Shepherding the Flock (Pt.4)

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1 Peter  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  1:11:49
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What qualifications should those who desire to be a pastor meet? In this message, Pastor Steve will continue to look at how elders are qualified to serve in the church.

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We are currently looking at 1 Peter 5:1, which 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.”
As we have been looking at what Peter says here, we have been introduced to the subject of elders and church leadership and have been seeing the big picture from Scripture about this office in the church identified by the terms elders, pastors, overseers or shepherds
All these terms are used interchangeably for this one office in the church which we normally identify as pastors
Scripture only identifies two offices: overseers and deacons (Phil.1:1)
Overseers feed the flock, deacons serve the flock
All pastors are elders, overseers and shepherds
That’s what we have been seeing for the past 3 weeks and we still it again today
Now last time we look at verses 2-3 of 1 Timothy 3, so let me invite you to turn there again
Today we are picking up where we left off answering the question, “How are elders qualified?”
I don’t know if you heard...
1. After hundreds of years the perfect pastor’s been found. He is the church elder who’ll please everyone.
2. He preaches exactly 20 minutes and then sits down.
3. He condemns sin, but never steps on anybody’s toes.
4. He works from 8 in the morning to 10 at night, doing everything from preaching sermons to sweeping.
5. He makes $400 per week, gives $100 a week to the church, drives a late model car, buys lots of books, wears fine clothes, and has a nice family.
6. He always stands ready to contribute to every other good cause, too, and to help panhandlers who drop by the church on their way to somewhere.
7. He is 36 years old, and has been preaching 40 years.
8. He is tall on the short side, heavy-set in a thin sort of way, and handsome.
9. He has eyes of blue or brown, (to fit the occasion) and wears his hair parted in the middle - left side, dark and straight, right side, brown and wavy.
10. He has a burning desire to work with the youth, and spends all his time with the senior citizens.
11. He smiles all the time while keeping a straight face, because he has a keen sense of humor that finds him seriously dedicated.
12. He makes 15 calls a day on church members, spends all his time evangelizing non-members, and is always found in his study if he is needed.
Unfortunately he burnt himself out and died at the age of 32.
I. From One Elder to a Plurality of Elders (v.1)
Peter gives them...
The Exhortation (“I exhort”)
Who is he exhorting?
The Identification
as “elders” (presbyteros, adj)
What are elders?
What do elders do?
How are they qualified? (1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9)
They are qualified by the Holy Spirit - 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.”
They must have a desire for the office - 1 Timothy 3:1.
“aspires” “desires” (AV) (orego, pres.mid.ind.), “to reach our after.” This describes external action not internal motive.
“desires” (epithumeo, pres.act.ind.), “an internal strong passion”
They must be men
Ephesians 4:8, “Therefore it says, “When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.”
1 Timothy 3:2, “the husband of one wife,” lit. “one woman man”
Titus 1:6, “namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.”
They must meet certain qualifications (25) - 1 Timothy 3:1-7; Titus 1:6-9 (26 qualifications)
“above reproach” (v.2; Tit.1:6)
“the husband of one wife” (v.2; Tit.1:6)
“temperate” (v.2; Tit.1:8)
“prudent” (v.2; Tit.1:8)
“respectable” or “of good behavior” (NKJV) (v.2)
“hospitable” (v.2; Tit.1:8)
“able to teach” (v.2)
“not addicted to wine” (v.3; Tit.1:7)
not “pugnacious” (v.3; Tit.1:7)
“gentle” (v.3)
“peaceable” or “not quarrelsome” (NKJV) (v.3)
“free from the love of money” or “not covetous” (v.3), (aphilarguros), comes from two words phileo, “to be fond of,” and arguros, “silver” means “not fond of silver” (Wuest) or “not loving money.” It speaks of someone who doesn’t love money.
Love of money can corrupt a man’s ministry
“Because it tempts him to view people as a means by which he can get more money” (MacArthur).
“The desire for money must not be a ruling motive in his life” (Hiebert).
“Money-loving, materialistic elders set the wrong example and will inevitably fall into unethical financial dealings that disgrace the Lord’s name” (Strauch).
All Christians must avoid the love of money
Hebrews 13:5, “Make sure that your character is free from the love of money, being content with what you have; for He Himself has said, “I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you,”
1 Timothy 6:10, “For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”
An elder can avoid the love of money by not putting a price on his ministry
“manages his own household well” (vv.4-5; Tit.1:6)
This speaks of one who maintains a godly family
“An elders home life is an essential consideration. Before he can lead in the church he must demonstrate his spiritual leadership within the context of his family” (MacArthur).
