Today’s text: Romans 1:8-17
- At first glance, this passage may seem insignificant…
- Behind it is the assumption of Apostolic authority & the practice of a Bishop, which was witnessed to in the NT, Paul’s Letter, and the ECF;
- Within the text, are hidden pearls of theology
Tonight your guest shared the unfortunate way in which a Southern Baptist Minister told your guest that the guest’s brother was going to hell because your guest did not know if his brother was saved. You responded by saying something like a guy feels he is called to preach and does not have to answer to a bishop
My question is do you think Baptist ministers are not legitimate clergy because Baptists do not have bishops?
“So Jesus answered them, ‘My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me; if any man’s will is to do his will, he shall know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. He who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory; but he who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.’”
“But how are men to call upon him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? And how can men preach unless they are sent?”
At first glance, this passage may seem insignificant, sounds like merely an introduction, breaking ice with these Christians he has never met, before he gets into the meat of the letter, but behind it is the assumption of Apostolic authority & the practice of a Bishop, which was witnessed to in the NT, Paul’s Letter, and the ECF.
“And the twelve summoned the body of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brethren, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
“The saying is sure: If any one aspires to the office of bishop, he desires a noble task.”
1 Tim 3:1
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus, and what you have heard from me before many witnesses entrust to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”
2 Tim 2:1,2
“So, since I have sen the entire congregation in the aforementioned persons, I exhort you to be diligent to practice everything in harmony with God, as the bishop leads in the place of God and the presbyters in the place of the council of the apostles and of the deacons—those sweetest to me—who have been entrusted with the service of Jesus Christ who was with the Father before all ages and has appeared at the end [of the world].”
Ignatius of Antioch, Letter to the Magnesians
The Work of an Apostolic Bishop:
A: Intercession of Thanksgiving:
8: First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you,
because your faith is proclaimed in all the world.
9: For God is my witness,
whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son,
that without ceasing I mention you always in my prayers,
10: …asking that somehow by God’s will I may now at last succeed in coming to you.
11a: For I long to see you, …
13a: I want you to know, brethren,
that I have often intended to come to you
(but thus far have been prevented),…
C: SPIRITUAL FELLOWSHIP:
11b:that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you,
12: that is, that we may be mutually encouraged
by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.
in order that I may reap some harvest among you
as well as among the rest of the Gentiles.
14: I am under obligation both to Greeks and to barbarians,
both to the wise and to the foolish:
E: PROCLAMATION OF THE GOSPEL:
15: so I am eager to preach the gospel to you also who are in Rome.
16: For I am not ashamed of the gospel:
(a) it is the power of God for salvation
to every one who has faith,
to the Jew first and also to the Greek.
17: (b) For in it the righteousness of God is revealed
through faith for faith;
as it is written,
“He who through faith is righteous shall live.”
Hidden Pearls of Theology:
1: 8a, “I thank my God through Jesus Christ:
2: 16-17, The Gospel:
a: “the power of God for salvationto every one who has faith”
b: “the righteousness of God is revealed through faith for faith”.