"SHEPHERDS OF THE FLOCK"
Our Duties Toward ThemINTRODUCTION
1. In this series of studies we have considered...
a. The terms used to describe elders
b. The work of elders as ordained by God
c. The qualifications of those serve in this capacity
2. In this lesson we will "turn the tables"...
a. Instead of examining the elders, we shall examine ourselves
b. By considering our duties toward those who are elders
[We begin by noting what should be true regarding...]
I. OUR ATTITUDES TOWARD ELDERSA. WE ARE TO RECOGNIZE THEM...
1. This charge is found in 1 Th 5:12
a. Though elders are not mentioned by name
b. They are the ones who are "over you" - cf. Ac 20:28
c. The same word (proistemi) is used in 1 Ti 3:3,4; 5:17
2. To recognize (appreciate, NASB) them
a. Gr., eidenai - to have regard for one, cherish, pay
attention to (1 Th 5:12) - Thayer
b. "To have a regard and respect for. Recognize their office,
and treat them accordingly with reverence and with
liberality in supplying their needs (1 Ti 5:17)." - JFBB. WE ARE TO ESTEEM THEM HIGHLY IN LOVE...
1. This command found in 1 Th 5:13
a. The Ethiopic version renders it "honor them abundantly"
b. This high esteem is to be accompanied with love
2. "This esteem is due them on account of their work." - B. W.
JohnsonC. WE ARE TO ENTREAT THEM AS FATHERS...
1. This duty is found in 1 Ti 5:1
a. The word "elder" (KJV, ASV) likely means any "older man"
b. But would certainly apply to those serving as elders
2. Elders should be approached with love and respect, as a child
should his or her father
3. The charge to "not rebuke" does not preclude proper correction
a. Gr., epiplesso - to strike upon, beat upon; to chastise with
words, to chide, upbraid, rebuke - Thayer
b. "the Arabic version renders it, 'do not strike an elder';
meaning not with the hand, but with the tongue, giving hard
words, which are as heavy blows;" - Gill
c. Yet notice what is said about erring elders in 1 Ti 5:20D. WE ARE TO COUNT SOME WORTHY OF DOUBLE HONOR...
1. This instruction is given in 1 Ti 5:17-18
2. Regarding elders who:
a. "rule well" - manage their oversight effectively
b. "labor in the word and doctrine" - through study and
3. Considered worthy of "double honor"
a. "Of double respect; that is, of a high degree of respect; of
a degree of respect becoming their age and office;" - Barnes
b. "From the quotation which is made in 1 Ti 5:18, in relation
to this subject, it would seem probable that the apostle had
some reference also to their support, or to what was
necessary for their maintenance." - ibid.E. WE ARE TO RECEIVE NO ACCUSATION WITHOUT PROOF...
1. This warning is given in 1 Ti 5:19
2. "No accusation of wrong or ill-doing is to be entertained
against an elder, save before two or three witnesses."
3. The testimony of two or more is similar to that required in the
Law - cf. Deu 19:15
[With such attitudes as respect, love and kindness toward elders, proper
conduct should follow. What that conduct entails we now consider...]
II. OUR CONDUCT TOWARD ELDERSA. WE ARE TO BE AT PEACE...
1. A charge given in 1 Th 5:13
2. This will certainly make the elders' work of overseeing the
3. If we make their job difficult through envy, strife, and
divisions, we will be held accountable - cf. He 13:17B. WE ARE TO OBEY THEM...
1. This command is found in He 13:17
a. Though elders are not mentioned by name
b. They are the ones who "rule over you" - cf. 1 Ti 3:4-5; 5:17
2. To "obey"
a. Gr., peitho - "to listen to, obey, yield to, comply with"
b. "by constantly tending upon the word preached by them, and
hearkening to it; by receiving it with faith and love, as it
appears agreeable to the Scriptures; for a contrary behavior
is pernicious to souls, and highly resented by God; and by
being present at, and joining with them in the ordinances of
Christ, as administered by them; and by regarding their
admonitions, counsels, and advice:" - GillC. WE ARE TO BE SUBMISSIVE...
1. This command is also found in He 13:17
a. Though again, elders are not mentioned by name
b. Yet they are the ones who "watch over your souls" - cf. Ac
20:28; 1 Pe 5:12
2. To be submissive (submit to them, NASB)
a. Gr., hupeiko - "to resist no longer, but to give way, yield
(of combatants); metaphorically to yield to authority and
admonition, to submit" - Thayer
b. "not only obey in cases where no sacrifice of self is
required, and where you are persuaded they are right (so the
Greek, for 'obey'), but 'submit yourselves' as a matter of
dutiful yielding, when your judgment and natural will
incline you in an opposite direction." - JFBD. WE ARE TO IMITATE THEM...
1. This admonition is given in He 13:7
a. Again, it is presumed that elders being referenced to
b. For they have the "rule", and also "speak the Word" - cf.
1 Ti 3:2,4,5; Ti 1:9
2. "Whose faith follow" (NKJV)
a. "imitate their faith" (KJV, NASB, NRSV)
b. "try to have faith like theirs" (CEV)
3. This passage may have reference to elders who have died
a. "Remember...considering the outcome of their conduct"
b. "They lived to get good and do good; they were faithful to
their God and his cause; they suffered persecution; and for
the testimony of Jesus died a violent death. God never left
them; no, he never forsook them; so that they were happy in
their afflictions, and glorious in their death. Carefully
consider this; act as they did; keep the faith, and God will
keep you." - Clarke
4. Yet we certainly do well to imitate those who are mature in the
faith - cf. Ph 3:17E. WE ARE TO CALL THEM WHEN IN NEED...
1. Instructions found in Ja 5:14
a. Given to those who are sick
b. To call for the elders, who will pray for them
2. Note where the responsibility to call is placed
a. Those who are sick are to call (not wait to be called)
b. While elders are watching over the souls, they can't always
know every need
3. Whether our needs are physical or spiritual, don't wait for the
elders - call them!
1. The work of elders is great, and their responsibility is grave:
"they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account"
- He 13:17
2. We have a serious responsibility as well, in regards to elders who
watch over us:
"Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be
unprofitable for you"
- He 13:17
May our attitudes and conduct toward those who serve as overseers and
shepherds of the flock be such that they do their duty with joy...!