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#40306 Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:47 PM
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William Offline OP
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<font size="5"><font face="Arial Black">Was Matthias God’s Choice to replace Judas?</font></font>

<font face="Arial Black">I think not. Paul was God's choice.</font>

Quote
Some reasons why Matthias was not God’s Choice:

Jesus told His disciples to wait. Luke 24:49

Lord did not tell His disciples to replace Judas.

The disciples never chose disciples before this.

The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them.
</font>

[color:"0000FF"]From something I have read, will give credit later.[/color]

<font size="5"><font face="Arial Black">Acts 1:15-26</font></font>

Quote
<font face="Arial Black">[color:"0000FF"] 15 ¶ And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)

16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.

17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.

18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take.

21 Wherefore of these men which have companied with us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us,

22 Beginning from the baptism of John, unto that same day that he was taken up from us, must one be ordained to be a witness with us of his resurrection.

23 And they appointed two, Joseph called Barsabas, who was surnamed Justus, and Matthias.

24 And they prayed, and said, Thou, Lord, which knowest the hearts of all men, shew whether of these two thou hast chosen,

25 That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.

26 And they gave forth their lots; and the lot fell upon Matthias; and he was numbered with the eleven apostles.</font>[/color]



Have a good Lord's day,
William



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William,

Actually, after reading through the narrative closely, especially in the Greek, I have to conclude that Matthias was indeed ordained of God to replace Judas Iscariot as the twelfth Apostle. Let us not disregard the fact that God most often uses secondary means to accomplish His divine will among men. It appears to me, at least, that Peter and the other Apostles were applying the OT Scriptures under the guidance of the Holy Spirit in that situation. J.A. Alexander in his excellent commentary on Acts deals with the entire process of the choosing of a replacement for Judas in great detail. At the end of his comments he makes the following observation which I offer for your consideration:


The validity of this whole proceeding has been questioned, upon several grounds; because there is no express command recorded; because Peter was habitually rash and forward; because the Holy Ghost was not yet given to qualify them for such functions; because we read nothing more of Matthias in the history; and lastly, because Paul is thus excluded from the number of the twelve apostles. To these specious arguments it may be answered, that a command is often left to be inferred from the recorded execution, and vice versa; that this, although proposed by Peter, was no more his act than that of the whole body; that the choice was really the act of neither, but of God himself; that the history is equally silent as to most of the apostles; and that Paul might with more probability be reckoned the successor of James the Son of Zebedee than of Judas Iscariot; or rather that he was not one of the twelve at all, but an additional apostle for the Gentiles, as the twelve were the apostles of the circumcision.

Add to all this, that they who had been called the eleven since the death of Judas, are afterwards called the twelve, and that while Saul was still an enemy of Christ; and consider the extreme improbability that so much space would have been given, in so brief a history and at such a juncture, to an unauthorized proceeding of this nature, not omitting even the accompanying prayer, and yet without the slightest intimation or its being uncommanded, and consequently null and void. But apart from these considerations, the whole question, if there is one, seems to be determined by the last words of the narrative itself, which admit of but one natural interpretation, namely, that Matthias was now reckoned, by divine right, as the twelfth apostle. (Compare Matt. 28:16. Mark 16:14. Luke 24:9, 33, with Acts 2:14. 6:2.)


In His grace,


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William Offline OP
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Pilgrim,

Thanks, I will ponder what you posted. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratchchin.gif" alt="" />

This is from a monthly publication I received 3 years ago and it has stuck with me ever since. Though I cannot be dogmatic about it as of today I lean toward the minority view that Paul was God's choice to replace Judas Iscariot.

Williams <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/my2cents.gif" alt="" />

Issue 1 – August/2005 – Was Matthias God’s Choice? – Acts 1:15-26 <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/read.gif" alt="" />

The author Dr. J. D. Watson likes to use the original languages in his articles. I think you might find him interesting.

Anyone else care to express their opinion?


Have a good Lord's day,
William


Quote
William said:
<font size="5">Was Matthias God’s Choice to replace Judas?</font>

I think not. Paul was God's choice.

[quote]Some reasons why Matthias was not God’s Choice:

Jesus told His disciples to wait. Luke 24:49

Lord did not tell His disciples to replace Judas.

The disciples never chose disciples before this.

The Holy Spirit had not yet come upon them.

[color:"0000FF"]<span style="background-color:#FFFF00">From something I have read, will give credit later.*</span>[/color]

<span style="background-color:#FFFF00">*see link above</span>

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This thread raises an interesting point. Should the churches today use this method of casting lots to select office bearers? Obviously Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus give us the qualifications for an elder and a deacon. However, if you have a list of men who meet these qualifications would it be appropriate to select from among them by casting lots?

Are there any examples of casting lots after Penticost?


