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Bible verses about God's Pattern of Leadership
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Exodus 17:2

Moses understood that he was God's direct representative and though he was not God, to reject him was to tempt God to do something, to react. What did Moses fear? He was afraid that God would react by striking those people dead because they were chiding with His ambassador.

This principle in no way means that His representatives are sinless or infallible. God has provided plenty of evidence of the weaknesses of his servants. Moses had quite a temper, which he had to learn to bring under control. We are all familiar with what David did. Jeremiah, the weeping prophet, took on God, giving Him a piece of his mind—saying, "God, you tricked me!"—but God straightened him out. Jeremiah obviously had trouble getting his nature under control. Of course, more modern leaders have had problems with their natures as well, but those problems did not change the fact of their office and that God was able to use them as He desired. God controlled them in those things that were important to teaching us to improve our relationship with Him so that we might come out of this in His image.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

Luke 22:31

Why is only Peter mentioned out of the twelve? Why is he singled out? It is because Jesus thrust upon Peter the responsibility of strengthening the other disciples after he repented. We have to understand that Satan desired to sift them all, but Jesus only addresses Peter, giving him the responsibility to buck everybody else up.

Why Peter? Why did He not say, "John, you son of thunder, I want you to be a rod of lightning to these men and encourage them after these things happen." No, he says this to Peter. He does not say to John, "I want to you to work with your brother and strengthen him." He says it to Peter because Jesus had given him the responsibility to be the bulwark of strength (humanly speaking) amongst the Twelve.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

John 21:3

Who is the leader? Who decides for the group? They all looked to the leader—Peter—and if he was going fishing, they all were. They followed the pattern.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

Acts 2:14

Here, on the day of Pentecost, many people saw and heard what was happening, but who stands up and speaks? Apparently, all the apostles spoke at one time or another, but it is only Peter who is singled out in Scripture as the one who gave the keynote address.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

Acts 15:1

In Acts 10:44-48, God did not require circumcision of the Gentile converts, and so a dispute arose in the church regarding circumcision and all it represented.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

1 Corinthians 1:10-12

There is no doubt that the church is now badly divided—and it shows no evidence of reuniting—yet we are all commanded to speak the same things.

Paul goes on to use the words "mind" and "judgment." Mind is actually related to the power of observation—the way that we see things. He is saying we all need to see things in the same way. Judgment deals with the forming of an opinion.

The Corinthians obviously did not all see things the same way, and they therefore could not possibly come to the same opinion. So they did the natural thing and divided. They did not actually leave the congregation, but cliques formed within it, and the members were not at peace with one another.

Why did they not see things the same way? The context shows it depended upon whom each person decided he would use as his authority. Some used Paul, some Apollos, some Peter, and of course, some Christ. There is no evidence that those named as authorities were divided, but people made it seem so. No wonder they were divided! Today, sadly, many are doing the same thing.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

1 Corinthians 1:10

This section reveals that speaking the same thing is a choice. We have to choose for the sake of unity. It is not an option for those who consider themselves to be converted; it is commanded. There is no option. We have to choose to follow Christ.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

1 Corinthians 14:33

God continuously, from the beginning of the Book on, reveals Himself working through one man at a time. Does God send two or three or five ambassadors speaking somewhat different things to the same country at the same time? That would be confusion, and "God is not the author of confusion" (I Corinthians 14:33). He avoids confusion by speaking through one voice, and we need to understand that. We need to believe it and make it a part of the operation of our lives. When we become confused about the voice God is speaking through, the church tends to blow apart, and people go their own way.

To restore the holiness of His name and to guarantee that we enter into His Kingdom, God leads us into groups where we can continue to be sustained until we learn this bitter but very vital lesson and submit to Him by following the voice that He sent into this world to restore and preach the doctrine to which He wants us to conform. He does this so that we will be transformed into the image that He wants by our making right and holy choices.

What kind of leadership would it show God to have if He spoke in a confused tongue, as it were, having two or more men in the same area saying different things about the path to the Kingdom of God? Doctrine is that recipe that will form the correct product in the end—if it is believed and applied in our lives through the choices we make.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Unity (Part 2): God's Pattern of Leadership


 

 




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