A Confession of Ecclesiology: Elders and Deacons

I. I believe that all authority in heaven and on earth belongs to Christ: the firstborn of creation through Whom all things were made and are sustained, the Savior and therefore head of the church.

Matthew 28:18-20; John 1:1-3; Ephesians 5:22-24; Colossians 1:15-17

II. I believe that earthly mediations of Christ’s authority exist by His delegation and function through man’s operation, therein all human authority is a stewardship and thus accountable to Christ.

Deuteronomy 12:6-8; Psalm 2:1-12; Matthew 16:18-19; Ephesians 5:21-33

III. I believe that the local church, by God’s design, is led by such stewards called “elders,” whose authority is authentic though not intrinsic, unto whom all members of the local church are to submit as to Christ.

1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-9; 1 Peter 5:1-4; Hebrews 13:17

IV. I believe that elders, along with apostles and prophets, are Divine gifts to the church for the individual edification and corporate sanctification of God’s elect, therein such leaders are worthy of double honor, though no less in need of God’s power unto salvation.

Romans 1:16; 7:24; 1 Corinthians 4:9; Ephesians 2:20-22; 4:11-14; 1 Timothy 5:17; 2 Timothy 2:10

V. I believe that the offices of elder and deacon are distinct, therein a deacon is not by Christ made a steward but a servant for the body’s well-being, therein the functions of a deacon may be helpful and diverse though never to include an authoritative operation in the local church.

Acts 6:1-6; 1 Timothy 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9

VI. I believe that a qualified deacon is worthy of honor and respect by all members of the body, while the deacon himself must be willfully and gladly subject to the elder.

1 Timothy 3:13

VII. I believe that Scripture is the sole infallible rule for the faith and operation of the local church, such that any proposition not supported by this standard, unable to be vindicated with faithful exegesis, should be renounced and swiftly denied by the congregation, therein proponents of such propositions should be called urgently to repentance and, if hardened in unrepentance, cast from fellowship, for the sake of his own salvation and that of the church.

Matthew 7:15-23; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13; Galatians 1:6-9; 1 Timothy 1:3-7; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; Hebrews 1:1-2; 1 john 4:1-6

VIII. I believe that the church is a body formed and preserved by the Word of God, therefore it cannot be destroyed, therein Hades, accusers, condemners, tribulation, distress, persecution, famine, nakedness, peril, sword, death, life, angels, principalities, things present, things to come, powers, height, depth, flesh, rulers, darkness, world forces, wickedness, Lucifer, governments, the mouths of lions, and the arrows of evil cannot abate the almighty power of God at work within and on behalf of the people of God.

Numbers 23:19; Daniel 6:16-28; Matthew 16:18; Romans 8:28-39; 9:6; Ephesians 3:20-21; 4:10-17; 1 Peter 5:8

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