Power Point Show MP3 audio
Scripture Reading: 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15
Elders in Every Church
1. God promised & delivered “one shepherd” to feed His sheep: Christ (Jno. 10:11, 14; 1 Pet. 2:25)
2. The Chief Shepherd has revealed His will that there be elders in every church, working as shepherds of His sheep, 1 Pet. 5:1-3 (cf. OT, Ezek. 34:23-31).
3. Sometimes brethren do not want to have elders because…
a. It changes the “status quo.”
b. It means new obligations, expectations & responsibilities that require a new willingness to yield to the elders’ leadership (Heb. 13:17).
c. Lack faith in the Lord’s design for the local church.
4. When a church can have elders & won’t, there is sin to correct (Acts 14:23).
5. When a church has elders who are not leading as God expects, there is sin to correct (1 Ths. 5:14; 1 Tim. 5:19-20).
6. When a church has elders but members will not follow their scriptural oversight, there is sin to correct (He. 13:17; 1 Ths. 5:12-13).
I. EVERY LOCAL CHURCH NEEDS THE ORGANIZATION THE LORD ARRANGED FOR IT, Acts 14:23; Phil. 1:1 (1 Cor. 4:16); Titus 1:5.
II. EACH LOCAL CHURCH NEEDS SHEPHERDS, Eph. 4:11.
A. To Lead Us, Heb. 13:7.
1. Rule (hegeomai – to go before; to be a leader):
a. Oversee congregation’s work, cf. Acts 11:30; 15:4, 6, 22-23; 21:18-26; Jas. 5:14.
b. Have authority from God to decide & guide – We are to follow them (Heb. 13:17).
2. Examples for us to follow, 1 Pet. 5:3 (Heb. 13:7).
B. To Feed Us, 1 Pet. 5:2; Acts 20:28 (32).
1. Feed the church the word of God, Heb. 5:12-14.
2. With urgent warnings, comforting encouragement, helpful support & enduring patience, 1 Ths. 5:14.
C. To Watch for Our Spiritual Safety, Heb. 13:17.
-These watchmen on the walls of Zion (Isa. 62:6) watch for our souls, Heb. 13:17 (cf. Ezek. 34).
1. The danger of doctrinal error, Acts 15:23-24; Titus 1:9-11.
2. The danger of moral decline, Acts 20:29-31.
3. The danger of indifference, 1 Ths. 5:12 (labor, admonish).
III. EACH CHURCH NEEDS MEN WHO ARE QUALIFIED & WILLING TO DO THE WORK, Acts 14:21-23.
A. Men Must be Qualified & Willing to Serve (1 Tim. 3:1, 2-7, 11; Titus 1:5-9); Acts 20:28.
1. Willing to give account, Heb. 13:17 (stewards of God, Titus 1:7).
2. Willing to take the responsibility of tending for souls.
B. Men who Serve Should be Honored for their Work, not Opposed when they do their Work, 1 Ths. 5:12-14.
1. Brethren sin when they do not willingly obey qualified elders in doing scriptural work, Heb. 13:17.
2. Such honor helps them do their work with joy (Heb. 13:17) & it helps the church be strong (Eph. 4:16).
1. Qualified elders are needed in every local church where they are not yet found.
2. Where they are found, they must oversee in truth & the church must humbly follow (Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17).
3. Elders & brethren must join together in faith to do the Lord’s will in His way: We are not opponents, we are co-workers in the kingdom! Eph. 4:2-3, 11-12