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Leaders in the Body of Christ

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November 23rd, 2014 | Filed Under: Author, Leaders, Mitch Kuhn, Topical Studies0 Comments | Author:

(Rom 1:20 NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,


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Study Notes (Part 1)

(Rom 1:20 NKJV) For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

http://tryingthespirits.com/2011-03/ambassadors_for_christ/
http://tryingthespirits.com/2013-04/obedience/

(Eph 4:10 NKJV) He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)
(Eph 4:11 NKJV) And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers,
(Eph 4:12 NKJV) for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ,
(Eph 4:13 NKJV) till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
(Eph 4:14 NKJV) that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting,
(Eph 4:15 NKJV) but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—
(Eph 4:16 NKJV) from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.
(Exo 18:13 NKJV) And so it was, on the next day, that Moses sat to judge the people; and the people stood before Moses from morning until evening.
(Exo 18:14 NKJV) So when Moses’ father-in-law saw all that he did for the people, he said, “What is this thing that you are doing for the people? Why do you alone sit, and all the people stand before you from morning until evening?”
(Exo 18:15 NKJV) And Moses said to his father-in-law, “Because the people come to me to inquire of God.
(Exo 18:16 NKJV) When they have a difficulty, they come to me, and I judge between one and another; and I make known the statutes of God and His laws.”
(Exo 18:17 NKJV) So Moses’ father-in-law said to him, “The thing that you do is not good.
(Exo 18:18 NKJV) Both you and these people who are with you will surely wear yourselves out. For this thing is too much for you; you are not able to perform it by yourself.
(Exo 18:19 NKJV) Listen now to my voice; I will give you counsel, and God will be with you: Stand before God for the people, so that you may bring the difficulties to God.
(Exo 18:20 NKJV) And you shall teach them the statutes and the laws, and show them the way in which they must walk and the work they must do.
(Exo 18:21 NKJV) Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
(Exo 18:22 NKJV) And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.
(Exo 18:23 NKJV) If you do this thing, and God so commands you, then you will be able to endure, and all this people will also go to their place in peace.”
(Exo 18:24 NKJV) So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.
(Exo 18:25 NKJV) And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens
(Exo 18:26 NKJV) So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.
(Exo 18:27 NKJV) Then Moses let his father-in-law depart, and he went his way to his own land.

(Tit 1:5 NKJV) For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—

(Act 14:23 NKJV) So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

(Act 6:1 NKJV) Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.
(Act 6:2 NKJV) Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.
(Act 6:3 NKJV) Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
(Act 6:4 NKJV) but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

(Act 9:26 NKJV) And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.
(Act 9:27 NKJV) But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
(Act 9:28 NKJV) So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.
(Act 9:29 NKJV) And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.
(Act 9:30 NKJV) When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.

(Luk 14:7 NKJV) So He told a parable to those who were invited, when He noted how they chose the best places, saying to them:
(Luk 14:8 NKJV) “When you are invited by anyone to a wedding feast, do not sit down in the best place, lest one more honorable than you be invited by him;
(Luk 14:9 NKJV) and he who invited you and him come and say to you, ‘Give place to this man,’ and then you begin with shame to take the lowest place.
(Luk 14:10 NKJV) But when you are invited, go and sit down in the lowest place, so that when he who invited you comes he may say to you, ‘Friend, go up higher.’ Then you will have glory in the presence of those who sit at the table with you.
(Luk 14:11 NKJV) For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.”

(1Ti 3:4 NKJV) one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence
(1Ti 3:5 NKJV) (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?);
(1Ti 3:6 NKJV) not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil.
(1Ti 3:7 NKJV) Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.

Study Notes (Part 2)

Download Part 2 in PDF format: Who Ordains Elders and Leader.pdf

Who Ordains Elders and Leaders?

The scriptures reveal that there is a time for decisions made with the whole Church was involved and times were just one leader or a number of leaders can make a decision. I’ll demonstrate below with the sum of the word.

Involvement of the whole Church:

Here is an example of discipline administered by the whole Church

(Mat 18:17) And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector.

