Friday, August 10, 2012

Church Governance (5)

The only statement made about governance in the New Testament is that Jesus is Lord of Lords and head of the church. He has authority over the church. There is no record of him delegating it to anyone else. God expects those who belong to Jesus to obey him.

Jesus words are clear.

If you love me, keep my commands (John 14:15).
Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me (John 14:21).
These verses raise an important question. How does Jesus exercise this authority. He gives the answer in a verse that is sandwiched between the two just quoted.
And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever—the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17).
The gift of the Spirit makes it possible for the church to obey Jesus.

The Holy Spirit knows God’s will, so he can tell us what Jesus wants us to do. We do Jesus will by obeying the voice of the Holy Spirit. We do not need another authority or intermediary to tell us what to do.

Jesus has not given the Holy Spirit authority over the church. He can only tell us Jesus will, and leave it to us to decide if we will we obey it. He can speak to us, but he cannot make us obey his words.

We give the Holy Spirit authority, when we chose to obey his voice, but we can withdraw that submission at any time by choosing to ignore his leading. That removes his authority.

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