FOUNDATIONS

Lessons designed to promote the integrity of scripture and church!

I Corinthians 3:11“For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is    JESUS CHRIST  

All articles are written using the NKJV, unless otherwise noted! All articles are written by David Hicks, unless specified otherwise.

 

THE BODY OF CHRIST

THE ORDER OF THE BODY OF CHRIST – PART 11

The Elders – Qualifications

In this lesson, we will begin to look at the Divine qualifications for the ones who would be shepherds of the Lord’s body. Please note, and use the “Quick Glance chart of the Qualifications of Elders” also provided with this portion of this study.

We will look into these qualifications in a semi-organized way; looking at some basic elements first (A Man, Desires the Work), then the domestic qualifications (Husband of one wife, rules his own house well, number of children required, and faithful children), and finally all the other qualifications.

With these things in mind, let’s get started!

A Man –

First of all, as we begin to consider the general qualifications of an elder, he must be a man!

1 Timothy 3:1This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.”

Titus 1:6if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.”

Several years ago, we would not have to consider the necessity of having to stop and point out that elders must be men, but in this generation that we now find ourselves (decadently self-elevating and ignorant to God’s order for the home and His Body), we find complete disregard for this timeless God enacted order.

In many so-called progressive denominations women have been elevated by human wisdom to places of leadership within these denominational religions. Since this is the case, we have to now spend a little more time on this issue than what should be obviously necessary by the Spirit given instruction.

Facts:

·         These were men who would have to demonstrate the elements of these qualifications in their lives.

·         They had to be husbands!

1 Timothy 3:2A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach”

Titus 1:6 “if a man is blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination.”

In the collective work of the Body of Christ (this is in any way, shape, or form whereby the Body of Christ works in concert or together to accomplish the purposes that the Head has given it to accomplish – worship, perfecting the saints, work of the ministry, and edifying the Body of Christ; Acts 2:42; 20:7; 1 Corinthians 11:17-34; Ephesians 4:12), Paul made the wisdom of God known as to the order He wanted used!

1 Corinthians 11:3But I want you to know that the head of every man is Christ, the head of woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.”

1 Corinthians 14:34-35Let your women keep silent in the churches, for they are not permitted to speak; but they are to be submissive, as the law also says. 35 And if they want to learn something, let them ask their own husbands at home; for it is shameful for women to speak in church.”

1 Timothy 2:11-12Let a woman learn in silence with all submission. 12 And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.”

This is not a testimony now or has it ever been to capabilities, intelligence, or superiority in this context, but strictly to order, so that all is functional and orderly.

1 Corinthians 14:40Let all things be done decently and in order.”

All Christians are commanded to be submissive – see: Ephesians 5:21.  In the collective work of the Body of Christ; 1 Corinthians 11:3 this is the established order of this submission!

Secondly, we need to also notice that elders are men, not angels, nor sinless perfect individuals who never have, or will make a mistake.

We emphasize this point because some in our age contend that God’s requirements of elders are now too rigid for men of this age to qualify. This has given birth to church doctrines, instead of pure adherence to the doctrine of Christ!

Many are inconsistent here, for if someone set forth that what God requires to be a Christian in the New Testament is for some reason or another now too rigid for people of our age; we would jump all over the fact that the power of God to salvation is as strong in the Gospel preached from the word of God today as it has ever been or ever will be!

If someone were to state that what God set forth for worship in the New Testament was now too rigid in this day and age, surely we would contest that in the same way; yet, somehow these same defenders of God’s wisdom once delivered (Jude 3), have now placed restrictions on the qualifications of elders that the context of the qualifications plainly stated, do not place. 

God has always used men; flawed as they were and still are, to accomplish His purposes! Imagine for an instant, where would Peter be in the scheme of completing God’s purposes if perfection was a requirement (even after God began to use Him – Galatians 2:11-14).

Now, the fact of the matter is that the men who will serve the Lord as shepherds “Must be” or “Must not be” in complete control and able to demonstrate to those whom they will be over that the qualifications are something they possess. It does not mean however that they have never erred or will never err.

What God required of elders in the New Testament, he still requires of elders today, in the same way that all righteousness is still the same today as it has always been since the beginning of the Gospel of Jesus as the Christ.

Men can qualify and should be appointed when they do; it is God’s will! To this end, in each qualification we will not look into traditions, speculation, or subjectivity but into God’s simple word and objective application.

We will spend more time on this subject when we get to the qualification concern blamelessness.

In our next lesson, we will look into the Desire of the Position.