The Northfield

  2535 Shore Road

  Northfield, NJ 08225


Church of Christ




Lay Them On Or Not

"While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, 'Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul (Paul) for the work for which I have called them.' So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them out" (Acts 13:2-3).

So.... Is the laying on of hands something that we ought to be doing in the church today. To be perfectly honest, the scriptures do not specifically say yes or no. The laying on of hands in the Old Testament revolved mostly around sacrifices, which we don't do today. Those kind of hands would not be valid. The reading of Hebrews 10:1-4 will make this clear. I believe that the laying on of hands to confer miraculous gifts was a first century thing (1 Cor.13:8-10) and would also not have a valid purpose. Now lets take a look at today's verses.... It appears that the men at Antioch, after praying and fasting, laid their hands on Barnabas and Paul with a purpose. Maybe it involved a confirmation, and the prayers may have been for the men's protection and success. The laying on of hands in Acts 6:1-6 involved the choosing of seven special men to complete a designated work. The apostles prayed and laid their hands on them, perhaps for the same reason. It might also have been an outward symbol which indicated that they had approved and accepted the men that were chosen. Would there be anything wrong then, today,, if hands were put on those like elders or deacons that had been chosen for service? It is not commanded, but we do have Biblical precedence. The laying on of hands would symbolize exactly what it did in the first century... A plea, accompanied by prayer, for approval and acceptance. An outward symbol that they were looking to God so that those chosen would be successful. It would seem that the ceremony in those days was a refection of the wisdom involved in the choices that were made. I hopefully have given you some food for thought. Maybe we have substituted the laying on of hands with some other customs.... a handshake.... a pat on the back.... a hug.... maybe even holding hands.... I invite your thoughts on this, so feel free to respond.

Have a wonderful day.... Let His light shine through you.... Love mark Phil.4:11

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