Biblical Church Responsibilities
Do not be called Teacher: The word Christ derives from the word messiah. The definition of messiah is "anointed". So it is my belief that when the word Christ is being used in the New Testament, it is not used as the last name of Jesus but more of what He represents and does in our lives. Take note that sometimes "Christ" is use before the name of Jesus, sometime following and sometimes it is used alone. In these words of Jesus, One is your Teacher, the Christ is letting us know that we are to be taught the deep things of God in our lives through this anointing of Christ. This belief is supported in 1 John 2:27. I believe this is very important that we do look to the Lord for our Spiritual inspiration rather than any teaching of man. Other men of God can write what the Holy Spirit has revealed to them but we should first go to God, through His Spirit so that we do not end up with preconceived ideas, squelching the teaching that we can receive from the Lord. For two major reasons, one being, not to be deceived. When we come upon that Day of Judgment, we should have the confidence of knowing Whom we have committed our heart to and that the base of faith, is in God's Spirit rather than the teachings of man. And also, in this process, there is a relationship realized where we can truly experience our love for our Lord God, in Whom we've placed our trust.
Matthew 23:8. "But you, do not be called `Rabbi'; for One is your Teacher, the Christ, and you are all brethren. 9. "Do not call anyone on earth your father; for One is your Father, He who is in heaven. 10. "And do not be called teachers; for One is your Teacher, the Christ.
1 John 2:27. But the anointing which you have received from Him abides in you, and you do not need that anyone teach you; but as the same anointing teaches you concerning all things, and is true, and is not a lie, and just as it has taught you, you will abide in Him.
What then to Teach: Life in this world in not always easy. Even for those that have a lot of money that seem to have an easy life, it's not always so, or there would not be the drugs and the other evidence of self destruction. Being a child of God does not put an end to our trials and hard times but gives us the strength and understanding to overcome. In this process, we can learn from each other how to do the good works that enhance each of our lives and to find the fellowship and support of each other. This is something that can be taught, learning from our past experiences and passing them on to others in our Spirit of love for them.
Titus 3:14. And let our people also learn to maintain good works, to meet urgent needs, that they may not be unfruitful.
Ephesians 2:10. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
Titus 2:14. who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works.
1 Timothy 6:18. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share,
Then what to Preach: I find this example as a real eye opener as to what is needed to be preached. Jesus said that He is the way, the truth and the life. And this Way is in that order. The way is through repentance to God. We must turn from our independent life to a dependant life upon God. When this decision has been made then our hearts are open to truth. This truth will lead us to the salvation of our souls, leading to eternal life in Christ as it is written in Hebrews 10:39. This Way is only available through Jesus. When Philip preached Jesus to the eunuch, I believe he preached this message, explaining the Way of Christ Jesus, the anointing of Christ. The eunuch believed and was baptized, both by the water but he also received his Spiritual baptism in Christ, therefore there was no longer a need for this preacher so God miraculously removed Philip out of his life for now God's Spirit was with the eunuch and would be teaching him the deep things of God. It is my belief that the preachers of the early church was out there on the streets everyday, preaching Jesus to anyone that would listen. Those that believed then was included in the church and was looked over by the Bishops and Deacons that was there to help them in the needs of their everyday lives. I think the job of pastoring was done by the elders as they were looking over the physical needs of the flock of Christ.
Acts 8:34. So the eunuch answered Philip and said, "I ask you, of whom does the prophet say this, of himself or of some other man?'' 35. Then Philip opened his mouth, and beginning at this Scripture, preached Jesus to him. 36. Now as they went down the road, they came to some water. And the eunuch said, "See, here is water. What hinders me from being baptized?'' 37. Then Philip said, "If you believe with all your heart, you may.'' And he answered and said, "I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.'' 38. So he commanded the chariot to stand still. And both Philip and the eunuch went down into the water, and he baptized him. 39. Now when they came up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught Philip away, so that the eunuch saw him no more; and he went on his way rejoicing.
1 Peter 5:1. The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2. Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by constraint but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3. nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock;
To the Saving of Our Soul: When we study the King James Version which has the longest history of being one of the earliest bible translations in English that's available today, will show that "being saved" was reference to some point in the future when Jesus would gather His church to be with Him forever. I do not believe that God's children should refer to themselves as being saved today but rather that they are the son's and/or children of God. Believing we're saved today is an erroneous teaching for it implies that there's no longer a need for the Holy Spirit to lead and direct them "to the saving" of their soul. Also, to take claim of being saved today brings division because then that belief births the question, can we then lose our salvation once we've been saved and because of this unsettled possibility, we have the body of Christ divided into two groups, one believing they can and the others believing they can't. I personally believe that the bible supports the concept that our dependency upon God through Christ needs to be clearly established all the way to the end of our lives. Otherwise Satan is wasting his time in tempting those that are already Christ's as referenced in the following Scriptures.
Hebrews 10:38. Now the just shall live by faith; but if anyone draws back, my soul has no pleasure in him.'' 39. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.
1 Peter 1:9. receiving the end of your faith the salvation of your souls.
Matthew 10:22. "And you will be hated by all for My name's sake. But he who endures to the end will be saved.
Matthew 24:12. "And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. 13. "But he who endures to the end shall be saved.
1 Corinthians 1:18. For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
Looking Out for the Interests of Others: Philippians 2:4. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
1 Corinthians 15:34. Awake to righteousness, and do not sin; for some do not have the knowledge of God. I speak this to your shame.