I added the following to the top this page to flesh things out.


To understand Paul’s view of the church we have to understand how he came to have the authority of an apostle.  He wasn’t appointed by anyone or any organization.  He was appointed by God.

Gal 1:1  From Paul, an apostle (not from men, nor by human agency, but by Jesus Christ and God the Father who raised him from the dead)

As an appointed messenger of God he felt that he had the authority to build people up (2Cor 10:8) and he could speak authoritatively about what God’s will might be in a certain situation (1cor 7:10).

Even though Paul could speak authoritatively to a situation he chose not to.

1Th 2:7   although we could have imposed our weight as apostles of Christ; instead we became little children among you. Like a nursing mother caring for her own children,

1Th 2:8  with such affection for you we were happy to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own lives, because you had become dear to us.

It is abundantly clear that in Paul’s concept of ministry that the real authority in the church is the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit’s ministry is expressed through spiritual gifts in the entire body (1Cor 12) but is best expressed through genuine love (1cor 13).  Authority, even Paul’s authority was nothing without love.