Titus 1:5 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:
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[TODAY’S POST BEGINS HERE]
Acts 14 videos-
.Signs and wonders
.Zeus and Hermes
.Or Jupiter and Mercury
.The legend told
.Don’t worship us!
.Ecclesiology [Just a note- I have a new office/word- the spell check did not recognize this word- ok- but it also does not recognize some other words- that are not as hard- I have been adding ‘to dictionary’ a lot- Oh- the word means church government- it is a common word when writing about the bible and stuff like that]
.Ordination- what is it?
.What is ‘The local church’?
.Avoid the ‘cult of personality’
PAST POSTS- [Past teaching I did that relates to today’s post- Acts 14- Verses below]]
I talked some about ordination and church government on today’s post- here’s a book I wrote years ago that speaks about it-
(739)ACTS 14- Paul and Barnabas continue going thru different cities [Iconium, Lystra] Paul heals a man who was lame from birth and the whole city says ‘these men are gods who have come down in human form’. Paul barely stops them from offering sacrifices to them! In each city they travel to, they have a routine. They go into the synagogue and speak to the gathered. Both Jews and ‘God fearers’ [gentile followers] the pattern of some believing and others resisting becomes routine. Paul also has to deal with the Jews who were following him from past cities. They were sort of 1st century ‘apologists’ who made it their purpose to simply stop Paul. I want you to see that the ‘churches’ were the various groups of people who believed. They did gather together [Ecclesia] but they did not see ‘church’ as a place they went to for religious instruction. They did not start ‘gentile synagogues’ in competition with Judaism. Now Paul goes back thru the cities and at that point ‘ordains Elders in every church’. This is important to see. The ordaining of Elders was the simple process of seeing who had the maturity of understanding in the gospel and could be looked up to as a spiritual guide. Any questions or new converts in the towns would know ‘so and so’ is a responsible believer who Paul put his stamp of approval on. Why even do this? Remember, the enemies of Paul [Jewish law keepers] are going behind Paul’s back and trying to undo all the work that Paul was doing. Elders were gifted men who had the ability to push back against those whose ‘mouths must be stopped’ [Paul’s future language against false teachers]. These Elders were not full time Pastors in the modern sense. They were not singular authorities who ‘cover the flock’. They were not hired clergy! The reason why it is important to see this is because we want to stay as close as possible to the historic picture of the church as we read thru Act’s. These ‘local churches’ were caring communities of Christ followers who did have spiritual oversight that were to be respected and held in high esteem. Paul and Peter will teach the concept of giving honor to those who have spiritual accountability for you. But we can’t apply this to unbiblical forms of ecclesiology/hierarchy that will develop over the centuries. In Luther’s day many well meaning men felt Luther [the 16th century reformer] was rebelling against God ordained authority by going against the Pope. We need to understand that John the Apostle rebuked the rise of singular authorities who would seek to have the preeminence amongst Gods flock [Diotrephes- 3rd Jn]. Paul will warn the Ephesian church [later in Acts] that after his departure men would rise up seeking to make disciples after themselves. The point is any future use of the teaching of Elders/Pastors and the true responsibility to honor and submit to godly authority has to be seen in context with the complete story. While Luther’s [and Paul’s] critics could make the case that they were rebelling against God ordained authority, yet at the same time true revolution always carries an element of casting off old systems and restraint. Paul will confront Peter openly over his hypocrisy between treating Jewish believers different than Gentile believers. Peter was an Apostle before Paul and the argument could have been made ‘who does Paul think he is, going over the head of Peter’. So we need to see the biblical truth of God ordained leadership. The fact that many good Pastors and men of God have faithfully served Christ’s church. But we do not want to develop mindsets contrary to the freedom that we have in Christ while teaching the truth of godly leadership. Paul ordained ‘Elders’ on his way back thru Lystra and Iconium. He sails back to Antioch and recounts all the wonderful success that they had with the gentile believers. Antioch has this free flowing spirit amongst the church. They are gentiles and are not keeping the Jewish law. Paul and Barnabas were getting a reputation amongst the Jewish leadership in the cities and towns. Word gets back to Jerusalem and we will see whether Paul’s gospel will prevail before the ‘church authorities’? I believe we could describe Luther’s response before the Catholic church as fitting Paul’s spirit ‘unless I am persuaded by scripture I can not go against my conscience. Here I stand, I can do nothing else’.
VERSES- [These are the verses I talked about on the video- Links to all my sites below]
Matthew 10:14 [Full Chapter]
And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet.
Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars’ hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
2 Corinthians 12:2
I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations
Acts 14:1 And it came to pass in Iconium, that they went both together into the synagogue of the Jews, and so spake, that a great multitude both of the Jews and also of the Greeks believed.
Acts 14:2 But the unbelieving Jews stirred up the Gentiles, and made their minds evil affected against the brethren.
Acts 14:3 Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands.
Acts 14:4 But the multitude of the city was divided: and part held with the Jews, and part with the apostles.
Acts 14:5 And when there was an assault made both of the Gentiles, and also of the Jews with their rulers, to use them despitefully, and to stone them,
Acts 14:6 They were ware of it, and fled unto Lystra and Derbe, cities of Lycaonia, and unto the region that lieth round about:
Acts 14:7 And there they preached the gospel.
Acts 14:8 And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked:
Acts 14:9 The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed,
Acts 14:10 Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.
Acts 14:11 And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men.
Acts 14:12 And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.
Acts 14:13 Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people.
Acts 14:14 Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,
Acts 14:15 And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
Acts 14:16 Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways.
Acts 14:17 Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness.
Acts 14:18 And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.
Acts 14:19 And there came thither certain Jews from Antioch and Iconium, who persuaded the people, and having stoned Paul, drew him out of the city, supposing he had been dead.
Acts 14:20 Howbeit, as the disciples stood round about him, he rose up, and came into the city: and the next day he departed with Barnabas to Derbe.
Acts 14:21 And when they had preached the gospel to that city, and had taught many, they returned again to Lystra, and to Iconium, and Antioch,
Acts 14:22 Confirming the souls of the disciples, and exhorting them to continue in the faith, and that we must through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God.
Acts 14:23 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 14:24 And after they had passed throughout Pisidia, they came to Pamphylia.
Acts 14:25 And when they had preached the word in Perga, they went down into Attalia:
Acts 14:26 And thence sailed to Antioch, from whence they had been recommended to the grace of God for the work which they fulfilled.
Acts 14:27 And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles.
Acts 14:28 And there they abode long time with the disciples.
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