Fogbo unit 8

                                                                                                      Gods pattern for the local Church in His Extended Family
  
Table of Content by Subject 
The church is the extended family of God.
What makes a Biblical Fundamental Local Church?
Understanding the ordinance of baptism.

The responsibilities in our profession of baptism.
Understanding the ordinance of the Lord's table.
The responsibilities of taking the Lord's table.
The Biblical leadership of the local Church.

Self Test   
 
Syllabus for God's Pattern for the Local Church, in His Extended Family.
The primary unit in the family of God is the individual, the next is the family unit or the home. The largest unit in Godís extended family is the Church. God established the pattern from Himself being triune in nature. He used the pattern of a patriarchal and theocratic government as we have seen to man, the home, and His Church is to follows that same pattern, of the Godhead.
 
1. Assignment: Look up all references given, and summarize them.  We must remember that we were made to be in the image and likeness of God, therefore we are to take on His character and live by His standards and not ours or the worlds. Remember every true Biblical Doctrine is in harmony with the nature and character of God. See what you can learn of Godís will. [His heart for you]

2. Assignment: As we are looking at the church as seen through the eyes and heart of God, let us examine our own church to see if it is following Godís pattern for His Church. If it is not, consider the steps to be taken to bring it into Godís pattern and place of His blessing.
 

 


THE CHURCH IS THE EXTENDED FAMILY OF GOD  What is the church? The church is a called out assembly (ekklesia) of born again believers who have followed the Lord in scriptural baptism. Joined together to fulfill the work given to them by the Lord. The origin of the church. The church was planned by the Father. "Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,"  2 Tim.1:9  

Consider: Eph. 1:4-10

 

The church belongs to Christ, He is building it, and not men. "When Jesus came into the coasts of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am? And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist: some, Elias; and others, Jeremias, or one of the prophets. He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." Math. 16:13-18    Note: [The rock is not Peter, but those drawn of the Father.]

Consider: John 1:41-42 and 6:44; 1 Cor. 3:4-11; Eph. 2:10  

Praise God, man does not decide who is in the church, God does. "And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved."  Acts 2:46-47

The church is the place of God's habitation, therefore, the church is not the building, but the people in it. "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.  If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are."1 Cor. 3:16-17

Consider: Mat. 18:20

Christ purchased His church, not an institution. "Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you," 1 Pet. 1:18-20

Consider: Eph. 5:25


 

Therefore, Christ is sovereign head over His church. "For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell;" Col. 1:16-19

Consider: Eph. 1:22-23; 2 Cor. 5:14-15; Gal. 2:20

God's Word speaks of the church from two aspects.

1. As the Extended Family of God: all called out in Christ from Pentecost to the Rapture. (More on this later)

2. As a Local Church Family: yoked together, for the purpose of carrying out the work of God in their local communities, functioning as the body of Christ in this present world.
 
What makes a Biblical Fundamental Local Church?  An assembly of saved, baptized believers, who are bonded together accepting the responsibilities of their union in Christ under a pastor as their under-shepherd in Christ's stead.  All in the church recognizes the Bible (God's Word) as their sole authority for faith and practice, by which they are fed as the flock of God, and so they are governed by Christ (the living Word made flesh) as the Head of the Church.

Consider: John 1:1-3, 14, 10:27; 2 Tim. 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:20-21; 1 Cor. 2:13

They all recognize the need for the Holy Spirit to empower them individually and collectively as a church. "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." 1 John 4:4

Consider: John 14:15-26,  Acts 1:8, 4:24-33,  2 Cor. 5:14-21.

Power came down when they waited on God and their hearts were in one accord.  "And when "the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place." Acts 2:1

Consider: Acts 2:46-47  Note: Christ builds His Church on those that are drawn of the Father through the preaching of the Gospel. Read Acts 2:14-41,  John 6:44,65, Rom. 10:9-17

Note: Converts were made disciples and strengthened through the preaching of the apostles' doctrine. "And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Acts 2:42

The apostles' doctrine was the knowledge of the Lord, as revealed in the Old Testament, and their first hand knowledge of His birth, life, death, resurrection and ascension. It included all that He had taught them. The apostles' doctrine taught them to understand God's nature, and character, to be the pattern for their lives and ministries.

