2 Corinthians 4:13 – “We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written (Psalm 116:10), I believe, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe and therefore speak…..”
The Church is led, controlled and directed by the ministry gifts of the ascended Christ i.e. apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These ministries have been given to men for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry and for the edifying of the Body of Christ. The ‘Local Church’ is governed, cared for and fed by ordained Elders who form the local oversight and who watch for the souls under their care and give an account before God for each one.
The church is under the headship of Jesus Christ (Colossians 1:18; Hebrews 3:6; Colossians 2:19; Ephesians 1:22). The Father has delivered all things unto the Son. This means that the Son oversees all that takes place in the church. Jesus said that He would build His church and the gates of hell would not prevail against it (Matthew 16:18). Jesus’s earthly ministry laid the foundation for the church and when He ascended on high He gave ministry gifts unto men for the administration of His church. The scriptures declare that there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord (1 Corinthians 12:5). These include the following ascended Christ ministry gifts, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. These ministries are given for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Ephesians 4:11-13).
When Peter ministered on the day of Pentecost he told the new converts to continue steadfastly in apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and prayers. These diversities of operations were ordained by God (the Father) which worketh all in all (1 Corinthians 12:6).
God the Holy Ghost also gave diversities of gifts into the church. The manifestation of the Spirit (Holy Ghost) is given to everyman to profit with all. These gifts can be categorised in the following way; three reveal something, three do something and three say something (see table below). Notice, all these gifts are given by one and the selfsame Spirit and are divided to everyman severally as He wills.
|Three Reveal Something
|Three do something
|Three say something
(Inspirational utterance gifts)
|The word of wisdom||Faith||Prophecy|
|The word of knowledge||Gifts of healing||Speaking in tongues|
|Discerning of spirits||Miracles||Interpretation of tongues|
The ministry of the elders in the “local church” is a ministry gift given by Jesus Christ. When Paul was on his third missionary journey he called for the elders of the Ephesian church to give them some final instructions. He said, “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). The elders are responsible to care for the sheep in the local fellowship. They must take the oversight, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, but being examples to the flock (1 Peter 5: 2-3). The scriptures declare that the flock must remember them that have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation. The church is called to obey this ministry of Christ, and submit yourself to it: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13:7, 17).