“One who manages” Gr.proistemi, “to preside over,” “have authority over, stand before, or manage” (MacArthur).
This means the elder is “the manager of his home. That affirms the consistent biblical teaching on male headship in the home. Obviously there are shared responsibilities between husband and wife, and there are many tasks that the wife manages within the home; but the husband must be the leader” (MacArthur).
The elder must manage his own household “well”
“Well” (kalos), “good—pertains to a positive moral quality with the implication of being favorably valued—good, fine, praise worthy” (Louw-Nida Greek NT Lexicon)
In other words, the elder manages his household “beautifully, lovely. It’s appealing to the eye” (MacArthur).
“The idea is that an elder’s leadership in the home is inherently good, and manifestly good to those who observe it” (MacArthur).
The elder must have “his children under control with all dignity”
“Children” (teknon), refers to “one’s immediate offspring but without specific reference to sex or age – child” (Louw-Nida)
“Control” (hupotage), “obedience, to submit to the order or directives of someone” (Louw-Nida)
“This is a military term that speaks of lining up in rank under those in authority.”
The elder’s “children are to be lined up under his authority—respectful, controlled, and disciplined” (MacArthur).
Lenski said, “Ill-trained, bad children reflect on any pastor, not merely because they are hurtful examples to the children of the members of the church, but still more because they show that the father is incompetent for his office.”
“With all dignity” (semnotes), refers to “behavior which is befitting, implying a measure of dignity leading to respect” (Louw-Nida).
The RSV translates this verse: “He must manage his own household well, keeping his children submissive and respectful in every way.”
“A biblical leader is best tested by how well he handles his children, not by how rich, successful, or wellknown they may be” (Strauch).
“not a new convert” or “novice” (NKJV) (v.6), neophutos, “Newly planted – a new convert”
Alexander Strauch says, “No matter how spiritual, zealous, knowledgeable, or talented a new convert may be, he is not spiritually mature. Maturity requires time and experience for which there is no substitute.”
“An elder must be mature in the faith” (MacArthur).
“So that he will not be conceited and fall into the condemnation incurred by the devil.”
To “be conceited” or as the KJV says, “puffed up with pride,” is used figuratively to mean “to be beclouded with pride” (MacArthur) or to “be swollen with pride” (USB Greek Dict) or “extremely proud” (Louw-Nida)
“a good reputation with those outside the church” (v.7), This refers to one who “has a good internal and external reputation or testimony.”
John Calvin said, “It seems difficult to think that a godly man should have unbelievers who are most eager to tell lies about us as witnesses to his integrity. The apostle’s meaning is that, as far as external behavior is concerned, even unbelievers should be forced to acknowledge that he is a good man.”
“believing children” (Tit.1:6)
An elder is to have his home in order. A man who cannot spiritually and morally lead his own family is not qualified to lead an entire congregation (MacArthur).
As we look at the second half of verse 6, we learn that elders must have tekna pista, which means either “children who believe” (NASB) or “faithful children” (NKJV), depending on how it is translated. The disagreement concerns the adjective pistos and whether it should be rendered “believing” or “faithful.” In the end, the bottom line is this: Is the requirement of Titus 1:6b that the children possess saving faith (“believing”) or that they are obedient to their father (“faithful”)?
The word translated “believing” (pistos) “in the active sense means believing, trusting; in the passive sense, trusty, faithful, trustworthy” (Vine).
Some believe it is used in the active sense referring to “believing children” while others say it is used in the passive referring to faithful children.
John Gill says...
He says, “By faithful children cannot be meant converted ones, or true believers in Christ; for it is not in the power of men to make their children such; and their not being so can never be an objection to their being elders, if otherwise qualified; at most the phrase can only intend, that they should be brought up in the faith, in the principles, doctrines, and ways of Christianity, or in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.”
Others who also reject the idea of this being translated in the active as “believing children” say, “Only God can lead a person to salvation. Godly parents cannot force their children into the faith” (MacDonald).
George Knight says, “An overseer, both here and in 1 Tim. 3, is evaluated on the basis of his control of his children and their conduct (not their salvation).”
Alexander Strauch says, “What is at stake is the children’s behavior, not their eternal state. To say this passage means believing Christian children places an impossible standard upon a father. Salvation is a supernatural act of God. God, not good parents (although they are used of God), ultimately brings salvation (John 1:12, 13).
