teach, to instruct, to
educate, to train, to discipline, to nurture, to influence the understanding of
those being taught. The
special task of teachers is to guard the gospel entrusted to them. They are to
vigorously contend for the truth of scripture in the face of any teaching in the
church that does not conform to scripture, and faithfully point the church to
the original message of Christ and the apostles, 2 Timothy 1:8-14; 2:2; 3:16.
Teachers should be able to speak with authority; they must be a voice and not
just an echo like the Old Testament scribes and Pharisees. They
must be sound theologians able to teach wholesome doctrine, 1 Timothy 6:3-4; 2
Timothy 1:13; 1 Peter 4:10-11. A
teacher's life is one of study and personal preparation but they must always
remain teachable themselves, Romans 2:21; 1 Corinthians 2:9-13. If teachers are
not able to be taught themselves, they will not be able to teach others.
They must always beware of pride of intellect, for knowledge "puffs
up" 1 Corinthians 8:1-2; James 3:13-18.
are false teachers in the New Testament church just as there are false apostles
and prophets and there are many scriptures warning against them, and like false
apostles and prophets they may outwardly appear to be genuine spiritual leaders
and true ministers of the word, but inwardly they are ravening wolves, full of
dead men's bones, given over to extortion and excess, and full of hypocrisy and
iniquity, Matthew 7:15-23; 13:25-30; Acts 20:29-30; 2 Corinthians 11:12-15;
Titus 1:10-14; 2 Peter 2:1-3; Jude 4; Revelation 2:20.
teachers, again like false apostles and prophets, may not always be immediately
recognisable but their doctrine will betray them to Christians who test their
teachings against the pure word of God, as we are commanded in scripture to do,
1 Thessalonians 5:21; 1 John 4:1-6; 2 John 7-11. Christians
must never just accept any teachings at face value, even those handed down in
the church, unless they have been tested against the revelation of God's truth
in Scripture, Acts 17:10-12.
there are many false teachers in the church, there are also many false
Christians willing to receive them, 2 Timothy 3:1-7; 4:1-4.
the judgement that will be passed upon false teachers will be much more severe
than that upon other sinners, Luke 12:41-48; Hebrews 10:26-31. These
scriptures teach that just as there are degrees of glory in heaven according to
our earthly works, so there are degrees of punishment in hell and the worst will
come upon false teachers. True
teachers and all other spiritual leaders in the Church must guard and defend the
Gospel committed to them even when others depart from the faith. They must
defend it against attack and challenge the Church if it is tempted to lay aside
deacons also can only ever be men. Like bishops, they
too must only be the husband of one wife, if married, 1 Timothy 3:8-13. The
term deacon primarily denotes
a servant, one who ministers to the needs of others, without reference to the
character of the work.
the New Testament, ‘diakonos’,
the Greek word for deacon is used to refer to domestic servants, John 2:5,9; the
followers of Christ in relation to their Lord, John 12:26; Ephesians 6:21;
Colossians 1:7; 4:7; the followers of Christ in relation to one another, Matthew
20:26; 23:11; Mark 9:35; 10:43; the servants of Christ in relation to preaching
and teaching 1 Corinthians 3:5; 2 Corinthians 3:6; 6:4; 11:23; Ephesians 3:7;
Colossians 1:23,25; 1 Thessalonians 3:2; 1 Timothy 4:6.
