Monday, December 15, 2014

Office, Gift, and Priesthood (Intro)

Office, Gift, and Priesthood
From  Office, Gift and Priesthood by AJ Pollock 

A right understanding of our subject and the carrying of it out in practical detail would go far in removing the confusion and consequent weakness existing in Christendom today. Alas! there is so little practical answering to God's mind that very much of God's Word remains a dead letter. We may well bear in mind the words of the prophet Samuel, "To obey is better than sacrifice, and to hearken than the fat of rams." (1 Sam. 15:22). May we all be found obedient and hearkeners. 

It may help if we put the three heads of our subject in parallel columns:

Office 
There were two local offices in the early Church, that of bishops and deacons. 

Bishops and deacons were strictly local to the assembly in which they were appointed. Ordination of the bishops was by the apostles or their delegates; of the deacons by the apostles, or their delegates, or by the Assembly as guided of the Holy Ghost, and confirmed by the apostles. 

Gift 
Eph. 4 enumerates five gifts; apostles and prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Gift is for the whole Church, in contrast to office of bishop and deacon, which is local. Ordination only by the ascended Lord, the great Head of the Church, His body. 

Priesthood
The privilege of all believers, not of an exclusive class. The highest of all privileges. Just as the Aaronic priesthood was by birth, so all who are sons of God by faith in Christ Jesus are priests in this dispensation. 

We can only treat this vast subject in scant detail within the compass of a small pamphlet, but we trust that interest will be stimulated, and that the reader will search into these things for himself.

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