While the characterization of a prospective elder’s children as faithful does not mean they must be believers, it implies that they must be responsible and faithful family members. This requirement is similar to that of 1 Timothy 3:4,5, where an elder’s children are expected to be submissive and under his control. Here, though, the qualification is stated in a more positive way—the elder must have children who are loyal and dutiful, good citizens, or—as we might say today—responsible children.”
The word “children” (teknon) refers to “a child, male or female, son or daughter” “without reference to age.” Paul just used this word in verse 4 to refer to Titus who was a grown man.
It is obvious that he is referring to children who are still under the authority of their parents.
“not self-willed” (Tit.1:7), (authade) means, “self-pleasing” (Strong), “obstinate in one’s own opinion, arrogant, refusing to listen to others” (Rienecker).
This is “an arrogant self-interest that asserts its own will with utter disregard for how others might be affected” (MacArthur).
Alexander Strauch says, “He is stubborn, arrogant, and inconsiderate of others’ opinions, feelings, and desires. A self-willed man is headstrong, independent, self-assertive, and ungracious toward those of a different opinion. A self-willed person is not a team player, which in the shared leadership of the eldership will cause much contention and division. Furthermore, a self-willed man will scatter the sheep because he is unyielding, overbearing, and blind to others’ feelings and opinions. Such a man must not be permitted to be an elder.”18 2 Peter 2:10 refers to false teachers as those who are “self-willed.”
“not quick tempered” (Tit.1:7), (orgilos), “does not refer to occasional outbursts, but to a propensity to anger” (MacArthur).
This is one who is “easily flaring up in anger; not having his temper under control” (Hiebert).
Proverbs 14:17, “A quick-tempered man acts foolishly, And a man of evil devices is hated.”
Proverbs 29:22, “An angry man stirs up strife, And a hot-tempered man abounds in transgression.”
“not fond of sordid gain” (Tit.1:7) translated in 1 Timothy 3:3 “not greedy for money,” (aphilapguros), “lover of money” (does not appear in the better manuscripts in 1 Tim.3)
“loving what is good” (Tit.1:8), (philagathos) appears only here in the whole New Testament. It describes someone who not only loves good things but likes to do them as well.5
In other words, It ―denotes devotion to all that is best‖ (Rienecker) or literally ―having a strong affection for that which is intrinsically good‖ (MacArthur).
Moulton and Milligan cite a late second-century A.D. papyrus document and render the word ―a lover of virtue.
The AV translates this as ―A lover of good men while the NASB says, ―loving what is good.
“sensible” (Tit.1:8), (sophron) is translated “sober-minded” in the NKJV. It means “of sound mind” (Kittel) and refers to “discipline or self-control.” This word “describes a person who is sober-minded and coolheaded” (MacArthur). He is “well-balanced, and has a properly regulated mind.” He is “discreet and prudent” (Hiebert).
“just” (Tit.1:8), (dikaios) means “righteous” (Kittel). It‘s a “state of being right or right conduct” (Vine). “It denotes that which is proper, right, and fitting” (MacArthur).
An elder is to be upright in his dealings with men. His conduct in relation to others conforms to what is right.
“devout” (Tit.1:8), (hosios) is translated “holy” in the NKJV. It refers to being “pure, unpolluted, free from the stain of sin” (Hiebert). “It speaks of the individual who keeps himself free from that which stains him in the eyes of God” (Rienecker).
1 Thessalonians 2:10, “10 You are witnesses, and so is God, how devoutly and uprightly and blamelessly we behaved toward you believers;”
There is a behavior about us that must be devout, upright, and blameless. This should not only be display before an unbelieving world but also toward believers.
“self-controlled” (Tit.1:8), (egkrates) means, a “complete, self-mastery, control over one‘s self.”
This is the type of self-mastery “which controls all passionate impulse and keeps the will loyal to the will of God.”
Galatians 5:23 lists it as the fruit of the Spirit.
In 2 Samuel 11:1-4 gives an incident in David‘s life where he did not exercise self-control over his desires and it cost him dearly.
2 Samuel 11:1-4, “1 Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem. 2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance. 3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.”
Alexander Strauch says, “To qualify as an overseer, a man must be characterized by self-discipline, self-restraint, and self-control in every aspect of life particularly over physical desires (Acts 24:25; 1 Corinthians 7:9; 9:25). Solomon warns against an undisciplined man‘s vulnerability in Proverbs 25:28: Like a city that is broken into and without walls Is a man who has no control over his spirit. During Solomon‘s time, walls were a strategic part of a city‘s defense system. A strong and secure city fortified its walls (Isaiah 26:1). A man‘s stability can be likened to such fortifications. Without stability and self-control, a person is exposed to attack and becomes easy prey for an enemy.”
