Sixteen Fundamental Truths - Part 7 - The Church and The Ministry

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Slide 3: 

Exposition by Dr. Randy Colver. Copyright © 2006. Graphics developed by Cathy Garland. Each of the Sixteen Fundamental Doctrines will be introduced and quoted. Each quote will be highlighted in dark green font in the text. Scripture taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

10. The Church and Its Mission The AG Statement of Fundamental Truths states: The Church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointments for the fulfillment of her Great Commission.

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Each believer, born of the Spirit, is an integral part of the general assembly and Church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven (Ephesians 1:22-23; 2:22; Hebrews 12:23). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Since God’s purpose concerning man is to seek and to save that which is lost, to be worshiped by man, and to build a body of believers in the image of His Son, the priority reason-for-being of the Assemblies of God as part of the Church is: 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). To be a corporate body in which man may worship God (1 Corinthians 12:13). To be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 14:12). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

To be an agency of God for evangelizing the world (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20; Mark 16:15-16). To be a corporate body in which man may worship God (1 Corinthians 12:13). To be a channel of God’s purpose to build a body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11-16; 1 Corinthians 12:28; 14:12). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

The New Testament word for “church” (ekklesia) means “the called out ones” as an army summoned to assemble. It is an appropriate word for Christians who are called out of the kingdom of darkness into the Kingdom of Light. We are separated to God and gather together as His holy people. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Peter wrote: “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light” (1 Pt. 2:9). Before we discover more about what the Church is, we should consider what it is not. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

The Church is not: A material building. It has been well said that “we don’t go to church; we are the Church going.” A particular denomination. The Church consists of all believers throughout time. A continuation of Judaism. The Church was constituted under a New Covenant (Lk. 22:20) creating a “new man” (Eph. 2:14-16). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

The Church is not: The whole Kingdom of God. The Kingdom is far more vast and includes many things beyond the Church, such as heaven and angels. A parenthetical plan. The Church is the vehicle through which God will fulfill His purpose (Eph. 3:7-11). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

The New Testament refers to both a local church and a universal Church. The universal Church is the spiritual union of all believers of all time in Christ. John wrote of the elders in heaven that they sang, “…with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God…” (Rev. 5:9-10). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

The local church is the gathering of believers in a locale in the presence of Christ. Jesus said, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Mt. 18:20). It is in the local church that believers minister to one another through the diverse gifts of the Spirit (Ro. 12:3-8; 1 Cor. 12:18-30; Eph. 4:11-13). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

The New Testament local church was “self-governing, without hierarchical connections beyond the local assembly” (Menzies 175). The universal Church came into existence when Christ imparted the Holy Spirit into His believing disciples (Jn. 20:21-23). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Christ also gave authority to the Church to be His representatives on earth. This is seen in the following verses: 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

He said, “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” (Mt. 16:18-19). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

(We should note that a more exact translation from the NAS Bible is “whatever you bind on earth, shall have been bound in heaven” and whatever we loose on earth “shall have been loosed in heaven” indicating that what we do on earth must be aligned first with the will of God in heaven.) 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

There are numerous terms and metaphors for God’s Church. Several important ones are: The Pillar and Ground of Truth (1 Tim. 3:15). The Temple of God (Eph. 2:21-22). The Family of God (Eph. 3:14-15). The Body of Christ (Eph. 1:20-23). The Army of God (Eph. 6:10-13). The Bride of Christ (Eph. 5:28-32). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

These descriptors give us numerous insights into the nature of the Church. We will examine two. As the temple of God, the Church is “the community of the redeemed which, through the sanctifying activity of the Holy Spirit, is constituted as the dwelling place of God” (O’Brien 127). As a result, the Church is to be a holy dwelling place for the presence of God (1 Cor. 3:16-17). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

As a holy community, the local church maintains certain discipline to keep it holy (Mt. 18:15-18; Ro. 16:17; 2 Cor. 2:7-10; 2 Tim. 3:16; Titus 3:10; 2 Thess. 3:6). This helps deter others from sin and prevents dishonor to the Lord. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Nevertheless, we must balance this discipline with the understanding: That the purpose of discipline is restoration (2 Cor. 2:7-11; Gal. 6:1). That we are all vulnerable and susceptible to temptation (Gal. 6:1). That no one should “lord it over” another (Mt. 20:25-28; 1 Pt. 5:3). That God is merciful, and “mercy triumphs over judgment” (Ja. 2:13). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

That the Church is also a mixed body, containing saved and unsaved, and mature and immature (Mt. 13:24-30). In fact, all those who lead should remember that servanthood emphasizes function, not position” and that authority without servanthood leads to tyranny(1 Pt. 5:2-3). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

The Church is also a spiritual “building” under construction, both in quantity and in quality (Mt. 16:18). Its structure consists of living stones supporting one another, and is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, with Christ as its chief cornerstone (1 Pt. 2:5; Eph. 2:20). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

