Saturday, July 27, 2013

Carpenter Flock teaching notes on Church Officers and Discipline 130728@TBC

A church officer is someone who has been publicly recognized as having the right and responsibility to perform certain functions for the benefit of the whole church.  --Grudem p. 905

Apostles:  (The word can also be used in a non-technical sense of those sent.)
     Spoke with special authority, writing Scripture and giving authoritative direction

     Witness of Christ's resurrection: Acts 1.21-22; 1 Cor. 15.7-9
     Personally commissioned by Christ:  Matt. 10.1-7  these he sent out  (Paul Rom. 1.1)
          The twelve Apostles Rev. 21.24  -  Acts 1  Matthias replaced Judas
          Acts 14.14  apostles Paul and Barnabas
          Gal. 1.9 saw none of the other apostles except James the Lord's brother...
          Possibly others
* Because of the unique qualifications and purpose, we believe that there are no longer Apostles in the technical sense of the word.

Pastor/teacher: Stresses their heart
     Ephesians 4:11  "pastors and teachers"
     Ephesian elders told "to shepherd the church of God" Acts 20.28
Presbyters (Elders):  Stresses dignity and maturity
     Word can be used generally of an older man (1 Timothy 5.17) or woman (1 Timothy5.2)
     Distributing money Acts 11.30 sent it to the elders...
     Decisions about doctrine (Acts 15.2, 4, 6, 22; 16.2)
     Rule (1 timothy5:17)
     Shepherd the flock  (1 Peter 5.1-3)
     Pray for the sick (James 5:14)
     Acts 20.17-32
Overseers bishops: Stresses oversight responsibilities
     overseers to shepherd  Acts 20.28ff  teaching, guarding from wolves/false teachers 28-30 
     position of a bishop, a good work  1 Timothy 3:2 (Titus 1.7)

     Personal:  esp. blameless 1 Timothy 3.2-3; Titus 1.7-8
     Family:  manages household  1 Timothy 3.4-4-5; Titus 1.6
     Spiritual: track record of faithfulness to and teaching the Word  1 Timothy 3.6-7; Titus 1.9 (10-11)

The word is sometimes used in a non-technical sense of someone who serves in the church.

Qualifications: 1 Timothy3:8-13
v. 13 promise of a good standing and boldness in the faith
Acts 6.1-6  Handling day to day administration so the Apostles could devote themselves to the Word and prayer
Qualifications might suggest
     "not greedy"  financial oversight
     "manage"  administrative duties
     "no slanders"  counseling
     name "deacon:  to serve, minister
1 Timothy 3:11  "women"  wives or female deacons?  passage is not completely clear
Romans 16.1  Phoebe  general or official sense?
Our practice (not explicit conviction) at TBC is to have men in this official roll even though many women actively serve and appropriately lead in ministries.

Forms of Church Governments
Episcopal:  Governed by the authority of the bishops
Example of Timothy and Titus appointing elders
James in the church of Jerusalem 
Presbyterian (Elder Rule)
Frequent mention of elders in the NT:
The fact that they are mentioned in the plural (never explicitly one in a church)
Congregation's involvement in
selecting deacons Acts 6.3-5
entire church included in the Jerusalem letter to the gentile churches  (Acts 15.23 ...the Apostles, the elders, and brethren.)
the entire church's role in church discipline  1 Cor. 5:12; 2 cor. 2.6-7; 2 Thess 3:14)
testing the spirits  1 John 4.3

Church Discipline:
1.  Church discipline begins with a loving, tight community of believers who support and encourage each other.
2.  When a brother engages in flagrant (or serious), repeated, unrepentant sin the mature members and leaders (if needed) attempt to restore them.
(At TBC the counseling/admonishing process is carried out primarily by a person's elder and other leadership (usually are familar with them) who report to the board at large.)
3.  If, after repeated, admonitions the person continues to function in the body in their sinful lifestyle, they are asked to leave and the members break fellowship with them.
(At TBC this is usually announced with a written statement during Sunday school.  The purpose is not to shame anybody, but to notify the members and regular attenders of the situation.)
4.  Usually a person living that kind of lifestyle will leave themselves without having to be asked.

