Thursday, May 29, 2014

Leadership 2

Last week we looked at God’s plan for leadership in the Body of Messiah.  And we saw that Jesus’ ideas about leadership are completely different than the world’s ideas about leadership.  In fact, Jesus’ plan for leadership in the Body of Messiah is just the opposite of the world’s way of leading.  He said that to be a leader in the Body of Messiah, you must be a servant; and to be the first, you must be a slave to all the others.  Since he, the Lord, acted this way, there is none of us that is above being a servant, because none of us is above Jesus. 

We got into this topic by talking about God’s plan for leadership in the local church.  So far, we’ve seen that of the five ministry gifts, pastors and teachers were local ministries, while the others were usually travelling ministries. 

We also saw that there was no single pastor in Bible days like there is in so many churches today.  Rather, the word “pastor” was used to refer to the elders, of which there were several in each church.  These elders were involved in teaching, since one of the requirements for being an elder was being “able to teach” (1 Tim. 3:2).  But not all the elders were equally involved in teaching and preaching. 

Wednesday, May 21, 2014


An Ancient Synagogue in Israel (Baram)

Last week we talked about the special ministry gifts that God uses to activate and empower the gifting in each and every believer (Eph. 4:11:  “He himself also gave some as apostles, others as prophets, others as evangelists, others as pastors and teachers”).  Paul tells us that they are like ligaments, holding the Body together. 

In New Testament times, the first three, apostles, prophets and evangelists, were mostly traveling ministries.  They moved around from place to place and from church to church.  But the last two, the pastors and teachers, were local ministries.  These were people who were members of the local church.  But as I briefly mentioned last week, the meaning of the name of some of these ministry gifts has changed over time. 

Friday, May 16, 2014

God’s Vision for the Local Church

So what is God’s vision for the body of Christ?  How does he want us to meet together?  What does he want us to do?

The authority for the Christian church comes from Jesus himself, in his final words before his ascension, often called the Great Commission.  Jesus said, “Therefore when you have gone, make disciples of all the nations (all the Gentiles), baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit” (Matt. 28:19).  We are to go into all the world making disciples.  But what does it mean to be a disciple? 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

We're Not Under the Law of Moses

The Old City of Jerusalem

Last time, we started by observing the Biblical truth that as Christians we are not under the Law of Moses.  This is stated clearly many times in the Bible (“For sin shall not be master over you, for you are not under law, but under grace,” Rom. 6:14; also Gal. 5:18, etc.).  But as we saw, many Christians have misunderstood this saying, and in part due to a history of anti-Semitism in the Church, they think that this means the Law is bad or even evil, and that Jesus came to set us free from this evil Law.