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CHURCH GOVERNMENT VERSES

WHO HAS GOD CHOSEN TO LEAD HIS CHURCH?
Pastors (Shepherds), Bishops (Overseers), and Elders
1. The terms are used interchangeably
Acts 20:17,28 – "From Miletus, Paul sent to Ephesus for the elders of the church….Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy spirit has made you overseers.  Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood."

I Peter 5:1,2 – "To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed.  Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;"

Titus 1:5-7 – "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.  An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient.  Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless---not overbearing…"

3. The selection of Elders
A good leader in his family
Titus 1:5,6 – "The reason I left you in Crete was that you might straighten out what was left unfinished and appoint elders in every town, as I directed you.  An elder must be blameless, the husband of but one wife, a man whose children believe and are not open to the charge of being wild and disobedient."

I Timothy 3:4,5 – "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?) 

He is not in character one who does what is bad
Titus 1:7 – "Since an overseer is entrusted with God's work, he must be blameless---not overbearing, not quick-tempered, not given to drunkenness, not violent, not pursuing dishonest gain."

He is in character one who does what is good
Titus 1:8 – "Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined."

He is able to teach
I Timothy 3:2 – "Now the overseer must be above reproach, the husband of but one wife, temperate, hospitable, able to teach,"

He is able to protect the Church from false teaching
Titus 1:9 – "He must hold firmly to the trustworthy message as it has been taught, so that he can encourage others by sound doctrine and refute those who oppose it."

He is not a new convert
I Timothy 3:6 – "He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil."

He has a good reputation with outsiders
I Timothy 3:7 – "He must also have a good reputation with outsiders, so that he will not fall into disgrace and into the devil's trap."

4. The leadership style of the Elders
I Peter 5:1-4 – "To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ's suffering and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed: Be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers---not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away."

5. The church's responsibility to the elders
Respect them
I Timothy 5:17,18 – "The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.  For the Scripture says, 'Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,' and 'The worker deserves his wages.'"

I Thessalonians 5:12,13 – "Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you.  Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work.  Live in peace with each other."

Obey and submit to their leadership
Hebrews 13:17 – "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.  Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you."

Protect them
I Timothy 5:19 – "Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses."

Correct them
I Timothy 5:20 – "Those who sin are to be rebuked publicly, so that the others take warning."

DEACONS (SERVANTS)
Purpose
Acts 6:1-6 – "In those days when the number of disciples was increasing, the Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jew because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.  So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, 'it would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word.'  This proposal pleased the whole group.  They chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit; also Philip, Procorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas from Antioch, a convert to Judaism.  They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them."

Selection
I Timothy 3:8-13 – "Deacons, likewise, are to be men worthy of respect, sincere, not indulging in much wine, and not pursuing dishonest gain.  They must keep hold of the deep truths of the faith with a clear conscience.  They must first be tested; and then if there is nothing against them, let them serve as deacons.  In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything.  A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well.  Those who have served well gain an excellent standing and great assurance in their faith in Christ Jesus."

Men & Women
Romans 16:1 – "I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church in Cenchrea."

I Timothy 3:11 – "In the same way, their wives are to be women worthy of respect, not malicious talkers but temperate and trustworthy in everything."

HOW HAS GOD CHOSEN HIS CHURCH TO BE GOVERNED?
EPISCOPALIAN, PRESBYTERIAN, OR CONGREGATIONAL?
Episcopalian:
Galatians 2:9 – "James, Peter and John, those reputed to be pillars, gave me and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship when they recognized the grace given
to me.  They agreed that we should go to the Gentiles, and then to the Jews."

Acts 15:13-21 – "When they finished, James spoke up: 'Brothers, listen to me.  Simon has described to us how God at first showed his concern by taking from the Gentiles a people for himself.  The words of the prophets are in agreement with this, as it is written: 'After this I will return and rebuild David's fallen tent.  Its ruins I will rebuild, and I will restore it, that the remnant of men may seek the Lord, and all the Gentiles who bear my name, says the Lord, who does these things' that have been know for ages.'  It is my judgment, therefore, that we should not make it difficult for the Gentiles who are turning to God.  Instead we should write to them, telling them to abstain from food polluted by idols, form sexual immorality, from the meat of strangled animals and from blood.  For Moses has been preached in every city from the earliest time and is read in the synagogues on every Sabbath."


Presbyterian:
Hebrews 13:17 – "Obey your leaders and submit to their authority.  They keep watch over you as men who must give an account.  Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you."

Congregational:
I Corinthians 5:1,2,12,13 – "It is actually reported that there is sexual immorality among you, and of a kind that does not occur even among pagans: A man has his father's wife.  And you are proud!  Shouldn't you rather have been filled with grief and have put out of your fellowship the man who did this?....What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church?  Are you not to judge those inside?  God will judge those outside.  'Expel the wicked man from among you.'"

II Corinthians 2:6,7 – "The punishment inflicted on him by the majority is sufficient for him.  Now instead, you ought to forgive and comfort him, so that he will not be overwhelmed by excessive sorrow."

I John 4:1 – "Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world."

Acts 6:3,6 – "Brothers, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom.  We will turn this responsibility over to them….They presented these men to the apostles who prayed and laid their hands on them."

Matthew 18:15-17 – "If your brother sins against you, go and show him his fault, just between the two of you.  If he listens to you, you have won your brother over.  But if he will not listen, take one or two others along, so that every matter may be established by the testimony of three witnesses.  If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church; and if he refuses to listen even to the church, treat him as you would a pagan or a tax collector."

I Peter 2:9 – "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light."


Conclusion:
I Timothy 3:4,5,12 – "He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him with proper respect. (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God's church?)…"A deacon must be the husband of but one wife and must manage his children and his household well."

Colossians 1:18 – "And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy."

I Peter 2:9 – "But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonder light."

BAPTISM – INFANT OR BELIEVER'S
1. Infant
Acts 16:15, 31-34 – "When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.  'If you consider me a believer in the Lord,' she said, 'come and stay at my house.'  And she persuaded us……They replied, 'Believe in the Lord Jesus and you be saved---you and your household.'  Then they spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all the others in the house.  At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized."

Luke 18:15-17 – "People were also bringing babies to Jesus to have him touch them.  When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them.  But Jesus called the children to him and said, 'Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these.  I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

Colossians 2:11,12 – "In him you were also circumcised, in the putting off of the sinful nature, not with a circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith in the power of God, who raised him from the dead."

2. Believer's
Matthew 28:19 – "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit"

Acts 2:38, 41 – "Peter replied, 'Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.  And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit….Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day."

Acts 8:12 – "But when they believed Philip as he preached the good news of the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women"."

Acts 8:38 – "And he gave orders to stop the chariot.  Then both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water and Philip baptized him."

Acts 9:18 – "Immediately, something like scales fell fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again.  He got up and was baptized."

Acts 10:47,48 – "Can anyone keep these people from being baptized with water?  They have received the Holy Spirit just as we have.  So he ordered that they be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ….."

Acts 16:33 – "At that hour of the night the jailer took them and washed their wounds; then immediately he and all his family were baptized."

Romans 6:3-5 – "Or don't you know that all of who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?  We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.  If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection."