It dawned on me sometime yesterday that some readers may wonder if I had assumed that Paul had ordained elders in the church at Corinth. I did find this to be true based on a principle that I noticed in the Book of Acts – that is the Law of Firsts. Once something had been established, Luke took it as a given and did not repeat the event again. As it relates to the ordination of elders, for example, Paul and Barnabas first ordained elders in the gentile churches that they had raised up (Acts 14). Paul spent a year and a half (maybe more) in Corinth teaching the new converts. There is no documentation that he had ordained elders, yet I know that he would have as a responsible leader. He left Corinth and went to Ephesus, spending some time there preaching and teaching (Acts 18: 19). Later in his ministry as he travelled to Jerusalem (where he anticipated that he would have been imprisoned for the sake of the gospel), he passed near to Ephesus. Pressed for time and unable to go to the city, he sent for the elders of the church, who came to see him (Acts 20: 17).

The question is whether or not he would have ordained elders in the church of Ephesus and not the church of Corinth. As bishop of the gentile churches, the ordination of elders was an integral part of his role. He later instructed Bishops Timothy and Titus on the criteria for ordaining elders, specifically telling Titus that he had left him in Crete so he could “… set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee (Titus 1: 5).

Why did the elders of the Corinthian church fail in their role? The question is left to be seen, but since Paul wrote the first letter to the corporate church, he effectively “lumped” the elders with all of the believers – carnal, lacking in wisdom etc. We need to pray for the elders of our churches that they would watch fro the souls of those who are under them in the Lord, so that they could receive a reward for this service to the Lord.

Blessings! Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy (Jud 1:24)

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