Here is a second witness:

(Lev 24:11) And the Israelite woman’s son blasphemed the name of the LORD and cursed; and so they brought him to Moses. (His mother’s name was Shelomith the daughter of Dibri, of the tribe of Dan.)
(Lev 24:12) Then they put him in custody, that the mind of the LORD might be shown to them.
(Lev 24:13) And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying
(Lev 24:14) “Take outside the camp him who has cursed; then let all who heard him lay their hands on his head, and let all the congregation stone him.

Acts 6 is an example of choosing servants of the Body for a particular job, very similar to being a deacon. The job was to serve tables. This is not about appointing leaders or elders.

(Act 6:2) Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve (G1247) tables.
(Act 6:3) Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;
(Act 6:4) but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
(Act 6:5) And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,
(Act 6:6) whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

The word used for “serve” above is the same word used for “deacon” in 1 Tim 3:10

1Ti 3:10 But let these also first be tested; then let them serve as deacons (G1247), being foundblameless.

Notice also that the multitude of disciples chose the seven men, and then the apostles laid hands on them. The apostles were the ones that taught the criteria for the job of a deacon so they are the ones to confirm that the men chosen were fit for the job. The whole process pleased the whole multitude and the apostles.
Here is an example from the council in Jerusalem.

(Act 15:4) And when they had come to Jerusalem, they were received by the church and the apostles and the elders; and they reported all things that God had done with them.

Act 15:6 Now the apostles and elders came together to consider this matter.

Act 15:22 Then it pleased the apostles and elders, with the whole church, to send chosen men of their own company to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas, namely, Judas who was also named Barsabas, and Silas, leading men among the brethren.

Act 15:25 it seemed good to us, being assembled with one accord, to send chosen men to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,

The whole Church was involved and each part did their function. The apostles and elders were the ones primarily considering the matter, but the church was certainly there as well.
In summary: the Church is involved when disciplining members of the Body per Matt 18, they are a part of seeking out those qualified to serve the body in matters not pertaining to teaching and leading, and they are a part of major doctrinal discussions.
The involvement of the whole Church is very important as these verses reveal.

(Eph 3:10) to the intent that now the manifold wisdom of God might be made known by the church to the principalities and powers in the heavenly places,

(1Co 14:26) How is it then, brethren? Whenever you come together, each of you has a psalm, has a teaching, has a tongue, has a revelation, has an interpretation. Let all things be done for edification.

(Eph 4:16) from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.

Regarding the replacing of Judas the 120 disciples were present but this was done prior to the spirit being given in Acts 2 so all the disciples were yet carnal. They were focused on having a specific number of apostles, 12, which we know is just a shadow of those God will use in the body in the function of the apostle as well as the elect in general. We are no longer trying to have exactly 12 apostles and we are certainly not going to cast lots to make a decision. We now have the spirit of God and can discern the fruit of men that are qualified and will appoint as many as God manifests with no regard for a particular number.

Act 1:15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples (altogether the number of names was about a hundred and twenty), and said,

(Act 1:23) And they proposed two: Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.
(Act 1:24) And they prayed and said, “You, O Lord, who know the hearts of all, show which of these two You have chosen
(Act 1:25) to take part in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.”
(Act 1:26) And they cast their lots, and the lot fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.

When do leaders make decisions?
Appointing of elders:
Paul and Barnabas appointed elders in every church.

(Act 14:14) But when the apostles Barnabas and Paul heard this, they tore their clothes and ran in among the multitude, crying out

(Act 14:21) And when they had preached the gospel to that city and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch,
(Act 14:22) strengthening the souls of the disciples, exhorting them to continue in the faith, andsaying, “We must through many tribulations enter the kingdom of God.”
(Act 14:23) So when they had appointed elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.
(Act 14:24) And after they had passed through Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.

Paul commands Titus to appoint elders in every city.

(Tit 1:5) For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint elders in every city as I commanded you—

Here is our Old Testament witness.
This is Jethro, Moses’s father in law, telling Moses what to do.