Consider: Jer. 9:24; Mat. chapters 5 through 7, 28:18-20

The flock of God recognizes their responsibility to live for, and serve the Lord their God, as His ambassador to the world.  " Wherefore we labour, that, whether present or absent, we may be accepted of him.  For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.  Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences. For we commend not ourselves again unto you, but give you occasion to glory on our behalf, that ye may have somewhat to answer them which glory in appearance, and not in heart.  For whether we be beside ourselves, it is to God: or whether we be sober, it is for your cause.  For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again. Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.2 Cor. 5:9-21   

Consider: Rom. 6:1-18, 2 Cor.3: 2-3, 5:14-21, Gal. 2:20
 
Understanding the ordinance of BAPTISM  Baptism is the first step of obedience to our Lord by the saved. It is to testify or witness of Him, both publicly and openly. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" Mat. 28:19

Consider: Luke 12:8; 1 John. 2:23, 4:15

Every saved person is to be baptized, it is a requirement to be accepted into the local church family. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.......Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved." Acts  2:41. . . .47,   

Consider: Acts 8:12 Consider one exception. Luke 23:39-43  Baptism is to be by immersion as Jesus was, a  demonstration, visual aid as it were of their commitment to Christ.



1. Christ's life, death, and resurrection.
2. Our old life is dead with Him and we have a new life to live for Him.
3. Our union with Christ individually as part of the family of God. "For ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus."     Gal.3:26-28

4. Our union with Christ collectively as a member of a local church. "For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones." Eph.5:30                   

Consider: 1 Cor. 12:12-14

Note: Baptism is only for those who have received Christ as their Saviour,  it is a testimony of their commitment of a new life in Him.  Therefore, it rules out baptism for infants, unsaved or the dead.

Consider: Acts 8:12    Consider one exception. Luke 23:39-43


PRINCIPLE RESPONSIBILITIES IN OUR PROFESSION OF BAPTISM

1. To live a life manifesting Him. "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." 2 Cor. 5:14-17  .

This requires Consecration: "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear: Having a good conscience; that, whereas they speak evil of you, as of evildoers, they may be ashamed that falsely accuse your good conversation in Christ." 1 Pet. 3:15-16 

Consider: Rom. 6:3-19  That requires Commitment: "I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. Gal.2:20

2. To live as His ambassador out of love for what He did for you.  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation." 2 Cor. 5:18-19

This requires witnessing: "Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." 2Cor.5:20

Consider: 2 Cor. 4:13

3. To live a life of service making disciples to follow Christ. "And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen."  Mat.28:18-20

 Consider: 2 Tim. 2:2

4. Making disciples of others requires preparation: To know and understand the Lord. "But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me, that I am the LORD which exercise lovingkindness, judgment, and righteousness, in the earth: for in these things I delight, saith the LORD. Jer.9:24

Consider: 2 Pet. 1:2-8

To know and understand the Word:  "Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."         2 Tim. 2:2:15 

Consider: 2 Tim. 2:24-26, 3:16-17; 2 Pet. 1:2-8

Making disciples of others requires sacrifice: "Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me." Phil.2:17 

Consider: Mark 9:35; 1 Cor. 10:24; Phil. 2:3-4,

Making disciples of others requires love for the brethren:  "A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another." John 13:34-35  

Consider: 1 Cor. 12:25-27; 1 John 4:7-21, 5:1; 1 Cor.13:1-13


UNDERSTANDING THE ORDINANCE OF THE LORD'S TABLE "this do in remembrance of me" 1 Cor. 11:23-30
 

 

The broken bread: a symbol of His body, beaten, scourged stripping the skin off His flesh for you and me.  We are to remember the price of His suffering out of love for us. "For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead: And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, and rose again."2 Cor. 5:14-15

Consider: Gal. 2:20;

The Lord taught us: "For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, That the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me. 1 Cor.11:23-24   "Take eat" In doing so we testify of our union with His death.    "After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me." .Vs 25-26.  The cup is a symbol of His new covenant with us established by His shed blood.

Think on this: "How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this cause he is the mediator of the new testament, that by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions that were under the first testament, they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance. For where a testament is, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is of force after men are dead: otherwise it is of no strength at all while the testator liveth." Heb.9:14-17 

Consider: Mat.26:28

A new testament with us, is His commitment to us. "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory." Eph.1:3-14

 Consider: 1 Thes. 5:24; 1 Pet. 1:8

1 Cor.11:26 "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come." We are to remember the price of His giving up His life for us. Not only what He did, but the way He did it! "I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. . . . . Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." Isa. 50:6 . . . . . 53:4-5 The remembrance of His sacrifice should cause us to love Him, live for Him, and be looking for His coming. For this reason the ordinance of the Lord's table is only for those that have received Him as their Lord and Saviour. 

