Sunday, August 30, 2015
The Man And His Office: life and doctrine
The man must never be divided from his office. Paul's defense of his apostleship is as much a defense of his message. In fact, in the book of Corinthians, Paul offers a defense of his office tying it directly to his message and authenticating gifts. This is not an argument for modern day sign gifts or modern day apostleship. What is evident is that, even in the case of the Pastor-Teacher and Elder, it is foreign to Scripture and apostolic teaching to divide man's doctrine, qualifications, and associations into special categorizes. These standards are never relaxed, and all who claim the office of Elder/Pastor-Teacher are held to this high standard. Paul makes it clear that morality and doctrine is in view for both teacher (who leads by example) and the flock (who learn by his example). Bad company corrupts good morals. And it corrupts the man who keeps such company. For example, if an elder cannot refute those who contradict, he is one who should not be in office; even if he is affable, popular and renowned by men. Paul defends his office because it is tied directly to the revelation he received from the risen Lord. Since Pastors and Elders receive apostolic teaching from Scripture, who in turn received their revelation of Christ, it is befitting of them to ascribe to such teaching and defend it without wavering. It is also befitting of them to teach their flocks in such a way where the flock see no difference between the man and his doctrine. The Bereans model this for us.