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Page 297

As King, Christ calls, appoints, and equips officebearers to serve in His church (John 20:17, Acts 20:28, Romans 10:15, II Corinthians 3:5-6, II Corinthians 5:18, Ephesians 3:7-8. I Timothy 1:12. II Timothy 1: 11). The authority and power of church officebearers is given by the King, not the people. Officebearers are primarily answerable to Christ, not the membership. They are to rule according to the rules of the King, not the desires of the people.

The King's choosing, i.e., Christ's calling, of a person to serve in a church office is done in a kingly way. Choices are prayerfully made by the consistory, by those whom the King has placed in ruling authority. The consistory's selections are generally in the form of duos - two persons nominated for one position. The voting of the members is the "casting of lots" (Acts 1:26), which God directs in His providence to appoint the person of His choice. Therefore, the Form of Ordination asks all those who are to be installed into office, "Do you not feel in your hearts, that you are lawfully called of God's church, and consequently of God Himself, to these your respective offices?"

The ordination or installation of a person into a church office is only done by a servant of the King, an ordained minister of the Lord. Once installed, church officebearers are to be respected for their King's sake, and for the office He has established and placed them in as His servants.

    Let the elders that rule well be worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the Word and doctrine.

    Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses.

    - I Timothy 5:17,19

    And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour 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, And be at peace among yourselves.

    - I Thessalonians 5:12-13

For these seven biblical and practical reasons we favor the Reformed/Presbyterian form of church government. In practice, it is primarily an autocratic (King-centered) form of government which includes a democratic element. The autocratic emphasis (the King ruling through His servants - the consistory) and the democratic element (voting by the membership - the congregation) can be seen in its method of appointing officebearers and governing its affairs.

 

Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation;

Because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me.

- Philippians 2:29

Paul, a servant of God, an an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God's elect, and the acknowledging of the truth which is after godliness;

But hath in due times manifested His Word through preaching, which is committed unto me according to the commandment of God our Saviour.

- Titus 1:1,3

 








In the Parable of the Marriage of the King's Son in Matthew 22, what did the king do to those who had despised his word and servants?

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