Faithlife Sermons

Shepherding the Flock (Pt.2)

1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:09:14
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Who are elders and what do they do? In this message, Pastor Steve examines the leaders of the church.

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We are looking again this morning at 1 Peter chapter 5
Please take your Bible and turn with me to 1 Peter 5.
In our last time together we were looking at what elders are and started looking at what elders do
If you remember Peter introduces us to the subject of elders in the church in verse 1 when he says, “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as your fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed”
Peter is not only an apostle (1:1) but also an elder of the church
In this verse he is exhorting the other elders of the church
I. From One Elder to a Plurality of Elders (v.1)
Peter gives them...
The Exhortation
He says, “Therefore, I exhort the elders among you”
Based on the unjust suffering of the previous section in 4:12-16, he says, “I am coming along side and urging the elders among you…[to] shepherd the flock of God among you” (vv.1-2a)
At this point we hear Peter identifying his audience as “elders” not as the congregation that he has been addressing up to this point
With the introduction of this group Peter is identifying, we decided to ask a couple of questions, the first being, what are elders?
The Identification
as “elders” (presbyteros, adj)
What are elders?
We learned...
The term “elder” is rooted in the OT with the nation of Israel
Israel had leaders identified as “elders”
In both the Old and NT, the Hebrew word (zaqen) and the Greek word (presbuteros) for means either older in age or it has reference to leadership, whether it’s the leadership in Israel or in the church
Our passage under consideration is referring to church leaders
We said last time that...
Elders are pastors
There are 3 terms that are used interchangeably: elder, overseer, and pastor
Acts 20:17, “From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.”
Acts 20:28, “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”
Ephesians 4:11 where the only occurence of “pastor” in it’s noun form occurs says, “And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,” (should be “pastor-teacher”)
That’s what elders are. We asked a second question...
What do elders do?
We said...
They equip the saints for ministry
They preach the Word of God
They baptize new believers
They confront false teaching
Notice the next once the Bible gives...
They labor in the Word of God
1 Timothy 5:17, “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”
“Work hard” (“labor” kopiao) “to work until one is exhausted” (Rienecker)
It “carries the idea of diligent effort, of toiling with maximum self-sacrifice in order to fully accomplish a task” (MacArthur)
This is the effort they apply to “preaching and teaching”
This is his main ministry
Ephesians 4:11 (“pastors and teachers” - both are nouns, lit. “teaching Shepherds”)
1 Timothy 3:2, “An overseer, then, must to teach”
“able to teach” (didaktikos, adj) skilled in teaching, teachable
Titus 1:9, “holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, so that he will be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict.”

Throughout the pastoral epistles (1 & 2 Timothy, and Titus), the apostle repeatedly emphasizes the critical importance of elders, or overseers, carefully and consistently preaching, teaching, and guarding God’s truth.

Preaching and teaching are much alike in content and are distinguished primarily by the nature of presentation. Preaching is the public proclamation of the truth, intended primarily to move the will of the hearers to respond. Teaching is directed more at causing the mind to understand. Preaching involves admonition and exhortation, whereas teaching involves illumination and explanation. Often the two functions overlap and are indistinguishable, as they are in many passages of Paul’s letters, as well as in other parts of the New Testament. All good preaching has elements of explanation, and all good teaching includes some exhortation.

They ordain other elders to ministry
Acts 14:23, “When they (Paul and Barnabas) had appointed elders for them in every church, having prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed.”
“prayed with fasting” shows the seriousness with which the select process should be approached” (MacArthur)
“appoint” (cheirotoneo, aor.act.part.) used 2x in NT, means, “to stretch out the hand; to constitute by voting” (Mounce) (see Acts 6:1-5 on congregation involvement)
Lenski says, “the congregation choosing with participation of the apostles and under their guidance.”
Our Bylaws state in ARTICLE VII: Board of Elders SECTION 1 – ELECTION AND TERM OF OFFICE: The spiritual oversight of this church shall be known as the Board of Elders. This pastoral body shall be, upon the establishment and incorporation of these Bylaws, chosen and confirmed by the church at a monthly business meeting or at a special meeting designated for that purpose. All Pastors shall be, according to Acts 20:28, considered as Elders and will serve on the Board for an indefinite period of time and be subject to the qualifications and conditions listed in Articles VII, Section 2. All officers, councils, committees, and staff shall be responsible to this Board. All nominations for the office of Elder shall be made by the members of Eastport Baptist Church to a nominating committee designated for that purpose and confirmed by the Board of Elders at a monthly business meeting.
1 Timothy 4:14, “Do not neglect the spiritual gift within you, which was bestowed on you through prophetic utterance with the laying on of hands by the presbytery.”
“To lay hands upon someone to affirm their suitability for and acceptance into public ministry. It expressed solidarity, union, and identification with them” (MacArthur).
1 Timothy 5:22, “Do not lay hands upon anyone too hastily and thereby share responsibility for the sins of others; keep yourself free from sin.”
“Thorough investigation must precede ordination. To fail to do so leaves the church liable to share responsibility for the sins of others” (MacArthur).
Titus 1:5, “For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order (“appoint” Gr.diatassomai, “to ordain” [Rienecker]) what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you”
They ordain deacons to ministry - Acts 6:3, “Therefore, brethren, select from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we may put in charge of this task.”
They rule (preside) in the church
1 Timothy 5:17, “The elders who rule well are to be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who work hard at preaching and teaching.”
“rule” (proistemi), “to stand first,” “preside, lead, direct” (Rienecker)
“Elders are first in terms of leadership. They have the oversight of the church and are to care for it.”
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13, “12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, 13 and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.”
Hebrews 13:7, “Remember those who led you, who spoke the word of God to you; and considering the result of their conduct, imitate their faith.”
Hebrews 13:17, “17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they keep watch over your souls as those who will give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with grief, for this would be unprofitable for you.”
They pray over the sick - James 5:14, “Is anyone among you sick? Then he must call for the elders of the church and they are to pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord”
“Let the spiritually weak go to the spiritually strong”
They oversee the finances - Acts 11:29-30, “29 And in the proportion that any of the disciples had means, each of them determined to send a contribution for the relief of the brethren living in Judea. 30 And this they did, sending it in charge of Barnabas and Saul to the elders.”
They model righteousness (spiritual & moral qualifications)
1 Timothy 3:1-7 and Titus 1:6-9.
1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one look down on your youthfulness, but rather in speech, conduct, love, faith and purity, show yourself an example of those who believe.”
We will stop here and look next time at how elders are qualified
If you have never given your life to Jesus Christ, I urge you to come to Him now
Repent and embrace Him as Lord
Romans 10:9-10, “9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; 10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.”
Let’s pray
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