The government of the Church shall be vested in the Board of Elders which shall be composed of the Senior Pastor who shall be a member of the Board by virtue of his office and four or more other members. The total number of members of the Board of Elders shall be determined by the Board of Elders as needed.
The Elders of the Church shall be Members of the Church who meet
the qualifications specified in I Timothy 3: 1-7 and Titus 1: 6-9.
The selection of Elders of the Church shall be made by the Board of Elders, subject to the approval of two-thirds of those Members voting at a meeting of the Church.
The term of an Elder's office shall be from the time of his approval by
the Church until the next Annual Meeting, provided that, in the event an Elder ceases being a Member, his term shall automatically terminate.
In the event of a vacancy on the Board of Elders, the same may be filled by the remaining Board of Elders, subject to the approval of two-thirds of those Members voting at a meeting of the Church.
A Board Chairman, Vice-Chairman, Secretary, and such other officers as the Board may choose shall be selected by the Board of Elders each year. Every Member of the Board of Elders shall be eligible to serve in such offices.
Section G. DUTIES.
It shall be the duty of the Board of Elders to govern all of the ministries and business of the Church which shall include, but not be limited to, the carrying out of the shepherding, teaching, disciplining, and overseeing of the Members of the Church. The Elders shall be considered as pastors with regard to the confidentiality of communication between Elders and the members of the church.
Section H. TRUSTEES.
    The Board of Elders shall be the Trustees of the Church to fulfill the legal requirements of the State of Oklahoma for nonprofit corporations. In addition, the Chairman of the Elder Board shall be the President of the Corporation, the Vice Chairman of the Elder Board shall be the Vice President of the Corporation and the Secretary of the Elder Board shall be the secretary of the corporation, each for terms concurrent with their corresponding terms on the Board of Elders.
The Deacon Ministry of the Church shall be conducted by a number of men as determined by the Board of Elders.
The Deacons of the Church shall be men who are Members of the Church and meet the qualifications specified in I Timothy 3:8-13.
The selection of Deacons shall be made by the Board of Elders, subject to the approval of two-thirds of those Members voting at a meeting of the Church.
The term of a Deacon's office shall be from the time of his approval by the Church until the next Annual Meeting, provided that, in the event a Deacon ceases being a Member, his term shall automatically terminate.
Section E. DUTIES.
It shall be the duty of the Deacons to manage the temporal affairs of the Church under the supervision of the Board of Elders.
Section F. OFFICERS.
A Chairman and such other officers as may be determined by the Deacons shall be selected by the Deacons each year.

1 John 4.1-6 Study Notes

"In view of the false teachers he next reminds the readers that the test of having the Spirit of God, is to be found in the true confession of Christ, in adherence to the teaching of the apostles, and in that faith in Jesus that is the condition of love and of true spiritual life, 4:1—5:12."    --Louis Berkhof
Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Beloved - John employs Ἀγαπητοί  primarily to introduce weighty statements of fact. In 4:1, however, as in 4:7, "beloved" preceeds a command.  In all occurrences this word implies a close rapport between John and his readers.  --Yarbrough in BECNT

"believe not" is in a construction in the Greek text which forbids the continuation of an action already going on--Wuest
"Commandment stated negatively - Don't be gullible.  Love does not mean compromising the truth." --Paul Apple

test - δοκιμάζω  G1381 - dokimazō  to test, examine, prove, scrutinise (to see whether a thing is genuine or not), as metals
Two tests for the OT prophets:
1. Whether their predictions came true (Deut. 18.20-22).
2. Whether they call on Israel to go after other gods (Deut. 13.1-5). 
"...even if the prophet should perform an authenticating sign or wonder, his truth or falsity is still to be judged on the basis of his claims..."  -NET Bible translation Notes

The apostle uses the word “spirit” here with reference to the person who made the claim, on the supposition that everyone professing to be a religious teacher was animated by some spirit or foreign influence, good or bad.  -- A Barnes

