The Berean Expositor
Volume 6 - Page 14 of 151
Index | Zoom
may have been commonly understood to be referring to the New Jerusalem, the
expression would be equally true of himself if the "citizenship" of Phil. 3: 20 had been
in his mind. Whatever the city might be, the principle would remain the same, and that
was the main things to keep clear.
After having said all this, there remains another consideration. When the Apostle
said, "How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation" (Heb. 2: 3), or, when in
Titus 3: 3 he links himself with idolatrous Gentiles, or when Peter says, "For the time
past of our life may suffice us to have wrought the will of the Gentiles, when we walked
in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine, revelings, banquetings, and abominable
idolatries," there is no warrant to say that these things did actually attach to the writers
personally. We must perceive the figure which identifies the writer with his hearers,
without necessarily including him in every particular.
(b) "In Phil. 3: 11-14 there appears to be uncertainty with Paul as to the
Prize. In II Tim. 4: 8 that uncertainty is gone. Does that necessitate the
same uncertainty with us until our course is finished?"
Yes! the same uncertainty must be in the mind of every believer who, like Paul, seeks
to "press toward the mark."
We feel that unless we can answer this question with a fair amount of fulness we shall
create a wrong impression. The crux of the matter is, What is the Prize? May I ask you
to exercise still more patience (these questions were asked in September, 1915), until
opportunity is afforded for articles dealing with our hope and the prize of the high
calling?  [not included in Volume XXV reprint]
(b) 1.  Does  I Tim.  and  Titus  justify the `present-day' system of
ministers, elders and deacons?
2. What light do the prison epistles give on the instrumentality in the
divine plan for diffusing the truth in our present dispensation?
3. Does the "till" of Eph. 4: 13 mark the end of the initial fourfold
ministry of verses 11 and 12?
1. What is the present-day system? There are so many conflicting ideas as to the
ministry, that your real question is liable to get lost. I presume you are concerned as to
whether in the Church of the one body an order of ministry such as elders, bishops and
deacons is warranted.
An elder (presbuteros), and bishop or overseer (episkopos) are the same (see
Titus 1: 5-7). A deacon is a minister (diakonos) (Eph. 3: 7; I Tim. 3: 8). The
qualifications for a bishop as given in I Tim. 3: are searching, and have reference solely
to the man's life, not his learning. The expanded qualification (verses 4 and 5) does not