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How Jesus Runs the Church
 
 

How Jesus Runs the Church [Kindle Edition]

Guy Prentiss Waters

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Product Description

Product Description

There are many fine books available on the offices of church leadership. Few, if any, address for a contemporary audience the biblical foundations of the government of the church. But this should be a priority for us, because God emphasizes the government of his church throughout Scripture.

Why should we be church members? How do church officers reflect Jesus’ reign over us? Where do the church’s responsibilities begin and end? Where do ours? These, and other important questions, are answered in Guy Prentiss Water’s vital examination of How Jesus Runs the Church.

At a time when church authority is treated with contempt, it’s important that we honor God in our churches more than ever.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 448 KB
  • Print Length: 224 pages
  • Publisher: P&R Publishing (1 Mar 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007GDVEZO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #446,171 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Church That Is Not Completely Self-Obsessed 31 Mar 2012
By Jacques Schoeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A society without proper authority and order will result in chaos. Guy Prentiss Waters justly says that God has instituted authority structures to promote an orderly society. An ideal government will stand guard over the lives and rights of its citizens. Conversely, it is in the best interest of every subject to remain within the bounds of civil law. If this is the case, then it is morally reprehensible for the church of Christ to assume that He has left her to her own rule.

Waters looks at a foundational text in Hebrews 3:6 ("whose house we are") showing that while Moses was a faithful steward in the house, Christ was the faithful Son over the house. Christ is the Head of this one house, the church, though His rule has been administered differently. Historically, the twofold distinction between Christ's essential dominion and mediatorial messianic dominion helped to clear up confusion. Obviously, not every member of the "house" in the OT was regenerate (e.g. Achan), as not every member in the "house" of the NT who professes to be, is saved. Through this distinction between the invisible and the visible church, Waters presents Israel as a kind of 'macro'-church, with the household baptisms of Acts similarly depicting 'micro'-churches. Throughout the Bible the issue at stake was not whether the whole church was saved, rather, that the head of the household being saved resulted in the entire household being called out and set apart for God through circumcision/baptism (Gen 17:27). Covenant signs & seals are given of God, and so by intention provisions of grace, and cannot only be established by human conditioning or learning as signs of our commitment to God. Waters depicts circumcision/baptism as signs & seals, without making them bare signs: 'Just as spiritual circumcision once had its counterpart in physical circumcision, so we may infer that spiritual baptism now has its counterpart in water baptism.' p 24

The strength of this impressive counter-argument forces upon the church the question of church membership. A host of biblical texts presuppose membership, even resolving the common misconception of 'believer's baptism' (one who confesses must, therefore, be a believer, Matt 7:21). What follows is an exact biblical understanding of the source, mode, and limit of church power in gathering and ordering the church before God. If the church as we know it was owned of Christ (implicit in "My church", Matt 16:18), a significant advantage is gained and a great theological truth is defended. Christ is the church's one foundation, its Rock, and not Peter. Christ has not ceded His authority to rule the church to others who claim extraordinary authority, but rather works mediately through those whom the church recognizes He has vested with spiritual gifts. The Westminster Assembly embraced Christ's care of church discipline entrusted to 'the hand of Church officers, distinct from the civil magistrate' (The Westminster Confession Of Faith 30.1) based on Christ handing to the apostles collectively the discipline of the church. If the offender refuses to listen to the church, he is to be put out of the church (Matt 18:17). However fallible, church discipline must never be seen as 'punishment'. It is exercised to the glory of God, for the purity of the church, and for the good of the sinner, according to the precepts found in Scripture.

Following Christ still further, Waters insists on a visible distinction between the spheres of God and government (Matt 22:15). Civil government owes its kingdom's authority (the sword) to God the Creator, while ecclesiastical government owes its kingdom's authority (the keys) to Christ the Mediator. Both serve divine ends. On the strength of scriptural precept alone Waters convincingly brings reason to the case for church government being 'jure divino', and wholly contrary to philanthropic congregational rule. 'It does not rest upon a ground of human expediency, but of Divine Appointment.' James Bannerman, The Church Of Christ 2:204 This truth is not to be sought anywhere else, but in the preaching of the apostles.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You Need this Book - Even if You Think that You Don't 15 May 2014
By Ryan Mcgraw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Church government is a divisive topic. It is one factor, among others, that divide Christians into various denominations. For this reason, it is rare to find recent works that treat the government, or polity, of the Christian church. However, teaching an Ecclesiology (doctrine of the church) without a polity is like building a machine that cannot operate. It may look and sound impressive in theory, but it cannot do anything in practice. We must ask either what government Christ has appointed in His Word, or how to govern the church on our own. Waters teaches us that we must trust in the Lord with all our hearts rather than lean on our own understanding.
The premise of the book is that the Word of God is necessary and sufficient for teaching Christians what the church is and how it should be governed. Waters’ work is winsome, exegetically sound, historically informed, and eminently practical. This book shares the concision and precision that we have come to expect from this author. He is unashamedly, but humbly, Presbyterian. He is Presbyterian because he believes that he learned his Presbyterianism at the feet of Jesus Christ and he shows us how to follow in his footsteps through the Word of God.
The book begins with the doctrine of the church and ends with the government of the church. However, following other great models such as that of James Bannerman, he weaves these subjects together seamlessly as he unfolds the text of the New Testament. He includes substantial expositions of key passages, such as the Keys of the Kingdom in Matthew 16 and the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15. He also addresses important contemporary issues, such as women in office. Waters includes substantial illustrations from his own denomination, the Presbyterian Church in America. This makes this volume particularly valuable to those in that denomination, but these illustrations will help all by giving concrete substance to what otherwise would be a theoretical skeleton.
The New Testament teaches us how the church should be governed as well as what the church is. If we do not search the Scriptures to learn how Jesus runs the church and what form of government He gave her, then we are in danger of being subjected to the tyranny of men instead of the Word of God. The form of church government affects the well-being of the church. Different forms of church polity do not necessarily destroy the being of the church. Yet do we not want Christ’s church to be well and not just to be? The fact that the government of the church is secondary does not mean that it is peripheral. Do not read this book in order simply to validate Presbyterianism and do not avoid it if you are not Presbyterian. Read it if you love the Christ of the church and the church of Christ. Let Waters lead you through Bible’s teaching on the church and its government and, with him, seek to grow in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Ryan M, McGraw
First OPC, Sunnyvale, CA
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 8 July 2014
By A. Dinardo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
In my humble opinion this is a must read for elders in the PCA. clearly articulates the biblical teaching on church government
5.0 out of 5 stars Good intro into how the Lord wants His church to function 8 Jun 2014
By John Garrisi - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Lots of scriptural thinking. Same for historical and theological footnotes. And it's easy to read. Buy it and discuss it.
0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Okay 11 May 2014
By LoveRoschelle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book was okay but leaned toward the author's controversial biblical beliefs (eg. no women as leaders, etc).You could actually get the same information from the bible depending on what you believe or what philosphy you want to support. Here it is all in one place.
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