A. In previous lessons we have that noticed that I am a member of the church of Christ because:
1. It was founded by the scriptural builder – Christ
2. It was founded on THE scriptural foundation
3. It was founded at the scriptural place – Jerusalem
4. Christ is the founder of only one church – His church
5. It is scriptural in name.
B. This morning we will notice that I am a member of the church of Christ because it is scriptural in organization.
1. The denominations of our world today are ruled by their ecclesiastical forms of government.
a. They have ignored the head of the church and have assumed the right of self-government.
b. They confess with the mouth that Christ has “all authority” but their heart is far from it – and is set on a denominational form of government.
c. Therefore, we hear much of synods, presbyteries, councils, general assemblies and conferences.
d. In these delegations men legislate rules and laws to govern their various denominations.
2. Of course this power to legislate was never given to any group of uninspired men.
a. Man does not have the right to change God’s law concerning salvation, worship, homosexuality, etc.
b. Any who would do such is in rebellion against Jesus
1. The Lord’s church is a monarchy
a. Colossians 1:18
b. Ephesians 1:22-23
c. At the transfiguration… Matthew 17:5
d. Jesus said… Matthew 28:18
2. Jesus, then, promised to send the apostles the Holy Spirit, Who was to teach them all things, and bring all that Jesus had taught them to their remembrance
a. John. 14:26
b. John 16:13
3. Thus, the authority in the church lay at the feet of Jesus and His apostles, and Jesus never delegated this authority to any than the apostles.
1. In speaking of the autonomy of the church we mean the autonomy of the local church or congregation.
a. Autonomy is defined as “right of self-government; self-governing state; an independent body”
1) In the first century each congregation was such.
2) Each was independent of one another
3) No local congregation had control or authority over another
b. Each congregation was free and independent, under the teaching of Jesus and the apostles, to govern itself, carry on its own work, and manage its own affairs.
c. All congregations had the same head, foundation, and mission; each preached the same gospel, and constituted one body.
d. BUT each was independent to direct its own work.
2. There is great wisdom seen in this arrangement for the Lord’s church
a. If one becomes corrupted in doctrine or affected by evil practices, other churches would not be so effected.
b. If a window is made up of one large pane, a break injures the entire pane.
1) But if a window is made up of several panes, it is no so bad to break one.
2) And so it is that the independence of the churches is a protection for each one.
3. This simple, organization, however, failed to satisfy many.
a. Hence, they made changes whereby their unchristian aspirations for ecclesiastical lordship could be realized.
b. History records that the first great departure from the truth came in the system of church government
1. You look around in the denominational world today and you will see nothing resembling scriptural church government.
a. The Bible clearly states that the church is to be governed by the elders of the local church.
b. Deacons are to help and serve in this work
2. The Bible teaches very plainly that elders are to be ordain in every church… Titus 1:5
a. These men are also spoken of as bishops, overseers, shepherds, and pastors.
b. It is the duty of the elders to:
1) Take heed unto themselves and the church, and to feed the church (Acts 20:28)
2) Help the weak (Acts 20:35)
3) Exhort in sound doctrine and to convict those who are not sound in doctrine (Tit. 1:9)
4) Encourage the faint hearted and be longsuffering (1 Th. 5:14)
5) Exercise the oversight without out lording over the flock (1 Pt. 5:2)
6) Be examples to the flock (1 Pt. 5:3)
7) Visit the sick (Jam. 5:14)
8) Watch in behalf of the souls of the members (Heb.13:17).
c. When these duties are preformed the church will prosper, but when they are not preformed the church suffers.
d. In all of this it is a must to remember that the elders DO NOT have the authority to change God’s laws, but to enforce them.
e. The qualifications of an elder are found in 1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:5-9.
f. The congregation has an obligation to the elders.The local congregation is to:
1) Know them… become well acquainted with them (1 Th. 5:12).
2) Esteem them because of the work (1 Th. 5:13)
3) Count them worthy of double honor (1 Tim. 5:17)
4) Obey them and submit to them (Heb. 13:17)
5) Receive not an accusation except by two or three witnesses (1 Tim. 5:19).
g. It is just as essential for a congregation to perform its duties to the elders as it is for the elders to perform its duties to the congregation.
3. The Bible also plainly teaches that a local congregation should have deacons.
a. The qualifications of a deacon are found in 1 Timothy 3:8-13.
b. Deacons are to be servants, they are not mini elders, and do not have the authority of elders.
1) Any authority they may have has been delegated to them by the elders
2) The elders do not need the deacons approval for their decisions
c. Deacons are to help the elders, maybe give them counsel at times, and are to encourage them.
d. Deacons must be the elders’ right hand men.
A. When you look around the denominational world today you do not see scriptural organization, you see men doing things the way they want to do them!
B. I am a member of the church of Christ because:
1. It was founded by the scriptural builder – Christ
2. It was founded on THE scriptural foundation
3. It was founded at the scriptural place – Jerusalem
4. Christ is the founder of only one church – His church
5. It is scriptural in name.
6. And as we have seen today, it is scriptural in organization.

Tom Moore
P. O. Box 107
Hamilton, Texas 76531

About from the Preachers PC

Gospel Preacher for the Park Heights church of Christ in Hamilton, TX. I stand for and defend the truth of God's word. All other degrees and diplomas mean very little in comparison.
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