“An undisciplined man has little resistance to sexual lust, provocation, anger, slothfulness, a critical spirit, or other desires that seek to control him. He is easy prey to sinful desires and the devil. Self-discipline is an essential part of the Christian life. Leaders who lack discipline frustrate their fellow leaders as well as those they lead. Not only are they poor examples, but they cannot accomplish what needs to be done. Consequently, the flocks they shepherd are poorly managed and cared for.”
“holding fast the faithful word” (Tit.1:9)
The words “holding fast” (antechomai) means “to cleave to” (Kittel) or “hold on t” (Rienecker) or as Kenneth Wuest says, “holding firmly to.” “Faithful” (pistos) is the same word we saw last time in verse 6 translated “believing” in the NASB and “faithful” in the NKJV. Here it is the “faithful, trustworthy, reliable” (Rienecker) word.
God‘s Word is faithful. It can be trusted.
Psalm 119:86, “All Your commandments are faithful; They have persecuted me with a lie; help me!”
Psalm 12:6, “The words of the Lord are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.”
No wonder David says in Psalm 119:50, “This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me.”
The word “taught” (didache) refers to “teaching.”
An elder clings firmly to the faithful, trustworthy, and reliable word that he has been taught. He doesn‘t stray to the left or the right but keeps “watch over [his] heart with all diligence” (Prov.4:23).
as your “fellow elder” (sympresbyteros, n) only occurs here and places Peter on the same level with the elders in the church
D. Edmond Hiebert says, “Peter’s elaborate self-identification adds to the persuasiveness of the appeal. Aside from his name in 1:1, the writer’s identity appears more forcefully here than anywhere else in the epistle. Modestly, Peter did not assert his apostolic identity.”
“As a fellow elder” (ho sumpresbuteros), “the fellow-elder,” occurs only here in the New Testament and places the writer on a level with the elders being addressed. “He is not speaking down to them as a superior to inferiors.”
Peter is not only a “fellow elder” but...
as a “witness of the sufferings of Christ”
“witness” (martus, n) This is not a spectator, “but one who testifies to something” (Hiebert)
There are two possible meanings: It may mean either an eyewitness, or more generally, one who bears testimony to what he accepts as true (Hiebert)
Here it means Peter is an eyewitness of Christ’s sufferings
Peter gave testimony concerning the...
“sufferings (pathema, n) of Christ” in Acts 5:30-32.
Peter said “30 “The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. 31 “He is the one whom God exalted to His right hand as a Prince and a Savior, to grant repentance to Israel, and forgiveness of sins. 32 “And we are witnesses of these things; and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey Him.”
According to John 18:1, He was in the Garden when Jesus was arrested
He also cut off the right ear of one of the officers who was arresting Jesus (Jn.18:10)
He was later in the court yard while the trial of Jesus was going on (Jn.18:15)
He was an “eyewitness of Christ’s sufferings”
According to Luke 24:18, everyone knew about Jesus’ trial and crucifixion
Peter says he was also...
as “a partaker of the glory that is to be revealed”
Peter could be alluding to the Mount of Transfiguration in Matthew 17:1-8, when Jesus “was transfigured before them.”
It’s more likely he’s referring to future glory—the glory that is to be revealed
D. Edmond Hiebert says it points to a glory whose unveiling is eagerly anticipated. This is not the glories of heaven to be entered at death, but to the unveiling of Christ’s glories at His return to earth.
This is Christ’s church
He mediates His rule through godly men called “elders”
“elders” are the pastors of the church
They are “overseers” of the church
They care for the church
They are guardians of the church
Peter emphasizes the role elders play in a suffering church
They come alongside and comfort and encourage
The biblical pattern of church leadership is elders
That is also the biblical pattern of church government
You need to pray for our church that God would raise up additional elders to lead our church
Next week we will look at verses 2-4 and see how elders are to exercise oversight to the church
As we close, we need to always remember what Charles Spurgeon said
“A time will come when instead of shepherds feeding the sheep, the church will have clowns entertaining the goats.”
That is never our desire but it can happen
To prevent that we must continue to be committed to the Word of God and live what it says
That is also true when it comes to what it says about the church
Jesus is the head of His church
He is also the Savior of it
Has He saved you?
If you have never come to Him for salvation, you can come right now
Thrust yourself on Him by repenting and believing the Gospel and by confessing Him as Lord
Let’s pray
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