IGLESIA NI CRISTO CHURCH OF CHRIST

Brother Eduardo V. Manalo

9th anniversary as Executive Minister of the Church Of Christ

BROTHER EDUARDO V. MANALO, since assuming the mantle of leadership in 2009, has been leading God’s nation to continued success and stability. Most importantly, he oversees the Church to achieve its ultimate victory—our salvation in the nearing return of our Savior come Judgment Day.

Now in his ninth year of office, the current Executive Minister makes important decisions and is working passionately for the Church’s well-being. His caring ways for the spiritual welfare of the brethren around the world are evident and manifest—through pastoral visitations, prepared biblical lessons, videoconferencing, ordinations, and many more—to ensure that they are properly guided toward spiritual maturity, remaining zealous and steadfast in their service of God.

Thus, as we praise and honor God for His continued blessings to the Church through the Administrator He placed, it is very timely, indeed, that in the ninth anniversary of Brother Eduardo Manalo as the Executive Minister of the Church, we are reminded through the teachings of the Bible as to how we must regard the Church Administrator.

The Church Administrator comes from God

Church Of Christ members obey and submit to the Church Administrator with unwavering loyalty because of their belief as attested to by Apostle Paul:

“I have become its minister, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known.” (Col. 1:25, Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Hence, the authority that the Church Administrator has is unlike the authority known and wielded by people occupying leadership positions in this world: it is a God-given authority. Consequently, Church Of Christ members believe that all the rules, regulations, and policies being implemented by the Church Administrator are with God’s approval, as our Lord Jesus Christ made it clear (Matt. 18:19).

That is why the brethren in the first-century Church Of Christ not only recognized the God-given authority of the Church Administrator but also were glad after reading the letter containing the message or decision coming from him (Acts 15:30-31). They accepted the decision without any objection, murmuring, complaint, or argument. The entirety of the Church, even today, consider it as their solemn duty to submit to the Church Administrator:

“Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” (Heb. 13:17, New International Version)

To be united with the Church Administrator is to be united with God and with Christ

Apostle John underscored this truth in his epistle to the members of the first-century Church Of Christ: “We give you word of all we have seen and everything which has come to our ears, so that you may be united with us; and we are united with the Father and with his Son Jesus Christ” (I John 1:3, Bible in Basic English).

Thus, having fellowship or union with those commissioned to preach the message or the words of God means having fellowship with the Lord God and with the Lord Jesus Christ. One cannot be united with God and with Christ without first being united with those whom God authorized to preach His words.

Thus, rejecting the messengers or the Church Administrator is tantamount to rejecting Christ and our Lord God (Luke 10:16). Hence, to God’s chosen ones, keeping their unity with the Church Administrator is keeping their unity with Christ and with God.

The Church Administrator is entrusted the task of preaching the words of God

This was made clear in Apostle Paul’s pronouncement:

“I have become its minister, according to God’s administration that was given to me for you, to make God’s message fully known.” (Col. 1:25, HCSB)

Members of the Church Of Christ are constantly taught God’s words by the Church Administrator, especially through the lessons delivered during congregational worship services. By obeying His words, God’s children are assured of His presence in their lives. This is what Apostle Paul testifies: “Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you” (Phil. 4:9, Today’s English Version).

God’s servants are duty-bound to hold fast to the truths taught by the Church Administrator. God’s servants should never feel hurt, annoyed, or offended whenever the Church Administrator reminds and admonishes them through God’s words. The Bible warns those who refuse to listen, thus: “Be careful, then, and do not refuse to hear him who speaks. Those who refused to hear the one who gave the divine message on earth did not escape. How much less shall we escape, then, if we turn away from the one who speaks from heaven!” (Heb. 12:25, Ibid.)

Obedience to the words being taught by the Church Administrator is for their own sake since it has a direct bearing on their receiving salvation, as Apostle Paul explained: “Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain” (I Cor. 15:1-2, New King James Version).

The Church Administrator’s task is for the Church’s edification

In explicit terms Apostle Paul stated: “Therefore I write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction” (II Cor. 13:10, Ibid.).

This is the reason the Church Administrator works for God’s chosen ones, for them to reach spiritual maturity and perfection to be worthy of meeting the Lord Jesus Christ and thus be assured of salvation on His return. Thus, the Church Administrator untiringly urges each member to live righteously and to be blameless in holiness (I Thess. 3:13, Ibid.) In conjunction with this, the Church Administrator constantly reminds all Church members to live in obedience to the commandments of God everyday (Ps. 119:1-5, 8).

It is but proper, then, that the members of the Church Of Christ obey the Church Administrator since what he untiringly teaches them is for their own edification and ultimately their salvation on the Second Advent of Christ.

The Church Administrator ensures the unity of faith of the entire membership of the Church

Ministering to a flock with a global membership is an enormous task, considering the wide-ranging Church concerns and the activities going on in different parts of the globe—propagation of the faith, selection and training of Church officers, edification of the members’ faith, construction of houses of worship, officiation of worship services, among many others. Nevertheless, with the cooperation and unflinching loyalty of the ministers, ministerial workers, Church officers, and members to the Executive Minister because they recognize that it is their solemn duty to obey and submit to the Church Administrator, who is vested with divine authority (Heb. 13:17; I Cor. 16:15-16; Col. 1:25), the enormous task is made less difficult.

Moreover, the Church Administrator supervises all activities of the Church Of Christ around the globe from the Church’s Central Office in Quezon City, Philippines. This centralized mode of administration, patterned after the manner by which the apostles administered the first-century Church (Acts 15:1-2, 12-13, 19- 20, 30-31) ensures the adherence of all members of the Church— whatever nationality they belong to and wherever they are—to the same biblical teachings, as well as ecclesiastical rules and regulations, taught and implemented by the Church Administrator, thus, assuring unity of faith and practice of the entire membership of the Church. l