Church is an Organized Body
As we move to consider membership, elders, and Deacons we come to the organizational part of the church. There is order in the church and a way in which things must be done. Concerning this, it is very beneficial to note the following quote and the biblical references from A. H. Strong:
That there was such organization is abundantly shown from (a) its stated meetings, (b) elections, and (c) officers; (d) from the designations of its ministers, together with (e) the recognized authority of the minister and of the church; (f) from its discipline, (g) contributions, (h) letters of commendation, (i) registers of widows, (j) uniform customs, and (k) ordinances; (l) from the order enjoined and observed, (m) the qualifications for membership, and (n) the common work of the whole body.
(a) Acts 20:7—“upon the first day of the week, when we were gathered together to break bread, Paul discoursed with them”; Heb. 10:25—“not forsaking our own assembling together, as the custom of some is, but exhorting one another.”
(b) Acts 1:23-26—the election of Matthias; 6:5, 6—the election of Deacons.
(c) Phil. 1:1—“the saints in Christ Jesus that are at Philippi, with the bishops and Deacons.”
(d) Acts 20:17, 28—“the elders of the church ... the flock, in which the Holy Spirit hath made you bishops[marg.: ‘overseers’].”
(e) Mat. 18:17—“And if he refuse to hear them, tell it unto the church: and if he refuse to hear the church also, let him be unto thee as the Gentile and the publican”; 1 Pet. 5:2—“Tend the flock of God which is among you, exercising the oversight, not of constraint, but willingly, according to the will of God.”
(f) 1 Cor. 5:4, 5, 13—“in the name of our Lord Jesus, ye being gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus, to deliver such a one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.... Put away the wicked man from among yourselves.”
(g) Rom. 15:26—“For it hath been the good pleasure of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints that are at Jerusalem”; 1 Cor. 16:1, 2—“Now concerning the collection for the saints, as I [pg 895]gave order to the churches of Galatia, so also do ye. Upon the first day of the week let each one of you lay by him in store, as he may prosper, that no collection be made when I come.”
(h) Acts 18:27—“And when he was minded to pass over into Achaia, the brethren encouraged him, and wrote to the disciples to receive him”; 2 Cor. 3:1—“Are we beginning again to commend ourselves? or need we, as do some, epistles of commendation to you or from you?”
(i) 1 Tim. 5:9—“Let none be enrolled as a widow under threescore years old”; cf. Acts 6:1—“there arose a murmuring of the Grecian Jews against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.”
(j) 1 Cor. 11:16—“But if any man seemeth to be contentious, we have no such custom, neither the churches of God.”
(k) Acts 2:41—“They then that received his word were baptized”; 1 Cor. 11:23-...