2. Why did Paul give instruction to Timothy concerning the duties and qualifications of bishops and deacons?
“These things write I unto thee, . . . that thou mayest
know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground [margin, stay] of the truth.” I Tim. 3:14,15.
NOTE.-“Order is heaven’s first law.”- Milton. In the Scriptures Christians are likened to soldiers, and their work to that of a warrior, or to a conqueror going forth to conquer. 2 Tim. 2:3,4; 1 Tim. 1:18; Rev. 6:2. As order, organization, direction, and discipline are necessary in an army, so are they also in the church. The weapons used and the object sought are different in each case (Rom. 13:4; 2 Cor. 10:3.4); but the necessity for order and organization are the same in both.
4. What is one prime essential of soldiers in an army?
“All these men of war, that could keep rank, came with a perfect heart to Hebron, to make David king over all Israel.” 1 Chron. 12:38.
5. That the burden of judging and looking after the affairs of Israel might not all rest on Moses, what instruction did Jethro, his father-in-law, give him?
“Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens. And let them judge the people at all seasons: and it shall be, that every great matter they shall bring unto thee, but every small matter they shall judge: so shall it be easier for thyself, and they shall bear the burden with thee.” Ex. 18:21,22.
6. How many apostles did Christ at first ordain to preach the gospel?
“And He ordained twelve, that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach.” Mark 3:14.
7. How many did He later appoint to this work?
“After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before His face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come.” Luke 10:1.
8. When the number of the disciples multiplied, what instruction did the apostles give the believers, that none might be neglected in the daily ministration of temporal necessities?
“Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.” Acts 6:3.
NOTE.-The men thus selected were known as deacons. The lesson to be learned from this is that leaders and people should unite in planning and providing for the necessary organization and officering of the church according to its growth and needs. This cooperation is again shown in the words of Paul, “Whomsoever ye shall approve by your letters, them will I send.” 1 Cor. 16:3. See also Acts 15:22.
9. What word came through the Spirit to the ministering prophets and teachers laboring at Antioch?
“As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate Me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.” Acts 13:2,3.
10. What is one of the gifts which God has set in the church?
“And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that . . . helps, governments.” 1 Cor. 12:28.
NOTE.-The word here rendered governments implies the work or office of “steering, piloting, directing.”
11. For the direction of matters in each local church, what instruction did the apostle Paul give to Titus?
“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.” Titus 1:5.
12. What instruction did he give to the members of the church as to their relationship to those thus appointed?
“Obey them that have the rule [margin, guide] over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief.” Heb. 13:17. See 1 Peter 5:5; Mark 10:42-45.
13. What instruction and caution are given to elders?
“The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, . . . Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.” 1 Peter 5:1-3.
NOTE.-For the qualifications and duties of elders, see 1 Tim. 3:1-3; Titus 1:6-9; Acts 20:28-31; and the scripture just quoted. How God regards rebellion against divinely appointed authority and leadership, is illustrated in the expulsion of Satan and his angels from heaven, and in the fate of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram. See Rev. 12:7-9; Numbers 16. The unity and harmony which should exist among believers is described in John 13:34,35; 17:20-23; and Eph. 4:1-6. The evil of place-seeking in the church is shown in Mark 10:35-45 and Luke 14:7-11; and of ecclesiastical tyranny, in Dan. 7:25; 8:24,25; 2 Thess. 2:3,4; and John 16:2. The course to be pursued toward offending members, and in cases where differences arise, is pointed out in Matt. 18:15-18; 5:23,24; Gal. 6:1; 1 Tim. 5:19,20; Titus 3:10,11; 1 Corinthians 5; and Acts 15. And the guide-book in all matters of both doctrine and discipline should be the Bible. Isa. 8:20; 2 Tim. 3:16,17; 4:1,2.
HAS someone seen Christ in you today?
Christian, look to your heart, I pray;
The little things you have done or said-
Did they accord with the way you prayed?
Have your thoughts been pure and words been kind?
Have you sought to have the Saviour’s mind?
The world with a criticizing view
Has watched; but did it see Christ in you?
Has some one seen Christ in you today?
Christian, look to your life, I pray;
There are aching hearts and blighted souls
Being lost on sin’s destructive shoals,
And perhaps of Christ their only view
May be what they see of Him in you.
Will they see enough to bring hope and cheer?
Look to your light! does it shine out clear?