TITLE: Honor to Whom Honor
TEXT: 1 Thess. 5:9-13
PROPOSITION: Members have an obligation to their leaders.
KEY WORD: Duties
1. Give honor to whom honor is due. Rom. 13:7
2. As we worship God let us honor the elders here.
3. What are some duties we have toward the elders?
I. Know the elders. I Thess. 5:12
1. Know them by name.
2. Know their example, lives, faith.
3. "Know" is more than recognize name and face.
A. Know what they stand for, believe.
B. Where they are taking us, leading us.
C. Understand them.
4. We also must know the office, the task they have.
II. Esteem the elders. I Thess. 5:13
1. More than know - esteem them very highly
A. Don't worship them.
B. Appreciate what they do for you.
C. Like getting well - Appreciate Dr. - Thank God
2. Elders = spiritual fathers
3. Hours, tears, agony, visits, meetings, etc.
III. Submit to the elders. Heb. 13:17
1. Submit = allow their will to prevail, place under
2. Limitations? Yes, in keeping with God's will.
3. Elders - submit to the Word - we submit to elders.
IV. Obey the elders. Heb. 13:17
1. Two way street -
A. Elders rule, guide, lead, direct
B. We obey, follow
2. Not obey the elders = not obey God
3. Differing opinion <> OK to disobey, rebel
V. Accuse not the elders. I Tim. 5:20
1. Fry the elders in a Bible class = WRONG!
2. Discuss your gripes about the elders = WRONG!
A. Moral, doctrinal, Biblical matters.
B. Present the complaint before witnesses.
C. Must be done in the proper manner.
VI. Receive not accusations against the elders. I Tim. 5:19
1. Be very cautious what you hear, accept as truth.
2. If the job involves correction and decisions, they will have enemies.
3. Many are nit-picking, fault-finding, gossippers.
4. Either -
A. Prove wrong in morals, doctrine or teaching
B. OR - Keep it to yourself.
VII. Imitate the elders. Heb. 13:7
1. Follow their faith and lifestyle.
2. Imitate them in - attendance, service, dedication, study, knowledge, patience, wisdom
VIII. Call on the elders. James 5:14
1. Members responsibility to call.
2. Call Dr. - don't call the elders.
3. Sick =
A. Physically sick, pain, disease
B. Spiritually sick, sin, lack of faith
C. Emotionally sick, depressed, lonely
WHAT IS AN ELDER?
He is a son, husband (of one wife), successful father, and diligent student of the Bible. He guards the faith, confronts the most hostile who enjoy fellowship under the guise of attending and giving, and tenderly protects the little lambs.
He is a counselor in time of need and a comforter in time of sorrow -- yet looked upon by some as one of the "dictators" and "Hatchet-men" of the church.
He is called upon to be a diplomat, politician, psychologist, a lawyer, a referee, a friend, and to pull ones chestnuts out of the fire, with only an occasional "Thank you."
Too often his heroism, prayers, and "burning midnight oil" go unnoticed, and the truth of his dedication and concern is buried under cynical criticism. Far less elders discredit their God-ordained office of spiritual oversight in the church, than do parents of the home who are subject to the elders.
He is an ordinary human being with a special portion of love for truth, Bible knowledge, mercy, Christian experience, patience, integrity, temperance, hospitality, and reputation, along with other spiritual qualifications.
He may be the very reason that you and your family are faithful. Try to imagine what the church might be like if God had not set elders in it. And then try to think of ways that you might make their job more rewarding.
Show them the respect they deserve; smile and say some kind words of appreciation to them. Thank God for their dedication and loyalty, both to you and to God's Word. Encourage your sons to desire this high office and work toward it.
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