The Organization of the Lord Part 7
The second theory about men like Timothy and Titus is that they constituted the office of evangelist and claim a special work assigned them by proper authority to appoint elders of the church. This authority to assign a special work to elders is the evangelist in the primary organization and there is no properly constituted eldership without a practical recognition of the work of the evangelist in their creation!! He is the minister by whom men believe, and whose duty it is to care for the converts, he adds to his work a staff of men who will watch for the social needs and welfare of those who he has won to Christ. In an orderly administration, the evangelistic office is first in time and in authority!! When pastors or elders negate this premise, they deny the creator which made them possible!! The apostle Paul in Ephesians 4:8, 11 gives the organization of the Church of Christ. The special endowment of the first two offices mentioned was completed and the church was fully established and equipped. The last three depend upon native and acquired gifts, and a knowledge of the things learned of the apostles. They were made perpetual in the church by specific commandment and will be needed so long as sinners are to be converted, the flock of God is to be fed and cared for, and the ignorant of all ages and conditions are to be instructed in the Word of God!! These were necessary then, have been necessary ever since, and are no less necessary, now!
The evangelistic work is a perpetual work. While time endures it will be the duty of the church, through her own chosen and appointed representatives, to convert and baptize the people; to gather the converts together into separate and distinct congregations for their edification, improvement and efficiency, and to have a watch-care over many weak and sickly congregations. Evangelists from the beginning received their commission from the churches, and not directly from Christ, as did the apostles and prophets-example: Timothy, Acts 16:2; 2 Timothy 2:2. This shows the practical value of Paul’s three pastoral letters to these brethren. They define the work of evangelists, and instruct them in their duties, as Paul’s epistles to the churches instruct Christians in the details of congregational and individual life. The evangelistic office is a work to be done by an evangelist who has been chosen and set apart for the performance of that work by the gospel of Christ. Without this truth, the letters to Timothy and Titus are needless!! The answers to the questions of what were and are the duties of this office, who is eligible to fill the office, and how should the evangelist be selected and inducted into that office are found in the pastoral epistles of Paul with approved precedents recorded in Acts.
What are the duties of this office? Let it be clearly understood, the evangelists is NOT a law-maker nor an original law proclaimer! He is a re-proclaimer of the Law of the Lord as he has learned it FROM inspired apostles and no other men!! What was learned by the primitive proclaimers, evangelists from the apostles in person can be learned by modern evangelists ONLY from their writings. Paul writes: “All scripture given by inspiration of God is profitable for doctrine, for instruction, for reproof, for correction, for discipline in righteousness, that ‘the man of God’ may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 “The man of God” of this passage is such an evangelist as Timothy, as will be evident by comparing it with 1 Timothy 6:11 The evangelist must learn the law of God, be an executor of the will of God expressed in His law, and must apply the word of God in his life and the regulation of the conduct of all believers (even elders and deacons), disciplining the saved by the preached Word!!!