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TITLE: Authority of Elders

TEXT: Titus 1:5-11

PROPOSITION: We must learn to respect the authority of elders in the church.


KEY WORD: Statements


          1. A problem in the church today is a lack of respect for elders and authority.

          2. Some think their only power is "example."

          3. Three statements about the authority of elders.

1. God Delegated Authority to Elders.

          A. W. E. Vine - "In the Christian churches, those who ... were appointed to have the spiritual care of, and to exercise oversight over, the churches. To these the term "bishops," (episkopoi) or "overseers" is applied..." (page 195) A "Bishop" is one who oversees; one who superintends laborers at their work.

          C. Acts 20:28 Feed the church

          D. Acts 20:31 Watch for souls, accountable

          E. 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 Know and esteem those who are over you and admonish you in the Lord

          F. I Peter 5:1-3 Taking the oversight...willingly

          G. Hebrews 13:17 Obey those who rule over you

2. God Set Boundaries of that Authority

          A. James 4:12 Only one lawgiver

                    1. Revelation 22:18-19 Do not add or subtract

                    2. 2 John 9 Can't make a new doctrine

          B. Authority is limited to matters of expediency

                    1. They are to make sure that God's will is fully executed   (They decide "how.")

                    2. They may make binding decisions on the flock.

          C. No authority to "unbind" what God has bound.

          D. No authority over any other congregation.

          E. No authority of one elder over other elders.

          F. No authority to "lord it" over the flock.

                    1. Not self-willed Titus 1:7

                    2. Listen to input from the congregation.

3. God Instructed "How-to" Exercise this Authority

          A. Acts 20:28 Take heed to yourselves

          B. Acts 20:28 Take heed to the flock

          C. Titus 1:9 Convict the gainsayers

          D. 1 Thessalonians 5:14 Keep church pure

          E. Oversee the work of the local church in:

                    1. Local and worldwide evangelism

                    2. Edification of the body

                    3. Taking care of needs - benevolence

          F. Provide leadership in the work of the church

                    1. Assign jobs - see that they are done

                    2. Set an example - be active in the work

                    3. Plan the work -- Work the plan

                    4. Decide what to do and how it is to be done

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