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Sunday, January 25, 2015

Encouraging Leaders of the Church to Lead Well (Elders/Pastors/Bishops) Acts 20:17-38

Here is the audio recording for Acts 20:17-38 taught during our Sunday School hour at Village Bible Church.

In this section Paul addresses the elders (bishops, overseers, bishops) of Ephesus. The elders ("presbyteroi" v. 17- see Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5) are the leaders of the church who lead with maturity. They are also the bishops or overseers ("episkopoi" v. 28, 1 Tim. 3:1; Phil. 1:1) who over see the church in all spiritual matters. *They are also the pastors ("poimen" v. 28, only once to refer to leaders or elders as a plural noun - Ephesians 4:11. As a singular noun see 1 Peter 5:1-2) who shepherd (guide-direct, feed, protect) the church in all spiritual matters.

Paul the Apostle encourages the elders of Ephesus to shepherd the church of God as he has done. In a very personal way he reminds them of his example to them and encourages them to do likewise. It is a passage relevant and applicable to our church today. Those of us called to be elders must heed the words of Paul. After all, it is not our church but God's church that we shepherd. It is an honor bestowed by the Holy Spirit because of the grace we have received in Christ.

* Notice a correction on the audio. I forgot the use of "pastors" ("poimenes") in Ephesians and a brother in our class pointed out to me after class! It's good to be kept accountable.
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