Eldership Induction Service

Induction Service

This coming Lord’s Day at Hills Bible Church will be an Eldership induction service. Two men will be welcomed into the Eldership before the congregation. This occasion will be a public setting apart of these men for this task and be a time in which the congregation is reminded of the role of Elders. Continue reading Eldership Induction Service

The Priorities of a Godly Father

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The 7th September is Father’s Day here in Australia. I’m sure many dads will enjoy receiving cards, gifts and maybe celebratory meals from their children. No doubt for many dads their sock or chocolate supply will be replenished until Christmas. With this wonderful celebration going on over the weekend, I would like to take the time to reflect on the priorities of a godly father.

As the people of God, it is our privilege to be able to call the Creator of the universe Father. By calling God our Father reminds us that we are His children (), that He provides for us (), and that He loves us (). What a privilege!

By God’s design and grace, He has made it possible for men to be fathers. Being a dad is a great privilege. A Christian dad has the opportunity to reflect the gracious relationship God the Father has with His children. As an earthly father does this, he is entering into a role in which he is able to teach and instruct his children in the ways of the Lord.

What are the priorities of a father? I would like to share two priorities: Submission to Christ and Shepherding his Children.

SUBMISSION TO CHIRST

I find it very interesting that we are told that Enoch “walked with God after he fathered Methuselah” (). It was as if this great responsibility of being a father awakened him to the priority of pleasing God. Being a father is a huge responsibility. Such a responsibility can only be carried effectively if a father is committed to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. A godly father is a man who knows the Lord Jesus Christ and submits himself to His authority. This act of submission forms and shapes the way the man will be a father. He will learn in the Scriptures what the Word teaches concerning character and conduct.

SHEPHERDING HIS CHILDREN

The second priority of a godly father is his commitment to shepherding his children. The Scriptures command, “Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord” ().

One of the problems with preventing fathers from actively shepherding their children is the sin of being absent. Nathan Bingham insightfully writes,

“There’s a crime wave going on in your neighborhood—possibly even in your own home. It’s a crime wave that won’t make it to the nightly news, but not because it isn’t serious, for it scars generations and teaches them to commit the same crime.

Who are the criminals? Absent fathers.

I’m not talking about full-time absent fathers, those never home at all. I hope that’s a rarity. I’m talking about your average dad, the one who commits this crime most mornings, during dinner, and especially during the hour before little ones go to bed.

It’s a crime wave, and I’ve been an offender. You might be one too.

You’re guilty when you skip breakfast with the family to prepare for that early morning meeting, when you’re distant at the dinner table because you’re resolving an issue at work in a long email conversation on your smartphone, and when you forfeit a healthy family night-time ritual because you’ve got something important to do—like write a blog post.

I’ve succumb. Have you?”

With great clarity, Nathan goes on to write that fathers need to be intentional in committing to spend time with their children. Father’s have the privilege and the priority to invest in their children’s lives and to teach them the grand truths of God’s Word. This means that men need to give themselves to the priority of showing leadership in their homes by making sure that the Scriptures are being taught and that their children are being led in the way of the Lord. Dads, do you teach your children the Scriptures?

We need to take time thanking God for the gifts of father’s but we also need to pray for them. Society is attacking the biblical role the father’s leadership. Pray that Christian dads will stand tall in an age of compromise and lead their families with biblical conviction. Happy Father’s Day dads.

15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!”

And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

23 In that day you will ask nothing of me. Truly, truly, I say to you, whatever you ask of the Father in my name, he will give it to you.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

27 for the Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and have believed that I came from God.

22 Enoch walked with God after he fathered Methuselah 300 years and had other sons and daughters.

Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.

What is an Elder and what does he do? (1 Timothy 3:1)

The head of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ (; ). He purchased the church with His own blood (; ), He builds the church () and He loves the church (). Continue reading What is an Elder and what does he do? (1 Timothy 3:1)

23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

An Elder’s Calling and Character

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In an earlier post, I looked at what the Bible says concerning the meaning of an elder. In this post, I will consider what an elder’s calling and character is like.

It is the duty of an elder to lead (; ), teach (), and shepherd (; ; ; ; ) the congregation in a local church. The elders are from the congregation and are given the task of an under-shepherd who will one day give an account to the Chief Shepherd of the church (; ).

