One Pastor and Church Government (Part 3) - Biblical Examples: Jesus and James

Watch the video of this sermon on YouTube: One Pastor and Church Government (Part 3). For a master copy of the outline and the other sermons in the series, click here: One Pastor. To listen to or watch the previous sermon in the series, click here: Part 2. To listen to or watch the next sermon in the series, click here: Part 4. II. One pastor is sufficient to rule and oversee a church. 1. The example of Jesus and His church. A. Jesus built His church during His earthly ministry (Mat 16:18). i. The church was established while He was on earth (Mat 18:17). ii. Jesus built His church out of baptized disciples (Mat 3:1-6) whom He called to follow Him (Mat 4:18-22). iii. He sang hymns to God with His church (Heb 2:12 c/w Mat 26:30). iv. He served the first communion to His church (Mat 26:26-28), which was the pattern for all other local churches (1Co 11:23-26). B. Jesus was the pastor and bishop of His church. i. Pastor - 1. A herdsman or shepherd. Now unusual. 2. A shepherd of souls; one who has the spiritual oversight over a company or body of Christians, as bishop, priest, minister, etc.; spec. the minister in charge of a church or congregation, with particular reference to the spiritual care of his ‘flock’. ii. Jesus was a shepherd, which is a pastor (Mat 26:31; Joh 10:11,14; 1Pe 2:25; 1Pe 5:4; Heb 13:20). iii. Jesus had a flock (Luk 12:32). iv. Jesus was a bishop (1Pe 2:25). C. Jesus is the Chief Shepherd which demands that there are shepherds (pastors) under Him (1Pe 5:4). i. God had promised to give His people pastors to feed them with knowledge and understanding (Jer 3:15). ii. This promise was fulfilled when Jesus gave His churches pastors and teachers (Eph 4:11-12). iii. Jesus' pastors are the masters (rulers and teachers) of His assemblies (churches) who give His (the one Chief Shepherd) words to them (Ecc 12:11). a. Master n. - I. A man having control or authority. 1. a. gen. One having direction or control over the action of another or others; a director, leader, chief, commander; a ruler, governor. II. A teacher; one qualified to teach. b. Assembly n. - I. The action or fact of assembling, the state of being assembled. 1. a. Gathering together, meeting; the state of being collected or gathered; = assemblage 1. II. The company assembled. 4. A gathering of persons; a number of people met together; a concourse, throng. c. A church is an assembly. (i) Church n. - III. 10. A congregation of Christians locally organized into a society for religious worship and spiritual purposes, under the direction of one set of spiritual office-bearers. (ii) Congregation n. - 1. The action of congregating or collecting in one body or mass. 2. The result of congregating; a gathering, assemblage, or company: a. of men. 7. A body of persons assembled for religious worship or to hear a preacher. (The most common modern use.) 1526–34 Tindale Acts xiii. 43 When the congregacion was broken uppe, many followed Paul and Barnabas [so 1611...] 2. James the Lord's brother was the pastor who had the rule and oversight of the Jerusalem Church. A. Jesus appeared to James after His resurrection after He has appeared to the 12 apostles, and before He appeared to the other apostles (1Co 15:5-7). B. James the Lord's brother was an apostle (Gal 1:19), but not one of the original 12. C. James the brother of John was killed by king Herod early in the days of the spread of Christianity (Act 12:1-2). D. After James the brother of John was killed and Peter was miraculously saved from prison, he told the brethren to go tell the news to James and the brethren (Act 12:17). E. This James appears to be the presiding elder of the church in Jerusalem (Act 15:13-22; Act 21:18). i. James, the presiding elder at Jerusalem, appears to be James the Lord's brother because Paul mentions seeing James the Lord's brother with Peter when he went to Jerusalem three years after his conversion (Gal 1:17-19 c/w Act 9:26-28). ii. This was before the death of James the brother of John in Acts 12:1-2. iii. In the next chapter of Galatians, Paul recounts when he and Barnabas went to Jerusalem 14 years later to dispute with the Pharisees in Jerusalem (Gal 2:1-5) which happened in Act 15:1-2. iv. There, Paul met James, Peter, and John (Gal 2:9 c/w Act 15:7,13-14). v. In that Paul had previously referred to meeting James the Lord's brother who was an apostle in Jerusalem in Gal 1:18-19, and then mentions meeting James again in Jerusalem in Gal 2:9 after James the brother of John was dead, it seems reasonable to conclude that James the Lord's brother was the presiding elder in the Jerusalem church in Acts 15. F. There were many elders in the Jerusalem church (Act 15:2) because there were thousands of members to care for (Act 2:41; Act 4:4; Act 21:20), but James was the pastor who had the rule and oversight of the church (Act 15:13-22).