As the Body of Christ, the Church consists of many members, each contributing to the edification of the whole (1 Cor. 12:12-27). The Church Body is connected to its Head from which it derives its authority and life (Col. 2:19). But this also means that the Church is in Christ, and thus “seated” with him in heavenly places (Eph. 2:6). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

This connection to Christ has important implications for the Church. We must remember that Christ’s current, heavenly ministry continues in vital and extensive ways. God wants the Church to be connected to that heavenly ministry. Finally, we must note that the charismata (or gifts of the Spirit) play an extremely important role in this connection. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Let’s take a moment to elaborate on this. During his earthly ministry Christ remained keenly aware of his connection to heaven and his heavenly Father. The apostle John often portrayed the intimacy Jesus enjoyed with his Father (Jn. 5:17-19; 7:16-17; 8:28, 38, 40, [47]; 12:49-50; 14:10; 17:8). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

During his earthly ministry Christ spoke as a prophet—in many cases using the language of ‘witness’ and ‘testimony,’ legal terms relating to the court of heaven (Jn. 3:31b-32; 5:31-47; 8:14, 17-18). Revelation occurs as a necessary part of the communicative process with heaven. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

That Christ received prophecy and revelatory knowledge demonstrates to us that we need similar revelation in ministry. In fact, Christ’s ministry on earth depended upon the clarity of this communication. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

On the day of Pentecost, when Christ poured forth the Holy Spirit upon the disciples (Acts 2:1-4; 35), He equipped the Body for supernaturally connected participation in his heavenly work (e.g., parts of 1 Cor. 12-14), and He empowered the Church (Acts 1:8) to effectively continue His ministry on earth. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

The charismata mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12 fit neatly into this scheme, specifically those gifts that provide supernatural communication: prophecy, tongues, interpretation of tongues, different kinds of tongues, words of knowledge, and words of wisdom. Other charismata such as faith, gifts of healing, and miracles provide necessary enablement to meet the needs of others in a supernatural way. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Therefore, the charismata that the Spirit brings provide both connection to Christ’s heart in heaven and empowerment to accomplish his will on earth. This supernatural, Holy Spirit-equipped connection allows Christ to relate to each Christian as individual components of a broad, living network, called the “Body”—His Church. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Thus, the Church is His Body, not in the sense of a universal Church, but rather as the extension of Himself on earth. The term “Body” does not mean simply an “organism” as is popularly expressed, but His Person—personality, giftedness, and character—with each member contributing some part of Christ to the whole. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

We can conclude, then, that the Church is primarily a gathering of Christian believers designed to continue the ministry of Christ by the expression of the Holy Spirit among and through them. 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

One significant aspect of Christ’s continuing ministry is to win the lost. His heart is to “seek and save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). And He has commissioned us to “go and make disciples” (Mt. 28:19). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

One significant aspect of Christ’s continuing ministry is to win the lost. His heart is to “seek and save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). And He has commissioned us to “go and make disciples” (Mt. 28:19). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

One significant aspect of Christ’s continuing ministry is to win the lost. His heart is to “seek and save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). And He has commissioned us to “go and make disciples” (Mt. 28:19). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

One significant aspect of Christ’s continuing ministry is to win the lost. His heart is to “seek and save that which was lost” (Lk. 19:10). And He has commissioned us to “go and make disciples” (Mt. 28:19). 10. The Church and Its Mission

10. The Church and Its Mission : 

Jesus said, “I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it” (Mt. 16:18). It is His church. He will build it. Nothing shall overcome it! 10. The Church and Its Mission

11. The Ministry : 

The AG Statement of Fundamental Truths states: A divinely called and scripturally ordained ministry has been provided by our Lord for the threefold purpose of leading the Church in: 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

evangelization of the world(Mark 16:15-20), worship of God (John 4:23, 24), and building a Body of saints being perfected in the image of His Son (Ephesians 4:11, 16). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Christ’s ministries of teaching, shepherding, speaking prophetically, and so on, have been distributed to various members of the Church. Paul affirmed this in Ephesians: “It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service…” (Eph. 4:11-12). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Each of these ministry gifts provide important contributions to the building up of the Body. As an apostle, Paul described himself as an “expert builder” (1 Cor. 3:10), one who would break new ground with the gospel and found new local churches, setting them in order (Titus 1:5). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Like the prophet Agabus, the New Testament prophet must be seasoned in the charismata, waiting on the Lord for His prophetic word for the church (Acts 11:27-28; 21:8-11; cf. 1 Cor. 14:26-33). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Unlike the Old Testament prophet, the New Testament prophet can no longer be a “rugged individualist” standing independent and often apart from the community of believers. The New Testament prophet is mentioned often alongside other ministries (Acts 13:1; 1 Cor. 12:28-29; Eph. 2:20; 4:11) and must work with them in mutual submission. 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Like Philip, the evangelist preaches the Word, proclaims Christ, and preaches “the good news of the kingdom of God” (Acts 8:4-8, 26ff; 21:8). The evangelist is uniquely equipped and “commissioned to proclaim the Gospel good news” (Mare 236). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Like the Old Testament shepherd/leader, the pastor must care for the flock (Jer. 23:1-2; Acts 20). Just as a shepherd in the Old Testament was to protect the sheep (Amos 3:12; Is. 31:4, 56:11) and lead them (Ps. 23), so the New Testament shepherd must protect the local church members and lead them as well (Jn. 10). Further, shepherds must guard and govern the flock with love (Jer. 33:13; Ezek. 20:37; 34:4; Acts 20; 1 Pt. 5:3). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