can see from scriptures that the term deacon has a much broader application than
most Christians in the contemporary church realise. The general conception of
deacons among Christians in the contemporary church is that they do most of the
lesser tasks in the church, they open the hall up for meetings, switch on the
lights, arrange the seating, distribute the emblems for communion, and take up
the collection, etc, but as is seen here scriptures do not teach that. The
confusion surrounding deacons in the contemporary church emanates from the
teaching that the role of deacons in the New Testament church is defined in,
Acts 6:1-6, yet scriptures do not designate the seven men in, Acts 6:1-6 who
were chosen to distribute the alms and minister to the material needs of the
Greek widows in the church at Jerusalem as deacons, Acts 6:1-6 with 1 Timothy
is obvious from 1 Timothy 3:1-13 that the office of deacon in the New Testament
Church is more than dealing with temporal things as distinct from spiritual
things have to be dealt with, but to limit the office of a deacon to just
dealing with temporal things is to limit the effectiveness of the Church in
God's eternal purpose. In
the context of 1 Timothy 3:1-13 it is significant that the term deacons is used
side by side with bishops, or elders. This indicates that deacons are
assistant ministers or that they assist the ruling elders in the performance of
their duties. They are the scriptural counterparts to the non-scriptural
assistant pastors and elders in the contemporary church, Philippians 1:1. The
qualifications for deacons, like bishops, and their role in the New Testament
Church, are defined in 1 Timothy 3:1-13 not in Acts 6:1-6 as so many Christians
in the contemporary church have been taught. It
should be noted here also that although deacons assist the elders in the
performance of their duties they have no ruling authority in the New Testament
ministry office as, 1 Timothy 3:13 clearly teaches is a proving ground
to greater responsibilities, but it is not a leadership position to start with,
and for any local New Testament Church to be under the authority of a
"board of deacons" is totally unscriptural.
We cannot supplant God's order for the church and replace it with another. He
has decreed the Church to be under the authority of ruling elders, not deacons.
OF CHURCH OFFICIALS:
the Father ordained Jesus Christ to come as Saviour to this world as can be seen
in Acts 17:30 - 31, verse 31b, 'He will judge the world in righteousness by the
Man whom He has ordained'. The
word ordain means to choose, appoint and set apart a person called or sent on a
special ministry. Ordination
is simply the recognition of a qualified person to do what he is divinely called
to do. It is the recognition by a church and its leaders of a man/women who has
received certain preparation for a particular work for God. No person is to be
ordained to an office until he is qualified to fill it. The person to be
ordained should not only be chosen by God, but also be recognized by the
congregation and set apart by proper Church officials in a special service of
instruction, prayer, and laying on of hands as can be seen in, Acts 6:1 - 8;
Acts 12:1 - 3; Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 Timothy 1:6;
Hebrews 6:1 - 3.
we learned previously on apostles, both ‘episkopos’,
the Greek word for bishop/overseer, and ‘presbuteros’,
the Greek word for elder/presbyter only refer to a male in the New Testament,
thus signifying that men only are ordained of God to pastor the New Testament
to what a great many Christians in the contemporary church believe there is no
provision in scripture for the ordination of women to public ministry in the New
Testament Church. Also, the fact that anyone aspiring to be an elder must
be the husband of one wife if married is further confirmation that elders can
only ever be men, 1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:6. There is no provision at all here
for the inclusion of women as elders in the New Testament Church.
ABOUT WOMAN IN PUBLIC MINISTRIES?
is not forbidding women to educate, proclaim the truth, exhort, pray or
prophesy. That is their God-given right as scriptures clearly attest, Acts
2:17-18; 18:24-26; 21:8-9; 1 Corinthians 11:5; 14:13; Philippians 4:3; 2 Timothy
1:5; 3:14-15; Titus 2:3-5. Women
can teach other women, girls, and children, boys and girls, and they can assist
their husbands in their ministerial duties, but they are prohibited from holding
public office in the Church and exercising authority over men. 1
Timothy 2:10-12, ‘Let the woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I
suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in
silence. For Adam was first formed, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the
woman being deceived was in the transgression’. This has nothing to do
with the culture surrounding women in Paul’s time either, as many in the
contemporary church teach to justify the ordination of women today. There is no
allowance in scripture whatever for God’s word to be altered to suit the
cultural changes in women that would justify their ordination to public ministry
in the contemporary church, Luke 21:33; 1 Peter 1:23-25. God’s word never
changes - it is exalted even above His name, Psalms 89:34; 138:2. What Paul
forbade in 1 Timothy is still forbidden. In 1 Timothy 2:13-14, Paul
explains that his opposition to women in public ministry is found in the
original order of creation, and in the circumstances of the fall of man verse
13-14: man, Adam was formed first, then woman, Eve. Adam was not deceived but
Eve was, and as a result women are prohibited from ever being teachers or
exercising authority over men in the New Testament Church. 1
Corinthians 11:3, ‘But I would have you know, that the head of every man is
Christ; and the head of the woman is the man; and the head of Christ is God.’
This confirms what other Scriptures teach against women in any leadership
position in the Church. The Greek word ‘gune’
is also used in 1 Timothy 3:11. Here though it is clearly used in the
context of a husband and wife relationship. It is not describing women deacons
but the wives of men deacons if they are married, the same as the preceding
passage refers to male elders and their wives, if married, 1 Timothy 3:1-13.
leads us now to the question of women being ordained to public ministry in the
contemporary church when there is no provision for it in the New Testament.
Scriptures clearly teach that women are precluded from any leadership position
in the New Testament Church. There are numerous references to women in the New
Testament but nowhere do scriptures teach that they were ordained to public
ministry in the church. In searching the scriptures we can only find male
leadership in the New Testament Church as the model for relationship between the
sexes, and we should accept that as God's order for the Church without any
additions, subtractions or alterations whatever, 1 Timothy 2:8-14. Opinions
differ among Christians as to whom this scripture refers - whether women
generally or wives specifically. The Greek word ‘gune’
means either, and whether a woman generally or a wife
specifically is meant depends upon the context in which it is used. Here it
refers to women generally because all women who profess godliness, regardless of
their marital status are to dress modestly and not draw attention to themselves
in the assembly by any form of immoderate conduct.
is dealing with the general conduct of all women in the Church here. It has to
do with church order and the position of men and women in church worship and
work, not with the relationship between a husband and wife as in 1 Corinthians
14; 14:34-35. In 1 Timothy 2:8, Paul wants men, as opposed to women,
to conduct public worship in the Church. In verse 12 he prohibits women from
holding any position of authority over men in the Church. Women cannot be
teachers to teach doctrine and instruct men, which confirms what other
scriptures in this study also teach, that men only are ordained of God to pastor
His church. Women are precluded from this office.
do not teach that Phebe was a "deaconess" in the church at Cenchrea.
They simply teach that she was a servant of the church there, and as we have
already seen the Greek word ‘diakonos’ can refer to anyone in a serving capacity, from
domestic servants, to civil rulers, to Christ, Romans 16:1-2. We get a better
insight into Phebe's ministry in the Church at Cenchrea from a study of the word
"succorer" in verse 2 which defines her as caring for the affairs of
others, who helps and aids them from her resources. ‘Succorer’ is
from the Greek word ‘prostatis’,
which is the feminine form of "patron" or "protector". It
was used by the Greeks to describe those who care for and entertain strangers in
their home. Phebe was evidently a woman of means who ministered to the needs of
others in the Church at Cenchrea and looked after Paul and his companions on his
apostolic mission journeys there. There are many women named in scripture who
served with distinction in the first century Church, but none in a leadership
is another issue that needs to be mentioned here. It concerns titles men and
women in the contemporary church use to signify their rank and authority in the
church. Doctor so… and doctor so… or professor so… or professor so…. The
most common title used is "pastor" which is a complete misunderstood
considering the word is never used in Scripture to define the rank or authority
of anyone in the New Testament Church. But even more important is the fact that
titles are totally opposed in scripture. Jesus himself condemned them, Matthew
23:2-12. We cannot mistake what these scriptures mean. God is totally opposed to
titles and Jesus forbids Christians seeking after, or receiving them. Titles may
count for something in hierarchical or denominational religions where they are
used to distinguish between the so-called clergy and the laity, but they are
totally unscriptural. Matthew 23:8 teaches that there is always to be a
brotherly relationship between Christians regardless of their ministry gifts
verse 8 with Mark 10:35-45 and Luke 22:24-27. Jesus was the instigator of every
ministry gift in the Church yet He was the servant of all. He teaches us in
these scriptures that every ministry gift in the church is to be one of service
- not with ‘power’, but servant power, 1 Corinthians 4:14-15.
Compiled by: Chris Mengel Snr.
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