Licensure simply commends a man to the churches as fitted to preach. Ordination recognizes him as set apart to the work of preaching and administering ordinances, in some particular church or in some designated field of labor, as representative of the church.
Of his call to the ministry, the candidate himself is to be first persuaded ( <460916>1 Corinthians 9:16; <540112>1 Timothy 1:12) but, secondly, the church must be persuaded also, before he can have authority to minister among them ( <540302>1 Timothy 3:2-7; 4:14; <560106>Titus 1:6-9.)
The word ?ordain? has come to have a technical signification not found in the New Testament. There it means simply to choose, appoint or to set apart. In <540207>1 Timothy 2:7 ? ?whereunto I was appointed ejteqhn a preacher and an apostle...a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth? ? it apparently denotes ordination of God. In the following passages we read of an ordination by the church: <440605>Acts 6:5, 6 ? ?And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus... whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands upon them? ? the ordination of deacons; 13:2, 3 ? ?And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away?; 14:23 ? ?And when they had appointed for them elders in every church, and had prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord, on whom they had believed?; <540414>1 Timothy 4:14 ? ?Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery?; 5:22 ? ?Lay hands hastily on no man, neither be partaker of other men?s sins.?
Cambridge Platform, 1648, chapter 9 ? ?Ordination is nothing else but the solemn putting of a man into his place and office in the church whereunto he had right before by election, being like the installing of a Magistrate in the Commonwealth.? Ordination confers no authority ? it only recognizes authority already conferred by God. Since it is only recognition, it can be repeated as often as a man changes his denominational relations. Leonard Bacon: ?The action of a Council has no more authority than the reason on which it is based. The church calling the Council is a competent court of appeal from any decision of the Council.?
Since ordination is simply choosing, appointing, setting apart, it seems plain that in the case of deacons, who sustain official relations only to the
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