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Page 296

 

Ye also, as lively stones, are bu up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.

- I Peter 2:5

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 1:23-26

And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.

- I Timothy 1:12

Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of His power.

Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ.

- Ephesians 3:7-8

And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!

- Romans 10:15

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.

- Acts 20:28

 

    which is right in their own eyes." The church is called to express the oneness of the body of Christ - the larger assemblies assist the church in doing this.

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.

And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

- Acts 15:2,6

And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the decrees for to keep, that were ordained of the apostles and elders which were at Jerusalem.

- Acts 16:4

6. It maintains the office of believers - The Reformed/ Presbyterian form of church government includes all its members in decision-making. It does not consider the total leadership of the church to reside with its officebearers or ministers. It acknowledges the "priesthood of believers" (I Peter 2:5, 9) as well as the "priesthood of officebearers."

The officebearers of a local congregation are not assigned to it by an outside governing power, but are elected by the church membership. This principle was demonstrated by the election of Matthias as apostle (Acts 1 :21-26) and the seven deacons (Acts 6:1-6).

The voting for officebearers and for approval of other church business matters places a democratic element into church government. This element serves to safeguard tyrannical leadership in the church.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people: that ye should shew forth the praises of Him who hath called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.

- -I Peter 2:9

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.

- Acts 6:5

7. It maintains the special calling, appointing, and qualifying of officebearers by God - While this form of church government acknowledges the authority given to its members, it also confesses belief in the special authority given to its officebearers by God.

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