The only person who has ever been fully qualified to oversee the church according to God is Christ. We are taught over and over again that Christ is the head of the church, and rightly so because He is the head of the church. Yet, our stringent adherence to the pastorial epistles coupled with law-based theology has undermined Christ’s headship; rather placing it directly in the hands of man. Unfortunately, the over-zealous and often dogmatic emphasis given to the authority of scripture so prevelant in many of our modern schools of theology has in fact become a stumbling block rather than an asset. Especially in regards to the saints actually learning and knowing God. The authority of scripture taking preeminence over the revelatory power of the Holy Spirit. Which brings us back to point.
If Jesus is the only qualified overseer to the church according to God, and the Holy Spirit is in fact the active part of Christ in us, what then should be our focal point when teaching; the authority of scripture, or Christ in us? The answer to this question should be simple; because for all pretense and purposes it is. The problem of course rests with man and his propensity to hold the reigns at all costs even though knowing, particularly in this case, to do so seeks to restrict the power of God.
The scriptures were given to lead us to Christ; that we may both receive and proclaim the power of the ressurected life. The scriptures were not given to lead us to Christ so that He in turn would lead us right back to the deadness of the letter, once again placing us under the authority of scripture and a new set of laws! No! The scriptures, i.e. God’s word has and will always have one main theme; that man be reconciled to God through Christ and find peace in his soul. Eternal freedom! For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. ~ Romans 8:2 For we did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but we received the spirit of adoption by which we cry out, “Abba, Father.” ~ Romans 8:15
The history of the early church as recorded in the book of Acts has one primary leading; which is of course the third person in the trinity…the Holy Spirit. Which is actually God Himself, harmoniously orchestrating the inner workings and power of the God-head. There were no apostolic doctrines to follow. The epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Galatians, etc. were written long before the so-called pastorial epistles of I and II Timothy or Titus; which means that these early saints were actually lead by the Lord Jesus Himself. And with that said, is it any wonder that these early years were the most dynamic and fruitful years in Christian history? Lord that we would hear and return!
George L. Miller