Wes <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/scratch1.gif" alt="" />


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Wes #40310 Sun Aug 17, 2008 8:13 PM
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Wes said:
This thread raises an interesting point. Should the churches today use this method of casting lots to select office bearers? Obviously Paul's letters to Timothy and Titus give us the qualifications for an elder and a deacon. However, if you have a list of men who meet these qualifications would it be appropriate to select from among them by casting lots?

Are there any examples of casting lots after Penticost?
There are no examples of casting lots after Pentecost. This method of choosing among choices, whether it was land, individuals, etc., was done regularly in the OT, e.g., cf. Lev 16:8; Jos 18:6,8,10; 1Sam 14:42; 1Chr 24:31; 25:8; 26:13-14; Neh 10:34; 11:1; Ps 22:18; Joel 3:3; Obed 1:11; Jonah 1:7; Nah 3:10. It must be remembered that when Matthias and Barnabas were considered, the Church was in its infancy and during the transitional period between the old and new covenant administrations. So, for the Apostles or the 120 who were involved in those proceedings, casting lots was a legitimate method of discerning God's will. The final choice was still God's and not man's.

Once the Epistles began to be distributed in which the regulations for ecclesiastical polity were written down, the casting of lots was no longer acceptable. The qualifications for Elder and Deacon were very explicit and thus those who met those qualifications were to be considered as the Holy Spirit worked in the minds and hearts of those who would make the actual choices. In short, as the Church matured those things which were practiced in the old covenant administration were no longer valid.

These are my initial thoughts. I'm sure there are more reasons why the casting of lots was abandoned after Pentecost. The more salient issue remains whether the choosing of Matthias or anyone, for that matter, was a mistake forced by men or if it was a choice ordained and acceptable to God. Many of the reasons given for supporting that it was a mistake are without much weight, IMHO, e.g., no further mention of Matthias. The same can be said about the majority of the other twelve, but I'm sure they wouldn't be considered a mistake. Secondly, if it was contrary to the will of God, I would expect that the process would have been stopped by God and a rebuke given. We do have examples of this very thing in the life of Peter where he made choices which were wrong and he was corrected. (cf. Acts 10:9ff; Gal 2:11ff)

In His grace,


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Thanks for the reply Jeff. There are those today who prefer to use a means less democratic because they believe it becomes a popularity contest. They contend that the same men get re-elected quite frequently. I'm not sure if that is just sour grapes coming from those who never seem to get elected or if it’s a legitimate argument. Some men want to serve in the offices of the church and have been nominated a number of times and yet never elected. Thus it’s been said that the method of voting is flawed and becomes a popularity contest.

I haven't done much of a research on this topic. However, I did notice that one of the older confessions of the church the Belgic Confession uses the term election in Article 31.

The Officers of the Church

"We believe that ministers of the Word of God, elders, and deacons ought to be chosen to their offices by a legitimate election of the church, with prayer in the name of the Lord, and in good order, as the Word of God teaches."

In addition I found an article in my church's manuel for church government that references the purpose and function of congregational meetings.

Quote
Article 37

The council, besides seeking the cooperation of the congregation in the
election of officebearers, shall also invite its judgment about other major
matters, except those which pertain to the supervision and discipline of
the congregation. For this purpose the council shall call a meeting at least
annually of all members entitled to vote. Such a meeting shall be conducted
by the council, and only those matters which it presents shall be considered.
Although full consideration shall be given to the judgment expressed by
the congregation, the authority for making and carrying out final decisions
remains with the council as the governing body of the church.

Maybe that's enough said. Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.

Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
Wes #40312 Mon Aug 18, 2008 6:26 AM
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Re-elected? That's a novel idea... but I don't see term limits for church officers in the Scriptures. I can see [/i]replacing[/i] officers who have been disqualified or gone home to be with the Lord, but not retaining them by a vote... though there have been times I've wished for such a thing in my own church. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" />

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We used to take a vote (in the tally the numbers, majority wins sense) on elders/pastors and deacons, but a few years ago the constitution was changed because of the conviction that it was not thoroughly Biblical on several grounds:

1. You never see a church voting for their elders (much less the color of the carpet) in the way most churches do. The church is NOT a democracy. Elders and deacons are not chosen by the congregation but by Christ. The local church does, however, recognize them.

2. It does not leave room for needed understanding between the man under consideration and the members of the congregation who don't vote for him. To not vote for an elder is to say that they are not qualified for that position. This should be dealt with privately and then taken to the elders if the issue is not resolved. And, unfortunately, we learned this by personal experience. But the issue is thankfully and joyously resolved!!!

3. The congregation still submits names to the elders at each business meeting for consideration for elder and deacon. And they appreciate this immensely! Since I have been at my church, we have added one deacon and one elder, and both are men that I (and many others) noted as being qualified for the offices.

