Acts 13:2-3 (KJV) As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away.

What is the difference between a prayer group or Christian fellowship and a local church? A local church is a community of believers who have [Church] government. This is appointed by the Apostolic ministry or Presbytery of an existing approved church community. Originally, local church government was appointed by either the apostles who took the gospel to them or the elders/Shepherds/presbytery of another established accredited church community responsible for the establishment of the new church group.

Timothy, as an apostolic representative, was to go and appoint elders over certain Christian groups in Ephesus so that they would become bonafide churches(see 1 Timothy 3). He was instructed to lay hands on no one hastily (1 Timothy 5:22).

The doctrine of “Laying on of hands” establishes that before a person can be approved as a minister to the body, they need to receive the “right hand of fellowship” of an existing established church/apostolic community through its leadership. We call it ordination these days. A Minister should be ordained.

Does this mean God cannot call a man without the involvement of any church? God certainly does, but that call will have to be confirmed by other approved ministers of God on the ground if the call is genuine.

Apostle Paul’s call into ministry was very unique and peculiar. See what he says in Galatians:
Galatians 2:2 (KJV) “And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain.”

Apostle Paul understood that despite His true and unique call from the Lord, he would have run in vain if he did not get the approval of the Apostles that were there before him. It is because of this approval that his writings were accepted into the Canon of scripture.

Go into today remembering that the church of the living God is very well ordered and guided. Any minster that cannot get the approval of other minsters that were there before him, is not safe.
— Abraham Damilola Arigi

Bible In One Year: Joshua 21-24 (In Devotional Audio)

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