"Why is testing the spirits is so important...  --Kruse in PNTC   
1.  By their very nature false prophets appear to be genuine
Matt. 7.15  Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.
2.  They lead people away from the truth
2 Peter 2.1
1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. 2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed. 3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.
false prophets
ψευδοπροφήτης  G5578 pseudoprophetes  false prophet
Mark 11. 22 For false Christs and false prophets will appear and perform signs and miracles to deceive the elect--if that were possible.
"The false prophet supports his claims by signs and portents (Matt. 24:24; Acts 13:6; Apoc. 19:20) and is thus distinguished fro the false teacher.  See 2 Peter 2:1, where the two terms occur together."  --Vincent  

of/from Godἐκ τοῦ θεοῦ  16 times in 1 John
     4:2 Every spirit which confesses ... is of God
     4:3 Every spirit which does not confess ... is not of God
     4:4 Little children, you are of God.
     4:6 We are of God.... 
     4:6 He who is not of God does not listen to us.
     4:7: Love is of God.
"The simplest translation is "from God." But what does "from" mean in that phrase? Quite certainly it means that the person, the spirit or the quality has its origin in God. It comes "from" God in the sense that it takes its origin in Him and its life from Him. So John, for instance, bids his people to test the spirits to see whether they really have their source in God. Love, he says, has its origin in God."  --William Barclay
By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God,,

confesses  niv--acknowledges; wet--agrees that
ὁμολογεῖ   Strong's G3670 - homologeō:  lit., "to speak the same thing" (homos, "same," lego, "to speak"), "to assent, accord, agree with," denotes,
"The literal meaning of homologeín is “to say the same thing.” We thus get the senses a. “to agree to something” (an affirmation, a charge, etc.), b. “to confirm receipt,” c. “to agree or submit to a proposal,” and d. “to agree,to a wish,” “to promise.” In a transferred sense it may denote the agreement of words and deeds, or of customs."    --Gerhard Kittel, Gerhard Friedrich and Geoffrey William Bromiley, Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, 687 (Grand Rapids, MI: W.B. Eerdmans, 1985).

"In the New Testament even the demons recognized the fact of the Incarnation (Mark 1.24; 3.11, Acts 19.15), but did not embrace this truth by confessing Jesus' Lordship.  Behind the creed is a person..."  --Gary Burge in NIVAC
"How do you determine whether a spiritual experience,  a religious leader or a group is really from God?  --Timothy Peck
"The touchstone for orthodoxy is a true confession of Jesus Christ."   --Paul Apple

In 1 Timothy Paul outlined some foundational truths and warned against  deceiving spirits.
3.16 And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: 

          -> God was manifested in the flesh, 
          -> Justified in the Spirit,
          -> Seen by angels,
          -> Preached among the Gentiles,
          -> Believed on in the world,
          -> Received up in glory.
4.1 Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron, 3 forbidding to marry, and commanding to abstain from foods which God created to be received with thanksgiving by those who believe and know the truth.

"Because John's tests are limited to one historical setting, they also tend to be limited in scope."  --Gary Burge in NIVAC 
Foundational truths to confess in 1 John" Bringing together the various expressions of what was at issue that are found in the letter, we may say that, stated fully, it concerned the confession of 
     Jesus as the Christ (2.22; 4.2-3; 5.1)
     the Son of God (4.15; 5.5)
     come in the flesh (4.3) and 
     the reality of his atoning death (5.6 allusion to).  --Kruse in PNTC    

Ἰησοῦν Χριστὸν ἐν σαρκὶ ἐληλυθότα (Verb - perfect participle, active - accusative, masculine, singular)
Christ -

John 9.22 His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews, for already the Jews had decided that anyone who acknowledged that Jesus was the Christ would be put out of the synagogue.

"The Greek word translated “christ” (christos) appears 531 times in the NT (Nestle-Aland 26th ed.)..."  --Dictionary of Jesus and the Gospels, ed. Joel B. Green, Scot McKnight and I. Howard Marshall, 106 (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1992).