The New Testament mentions teachers in all three of the lists of offices (Ro. 12:7; 1 Cor. 12:28-29; Eph. 4:11), Christ promised to send teachers (Mt. 23:34), and there were teachers at Antioch (Acts 13:1-4; 15:35). Like Ezra of the Old Testament, the teacher must devote “himself to the study and observance” of the Word, to teach “its decrees” (Ezra 7:10) to make it “clear” and give “the meaning so that the people could understand what was being read” (Neh. 8:8). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Foulkes summarized: “Apostles and evangelists had a particular task in planting the Church in every place, prophets for bringing a particular word from God to a situation. Pastors and teachers were gifted to be responsible for the day-to-day building up of the Church” (119). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

In addition, God sets elders and deacons in the local church. “To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder…Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing” (1 Pt. 5:2). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

“Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Elders are to “direct the affairs of the church” (1 Tim. 5:17). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

The New Testament seems to indicate that there should be a senior elder, or pastor, who directs the affairs of the church (Acts 12:17, 21:8). The New Testament enumerates the qualifications of the office of elder in 1 Timothy 3:1-9 and Titus 1:5-9. 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Acts 6 mentions the selection of deacons to oversee the important administrative or temporal duties of the local church. Paul also gives their qualifications in 1 Tim 3:12-13. 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

The members of the local church should respect and honor their leaders, whether Ephesians 4:11 gifts, elders, or deacons, by praying for them and supporting them in appropriate ways (1 Tim. 5:17-18; 1 Thess. 5:13, 25). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Though elders, deacons, and the Ephesians 4:11 “offices” are distinct in title, their functions often overlap. All may prophesy, for instance, though not all are prophets (1 Cor. 12:29; 14:29-32). The prophet has greater grace in the area of supernatural utterances. He has probably exercised the prophetic gift more frequently and with greater accuracy (1 Cor. 14:29). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Prophecy may include exhortation and teaching, and preaching may at times include prophecy, but they are not the same. (Prophecy and teaching are clearly differentiated in Romans 12:6-7.) 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

A prophet, as an elder, must shepherd the flock, but he is not specifically a pastor. Prophets are exhorted to teach (Acts 15:32), but they are not teachers. To assume that they were merely inspired teachers is to confuse their primary grace. Pastors are exhorted to “do the work of an evangelist” (2 Tim. 4:5), but they are not evangelists. 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

When the members of a local church recognize: That a person has one of these specific gifts, That a person has the maturity to properly function in it, and That a person has the calling of God on him or her, Then they should lay hands on that individual to make a formal appointment to ministry. Luke wrote of this appointment with deacons: “They presented these men to the apostles, who prayed and laid their hands on them” (Acts 6:6). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

“Paul and Barnabas appointed elders for them in each church and, with prayer and fasting, committed them to the Lord, in whom they had put their trust” (Acts 14:23). “While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, ‘Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.’ So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off” (Acts 13:2). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Paul wrote: “The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you” (Titus 1:5). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

When these ministry gifts have their place of function in the local church, the primary purposes of evangelism, worship, and discipleship are fulfilled. 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

To be lacking in any of the ministries is to be lacking a portion of Christ’s grace. Local churches have for too long laid upon the one office of pastor the burden of ministry that was designed for five offices and elders and deacons. All of these gifts are needed to help mature and grow the members of the local church. 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Coleman, Robert E. The Master Plan of Evangelism. Grand Rapids, Fleming H. Revell, 1993. Filson, F. V. The Christian Teacher in the First Century, Journal of Theological Studies 45, (April 1994): 319. Foulkes, F. The Letter of Paul to the Ephesians an Introduction and Commentary. Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1989. Laurie, Greg. The Upside Down Church. Wheaton: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., 1999. Mare, Harold. “Church Functionaries: Witness and Archaeology.” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 13 (Fall, 1970). 11. The Ministry

11. The Ministry : 

Menzies, William W. and Horton, Stanley M. Bible Doctrines: A Pentecostal Perspective. Springfield: Logion Press, 1993. O’brien, P. T. “Church.” Gerald F. Hawthrone and Ralph P. Martin, editors, Dictionary of Paul and His Letters. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 1993. Storms, Sam. Pleasures Evermore: The Life-Changing Power of Enjoying God. Colorado Springs: NavPress. Sweet, Leonard. Aqua Church: Essential Leadership Arts for Piloting Your Church in Today’s Fluid Culture. Loveland: Group Publishing, 1999. 11. The Ministry