Thursday, August 4, 2011


I just read your post on the supernatural gifts given to the body of Christ early in the mystery program.  It totally fits and is plainly what the scripture teaches; I can't believe I never saw that before.  My question is in regard to this, though: if we do not have 'pastors' right now that fill the same purpose for the body of Christ as they did, then what should men who teach the scripture be called?  I would say teacher, but this is part of the gifts.  Maybe instructor, as in 1 Corinthians 4:15? What do you think? Also, what were some of the roles a pastor would do? In other words, why do we not need those pastors now?

My greatest prayer is to gain great understanding of his word, not just for myself, but that I may be able to share it clear and effectively with others. So your words are a testimony of his faithfulness!

As for whether or not we are to have "pastors" today, well, yes and no! Do we have "pastors" who are given to us in the exact same way God gave them to the church in Paul's day (that is, direct supernatural intervention)?  No. But do we have men who are in the church the Body of Christ who function in that role and capacity and do "the work" of pastors? You bet!

First of all we need to look at Ephesians 4 and other passages that mention pastors...

Ephesians 4:11-13
And he gave some, 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: 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:

In this verse, our Apostle explains what our Lord did at the beginning of the creation of the church, the body of Christ. In its infancy, our Lord had to intervene directly in the church by giving supernatural spiritual gifts to men in the body. These gifts and the men to which they were given were a gift to the entire body to communicate the doctrine of the Mystery of Christ before Paul wrote it down!

So in order for God to share this information with the body before Paul finished writing his 13 epistles, God used gifted men (and women) to communicate his truth!

This direct, supernatural way of operating in the church was a temporal way of operating—only used by God until the perfect word of God was complete!

1 Corinthians 13:8-12
Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known (that is...perfectly).

That "perfect" knowledge came with the completion of God's word through Paul!

2 Timothy 3:16-17
All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, [mature, complete] throughly furnished unto all good works.

That is why Paul goes on to talk about in Ephesians 4, how these gifted men given to “the body” would help it become a "perfect man," and no longer "childish."

Ephesians 4:11-15
 And he gave some, 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: 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: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

So, while it is true that God is no longer directly and supernaturally operating that spiritual gift program exactly like he did back in the church's infancy, it is fair to say that he is accomplishing the "work" of most of those gifts indirectly through his Spirit in us, and his word working through us when we believe. Even Paul our Apostle told Timothy that! Remember Ephesians 4 says he gave "evangelists?" But in the end of his ministry Paul told Timothy not to "exercise" the "gift" of an evangelist, but to do the "work" of an evangelist.

2 Timothy 4:5
But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.

Therefore the same could be said for all the other ministry roles listed in Ephesians 4. Someone who goes out and establishes a local Grace assembly is doing the work of an apostle. Someone going out telling forth God's word to others--especially identifying Paul's epistles as God's word for today—is doing the work of a prophet. Someone who specializes in winning souls by sharing the gospel of grace is doing the work of an evangelist. Someone who chooses to shepherd and spiritually care for a group of believers is doing the work of a pastor. And, someone who desires to regularly share God's word is doing the work of a teacher.

And that is not far fetched because Paul himself says that there are still men considered teachers in the body today!  [Note: the office of the bishop in 1 Timothy 3 and Titus 2 does incorporate aspects of all these other roles.]

1 Timothy 1:3, 7
As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine…Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.

1 Timothy 2:12
But I suffer not a woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man, but to be in silence.

Titus 2:3-4
The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children,

1 Timothy 3:2; 4:11; 6:3
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; …These things command and teach…If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;

2 Timothy 2:2, 24
 And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. …And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all men, apt to teach, patient,

What God had to do directly before the word was completed, he now does indirectly by his Spirit in us using his word, as we believe it! 

Hopefully this helps!


Do you have a question for Pastor Ron?

P.S. The role of the "pastor" (a.k.a., bishop) is to maintain order—especially doctrinally—within a local assembly/group of believers! A bishop/sheppard/overseer "takes care" of God's people! So yes, God has ordained them for today!

1 Timothy 3:1, 5
This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work…(For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)

Titus 1:5, 7
For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting [lacking], and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:...For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;

Acts 20:28-29
Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers [bishops/pastors], to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood. For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

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