     "CHRIST Official title given to Jesus in the NT. It signifies his office as anointed Savior and alludes to his spiritual qualifications for the task of saving his people. The word derives from Greek Christos, which translates Hebrew Messiah (Jn 1:41). Both terms come from verbs meaning “to anoint with sacred oil”; hence, as titles they mean “the Anointed One.” Applied to Jesus, they express the conviction that he had divine appointment for his office and function. 
     In the NT the title is used in combination with the given name, as “Jesus Christ” (Mt 1:1; Mk 1:1; Rom 1:4), “Christ Jesus” (NIV Rom 1:1; 1 Cor 1:1), with the article “the” (Rom 7:4), or with another title “Lord” (Rom 16:18). It is also used alone as the one favored substitute name or title for Jesus (Jn 20:31; Rom 15:3; Heb 3:6; 5:5; 1 Pt 1:11, 19).

     An important feature in the earliest Christian preaching was the proclamation that Jesus is the Christ (Acts 2:36; 3:18–20; 9:22; 28:23, 31). This remains the earliest (Mt 16:16) and most basic article of Christian confession (1 Cor 1:23; 1 Jn 5:1), affirming that Jesus perfectly fulfilled the role of anointed prophet, priest, and king as the servant of God for his people (Lk 7:16, 1 Cor 15:25; Heb 7:22–28; Rv 19:16)."   --Walter A. Elwell and Philip Wesley Comfort, Tyndale Bible Dictionary, Tyndale reference library, 266 (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, 2001).

has come in the flesh -
"...(his actual humanity, not a phantom body as the Docetic Gnostics held)"  --A.T. Robertson
c.f.  2 John 1.7   For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh.

The spirit of error
Docetists, e.g., Gnostics
The divine Christ would never stoop to touch flesh, which is evil. Jesus only seemed (dokeo, in Greek) human and only appeared to die, for God cannot die. Or, in other versions, "Christ" left "Jesus" before the Crucifixion.
Key proof text: Phil. 2:8: " … and [Christ] being found in appearance as a man … "
Ignatius, bishop of Antioch (A.D. 107), make comments about errors that are very similar to that described in 1 John in The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnæan 

The spirit of truth
The Orthodox View:
Jesus is fully human and fully divine, having two natures in one person-"without confusion, without change, without division, without separation."
Key text: Phil. 2:5-11: "Christ Jesus … being in very nature God, [was] made in human likeness … and become obedient to death . …Every tongue [should] confess Jesus Christ is Lord."

What do we loose if there is no incarnation?
1.  Christ's death that destroys the devil and is a propitiation for our sins.  Heb. 14-17
2.  A High Priest that can sympathize with our weakness.  Heb. 4.15-16
3.  An example of humility, obedience, and service.  Phil. 2
4.  A reason to rejoice and hope in suffering. 1 Peter 4.12-14; 5.10 
5.  A vivid demonstration of God's love for us. 1 John 4.9-11

A primary gauge of a spirit's authenticity is, then, doctrinal.  It should be remembered that the doctrinal test, however, is not the only test.  ...  ethics and love are equally important..."
  --Yarbrough in BECNT

and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.
  • The expression 'to acknowledge Jesus Christ' is but a shortened version of the expression 'to acknowledge that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh'.  --Kruse in PNTC
  • The KJV includes the longer phrase in both places which is an example of how most textual differences have neglagible impact on the meaning of the text.
  • the spirit of - Pneuma (spirit) not expressed but clearly implied by the neuter singular article to.  --A.T. Robertson
antichrist - ἀντίχριστος Strong's G500 - antichristos  the adversary of the Messiah
"...ἀντί in composition implies sometimes substitution, sometimes opposition."  - Trench

The term pseudochristos, "a false Christ," is to be distinguished from the above; it is found in Mat 24:24; Mar 13:22. The false Christ does not deny the existence of Christ, he trades upon the expectation of His appearance, affirming that he is the Christ. The Antichrist denies the existence of the true God (Trench, Syn. XXX).
That is, this doctrine is essential to the Christian system; and he who does not hold it cannot be regarded either as a Christian, or recognized as a Christian teacher.  --A Barnes

1 John 2. (18), 22   Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son.
2 John 1.7   For many deceivers have gone out into the world who do not confess Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist.
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

overcome -
"It is important to notice that their knowledge of the Apostle's teaching and astute discernment were not the reason they conquered.   It was the Spirit of God working in them that enabled them to stand.
Here the verb is in the perfect tense, which shows that the victory is more than a passing phrase; it is decisive and continuing."  --DA Carson

"They have conquered them in that they have not been swept away by their deception (2:14; 26).  The prophets have attacked with their defective views of Christ, and the Christians have stood firm. They have not yielded.  They have conquered.  They have remained orthodox and loyal to the Son of God incarnate in the man Jesus Christ.-- Piper in Paul Apple
They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them.

