Page 9 - May 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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“      n the multitude of counsellors there   last Adam and the offspring of Abraham,

                                              and ultimately everything will be brought
            is safety” (Pro 11:14 KJV). You may
        Iperceive yourself to be more spiritu-  under Christ, Eph 1:10). Notice how the
        ally mature than your brothers. You may   Church is distinct from Israel. Israel is an
        think your experience with God is deeper.   ethnic entity, and had its headquarters
        You may have the impression that you   in one earthly, geographic location. The
        know the Scriptures better. You might   Church is multi-ethnic and global. Her
        even be correct in all those thoughts …   true headquarters are in heaven, where
        or quite possibly, you’re wrong. Either   the risen Lord is, but each local church
        way, you are not at liberty to govern the   functions autonomously with direct au-
        local church as your own little fiefdom.   thority from heaven (cf. Mat 18:18-20).
        The reasons are, firstly, because it belongs   Christ is the chief Shepherd, singular, of
        to God and, secondly, because God has   God’s flock; men share the work of being
        ordained that leadership in the church be   undershepherds in the plural. “It is a high-
        a shared function.                    ly significant and often overlooked fact

        The Change from Israel to the         that our Lord did not appoint one man to
                                              lead His Church. He personally appointed
        Church                                and trained twelve men. Jesus Christ gave
          It is notable that individuals emerge as   the church plurality of leadership.”  That
        preeminent leaders of God’s people in the   plural apostolate prefigured how the Lord
        Old Testament. Examples include Moses,   wanted the churches to be led.
        Joshua, Samuel and David. Though these
        leaders benefited from the ministry of   The Precedent and Clarity of
        others (e.g., elders and counsellors), they   Scripture
        nonetheless stand out for being alone in   New Testament Scripture is crystal clear
        their responsibility. Leaders among God’s   that leadership in a local church is to be
        people today still rightfully gain valuable   a shared ministry among men of equal
        insights from these Old Covenant men,   authority. The first time we read about
        but they don’t have the same individual   church leadership beyond the apostles
        authority in this age. What caused the   in the Acts, it is the elders (plural) to
        change? Jesus Christ did. In effect, there   whom funds are sent for the believers in
        is still just one man as the ultimate leader   Acts 11:30. Then when Paul & Barnabas
        in the New Covenant, but that one man   return to Lystra, Iconium and Antioch,
        is not on earth. It is the glorified man in
        heaven, the Lord Jesus Christ.        where they had earlier planted churches,
                                              they “appointed elders for them in every
          History can be looked at as having three   church” (Act 14:23).   To  the  singular
        programs, and at the head of each one is   church of the Thessalonians, Paul asks
        a man. Adam was the head of creation,
        Abraham was the head of the nation    ¹ Alexander Strauch, Biblical Eldership (Colorado
                                              Springs: Lewis & Roth, 1995), 36.
        of Israel, and Christ is the head of the   ² Bible quotations in this article are from the
        Church (recall, though, that Christ is the   CSB unless otherwise noted.
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