The Church – Structure (Part 4)

The Church – Structure (Part 4)

How is the church supposed to make decisions?

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.Matthew 16:18

And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church,Ephesians 1:22

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.Colossians 1:18

For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls.1 Peter 2:25

But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master, even Christ; and all ye are brethren. And call no man your father upon the earth: for one is your Father, which is in heaven. Neither be ye called masters: for one is your Master, even Christ.Matthew 23:8-10

The Scripture is very clear that Jesus is the Head of His Church. His Word is Law and is to be obeyed without question. Jesus makes all decisions within the church. What He says goes without question or voting. No church member, deacon, or elder has a say or vote against Christ’s will in the church. If the church chooses to not follow Christ it ceases at that moment to be a church and has become a synagogue of Satan.

But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant: Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.Matthew 20:25-28

And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice. And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him: for they know not the voice of strangers.John 10:4-5

But ye believe not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:John 10:26-27

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;1 Timothy 2:5

All of God’s sheep are on equal standing before God. Jesus speaks, and His sheep follow Him. Every believer in Christ has the ability to hear Jesus speak and understand His will. Jesus speaks to us through the Holy Spirit and the Word of God. However, the Holy Spirit only speaks in accordance with the Bible and will never speak contrary to what is written in Scripture. Believers do not need a priest to stand between them and God. Through Jesus Christ they have direct access to the Father and His will.

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:Ephesians 4:11-13

God has called men to serve as elders and has gifted each member of the church in different ways. These offices and gifts are given so that each member may grow to maturity and hear clearly the voice of the Shepherd.

And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,) Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.Acts 1:15-16

For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection. And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias. And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen, That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place. And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.Acts 1:20-26

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 the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.Acts 6:1-6

As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.Acts 13:2-3

And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, and said, Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved. When therefore Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and disputation with them, they determined that Paul and Barnabas, and certain other of them, should go up to Jerusalem unto the apostles and elders about this question.Acts 15:1-2

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.Acts 15:6

Then pleased it the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas; namely, Judas surnamed Barsabas, and Silas, chief men among the brethren: And they wrote letters by them after this manner; The apostles and elders and brethren send greeting unto the brethren which are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia:Acts 15:22-23

In four different instances the church made decisions in the exact same way. Three of those times the Apostles or elders studied Scripture, prayed, and brought a proposal based on Scripture and prayer for the whole church to consider. The fourth time, the Holy Spirit spoke directly to the whole congregation. In all four instances it was the expressed will of God that was followed without motions, amendments, or voting.

The elders as the mature men of the congregation should seek the Lord’s will and bring a proposal to the congregation. The congregation should pray over the matter and seek to discern the Lord’s will. When the Lord’s will is known the church unanimously follows His leading.

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