Many local church brethren have had their leaders tell them they were “appointed” to positions of authority over them. This is often offered as a basis for making decisions, administering “church discipline”, or at times resisting accountability to one another or to the local assembly.

Others see themselves as appointed by God to administer his grace to those within their care. In some ways, this is appropriate, until “administering grace” in any way demands that the one listening has a duty to obey such counsel other than when that counsel is the clear teaching of scripture.

For example… if a church leader authoritatively told one of the brethren they were appointed by God to inform them to repent of an adulterous affair, they would be exercising the authority of the Word of God as clearly communicated by Him in Scripture (ie “do not commit adultery”). We are all appointed by God to wield the Word of God in such situations – leaders and non-leaders alike.

When speaking the Word of God, the authority is God’s, not that of the church leader’s. They are simply a messenger and bear no unique authority of their own in such cases. The wayward would do well to obey when anyone – leader or not – admonishes them with Scriptures in such cases.

However, if the same leader informed one of the brethren that God told him that  they should move across town to help launch a new ministry and that they should obey because this leader has been appointed by God, this would be a gross violation of authority. No member of the Body of Christ has been appointed by God for such things or with such authority. It simply does not exist in the body of New Testament teaching.

Rather the New Testament teaches that every member of the Body of Christ possesses within them The Counselor – the Holy Spirit. Because of this, God speaks to our hearts directly, not through specially appointed holy people. Those days ended when God tore the curtain of the Holy of Holies in two when his son uttered the words “it is finished’.

The following Greek words are often translated “appoint” or “appointed” in the New Testament. Study each carefully:



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