Three Final Thoughts on Elders: 1 Peter 5:1-5

Occasion: Sunday Worship 22nd March 2014 

Text: 1 Peter 5:1-5

Purpose: Peter wants to see the church 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: An elder must be motivated by an internal sense of calling: 5:2 Not by constraint [force/compulsion], but willingly

Ill: A young man training for the Olympics in boxing or weight lifting will go to the gym for hours every day when he peers sit in the house and what’s app chats with his friends all day. What separates the athlete from his peers: an internal desire to be a champion.

  • What is a calling?

Ill: When we here the word calling, we often get a mental picture of someone receiving a vision or hearing a voice. That is not what we are talking about.

    • It is not a prophetic word from God.
    • It is not an simply an emotional experience.
    • It is not simply the sense of a need in the church.
    • It is the inescapable work of God in a man’s heart convincing him of his need and fittedness under God to do the work of pastoral ministry that will ultimately be recognized and confirmed by his local church leading to his appointment as an elder.
  • Where does the calling come from? It comes from the gracious work of the Spirit

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some pastors and teachers…for the perfecting of the saints.

Acts 20:28 Take heed unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers…

    • The Spirit fits the man for the work: gifting
    • The Spirit motivates the man for the work: internal sense of calling
    • The Spirit matures the man in his daily walk: spiritual qualification
  • How does the calling work?

Ill: Picture a germinating seed. We put it in the soil and water it, and in its time, what we cannot see becomes evident and eventually it feeds us.

    • It begins with a daily walk of growth into Christlikeness
    • A is revealed in to the church through a period of service in the church.
    • It is pursued as God works a desire into the heart of the future elder and the church recognizes God’s hand upon the man.

Truth 2: An elder must not be controlled by money: 5:2 Not for filthy lucre [dishonest gain], but of a ready mind [free from covetousness]

  • Weak elders can be tempted to remain silent when they must speak the truth:

1 Corinthians 16:10-11 If Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do.  Let no man therefore despise him

1 Timothy 4:11-12 These things command and teach.  Let no man despise thy youth.

Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee.

    • Weak teachers are silent because they are afraid it will cost them their daily bread.
      • They are unwillingness to confront error in the church.
      • They are unwillingness to teach certain truths that may offend.
  • Teachers appeal to men’s consciences

Ill: Peer pressure is not a small issue, nor is a pricked conscience, and unethical “pastors” are masters of manipulating the people. A great example was an appeal made to the local NGO’s at a Social Welfare workshop in Cape Coast.

    • False teachers are masters of manipulating the weak consciences of unstable and immature people.
  • Teachers can be tempted to appeal to pride and greed in their congregations.

2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; for the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

Titus 1:10-11 There are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, who subvert whole houses, teaching things which they ought not, for filthy lucre’s sake.

2 Peter 2:-1-3 There shall be false teachers among you…through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you.

2 Peter 2:14-20 They beguile unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices…when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh…they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption.

    • False teachers deliberately shape their message to bring and keep a big crowd.

Truth 3: An elder must be an example: 5:3 Neither as being lords [masters/kings] over God’s heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

1 Timothy 4:12 Be thou an example of the believers.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me…ye have us for an ensample.

2 Thessalonians 3:9 We make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

  • Hypocrisy causes resentment and opportunity to excuse compromised living.
  • Examples prove that principled, righteous living is possible
  • We learn best when we see it done

Ill: A picture is worth a thousand words: Picture the welder who will not be able to make something for you simply based upon what you let him, but if you make a model or draw a picture, he will have no problem making what you want.

Conclusion: Let us pray together, that God protect this church from weak and unprincipled elders and may He consistently raises up men from our midst till He returns who will take these scriptures seriously and be faithful with their God given callings!  Let us also pray that God will help each of us to walk in the same way for God’s glory!

 

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