For God is not the author of confusion but of peace… Let all things be done decently and in order. 1 Corinthians 14.33, 40
1 Clement 42
Clement of Rome (fl. ca. 90-100 AD)
“The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ; Jesus Christ [has done so] from God. Christ therefore was sent forth by God, and the apostles by Christ. Both these appointments, then, were made in an orderly way, according to all the will of God. Having therefore received their orders, and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and established in the Word of God, with full assurance of the Holy Ghost, they went forth proclaiming that the Kingdom of God was at hand. And thus preaching through countries and cities, they appointed the first-fruits [of their labours], having first proved them by the Spirit, to be bishops and deacons of those who should afterwards believe.”
God does not do things willy-nilly. He is not a God of whim, fancy, or fashion, but of order. Clement reminded the Corinthians that the order of presbyters (bishops) and deacons, working together to provide pastoral leadership for churches, had been established by the apostles on ancient foundations (he cites Isaiah 60.17 in the next sentence beyond our quote). God knows how He wants to guide the work of building the Church and making disciples. He has established the order we should follow. Certain members of the Corinthian churches thought they knew better than the Lord. Clement has been graciously ramping-up to a severe dressing-down, which he is about to unload.
The Scriptures refer to church leaders as shepherds (Ezek. 34; Eph. 4.11, 12; 1 Pet. 5.1-3). What does the work of shepherding God’s flock entail?
T. M. Moore
Shepherding in the Christian Worldview
Our course, One in Twelve: Introduction to Christian Worldview, offers an overview of the work of shepherding, and shows how this disciple-making ministry fits into our overall Kingdom calling. There’s no charge for this course, and all the course materials are free. In 12 diagrams you will gain a perspective and overall grasp of the 1 worldview that can change the world. Click here to register. Here’s a great opportunity for you and your leaders to get on the same page for a vision of the Kingdom that could change your lives and your church.
The Writing Pastor
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.