Servant Authority (MP3)
by Sandy Simpson
The world system has always been a "top down" structure, starting at the apex of the pyramid and going down to the bottom. In kingdoms we have the king at the top, then the princes, common people, slaves. In a democracy we have the President at the top, the VP, the Sec. of State on down to the citizens. In business we have the CEO at the top, upper management, lower management, office workers and the janitors. Unfortunately, sometime in the third century, the church started to have a top down structure. This is also when the church began to be in error. The church of Rome began to have a "top down" structure that started with the pope, then cardinals, then bishops, then priests, then the people. Well, what about that? Eph 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, This all sounds like a "top down" structure. But the problem is that people have not seen an important fact about these gifts of
the Spirit -- man looks at function and title, God looks at aim and goal! Read on. Eph. 4:12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. These are not gifts given for title or to give people job descriptions. They are given because there are people out there who need our help! The church needed the Apostles. They were the ones who were the foundation of the church. They were the ones who saw Jesus in the flesh and were taught by Him personally. They wrote the New Testament Scriptures. Though the gifts of apostle and prophet are different today than in biblical times, the gift of evangelism, pastoring, teaching and others are still the same. A person who is an evangelist does not just have a title so he can rule over people. The reason that he has the gift to be an evangelist is so that he can tell others the good news. Why do we have pastors? Are they supposed to rule the church and get everyone to support them and bow to their demands? No.
They are to serve the church by helping people to come to a fuller knowledge of Jesus Christ, to equip the saints to become more like Jesus every day.
The true structure of Christianity is symbolized as an inverted pyramid!
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