The Organization Of The Church Of Christ
1. The Bible mentions only one church (Eph. 4:4-6), which is built
on one foundation (Mat. 16:18). "For other foundation can
no man lay than that is laid, which is ____________ ____________"
(1 Cor. 3:11). We therefore must use the Bible to ascertain God's
pattern for the organization of the church of Christ (Mat. 15:13).
2. The term "church" is used in two ways. (A) It is
used in the universal sense with reference to all baptized believers
under Christ's authority (Eph. 1:22-23). "so we (Christians),
being many, are _____ _______ in Christ, and every one members
one of another" (Rom. 12:5). (B) It is also used in a local
sense referring to the group of Christians in a community, who
regularly assemble themselves together (1 Cor. 1:2). Since every
church of Christ is ruled by a plurality of elders by the word
of God (Acts 14:23; 1 Pet. 5:2-3). Therefore, every church of
Christ is independent and autonomous one to another.
3. We find that there are offices of elders and deacons in the
church of Christ. Paul wrote to the Phillippians with these words,
"...to all the saints in Christ Jesus which are at Philippi,
with the __________ and _________" (Philp. 1:1). Every full-grown
or fully established church of Christ ought to have a plurality
of elders. "And when they (Paul and Barnabas) had ordained
them elders in ________ church..." (Acts 14:23).
4. The elders were also called to be overseers and pastors by
Paul. Having called the elders of the church of Ephesus before
him (Acts 20:17), Paul instructed them, saying, "Take heed
therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which
the Holy Ghost hath made you __________, to _______ the church
of God ..."(Acts 20:28). Accordingly, these names are referring
to the same office; however, their different aspects of works
are described. "Elders" describes their maturity in
the Faith (1 Tim. 3:1-7), and "overseers" their rule
over the church (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:7, 17), and "pastors"
their teaching role to the believers (1 Pet. 5:2-3).
5. The office of deacons is mentioned in 1 Tim. 3:8-13. "...
let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of
a __________, being found blameless" (1 Tim. 3:10). They
are special servants in the local church ruled by the eldership
Conclusion: According to God's word, every mature church has her
scripturally qualified elders who oversee the body of believers
by God's word through their examples (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9;
1 Pet. 5:2-3). Deacons are appointed to serve under the eldership
for the special ministry of a local church (1 Tim. 3:8-13). Every
church is independent and autonomous one to another. The local
church is all sufficient to carry out God's purpose in the world