(Exo 18:21) Moreover you shall select from all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them to be rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
(Exo 18:22) And let them judge the people at all times. Then it will be that every great matter they shall bring to you, but every small matter they themselves shall judge. So it will be easier for you, for they will bear the burden with you.
(Exo 18:24) So Moses heeded the voice of his father-in-law and did all that he had said.
(Exo 18:25) And Moses chose able men out of all Israel, and made them heads over the people: rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens.
(Exo 18:26) So they judged the people at all times; the hard cases they brought to Moses, but they judged every small case themselves.

Leaders and elders appoint other leaders and elders. Here is an example with Timothy, who clearly taught and exhorted people regarding doctrine.

(1Ti 4:12) Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
(1Ti 4:13) Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
(1Ti 4:14) Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership.

Paul told the Corinthians that he was sending Timothy to remind them of what Paul had taught them. Paul appointed Timothy to do this job and is telling the Corinthians to listen to Timothy.

(1Co 4:16) Therefore I urge you, imitate me.
(1Co 4:17) For this reason I have sent Timothy to you, who is my beloved and faithful son in the Lord, who will remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach everywhere in every church.

It is very important that we follow this pattern because it is given to us by God for our edification and building up of the Church. The narrow way is very narrow and our flesh would rather not walk down that way and die daily. Because of this the time comes that many people will desire to go back to Egypt and will desire to heap up teachers that will confirm what their itching ears want to hear.

(2Ti 4:2) Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.
(2Ti 4:3) For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers;
(2Ti 4:4) and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables.
(2Ti 4:5) But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

It was Paul that God gave a sufficient measure of faith to discern these wolves and false doctrines and warn the people. He was also given the discernment to select proven men who then would be able to lead the flock away from this great evil and rebellion against God’s commands. This is an example of how the apostles and elders in our midst are qualified to do this job of setting things in order in the Body.

(2Ti 2:2) And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.

It is a very narrow way indeed, and we must not lord it over over the flock but instead be a helper of everyone’s joy. We are not like a worldly Government where we vote on things and the majority determines truth. There is wisdom in a multitude of counselors but those that are approved are always known by their fruit!

(Mat 7:14) Because narrow is the gate and difficult is the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.
(Mat 7:15) “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
(Mat 7:16) You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?
(Mat 7:17) Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.
(Mat 7:18) A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.
(Mat 7:19) Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.
(Mat 7:20) Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

This is some of the fruit you are looking for:

(Mat 20:25) But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.
(Mat 20:26) Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.
(Mat 20:27) And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—
(Mat 20:28) just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

(2Co 1:24) Not that we have dominion over your faith, but are fellow workers for your joy; for by faith you stand.

Yes leaders and elders are appointed by other leaders and elders, but the ultimate confirmation from God is the fruit that they bear. There have been leaders among us that have gone astray and had the spirit of God taken from them. None of us are guaranteed to endure to the end. Anyone can be rebuked, elders and leaders included.
We will know those God has given to help lead us by seeing their labor for us and their being a servant to all.

(1Th 5:12) And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
(1Th 5:13) and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.
(1Th 5:14) Now we exhort you, brethren, warn those who are unruly, comfort the fainthearted, uphold the weak, be patient with all.

Here in Acts 9 Barnabas was the first to see and confirm the good fruit of Paul, proving that he was a disciple indeed and qualified to lead and strengthen the Church.

(Act 9:26) And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple.
(Act 9:27) But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
(Act 9:28) So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.
(Act 9:29) And he spoke boldly in the name of the Lord Jesus and disputed against the Hellenists, but they attempted to kill him.
(Act 9:30) When the brethren found out, they brought him down to Caesarea and sent him out to Tarsus.

Barnabas first brought Paul to the apostles and declared his good fruit, and then all the brethren found out and sent him out to Tarsus. So it started with one apostle, Barnabas, then spread to the other apostles and eventually the rest of the brothers.

In summary: It is leaders that recognize and appoint other leaders. The whole Body has already come to know and trust these men that are leading so they trust their judgment when appointing another leader. Then this new leader begins to serve the fellowship and becomes recognized by all for their labor in due time.

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