It is also important to notice that baptism, the symbol of our never ending commitment to Christ,is to be demonstrated by each member To se it Press Here

The Lords Table, is a reminder of the price He paid for our entry into His family, was observed every time they got together. "Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers." Acts 2:41-42
 
Think about this: "For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.1 Cor.11:26 (Warning: There is a responsibility to the Lord's Table, it is to be taken only with a clean heart).  Vs :27 "Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord." We are to examine our lives, for God is doing just that.!  "But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. 30 For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body. 31For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep. For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged." Vs.:28-31

Consider: 2 Cor.13:5

God's chastening can be hard consider  " For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.  For this cause many are weak and sickly among you, and many sleep.  For if we would judge ourselves, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world. Wherefore, my brethren, when ye come together to eat, tarry one for another. And if any man hunger, let him eat at home; that ye come not together unto condemnation. And the rest will I set in order when I come.  1 Cor. 11:29-34  "And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him: For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? For they verily for a few days chastened us after their own pleasure; but he for our profit, that we might be partakers of his holiness. Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:" Heb. 12:5-14

Consider: Psa. 94:12; John 15:1-6; 1 Pet. 1:7
 
Biblical leadership of the local Church

The qualifications of a pastor: (Bishop or Elder) the called under-shepherd "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 behavior, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he takecare of the church of God?) Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil." 1 Tim. 3:1-7 

Consider: Titus 1:6-9; 2 Cor. Chpt. 6

The pastors role as an under-shepherd of the Lord. Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep" John 10:11

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary says: "SHEPHERD a word naturally of frequent occurrence in Scripture. Sometimes the word "pastor" is used instead (Jeremiah 2:8; Jeremiah 3:15; Jeremiah 10:21; Jeremiah 12:10; Jeremiah 17:16). This word is used figuratively to represent the relation of rulers to their subjects and of God to his people (Psalm 23:1; Psalm 80:1; Isaiah 40:11; Isaiah 44:28; Jeremiah 25:34-35; Nahum 3:18; John 10:11, 14; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 2:25; 1Peter 5:4).

The duties of a shepherd in an unenclosed country, like Palestine, were very demanding.  In early morning he led forth the flock from the fold, marching at its head to the spot where they were to be pastured. Here he watched them all day, taking care that none of the sheep strayed, and if any for a time eluded his watch and wandered away from the rest, seeking diligently until he found and brought it back. In those lands sheep require to be supplied regularly with water, and the shepherd for this purpose had to guide them either to some running stream or to wells dug in the wilderness and furnished with troughs. At night he brought the flock home to the fold, counting them as they passed under the rod at the door to assure himself that none were missing. Nor did his labours always end with sunset. Often he had to guard the fold through the dark hours from the attack of wild beasts, or the wily attempts of the prowling thief (see 1 Samuel 17:34). Often herding the sheep into a crack or cranny in hilly countryside for the night, laying down in the opening, so that a predator would have to pass over the shepherd in order to get at the sheep.
 
The heart of our Great Shepherd is seen in His love and care for the flock. Consider the work of the shepherd, in caring and protecting the sheep as Jesus did. "He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young." Isa. 40:11      

Let us consider Psalm 23:1-6  "A Psalm of David. The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. 2He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. 3He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. 4Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. 5Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. 6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever."

In these two passages we see many important functions of a shepherd.
1. He cares for the flock: He feeds them, gathers the young, carrying and leading them He meets the needs of the flock: We see it again in Psalm 23. "The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want" He serves the flock they do not serve them. He leads them into the place of the Lord's blessing: beside the still waters He leads them in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake."

2. He protects the flock: He seeks out those who stray from the fold: gathering them He is with them in their time of need: We see it again in Psalm 23. 4"Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me" The Lord commands His under-shepherds to care for His sheep with the same heart and devotion He has for them. His under-shepherds life is a sacrificial life consumed by the care of the flock of God. "And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding." Jer. 3:15  

Consider: Mark 10:42-45

Under-shepherds are willing to be living sacrifices for the sheep of God's fold. "For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. 14Do all things without murmurings and disputings:  That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;  Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.  For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me." Eph.2:13-18

Under-shepherds are to consider the weight of their responsibilities before God. "As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world." John 17:18

Consider: Acts 20:28; John 21:15-17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17.

