Christ’s choosing and ordaining of all believers:
“16 You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed [ordained] you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you.”
– John 15:16, NKJV
Direction from God; Paul as an example, Galatians (NKJV):
15 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my mother’s womb and called me through His grace, 16 to reveal His Son in me, that I might preach Him among the Gentiles, I did not immediately confer with flesh and blood, 17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to those who were apostles before me; but I went to Arabia, and returned again to Damascus.
18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see [c]Peter, and remained with him fifteen days. 19 But I saw none of the other apostles except James, the Lord’s brother. 20 (Now concerning the things which I write to you, indeed, before God, I do not lie.)
21 Afterward I went into the regions of Syria and Cilicia. 22 And I was unknown by face to the churches of Judea which were in Christ. 23 But they were hearing only, “He who formerly persecuted us now preaches the faith which he once tried to destroy.” 24 And they glorified God in me.
Christ’s Commission to the Disciples, Matthew 28 (NKJV)
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go [c]therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” [d]Amen.
Charles Spurgeon, “the Prince of Preachers”, Baptist Minister
Letter from Spurgeon:
“BOROUGH, May 2, 1854.
MY DEAR SIR,
I sit down to communicate to you my thoughts and feelings with regard to
a public recognition. I am sure I need not request your notice of my
sentiments, for your usual good judgment is to me a rock of reliance. I can
trust any matter with you, knowing that your kindness and wisdom will
I have a decided objection to any public ordination or recognition. I have,
scores of times, most warmly expressed from the pulpit my abhorrence of
such things, and have been not a little notorious as the opponent of a
custom which has become a kind of iron law in the country. I am willing to
retrace my steps if in error; but if I have been right, it will be no very
honorable thing to belie my former loud outcries by submitting to it myself.
I object to ordinations and recognitions, as such Because I am a minister,
and will never receive authority and commission from man; nor do I like
that which has the shadow of such a thing about it. I detest the dogmas of
apostolic succession, and dislike the revival of the doctrine by delegating
power from minister to minister.
(2) I believe in the glorious principle of Independency. Every church has a
right to choose its own minister; and if so, certainly it needs no assistance
from others in appointing him to the office. You, yourselves, have chosen
me; and what matters it if the whole world dislikes the choice? They cannot
invalidate it; nor can they give it more force. It seems to me that other
ministers have no more to do with me, as your minister, than the crown of
France has with the crown of Britain. We axe allies, but we have no
authority in each other’s territories. They axe my superiors in piety, and
other personal matters; but, ex officio, no man is my superior.
We have no apostles to send Titus to ordain. Prelatic power is gone. All
we are brethren.
(3) If there be no authority inferred, what is the meaning of the ceremony?
“It is customary.” Granted; rebut we are not all Ecclesiastical
Conservatives; and, moreover, I know several instances where there has
been none. Rev. W. Robinson, of Cambridge, agrees with me, I believe;
and has not endured it himself. Rev. J. Smith had nothing of it, nor had
Rev. Burton, of Cambridge, nor Rev. Wooster, of Landbeach, etc., etc.
Furthermore, I have seldom heard of an ordination service in which there
was not something objectionable. There are dinners, and toasts, and things
in that line. There is foolish and needless advice, or, if wise advice, unfit for
public mention. I am ready to be advised by anyone, on any subject, in
private; but I do not know how I could sit in public to be told:, as Mr. C.
was told by Mr. S., that I must not spend more than my income; and (if
married), that I must be a good husband, and not let the wife say that being
a minister had lessened my affection, with all the absurd remarks on family
and household matters. I do not know what sort of a homily I should get;
but if I am to have it, let it be in my study; or if it be not a very, good one, I
cannot promise to sit and hear it.
