Is Grace Notes a replacement for attending church?

Absolutely not!  We realize that some may erroneously decide they don’t have to “mess” with church if they stay home and do the lessons instead.  That was never the intent.  Grace Notes (GN)  feels that all Christians should have a home church where they have a pastor-teacher.  GN has a great article called “Pastor Teachers in the Church Age” which outlines the importance of this role in our times.   There are several major points which support this position:

“…the pastor/teacher has had bestowed upon him a spiritual gift that he does not deserve and cannot earn. The gift of pastor/teacher provides the individual with the talents and strength necessary to communicate the Word of God. The gift is given at the point of salvation and, as already stated, is not based on merit of any type. The gift is given by God the Holy Spirit, and it would be presumptuous to attempt to document His criteria for assigning the gift.”

I think we sometimes forget that God is involved in our church and the He is the one that decides who should do what.  He decides who should be in charge of the church governing authority (depending on your church bylaws, etc.), not man.

Next we tackle the question as to why the position exists at all:

“This brings up the next idea: Why does the position/gift of pastor/teacher exist? The answer is found in Ephesians 4:12,13, which say, “To prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” In other words, without a pastor/teacher, the saints cannot attain spiritual maturity. This is a remarkable and, to some, a shocking statement.”

“Now that we have the ‘why’ of the pastor/teacher, ‘how’ does the pastor/teacher perform this sensitive and vital function? The answer is found in Ephesians 4:20,21, which say, “You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. Surely you heard of him and were taught him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus.” In other words, the pastor/teacher is to teach what the Word of God says; only by doing this may the saints become spiritually mature. And this ‘teaching’ pre-supposes the spiritual gift of pastor/teacher, human maturity, education and scholarship, self-discipline manifested in good study habits, academic and spiritual honesty, and the courage to teach what Scripture says without being afraid of
insulting or offending the saints.”

“Thus, it may be seen that the pastor/teacher must be careful to stay within the bounds of the gift. This means not intruding on the spiritual privacy of the saints, not judging the saints, nor making private and personal decisions for the saints. This does not, however, preclude normal social and/or human intercourse such as friendship, interest, or
even love.”

“According to I Corinthians 12:11,28, pastor/teachers are provided the gift at the moment of salvation. ‘All these are the work of one and the same Spirit, and he gives them to each one, just as he determines. 28 And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.'”

In light of these truths, GN never recommends our material as a substitute for being a part of a local church body.  Please read the topical article for more information.

See also the article “Church” on the http://www.gracenotes.info/GN_TopicsLibrary.shtml page.

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