How to Recover from Church Wars

by Fred R. Coulter


Purpose For The Church

The apostle Paul was inspired to clearly define the purpose of the Church and ministry:
"And he gave some, apostles: and some, prophets: and some, evangelists, and some, pastors and teachers" (Ephesians 4:11).

The key is in verse 12, please look at the words very carefully. Does it say for the ruling of the government of God over the brethren? It doesn't say that, does it?

Notice it says: "For the perfecting of the saints, ..." [To do what? To make the disciple as the teacher...] "For the work of the ministry, ..." And actually that means for the work of the service.

Ministry is a service. "For edifying..." [The meaning of edify is: to teach and up-build in love.] "For the edifying of the body of Christ: (v13) Til we all..."

Who is all? Whoever are apostles, and prophets, and evangelists, and pastors, and teachers, and brethren, we, all together... "...come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God..."

When human beings take the prerogatives of God to themselves, they reject the true purpose of the ministry and destroy the knowledge of the Son of God. We can comprehend a great deal more if we are looking directly to Jesus Christ and God the Father, rather than to men or an organization.

"And of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a perfect man..." [or unto a spiritually mature Christian.] "Unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ."

This is a huge job, that can't be done when the prerogatives of God have been leveraged to human beings, or to human authority, or to a corporate church organization.

(v14): "That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro..." Isn't that what has happened in our former affiliation? The members are tossed to and fro by the authorities in the Church. "And carried about with every wind of doctrine by the SLEIGHT OF MEN, and cunning craftiness whereby they lie in wait to deceive."

But isn't it something that the deception was so clever and the SLEIGHT OF HAND so subtle that even those who did it, didn't know what they were doing. However, here is what Christ wants:

(v15-16): "But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, which makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."

Now, that's the correct church structure. Do not allow the structure of the administration to interfere with the first commandment of loving God with all your heart, mind, soul and being, so that you may come to the full knowledge and measure in the stature of Christ. http://www.cbcg.org/mingodsgov.htm

Purpose of the Ministry: Part 1

The purpose of the ministry is to edify and build up the body of Christ. It is the responsibility of the ministry to teach and preserve the true doctrines of the Bible, to serve the spiritual needs of their brethren, and to provide leadership within their local congregations. Those who are ordained to evangelize also have a responsibility to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ to unbelievers, to teach all who will listen, and to baptize in all nations. http://www.cbcg.org/beliefs.htm

Purpose of the Ministry: Part 2

  • Audio: EC 2008 - Purpose of the Ministry & Teaching - May 15, 2008
    Track 1 or Download
    Track 2 or Download

Purpose of the Ministry: Part 3

As we study the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation, we need to retain this great overview and purpose of God and the work that Jesus Christ is doing in each one of us. We as ministers and elders are to be helpers of your joy in your calling of God. We are to serve the brethren and teach them the Word of God in spirit and in truth that they may grow in grace and knowledge. Paul wrote of the central, overall purpose of the ministry in serving and teaching the heirs of salvation: “And He gave some as apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; until we all come into 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; so that we no longer be children, tossed and carried about with every wind of doctrine by the sleight of men in cunning craftiness, with a view to the systematizing of the error; but holding the truth in love, may in all things grow up into Him Who is the Head, even Christ from Whom all the body, fitly framed and compacted together by that which every joint supplies, according to its inner working in the measure of each individual part, is making the increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love” (Eph. 4:11-16). This is the single minded focus that we all—teachers and brethren alike—must have. http://www.cbcg.org/letter_november_2007.htm

Purpose of the Ministry: Part 4

The original, New Testament structure of the ministry was designed to enable the ministry to serve and teach—not to be an overlord!:
God’s way of leadership is organized service based on the elders’ deep love for God and for the brethren—with the goal of feeding the sheep of Jesus Christ. This was the main theme of the Elders’ Conference. Indeed, Jesus admonished the apostle Peter to “feed My sheep”—the flock of God: “Therefore, when they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me more than these?’  And he said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.  You know that I love You.’  He said to him, ‘Feed My lambs.’  He said to him again a second time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?’  And he said to Him, ‘Yes, Lord.  You know that I love You.’  He said to him, ‘Shepherd My sheep.’ He said to him the third time, ‘Simon, son of Jonas, do you love Me?’  Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, ‘Do you love Me?’  And he said to Him, ‘Lord, You know all things.  You know that I love You.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed My sheep.’… And after saying this, He said to him, ‘Follow Me’ ” (John 21:15-17, 19).

This is what the elders and deacons of the CBCG are dedicated to doing!  We are not here to serve ourselves! We are not here to control the brethren’s lives!  We are here to serve the brethren and feed the Flock of God, so that all the brethren may grow up in Christ Jesus with godly character and be perfected.  The original, New Testament structure of the ministry was designed to enable the ministry to serve and teach—not to be an overlord! http://www.cbcg.org/letter_may_2007.htm

Purpose of the Ministry: Part 5

The Purpose of the Ministry of Jesus Christ: It is no coincidence that before His ministry Jesus' occupation was carpentry--which in His day involved building with wood, timbers, concrete, iron and stone. As a carpenter, Jesus was undoubtedly involved in every aspect of building--from conception and planning to stone cutting and laying, including the "finishing" work. It is rigorous work constructing four-story stone block buildings such as those in the nearby city of Sepphoris. (If you do not have the book Jesus & the Forgotten City, write us and we will send you one.) http://www.cbcg.org/letter_june_2008.htm

Purpose of the Ministry: Part 6

And the whole purpose and goal and meaning for having those who serve is for the perfecting of the saints, that they may receive eternal life. “...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 fulness of Christ:...” (vs. 11-13). So you can put in your margin right there Matthew 5:48, because that then gives the definition of how to be as perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect. It is a spiritual thing that must take place. So Christ gave the command and Paul shows how. Now that’s quite a thing to grow into, isn’t it? And eternal life is a fantastic and wonderful thing, so much that it, as Paul said, we look through a glass darkly. http://www.cbcg.org/hebrews_series22b.htm

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