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 23

Evangelists - Preachers

 

1 Timothy 2:7for which I was appointed a preacher and an apostle—I am speaking the truth in Christ and not lying—a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth.”

2 Timothy 1:11to which I was appointed a preacher, an apostle, and a teacher of the Gentiles.”

2 Timothy 4:5But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”

If we are, in fact, going to be able to speak accurately the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11), it is a reasonable request that we use the above mentioned terms in the sense of understanding intended by the Lord. To this intent, let us look at some definitions of these words as used by the Apostles of our Lord:

Preacher: From the Greek, “Kerux”, describing a herald bringing a proclamation, and in the sense used by Paul in the first two passages above, he is rendering the fact that in many cases and in many cities, he was the agent that brought the proclamation of the Gospel to them for the very first time.  In 2 Peter 2:5; Noah is described by Peter as bringing a proclamation of righteousness to a world to be condemned by the Great Flood.

Like Paul, all the Apostles of Jesus Christ preached (proclaiming the proclamations of the Gospel to the world, as was their charge – Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15-16; Acts 1:8). In addition, many Christians, as they were forced to return home because of persecution that came while they were in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1-3), “Preached the word” to the Jews as they returned home (Acts 11:19). These individual saints, as with every saint that has properly shared as a herald, the proclamations of the Gospel to anyone, have been themselves a preacher by the definition.

Minister: Very closely related to the term preacher in a contextual sense, we find the English word “Minister”. There are three Greek words used in the N.T. that have been translated “Minister”.

“Diakonos” – This term is best described by the English, “Servant”, and “Attendant”. It is used in Romans 15:8 to demonstrate that Jesus became a Servant to Israel in fulfillment of all of God’s promises to them.

In 1 Corinthians 3:5, the term “Diakonos” is used to describe the work of planting and watering the Gospel of Jesus Christ in Corinth, and was the work of serving that Gospel on behalf of these brethren (an appropriate application to several of the terms we are going to define by both bringing the Gospel – 1 Corinthians 4:15; and maintaining brethren by the Gospel – 1 Timothy 4:6).

“Leitourgos” – In the general sense, it is used to describe ‘one who is charged with a public service’. Paul uses this of himself in Romans 15:16, and contextually is speaking of his office as the Apostle to the Gentiles (Romans 11:13), bringing them the proclamations of Jesus as the Christ (very similarly used here, like the term “Kerux”).

“Huperetes” – This is a unique term and not used very often in the N. T.; however, it defines an ‘under row-man’, or a subordinate to a seaman. We would liken it our English word ‘Apprentice’. It is used in Acts 13:5 of John Mark, and is translated in the English as, “Assistant”. 

In 1 Corinthians 4:1, Paul uses the term for himself and all those who were serving the Gospel of Christ as ‘under row-men’ to Christ (which is the theme for the first four chapters of this letter).

Evangelist: This term is virtually transliterated into the English, and is from the Greek, “Euangelistes”.  Its standard use in the Greek language was to describe ‘one who is a messenger of good’, or ‘to proclaim glad tidings’. It is used three very specific times in the N.T., and in each case we see that it was an authorized function taking place within each Body of Christ.

Acts 21:8 It is used of Philip, who we were first introduced to in Acts 8, as one who had come down to Samaria from Jerusalem and “Preached concerning the kingdom of God” Acts 8:5, 12. In addition, Philip would preach Jesus to the Ethiopian (Acts 8:35). At the end of Acts 8 (Vs. 40), we see that Philip is left in Caesarea, and is still there for fifteen to twenty years when Luke mentions him in this text, using the designation now of “Evangelist”.

Ephesians 4:11 The understanding that the Lord intended for each Body of Christ to have an Evangelist to continue to educate to proper Christian living, benevolence, and growth of the Body of Christ; is strengthened in the understanding that the Lord wished for these to be in each Body of Christ along with Elders and teachers.

This is an important understanding in the wisdom of the Lord. The Body of Christ is not a democracy, it is a Monarchy. As such, our King does not want the uneducated charged with the instruction of saints to the above mentioned purposes (that would bring chaos, instead of order).

2 Timothy 4:5 This passage of scripture is the last use of this term, and strengthens the previous thought about a specifically charged work. Timothy has been placed by the Apostle Paul in Ephesus, where he was to demand that no other doctrine be taught (1 Timothy 1:3). He himself, by the words of the Apostle in the authority of Christ, was to herald only the singular word, all the time, convincingly, rebuking when necessary, charging always to do the Christian duty, suffering long in the process knowing that true learning was a developed behavior, and only with true teaching (2 Timothy 4:1).

These two letters to Timothy, and the singular letter to Titus can be seen as the work and qualifications for an Evangelist by this understanding.


So what do we learn by these definitions?

All Christians can be those who herald the proclamations of the Gospel of Jesus Christ (preachers) when they share their knowledge of it with those on the outside. We see an example of this besides the Apostles of Jesus Christ in Acts 18:24-28, when Aquila and Priscilla better explained the “Way of God” to Apollos.

As heralds of the proclamations of the Gospel of Christ, elders, deacons, evangelists, and saints can all be preachers.

All Christians can likewise be servants of God (Ministers) based on the specific understandings of types of service that can be carried out one behalf of our Master (the difference between our individual service and Paul’s calling as an Apostle to the Gentiles, as an example). So we can all be ministers!

However, predicated on the very specific nature of the work of an Evangelist, these located men, must meet these qualifications for their specific work when the Body of Christ is assembled in the collective form:

Must have a knowledge of the specific source of doctrine to be taught to bodies of Christ (1 Timothy 1:3, 18-20; 4:6, 11-16; 6:20; Titus 2:1, 15; 3:8; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 2 Timothy 4:1-5).

Must be able to continually teach the true order of the Body of Christ (1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5).

Demonstrating in themselves a behavior worthy of emulation (1 Timothy 4:15; 6:11-12; Titus 2:7; 2 Timothy 1:13-14; 2:1, 14-15; 2:24-26; 4:1-5).

Must be able to reproduce themselves for the future of the Body of Christ (2 Timothy 2:1-2).

Honoring, working with, and under the supervision of Elders (1 Timothy 5:17-19; Titus 1:9-16).

Not all Evangelists can be Elders; Timothy for example, was too young by the very definition of an “Elder” (1 Timothy 4:12). Elders; however, can be Evangelists by the qualification that they must be able to teach (1 Timothy 3:2; Titus 1:9), provided that this does not deter them from their distinct responsibilities.

Note: We have looked at all these definitions and have not once come to the term “Pastor” (the Latin rendering of the Greek “Poimen”). This was a term only used to describe the work of elders, or shepherds in the qualified sense of this work – Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1-4.

In the Lord’s wisdom, He desired located men (best described by the rendering of Evangelists) who were able to teach, stand in, and demand that sound doctrine be the only foundation for the Bodies of Christ (Ephesians 4:11). They were to work under the supervision of elders (the ones tasked with shepherding the entire Body of Christ by the grace filled word – Acts 20:28-32, and with teachers in the Bodies of Christ in order to accomplish education, and action in sound doctrine (Ephesians 4:12; 1 Timothy 1:3; Titus 1:5-2:10; 2 Timothy 4:1-5).

Next: “Teachers!”