Submitting to Biblical Church Administration: 1 Peter 5:1-4

Occasion: Sunday Worship 8th February 2015

Text: 1 Peter 5:1-4

Purpose: Peter wants to see his suffering brothers and sisters persevere in obedience, and mature into Christ-likeness, therefore he emphasizes the importance of God’s instruction regarding elders in the local church.

Proposition: God wants His church to submit to His instruction regarding elders.

Interrogative: How can we as a church do that?

Truth 1: All Christians need spiritual leadership: 5:2 “Shepherd the flock of God…”

Ill: When my day security killed the wrong hen, he left the chicks without a mother, and eventually they all were killed.

  • Instruction: You need someone to teach you the truth

1 Timothy 4:6-7 If you instruct the brethren in these things, you will be a good minister of Jesus Christ…

2 Timothy 4:2 Preach the word! Convince, rebuke, exhort…

  • Edification: You constantly need your heart to be stirred up even when you know the truth.

Ill: If you are tending a fire, you must constantly add more wood and stir the coals to keep the fire hot and burning properly. If you remove one coal from the coal pot, its will go out.

1 Timothy 4:13 Give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.

  • Correction: Rebuke and pointing someone in the right direction

Titus 1:9 Hold fast the faithful word as it has been taught, that you may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

  • Oversight: Ruling, and guarding against error.

1 Timothy 6:20 Guard what was committed to your trust…

  • Accountability: Willing to ask the deep questions that no one else is willing to ask you.
  • Pattern: They don’t just tell you what to do, they come alongside you and show you how to do it.

Ill:  We have school and we have an apprentice.  Which of the two really prepares you for your field? The practical goes much further than the theoretical.

1 Timothy 4:12 Be an example…in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Truth 2: God alone has the right to order the church: 5:3-4 “Nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away…”

Ill: Have you ever watched someone who has just bought their first car? They wash it every day, they spray it so its finish is sparkling, the even brush each tire and polish its rims. They won’t even give you the keys to move it for someone.  When you own something, you are protective of it.

  • He ordained it:

Matthew 16:18-19 I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it…

  • He purchased it:

Ill: He paid the bride price to take His bride to Himself!

Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves and to 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.

  • He has instructed it:

1 Timothy 3:15 I write so that you may know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.

Truth 3: God demands that His servants be fully devoted to fulfilling their office: 5:1, 3 “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ…Shepherd the flock of God…being examples to the flock…”

Ill: What happens to a farmer who is only half hearted about his work? He will not be successful. You must be all in, or you will starve as a farmer.

1 Timothy 4:15-16 Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.  Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.

  • A witness of the sufferings of Christ: An elder is accepting a position of humble sacrificial service, that involves being willing to release his rights for the benefit of the congregation.
  • Eagerly: An elder must have a passion or be driven to do his work.
  • Entrusted: An elder will answer to God for his faithfulness in his pastoral office.
  • Example: An elder is constantly being watched, and is called by God to live in a way that is worthy of imitation.

Titus 2:7-8 In all things show yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity…sound speech that cannot be condemned…

Conclusion:

  • Pray for your elders.
  • Submit to your elders.
  • Hold your elders accountable to their God given calling in the church.
  • Refuse to appoint unqualified half hearted elders to the office.
  • Be a faithful elder.

 

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