2013-08-04 - Working Together for the Gospel
3 John ~ Part 6
Once again, John restrains himself from further comment. He desired to go to this body, and he intended to leave any additional comments for that opportunity.
And so John closes his letter with a blessing of peace and greetings from those around him.
This last section of the final epistles can serve as a warning to the local church. Remember that our responsibility is to make disciples in obedience to the Lord. And we carry out this work, as we love Him and one another. We must never allow anything or anyone to interfere with that ministry.
This means we can disagree on secondary issues. But at the same time, these disagreements don't have to be problems. Nothing in Scripture requires that we agree on everything. But we are called to love each other anyway.
The relationships within the church are a lot like the relationships within a marriage. We don't have to agree on everything with our spouse. But we are to love him or her, and do all we can to express our love.
Where churches follow individuals instead of Scripture, they are in a dangerous position. Even if the person is serving God, we are never to put them on a pedestal. Christ, not a man,is the head of the church.
Second, the Biblical pattern of church authority requires a plurality of elders to be responsible for oversight of the church. No one person is ever to hold an authoritarian role within the church, no matter how sound that man may be.
Finally, there should be an effort for churches to work together to advance the kingdom. If there is accord on the basics of salvation and the foundational doctrines that have defined historic orthodoxy, then there is no cause for separatism.
To be continued.
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