Posted by: Bill Hornbeck | October 2, 2015

The Offices in the Church: “all things are managed according to the pure Word of God” and “we reject all human inventions, and all laws, which man would introduce into the worship of God”

Today’s devotion comes from 1 Chronicles chapter 24.  Here is a link to this Scripture – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=1+Chronicles+24&version=NASB

I quote only the following verse.

“These were their offices for their ministry when they came in to the house of the Lord according to the ordinance given to them through Aaron their father, just as the Lord God of Israel had commanded him.”  1 Chronicles 24:19.

——————-

Other doctrine forms and regulates the offices in their churches freely according to their own will.

But, Reformed Doctrine forms and regulates the offices in their churches strictly according to the Word of God.

Consider the following articles from the Canons of Dordt.

Article 29:  Of the marks of the true Church, and wherein she differs from the false Church.

We believe, that we ought diligently and circumspectly to discern from the Word of God which is the true Church, since all sects which are in the world assume to themselves the name of the Church.  But we speak not here of hypocrites, who are mixed in the Church with the good, yet are not of the Church, though externally in it;  but we say that the body and communion of the true Church must be distinguished from all sects, who call themselves the Church.  The marks, by which the true Church is known, are these: if the pure doctrine of the gospel is preached therein;  if she maintains the pure administration of the sacraments as instituted by Christ;  if church discipline is exercised in punishing of sin:  in short, if all things are managed according to the pure Word of God, all things contrary thereto rejected, and Jesus Christ acknowledged as the only Head of the Church.

As for the false Church, she ascribes more power and authority to herself and her ordinances than to the Word of God, and will not submit herself to the yoke of Christ. Neither does she administer the sacraments as appointed by Christ in his Word, but adds to and takes from them, as she thinks proper; she relieth more upon men than upon Christ;  and persecutes those, who live holily according to the Word of God, and rebuke her for her errors, covetousness, and idolatry.  These two Churches are easily known and distinguished from each other.

Article 30:  Concerning the Government of, and Offices in the Church.

We believe, that this true Church must be governed by that spiritual policy which our Lord hath taught us in his Word;  namely, that there must be ministers or pastors to preach the Word of God, and to administer the sacraments;  also elders and deacons, who, together with the pastors, form the council of the Church:  that by these means true religion may be preserved, and the true doctrine everywhere propagated, likewise transgressors punished and restrained by spiritual means:  also that the poor and distressed may be relieved and comforted, according to their necessities.  By these means everything will be carried on in the Church with good order and decency, when faithful men are chosen, according to the rule prescribed by St. Paul in his Epistle to Timothy.

Article 31:  Of the Ministers, Elders, and Deacons.

We believe, that the ministers of God’s Word, and the elders and deacons, ought to be chosen to their respective offices by a lawful election by the Church, with calling upon the name of the Lord, and in that order which the Word of God teacheth.  Therefore every one must take heed, not to intrude himself by indecent means, but is bound to wait till it shall please God to call him;  that he may have testimony of his calling, and be certain and assured that it is of the Lord. As for the ministers of God’s Word, they have equally the same power and authority wheresoever they are, as they are all ministers of Christ, the only universal Bishop, and the only Head of the Church.  Moreover, that this holy ordinance of God may not be violated or slighted, we say that every one ought to esteem the ministers of God’s Word, and the elders of the Church, very highly for their work’s sake, and be at peace with them without murmuring, strife or contention, as much as possible.

Article 32:  Of the Order and Discipline of the Church.

In the meantime we believe, though it is useful and beneficial, that those, who are rulers of the Church, institute and establish certain ordinances among themselves for maintaining the body of the Church;  yet they ought studiously to take care, that they do not depart from those things which Christ, our only Master, hath instituted.  And therefore, we reject all human inventions, and all laws, which man would introduce into the worship of God, thereby to bind and compel the conscience in any manner whatever.  Therefore we admit only of that which tends to nourish and preserve concord, and unity, and to keep all men in obedience to God.  For this purpose, ex-communication or church discipline is requisite, with the several circumstances belonging to it, according to the Word of God.

——

In summary, Reformed Doctrine is consistent with today’s Scripture.  The offices in the churches of Reformed Doctrine are “just as the Lord God of Israel had commanded”.  Verse 19.  In the foregoing articles, we read “all things are managed according to the pure Word of God” and “this true Church must be governed by that spiritual policy which our Lord hath taught us in his Word” and “according to the rule prescribed by St. Paul in his Epistle to Timothy” and “in that order which the Word of God teacheth” and “this holy ordinance of God may not be violated or slighted” and “we reject all human inventions, and all laws, which man would introduce into the worship of God”.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: