Autonomy of the Local Church
Recognizing the Bible as the authoritative word of God, gives cause
to obedience. The New Testament contains sufficient instruction on the
organization of the autonomous local church. All we need do is follow it.
The biblical teaching, and histories witness, have made it very clear that
obedience is essential. Organizational hierarchy in the church is unbiblical.
History has shown the grave consequent of such an order.
1. The Local Church Elects Its Own Officers
Acts 6:1-7 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was
multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews,
because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration. 2. Then
the twelve called the multitude of the disciples [unto them], and said,
It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3. Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report,
full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4. But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry
of the word. 5. And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose
Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus,
and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
6. Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid
their hands on them. 7. And the word of God increased; and the number of
the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the
priests were obedient to the faith.
2. The Local Church Ordains Its own Ministers
Acts 13:1-4 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain
prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and
Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the
tetrarch, and Saul. 2. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the
Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I
have called them. 3. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their
hands on them, they sent them away. 4. So they, being sent forth by the
Holy Ghost, departed unto Seleucia; and from thence they sailed to Cyprus
3. The Local Church Disciplines Its Own Members
Matthew 18:15-18 Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee,
go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear
thee, thou hast gained thy brother. 16. But if he will not hear thee, then
take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses
every word may be established. 17. And if he shall neglect to hear them,
tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him
be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 18. Verily I say unto you,
Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever
ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
4. The Local Church Conducts Its own Business
I Corinthians 16:1-3 Now concerning the collection for the saints,
as I have given order to the churches of Galatia, even so do ye. 2 Upon
the first [day] of the week let every one of you lay by him in store, as
[God] hath prospered him, that there be no gatherings when I come.
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