JohnSWilson3 Blog

A Response to an Ordination Analysis.

This is a response to a brother’s analysis of ordination in Scripture, specifically from Acts 6, 13, and 1 Timothy 4 and 2 Timothy 1.

While others I’m sure can give a better description of these passages I am coming from an organic perspective, Jesus headship perspective of His body. I am definitely not going to say this is the exact interpretation in the matter and I am sure others can provide more details.

In this light I see Acts 6, because there was a divisive issue that threatened the unity of the body of Christ, it was necessary to determine how best to bring unity back to the body. The body of Christ lived a shared life; they had all things in common. “The Grecian Jews among them complained against the Hebraic Jews because their widows were being overlooked in the daily distribution of food.” Complaining and arguing is not representative of living by the Spirit. They had lost their focus as Jesus as head. I guess we can take this a couple ways. It seems the distribution of food had become a program run by the Twelve and had evidently had “overlooked” these widows. The body should have been involved in doing this, relationally like they had in the beginning, instead of only the Twelve doing this. I think it is evident that those “chosen” by the body to help with the Grecian Jewish widows were those who were Grecian. The Twelve confirmed what God had done in the body by praying and laying their hands on them. The Twelve’s focus seems to have gotten off of Jesus as Head, they were considered to be sent ones to share Jesus Christ and form communities of the living Christ. I think this is the reason for Jesus to allow a persecution to occur in order to send out His people beyond just Jerusalem. Of course we know later that Peter and Paul had their issues and when Paul came back to Jerusalem time and again he was dealing with issues of legalism in the Jerusalem church.

Acts 13 is God commissioning Paul and Barnabas for the calling Paul had already received many years earlier as well as Barnabas (who was a sent one from the church in Jerusalem and a church planter). These early years of Paul enabled him to live by Jesus life in an organic way in the body of Christ in the church in Antioch. At a certain point in time God in His timing spoke to the church that it was now time to “set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” The body was under the headship of Jesus Christ, I think that has a major implication for what the laying on of hands refers to. The body seeing the life of Jesus in these two, knowing their calling already, placed their hands on them to signify and to agree that Jesus was Head over their lives, Jesus was Lord over them. The church body was manifesting Jesus in His fullness at Antioch and they came together and agreed with the Holy Spirit on what He was saying. When the body is in agreement then that indicates unity and enables the body to see God’s timing in the matter. Think this can be seen a number of times, and a major aspect of the manifestation of Jesus life in the body, as noted from Jesus’ prayer in John and of course the letters in the New Testament.

The letters to Timothy are letters from Paul, a church planter, sent to Timothy, his assistant church planter, and in fact functioning as a church planter in Paul’s stead. In 1 Timothy 4 I see Paul’s instructions that are vitally important to a church planter, things I’m sure he had taught Timothy many years ago, both on the road, in forming churches, and actually doing it, but repeating them. A church planter (or apostle in a basic sense), according to what Paul gives us in his letters lives a very burdensome life, but a most wonderful life to expound the riches of Jesus Christ and to help form churches who believe the message and help them to live by Jesus life. it is burdensome because of the traveling to and from the churches in various homes in various cities and the concern for the health of the churches. Timothy was a convert from Paul’s first church planting journey and had been living in organic church life in Lystra. On his second journey, encouraging the churches that had formed earlier, he found Timothy. It seems Paul now realized he needed additional assistants who had a certain character to help plant churches who lived by Jesus life. He found that Timothy was well spoken of and apparently saw his life as he spent time with these churches and saw God’s calling in his life. (Acts 16). The church saw God’s timing in Paul arriving and the giftings for the work and those who were the older believers (body of elders) “laid their hands on” him, signifying Jesus Headship over Timothy and agreeing together under the lordship of Jesus Christ. The same can be said for 2 Timothy 1 where Paul was reminding Timothy of this event that had occurred, now many more years in the past.

I think Paul, because of his long tenure as a church planter had future church planters, and the importance of the work, in mind when he wrote 1 & 2 Timothy, along with Titus. I think, while these 3 letters have important applications for all those in the body, especially for those who help guide the body to keep Jesus lordship in their lives and gatherings, they were specific to church planters.

A lot here and sure there is more to include but think this sums up what I think you asked brother. Really appreciate the opportunity to share! God bless brother!


1 Comment so far
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For continuity, I will continue this discussion where it started:

Thanks for the interaction.

Comment by Mael Disseau

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