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Our Spiritual Leaders: Leadership (19 of 20)
I Peter 5:1-9
July 13, 1997
I Peter has made a profound impact upon my life. This great Apostle has covered so much in these five brief chapters. It is unbelievable what He includes in this letter to the "pilgrims of the Dispersion."
He has covered ...
SALVATION... "Elect according to the foreknowledge of God."
SANCTIFICATION ... "Of the Spirit, for obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus."
SERVICE ... "As free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God."
SUBMISSION... "Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake."
SUFFERING ... "If you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you are blessed."
SECOND COMING ... "The end of all things is at hand; therefore, be serious and watchful in your prayers."
Now just before he closes the letter, he tosses in a study on spiritual leadership. He talks about the Elders who are leading the people in the Dispersion.
Peter affirms that he is "a fellow Elder in the Church." We must make it clear that all the Apostles were Elders, but not all Elders were Apostles. There were twelve Apostles and many Elders.
Some things about spiritual leaders (Elders) that we need to know:
(1) Elders are to be appointed in every church.
Acts 14:23 ... "So when they had appointed Elders in every church, and prayed with fasting, they commended them to the Lord in whom they had believed."
Titus 1:5 ... "For this reason I left you in Crete, that you should set in order the things that are lacking, and appoint Elders in every city as I commanded you."
(2) Qualifications for Elders.
I Timothy 3:1-7
I trust that you will notice that the qualifications for an Elder deal primarily with who he is, not what he can do.
(3) Why we need Elders?
What is the function of spiritual leaders in the Church?
Spiritual Leaders ...
I. SHEPHERD THE FLOCK. (Verses 1 and 2)
The first obligation of a shepherd is to feed and lead his flock. It is not to get a bigger flock; it is to care for the one you have. Shepherds don't reproduce sheep. Forget about cloning. Shepherds feed and lead sheep. Sheep produce sheep. If sheep are fed and led, they will produce lambs.
They say sheep are like humans - kinda stupid, so the shepherd never leaves his sheep. He has a crook on the end of his staff, so when a sheep begins to drift off, he wraps that crook around the neck of the sheep and pulls him back.
When we feed and lead the flock, we are in; notice Peter said, "The flock, which is among you." God will let us have more sheep.
It is very popular these days for God's people to run off to distant places for a few days or weeks to feed other sheep that is not of our fold, but Peter said, "Shepherd the flock of God, which is among you." If we are going to do something for God, we must do it where we are.
Recently I ran into a couple from o ...
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