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All Articles For Ministering to the Saints

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Previous article in this series: October 15, 2015, p. 44. And when they had ordained them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they believed. Acts 14:23 In our last three articles we have emphasized the need for elders to be officially put into office in a public ceremony. Public ordination (we have been using “ordination” and “installation” interchangeably) is significant both for the elder and for the congregation. Having finished our treatment of the necessity of ordination, we turn to the manner of ordination: How must this ordination take...

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Previous article in this series: September 1, 2015, p. 467. The Spirit of God spoke through men that He inspired, and the Scriptures are the one and only infallibly inspired record of what the Spirit has said. God has warned about the severe judgment that will come upon anyone who adds to that Word or subtracts from it. Many who hate what God says have taken no heed to His warning. In a variety of ways they have attempted to corrupt the Word of God by adding to it and subtracting from it as they see fit. Yet those who...

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Previous article in this series: June 2015, p. 404. And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. I Thessalonians 5:12-13 Examining the necessity and significance of a public ceremony of installation for elders, in our last article we noted five points of significance for the elder himself: the church confirms her call of him; the elder expresses his confidence of being called of God; the elder expresses his resolve to do his work faithfully;...

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Previous article in this series: April 1, 2015, p. 304.  “…Over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers…” (Acts 20:28). In our last article we began examining the matter of the ordination of elders into office. This refers, we saw, to the work of the church by which she officially and authoritatively places a man into that church office for which he was chosen. We noted that, while both words “ordination” and “installation” refer to this activity of the church, there is an important distinction between the two terms, especially regarding the office of minister. And we concluded...

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And when they had ordained them elders in every church…. (Acts 14:23) For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee. (Titus 1:5) The fact that a man is qualified to be an elder in Christ’s church does not, by itself, make him an elder. Nor has he become an elder by virtue of being designated by the council of a church or being chosen by the congregation to be an elder. Until the church of Jesus Christ ordains...

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Previous article in this series: December 15, 2014, p. 135. In preceding articles we have now commented on every qualification of the office of elder mentioned in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. Even that qualification that we consider here, “apt to teach” (I Tim. 3:2), we have already examined as part of the broader subject of the elder’s relationship to the truth. But this particular qualification raised more questions than we had time to answer in our last article. Does this qualification apply only to the church’s pastors (“teaching elders,” to use the term commonly used by Presbyterians), or...

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Previous article in this series: October 1, 2014, p. 12. Explaining I Timothy 3:2-7 and Titus 1:6-9, we have noted in past articles that elders in the church of Jesus Christ must be 1) adult male members of the church; 2) blameless men, who cannot be charged with any grave fault, and who are godly in all aspects of their life; 3) men who, when they are married and have children, enjoy the kind of relationship with their wives and children which indicates that they love with the love of Christ, and are wise, devoted, mature, and able to rule...

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Previous article in this series: August 2014, p. 446. Studying the qualifications of elders in Christ’s church, we have already examined those qualifications regarding his gender (he must be male), his blamelessness (the fundamental spiritual qualification), and his relationship to his wife and children. Several of the qualifications mentioned in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1 regard the elder’s relationship to others, both within and outside of the church. Both passages emphasize that he must be a hospitable man: I Timothy 3:2 says he must be “given to hospitality,” and Titus 1:8 says he must be “a lover of hospitality”—which...

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Previous article in this series: May 1, 2014, p. 349. In our last article we began treating those qualifications of the office of elder that relate to his family life. The elder must be “the husband of one wife” and have “his children in subjection with all gravity” (I Tim. 3:2, 4; Titus 1:6). In that article we asked whether God requires the elder to be a married man and a father. We concluded that God does permit unmarried men, as well as married men without children, to be elders. But more must be said about these qualifications. What, positively,...

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