I trust, my dear Sir, that you will not imagine that I write warmly, for I am
willing to submit; but it will be submission. I shall endure it as a selfmortification,
in order that you may all be pleased. I would rather please
you than myself; but still, I would have it understood by all the church that
I endure it as a penance for their sake. I find the friends do not care much
about it, and others have, like myself, a decided aversion. I am your
servant; and whatever is for the good of the church, let it be done. My
knowledge is little; I simply express my feelings, and leave it entirely with
A tea-meeting of members, with handbills, and notices in the papers, will
be a real recognition; and if my God will make me useful, I am not afraid of
being recognized by all good men. I write now to you as a kind and wise
friend. You can use my communication as you think best; and believe me
to be —
Yours, with the profoundest respect,
C. H. SPURGEON.
(Shortly after writing the above letter, Mr. Spurgeon preached the
following sermon at New Park Street Chapel: — )
THE MINISTER’S TRUE ORDINATION.
“Son of man, I have made thee a watchman unto the house of
Israel’ therefore hear the word at My mouth, and give them
warning from Me.” — Ezekiel 3:17.
Spurgeon’s Autobiography – Diary, Letters, and Records Vol. 1.31 (pp 384-386)
Prayer Meeting, Spurgeon:
At a prayer meeting on the last night of January Spurgeon spoke against
the title “Reverend” (although he still used it “for the convenience of the
postman!”). He stated that nobody had ordained him and nobody ever
would. His only ordination was that “of the pierced hand.”
Eric W. Hayden – “Highlights in the Life of Charles Haddon Spurgeon” Chapter 24 – 1876 p. 50
Spurgeon references, Credit to “Wannabee” on “The Puritan Board” @ https://www.puritanboard.com/threads/theology-of-ordination.39026/
More on Spurgeon,
Spurgeon Article on “Ordination”
Ordination and Religious Titles
Sword and Trowel Volume 4, 1874 pages 111-117
Whence comes the whole paraphernalia of ordination as observed among some Dissenters? Since there is no special gift to bestow, why in any case the laying on of empty hands? Since we cannot pretend that mystic succession so vaunted by Ritualists, why are men styled “regularly ordained ministers”? A man who has preached for years is Mr. Brown, but after his ordination or recognition he develops into the Reverend Mr. Brown; what important change has he undergone? This comes before us in the form of addresses upon letters “Reverend Titus Smith, Mr. Spurgeon’s College,” or sometimes, “Reverend Timothy Jones, Spurgeon’s Tabernacle.” Rather odd, this! Here are reverend students of an unreverend preacher, the title being given to the one out of courtesy, and withheld from the other for the same reason. The Reverend Titus has met with a church which will insist upon an ordination, and he is ordained; but the President of his College, having never undergone such a process, nor even that imitation of it called a recognition, remains an unordained, unrecognized person to this day, and has not yet discovered the peculiar loss which he has sustained. We do not object to a recognition of the choice of the church by its neighbors and their ministers, on the contrary, we believe it to be a fraternal act, sanctioned by the very spirit of Christianity; but where it is supposed to be essential, is regarded as a ceremony, and is thought to be the crowning feature of the settlement, we demur.
God’s Spirit poured out in the last days to enable prophesying, Acts 2, NIV
17 “‘In the last days, God says,
I will pour out my Spirit on all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy,
your young men will see visions,
your old men will dream dreams.
18 Even on my servants, both men and women,
I will pour out my Spirit in those days,
and they will prophesy.
God’s Spirit poured out on the 70 Elders; 2 men not present at the tent, Numbers 11, ESV
24 So Moses went out and told the people the words of the Lord. And he gathered seventy men of the elders of the people and placed them around the tent. 25 Then the Lord came down in the cloud and spoke to him, and took some of the Spirit that was on him and put it on the seventy elders. And as soon as the Spirit rested on them, they prophesied. But they did not continue doing it.
26 Now two men remained in the camp, one named Eldad, and the other named Medad, and the Spirit rested on them. They were among those registered, but they had not gone out to the tent, and so they prophesied in the camp. 27 And a young man ran and told Moses, “Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp.” 28 And Joshua the son of Nun, the assistant of Moses from his youth, said, “My lord Moses, stop them.” 29 But Moses said to him, “Are you jealous for my sake? Would that all the Lord’s people were prophets, that the Lord would put his Spirit on them!” 30 And Moses and the elders of Israel returned to the camp.