"Now the secessionists may be said to be 'from the world' (ek tou kosmou), for by rejecting the message heard from the beginning they have to all intents and purposes thrown their lot in with the world.  When they speak they 'speak form the viewpoint of the world' (ek tou kosmou), because their teachings about the person of Christ is shaped, not by the original gospel message, but by worldly (albeit religious and philosophical) categories.  --Kruse in PNTC

"...his [John's] followers, while obviously in the world, are not of the world." --Yarbrough in BECNT
"In this sense Jesus envisions a clear polarity between the community of his followers and everyone else." --Yarbrough in BECNT
John 15.18-19
18 "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you. 19 If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Notice, in John's mind people are divided into two camps: 
(1) those of God, the Spirit of Truth, and 
(2) those of the world, the antichrist, the spirit of deception (the devil).
We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.

listens to us - "These statements sound the height of arrogance.  So they would be if uttered by an individual Christian.  No private believer could presume to say: 'whoever knows God agrees with me;  only those who are not of God disagree with me.'  ... the fact is that he is not speaking in his own name, not even in the name of the Church, but as one of the apostles, who were conscious of the special authority bestowed on the by Jesus Christ."  --Stott in Paul Apple

"...the apostolic testimony provides resources for informed deliberation and confirmation of wise choice."  --Yarbrough in BECNT

does not hear us
John 8.47
44 You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe Me. 46 Which of you convicts Me of sin? And if I tell the truth, why do you not believe Me? 47 He who is of God hears God's words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God."
spirit of error - 
ylt, nasb95, nkjv, netspirit;   esv, niv84, wet, nlt--Spirit

error - πλάνη Strong's G4106 - planē  lit., "a wandering," whereby those who are led astray roam hither and thither, is always used in the NT, of mental straying, wrong opinion, error in morals or religion. In 2Th 2:11, AV, it is translated "delusion," RV, "error." --Vine's
πλανάω; πλάνηa, ης f: (figurative extensions of meaning of πλανάω ‘to cause to wander off the path,’ not occurring in the NT) to cause someone to hold a wrong view and thus be mistaken—‘to mislead, to deceive, deception, to cause to be mistaken.’   --Johannes P. Louw and Eugene Albert Nida, vol. 1, Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains, electronic ed. of the 2nd edition., 364-66 (New York: United Bible Societies, 1996).

This should probably understood in the sense of deception instead of just an error or mistake because of the contrast with the word truth.

1. The centrality of Christology.  Christ is the foundational truth.  He deserves to be known truly, honored completely, and admired supremely.

2. Discern between minor issues and colossal errors: "The Johannine call here is to build a Christian maturity that can use theological radar to spot intruders who want to upend the church's beliefs.  This is high-tech radar that can tell the difference between pleasure aircraft and lethal bombers, between minor issues and colossal errors that deserve a fierce struggle."  --Gary Burge in NIVAC   

3. Necessity of gracious intolerance: "Our society prizes religious tolerance and pluralism to such a degree that many of us have begun to believe that such "testing" betrays a narrowness of vision that is overly critical, even judgmental. ...  To "test the spirits" today will take considerable discernment and not a little courage."  --Gary Burge in NIVAC

4. Having a noble spirit of discernment:  There is a difference between a suspicious, fault finding, and critical spirit and examining teaching, in the spirit of the noble Bereans, to confirm that it is true.  
Acts 17.11 ...they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.
5. The practical importance of the incarnation:  The truth of "Jesus the Christ come in the flesh" is indispensable and revolutionary for the Christian.