This is what our constitution says now:

Quote
ARTICLE IX - CHURCH OFFICERS
A. Appointment of Church Officers
1. General Statement
a. There are two offices in the church, elders and deacons. The calling of elders and deacons is the prerogative of the Lord Jesus Christ alone. However, He has ordained that each local church exercise the responsibility of recognizing those whom He has called to be elders and deacons in that particular church. The number of officers shall not be fixed. The church shall set apart men for each office according to the qualifications for that office and the need of the congregation.
b. Elders and deacons are ordained to office by the laying on of hands by the eldership (1 Tim 4:14). This is an expression of approval for which the elders are responsible. Therefore, each office bearer must have the approval, not only of the church as a whole, but of the eldership in particular.
c. The Lord's calling of an individual to either of these offices is recognized by means of that individual's possession of those graces and gifts required by Scripture for the particular office and his own conviction that the Lord is calling him to minister in that office. The recognition of office bearers is a matter of such importance that it should never be dealt with without much prayerful waiting upon God, an honest perusal of the relevant passages of Scripture, and a frank evaluation of those who are being considered. Each member of the congregation has a spiritual responsibility to be intelligently informed regarding these matters.

2. Procedure of Appointment
The recognition of those whom the Lord has called to bear office in this church is executed in four steps: nomination, congregational evaluation, appointment, and ordination.
a. Nomination
Nominations to either office are made by the eldership. At least once every year at the annual business meeting an advisory ballot shall be taken. On this ballot each member in good standing may write the name of any male member(s) and the office for which he believes that member to be qualified. Giving consideration to these advisory ballots, the elders shall nominate to office the men who in their judgment are qualified for that office. Upon nominating such a man, the Scriptural qualifications for the office shall be clearly laid before the people.
b. Evaluation by the Congregation
After a man has been nominated to the office of elder or deacon, the congregation shall be charged with the responsibility to carefully consider his life and doctrine in light of the Biblical qualifications for a period of at least three months. Any concerns about the candidate should be expressed to him and, if not resolved, to the elders as well. Any commendation or concern expressed to the elders must be put in writing and signed by the member expressing such concern. As well, during this period, the elders shall seek to canvass the people regarding the qualifications of the man put forth for office.
c. Appointment by the Elders
If, at any time, concerns are raised such that the elders determine the person is not qualified for the office, they shall announce and explain his removal from consideration. However, if in the evaluation of the elders no such disqualifying concerns are evident, and the period of evaluation has confirmed the man as qualified for the office, he shall be appointed to that office by the elders of the church.
d. Ordination
Following the appointment of an office bearer there shall be a portion of a regular worship service set aside at which time the office bearer shall be ordained by the laying on of the hands of the eldership. This solemn act should always be accompanied by the special prayers of the whole church (Acts 13:1-3; 1 Tim 5:22).

Reformed Baptist Church of Louisville


True godliness is a sincere feeling which loves God as Father as much as it fears and reverences Him as Lord, embraces His righteousness, and dreads offending Him worse than death~ Calvin
Robin #40314 Mon Aug 18, 2008 10:51 AM
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Quote
Robin said:

Re-elected? That's a novel idea... but I don't see term limits for church officers in the Scriptures. I can see [/i]replacing[/i] officers who have been disqualified or gone home to be with the Lord, but not retaining them by a vote... though there have been times I've wished for such a thing in my own church. <img src="/forum/images/graemlins/giggle.gif" alt="" />

Interesting thoughts. I don't see term limits either. I also don't see them for pastors who seem to stay with a congregation for a number of years and then move on to another congregation.

I'm not sure where this practice originated but while some churches have the view "once and elder, always an elder" some other's view an elder as "active" or "inactive" depending on whether they are currently in or out of office at the time. I suppose that since being in office can make significant demands on one's time the idea of term limits are intended to allow for a time of renewal while employing others to continue the work. Maybe someone else can explain where this practice began and why.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts
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Quote
MarieP said:

We used to take a vote (in the tally the numbers, majority wins sense) on elders/pastors and deacons, but a few years ago the constitution was changed because of the conviction that it was not thoroughly Biblical on several grounds:

1. You never see a church voting for their elders (much less the color of the carpet) in the way most churches do. The church is NOT a democracy. Elders and deacons are not chosen by the congregation but by Christ. The local church does, however, recognize them.

Marie,

In most Reformed churches the vote of the congregation is simply a confirmation of those men the elders have put forth as biblically qualified. It's quite different than a democratic approach which allows anyone to be nominated and elected by the congregation.

As you may have noticed from my previous reply I was wondering if it would still be appropriate to cast lots in making the final selection from among the nominees as opposed to a congregational vote. Some feel casting lots would allow God alone to determine His choice. Since it's not mentioned in the Bible as a method of selecting leaders after Penticost it may be because all true believers being endowed by the Holy Spirit can discern the man from among the nominees that would be most appropriate to serve at this time. Thus their vote allows their voice to be heard and confirms the man from among the candidates the elders have presented.

In all these approaches it is essential to trust the Lord for providing the leadership His Church will need.


Wes


When I survey the wondrous cross on which the Prince of Glory died, my richest gain I count but loss and pour contempt on all my pride. - Isaac Watts

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