Also consider the under-shepherds role as a watchman. "So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul." Ezek. 33:7-9 

It is important to read all of Ezekiel chapters 33-44 and think about it, God will.  Consider: 2 Tim. 4:1-5; Acts 20:31; Col. 1:28; 1 Thes. 5:14

Consider: those that may seek office and responsibility presumptuously, lightly, indifferently, neglecting it:  "And the Lord said unto me, Take unto thee yet the instruments of a foolish shepherd.  For, lo, I will raise up a shepherd in the land, which shall not visit those that be cut off, neither shall seek the young one, nor heal that that is broken, nor feed that that standeth still: but he shall eat the flesh of the fat, and tear their claws in pieces.  Woe to the idol shepherd that leaveth the flock! the sword shall be upon his arm, and upon his right eye: his arm shall be clean dried up, and his right eye shall be utterly darkened." Zec. 11:15-17  

Consider: James 1:3; 2 Cor. 5:10-11; 1 Peter 4:17-18

The reward of the faithful Under-shepherd, makes it all worthwhile. "The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: 2Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; 3Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. 4And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." 1 Pet. 5:1-4 

Consider: Heb. 13:17; 2 Tim. 4:1-5; 1 Pet. 5:1-6

The under-Shepherd has helpers.  The Flock of God recognizes their responsibility to follow their spiritual leader, as he follows Christ as well as the need to assist the pastor in his work. "And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch: Whom they set before them."  Acts 6:1-6 

Note the work for which they were chosen. "Seven men were chosen, who appear from their names to have been Hellenists. The name "deacon" is nowhere applied to them in the New Testament; they are simply called "the seven" (Acts 21:8). Their office was at first secular, but it afterwards became also spiritual; for among other qualifications they must also be "apt to teach" (1 Tim. 3:8-12). Both Philip and Stephen, who were of "the seven," preached; they did "the work of evangelists." [Eastonís 1897 Bible dictionary]

The qualifications of a deacon. "Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre; Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience. And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless. Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things. Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus."  1 Tim. 3:8-13 

They were faithful witnesses for Christ. See Stephen: Acts chapt. 6 & 7 Philip: Acts 8:26-40  Deacons are invaluable assets to the under-shepherd of the local Church. They are committed men to Christ who recognize the under shepherd is just as infallible as they are. However they respect he has grown more in Christ, therefore thy emulate him following Christ. "Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you. Nevertheless, whereto we have already attained, let us walk by the same rule, let us mind the same thing. Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample." Philip. 3:12-17 

Deacons are invaluable assets to the under-shepherd of the local Church in church in receiving their perspectives in decisions the under-shepherd may be considering to make. As they are equally dedicated men to the Lord and His flock. Deacons are also invaluable assets to the under-shepherd of the local Church in church discipline, and stopping gossip. Consider: "Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses." 1 Tim. 5:19  This is also true of anyone in the church.

Example: When someone comes to them with a tale, they ask if there are witness, if so the deacon or deacons take them to the under-shepherd, and they go to them and to the offended party. They determine the truth of the matter and deal with it as Christ would. If the tale bearer does not have such, the deacon tells that one to go to the under- shepherd and ask him or tell him but no one else. The deacon then reminds that one he will tell the under-shepherd in the event that person forgets. That usually ends the gossip.

Teachers in the Church They are to be the under-shepherd or deacons. However, equally dedicated women are better examples of a scriptural woman and mother to those of her own gender. 

Church constitutions, covenants, policies and other agreements generally contain Scripture telling the order and method those of that church agree to in following God's will for the Church. These, however, are the will of man and not necessarily that of God and should not be proclaimed as Scriptural doctrine.

The bottom line of responsibility of becoming a Christian and joining God's family serving in a local church is obvious.  Simply put: It is to give Christ the life He paid for, letting Him live His life in and through us to others, Amen.
 
Self test: on God's Pattern for the local Church Family, in His Extended Family.  
These questions are more than an academic quiz, they help you think through the facts you have learned, so that you can form convictions as to the will of God for your life. Remember meditation on Godís Word is the key to gaining wisdom, and only when it is applied in your life are you assured of being in the will of God and the place of His blessing.

Things to Consider:
Q1. What is a church?
Q2. Who heads or directs it?
Q3. On what does Christ build His church?
Q4. What is the primary responsibilities of the following . . . .
(A) Pastor (B) Deacon (C) Members
Q5. What is the purpose of Baptism?
Q6. What is the purpose of the Lordís Table?
Q7. What is the primary purpose of the church?
 
You are now ready to study on how to live individually and collectively as the the church as the "Body and Bride of Christ. Unit 9

May your decisions bring you the promise Romans 8:28  ď And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Ē   Your friend in Christ Warren T. Smith

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