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Setting a Man Over the Congregation



Ordination is first of all a simple confirmation that God has indeed called a man and that he has faithfully shown the evidences of this call.

  • He is called by the Holy Ghost
  • He is recommended by a presbytery of godly men
  • He is placed in office by the local church

Ordination places some honor from those who do the ordaining upon the man who is being ordained

  • The presbytery examines the man and recommends him to the church.
  • The church declares their confidence in the man by virtue of what they have seen in his life and ministry.
  • The presbytery places some of their honor on the man until he can, by virtue of his life and labor, earn his own honor.
    1. Requested by Moses (Numbers 27:15-16)
      1. God leads through men
        1. Moses requesting a man
        2. Elijah anointing Elisha (1 Kings 19:16, 19-21)
      2. We must be seeking laborers (Matthew 9:37-38)
      3. We must be training leaders (2 Timothy 2:2)
    2. Called by God (Numbers 27:16) Let the LORDset a man
      1. God alone knows the heart of every man (Numbers 27:16; 1 Samuel 16:7) the God of the spirits of all flesh
      2. God must ultimately do the calling
        1. Placing into the ministry (1 Timothy 1:12)
        2. Sending on a mission (Acts 13:1-4)
    3. Set Over the Congregation (Numbers 27:16)
      1. A position of authority
        1. An overseer of the flock (Acts 20:28)
        2. One who rules (Hebrews 13:7; 1 Timothy 3:4-5, 10-13)
      2. A position of responsibility
        1. His authority is derived from another; he is a steward (1 Corinthians 4:1-2)
        2. As one that must give account (Hebrews 13:17)
        3. The balance of authority and responsibility (1 Peter 5:2-3)
        4. He must be a servant first (Matthew 20:25-28; Romans 1:1)
    1. His Visibility (Numbers 27:17) before them
      1. Required to have a good report (1 Timothy 3:7)
      2. To be an ensample to the flock (1 Peter 5:3)
      3. As living in a glass house (1 Samuel 18:12-16)
        1. The loss of freedom
        2. Pressure on the family
    2. His Vision
      1. To lead them out (Numbers 27:17)
        1. Not for his own glory (Jeremiah 45:5)
        2. But as a steward of God (2 Corinthians 4:1-2)
        3. To have a vision for the work (Proverbs 29:18)
      2. To bring them in (Numbers 27:17); to bring them back safely; to care for them
        1. Ministry is people; he must never lose sight of this
        2. He must watch for their souls (Hebrews 13:17)
      3. Note: In 9AD, Quinctilius Varus took three Roman legions into Germany. He foolishly got trapped in a dense German forest and lost the entire army (about 20,000 men). After this disaster, Augustus Caesar was heard repeating over and over, Quinctilius Varus, give me back my legions!
    3. His Vitality (Numbers 27:18) a man in whom is the spirit
      1. He must be Spirit-filled (Acts 6:3; Ephesians 5:18); that is, he must be surrendered to the leadership and control of the Spirit
      2. He must be Spirit-fed (1 Corinthians 2:12-13); he must be always feeding on the word of God (Jeremiah 15:16)
      3. He must be Spirit-led (Romans 8:16); he must be able to seek and find Gods leadership; then, he must be willing to follow it
    1. His Confirmation
      1. Moses took him (Numbers 27:18, 22)
      2. Moses set him before the congregation (Numbers 27:19, 22)
      3. This gave a two-fold confirmation of his divine calling; from both Moses and the congregation
    2. His Commission
      1. Lay thine hand upon him (Numbers 27:18, 23)
      2. Put some of thine honor upon him (Numbers 27:20)
      3. The laying on of the hands of the presbytery (1 Timothy 4:14)
    3. His Charge (Numbers 27:19, 23)
      1. To war a good warfare (1 Timothy 1:18)
      2. To do nothing by partiality (1 Timothy 5:21)
      3. To obey faithfully until the Lord comes (1 Timothy 6:13-14)
      4. To preach the word in all seasons (2 Timothy 4:1)
      5. To watch in all things (2 Timothy 4:5)
      6. To endure afflictions (2 Timothy 4:5)
      7. To do the work of an evangelist (2 Timothy 4:5)

Conclusion: The responsibility of the congregation:

  • Remember him (Hebrews 13:7); give respect (1 Timothy 5:17)
  • Obey him (Hebrews 13:17); follow his leading in the work of the church
  • Salute him (Hebrews 13:24); esteem him in love (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)