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All Articles For Ministering to the Saints

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Previous article in this series: January 1, 2014, p. 159. Having emphasized in previous articles that elders must be male, we turn now to examine the qualification of the office of elder that governs all others: his blamelessness. The Fundamental Qualification This qualification of blamelessness is first. It is first in order. In both Scripture passages in which the qualifications of the office of elder are listed, “blame­less” begins the list. I Timothy 3:2 reads: “A bishop then must be blameless…”; and Titus 1:6 says, “If any be blame­less….” It is first in order, because it is first in priority....

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Previous article in this series: September 15, 2013, p. 487. The position that we defend in this article is that men only, and not women, may be elders in Christ’s church. To be more clear, we do not hold that any man may be an elder. The qualifications set forth in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1 restrict the office to certain gifted and spiritually qualified men. But they also prohibit women from holding the office. Having given three reasons in our last article why we must vigilantly defend this position, let us now see that this position is not...

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Previous article in this series: June 2013, p. 399. About twelve years ago, in this rubric, I defended the proposition that deacons must be men, that is, male in gender. In this and the following article, I defend the same point regarding the office of elder in the church of Jesus Christ: elders must be chosen from the male member­ship of the church. Not just any males may be elders: they must be adult, confessing believers who meet other requirements that God gives in I Timothy 3 and Titus 1. But they may not be females. Admittedly, this position is...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2013, p. 279. God tells His church what kind of men may, and what sort of men may not, hold the of­fice of elder. That He does this is reasonable. Because the office of elder is found in God’s church, God may dictate who holds the office. In addition, the office itself is God’s institution. And through the body of elders in a congregation, Christ Himself rules the congregation on God’s behalf. We do well, then, to pay close attention to the quali­fications of the office. First, by so doing we show that...

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Previous article in this series: March 1, 2013, p. 153. God used the great Protestant Reformation of the sixteenth century to restore the office of elder to its rightful place in the church of Christ—particularly in Reformed and Presbyterian churches. Having treated this restoration in our last article, we now conclude our treatment of the history of the office of elder by noting some highlights of this history after the time of the Reformation, and making a concluding analysis of this history. Creedal Expressions It belongs to the history of the office to note that the Reformed and Presbyterian confessions...

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Previous article in this series: January 1, 2013, p. 159.   We are currently examining the history of the office of elder after the time of the apostles in light of this question: how closely to God’s norm regarding the office of elder, which norm is given us in Scripture, did the church of Christ adhere after the time of the apostles? In our last article we saw that the office disappeared in the New Testament church after the first few centu­ries A.D. Now we see that God used the sixteenth cen­tury reformers, and particularly those who advocated what is...

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Previous article in this series: November 1, 2012, p. 58. Tracing the history of the office of elder in the Old and New Testament eras, we have seen that the office of elder in the New Testament church is rooted in the institution of elder in Old Testament Israel and in the office of elder in the synagogue. In tracing this history, we have also noted what God re­vealed regarding the qualifications, work, and honor of the office. This revelation of God is the norm to which the church must conform her view of the office. We turn now to...

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Previous article in this series: May 1, 2012, p. 353.   Having treated the history of the office of elder during the intertestamentary period and at the time of Jesus in our last article, we now treat the history of the office during the time of the apostles. Our thesis is that the office of elder in the New Tes­tament church is the continuation of the office of elder in Old Testament Israel and in the synagogues of the intertestamentary period and of Jesus’ day.

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Previous article in this series: May 1, 2012, p. 353.   Having treated the history of the office of elder during the intertestamentary period and at the time of Jesus in our last article, we now treat the history of the office during the time of the apostles. Our thesis is that the office of elder in the New Tes­tament church is the continuation of the office of elder in Old Testament Israel and in the synagogues of the intertestamentary period and of Jesus’ day. This thesis is not original with me. With these words, Samuel Miller begins his treatment...

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Previous article in this series: March 15, 2012, p. 279. In our last article we began treating the history of the office of elder by examining its presence in the nation of Israel. Particularly we noted what the Old Testament teaches regarding the authority, quali­fications, and work of elders. In this article we treat the period from Israel’s captiv­ity through Jesus’ day, intending to treat the developments in the office after the time of Pentecost in our next article. The Office Continues Two historical events that occasioned development in the office of elder were the Babylonian captivity and the return...

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