11 And [kai] he [autos] gave [didomi] some, [men] apostles; [apostolos] and [de] some, prophets; [prophetes]
and [de] some, evangelists; [euaggelistes] and [de] some, pastors [poimen] and [kai] teachers; [didaskalos]KJV-Interlinear
11 And He
gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some
as pastors and teachers, NASB
The Christian Church did not come into existence haphazardly or by accident or arbitrarily. God does not do anything apart from a formalized plan. God is organized.
Christ set up an administration for the development of, and the perpetuation of, the Church as we know it in our dispensation.
Among the many gifts that He bestows on believers are five mentioned here, which are used primarily for the education and growth applications of believers. Each has specific functions and specific objectives.
Without an education, you cannot know anything. Even if that education comes from the streets, it is still an education and without it, you would be totally ignorant of knowledge, which would make you ignorant of understanding, which in turn would make you totally ignorant of wisdom, which would make you a total fool.
If applied to the spiritual life, then no spiritual knowledge means no relationship with God, which means no good future.
So, God gave to the very first generation two special gifts, that of apostle and that of prophet.
Of the gift of apostle, there were several requirements. An apostle had to receive his commission direct from Christ, Matt 10:5; he possessed supernatural gifts, Matt 10:8; it was necessary for him to have seen the Lord, Acts 1:22; his district of authority was the whole world, Matt 28:19; Mark 16:15.
Today there are no apostles, even though many disrespectfully use that title.
There were only twelve apostles listed in history and they all lived in that very first century. They set the foundation of the Christian Church as we know it today. Certainly since that century, there have been many changes and rearrangements through the many denominations, but the foundation of the Church was established by those apostles.
Then there were prophets. These are folks that had lesser authority but still have unique insight into the things of God, Acts 21:11. After the scriptures had been completed with the writing of the Book or Revelation, this office of prophet also vanished and is no longer in use. The completion of the canon of scripture ended all direct communication from God.
However, now that the scriptures had been completed, there were going to be generations of people that would need to learn that which had been written, because obviously all of those original people would be dead and gone, making conversation with them a little difficult.
So God created three additional offices, that of evangelism, that of pastor, and that of teacher. These are three different offices, but could obviously be held by one or two or three different people.
The evangelist of the original first century, applied to those who were not assigned to a specific region, but to those who traveled and taught the good news of the gospel to people, whom they met, in their travels. The evangelist certainly spread the news of the gospel of salvation, but they were not limited in that communication alone.
Pastors were folks that were otherwise engaged in the oversight of a specific congregation. They would oversee the local church, its administration, and the education of the local membership, or those who attended that churches services.
The teacher, applied to people who taught the scriptures to a specific audience or to a general audience.
As the pastor focused on the education of his congregation, the teacher focused on the education of their class or classes of students that came to learn doctrine.
So through all of these gifts, the knowledge of salvation was made known, and the knowledge of spiritual growth was made available, and the stability of a spiritually growing audience was made possible.
This verse makes it very clear that these gifts are from God, and not developed by any human means. An education is necessary, but the credentials of an education are irrelevant as God is able to make clear to all who possess the gifts that He gives, the details of those gifts.
The gift is paramount, the credentials are secondary.
Far too many folks throughout history have possessed credentials, and they knew nothing. After all Christ was crucified by the 'experts.'
Likewise there have been far too many folks throughout history that have known nothing and they certainly knew nothing, but presented themselves as experts.
Often times the only way you know the real from the phony, is through the test of time and the content of their message. But then you have to know something in order to make the right discernments and know when you are being hustled, as it were.
The administration of knowledge and growth is paramount for the stability and continuation of the Church as well as the individual believer, and that knowledge and understanding and growth comes only from doctrine. Without it, doctrine, everything else in life is irrelevant and of no value. Only with doctrine in the soul, does anything else in life gain value.
Table of Contents
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End Of Lesson
Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.
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