It is important to understand what an eldership is and what God’s intention for the church’s leadership is. It is the duty of the elders to care for the congregation and it is the duty of the congregation to respect and submit to the elders (). This brings us to our passage in . In this passage we will consider two aspects of the position and function of an elder – the calling of an elder () and the character of an elder ().

The Calling of an Elder
contains the second of five “trustworthy” sayings (1:15; 4:9; ; ). Each of these contains an important pithy truth that was familiar to the redeemed. He proceeds to say, “If any aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. This verse provides an essential element to the calling of an elder, and that is aspiration. The word “aspires” does not refer to a selfish aspiration of power and status, but rather to the pursuit of the task of shepherding God’s flock. This is critical because as he shepherds God’s flock, it must be done with willingness and eagerness (). He is not driven by power, money or prestige – he is compelled to shepherd. This “desire” is “a noble task” because it is the oversight of those that Christ purchased with His own blood (; ).

The Character of an Elder
In , Paul provides a list of fifteen character qualifications of an elder. This list is not exhaustive, but provides the essential qualities of a biblical elder. When looking at a list like this, it is important to consider the following observations.

Firstly, an elder must be a male. The repetition of the masculine pronoun “he” is repeated throughout this passage and also the qualification “husband of one wife” (3:2) clearly indicates an elder is to be a male. Secondly, these qualifications have nothing to do with the man’s rank in society or his achievements. Instead, these are all descriptions of his devotion to the Lord. Finally, an elder will not be able to perfectly adhere to these qualifications, but his overall pattern will display a pursuit of these things in faithfulness. These qualifications reveal the kind of man the Lord desires to serve as an elder in the church. This is the man the church is to respect and submit to ().

The Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of the church. Within the church are a people who are gifted in unique ways so as to glorify God and edify their fellow brethren. Yet in the Lord’s design He has called for certain members to function as leaders. These leaders are the elders of the church and they have an important task to lead, teach and shepherd God’s flock.

Recommended Resources:

9 Marks

40 Questions about Elders and Deacons

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,

1 Timothy 5:17

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching.

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them.

12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church?

14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task. Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

3:1 The saying is trustworthy: If anyone aspires to the office of overseer, he desires a noble task.

11 The saying is trustworthy, for:

If we have died with him, we will also live with him;

The saying is trustworthy, and I want you to insist on these things, so that those who have believed in God may be careful to devote themselves to good works. These things are excellent and profitable for people.

not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach, not a drunkard, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money. He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive, for if someone does not know how to manage his own household, how will he care for God’s church? He must not be a recent convert, or he may become puffed up with conceit and fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover, he must be well thought of by outsiders, so that he may not fall into disgrace, into a snare of the devil.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

What is an Elder?

Shepherd

The Head of the church is the Lord Jesus Christ (; ). He purchased the church with His own blood (; ), He builds the church () and He loves the church (). Because the church belongs to Him, it is His right to determine what a church does and how it ought to function. As members of the church, we ought to strive to be obedient to Him and willingly submit to His rule. How does He exercise His authority and rule? He has entrusted this task to under-shepherds who are to lead, teach and care for the people of God. In chapter two of his letter to Timothy, Paul had provided instructions concerning public worship. In this chapter he moves onto the topic of church leadership. Who has Christ entrusted the leadership of the church to? In his letter to the Philippians Paul begins by saying, “Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons” (). This verse reveals three groups in the church at Philippi, “the saints“, “the overseers” and the “deacons“. It is this second group that we will be considering in this post.

As you read through the book of Acts there are various references to the leadership of the local church. The first time in the NT we are introduced to elders in the church is in . Paul and Barnabas brought a gift to the Jerusalem church for their time of need. It was handed to the elders (). Up until this point, the apostles had been showing the leadership in the local churches (). On another occasion after a time of ministry in Lystra, the apostle Paul was stoned by a crowd and dragged out of the city thinking he was dead (). After that, Paul and Barnabas went to various cities encouraging the churches. Then we learn the following, “And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed” (). In an issue faced the church concerning Gentiles coming into the church. There were some who were requiring circumcision in order to be saved (). Paul and Barnabas were appointed to go to a council in Jerusalem (15:2) where “the apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter” (). In Paul gives a farewell speech to the Ephesian elders (the same church Timothy was in). His charge to them reveals the pastoral influence and obligation they have to the congregation. After Paul bid the Ephesian elders farewell, he journeyed to Jerusalem. After arriving, Luke records, “On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present” (). This again reveals the leadership the elders were having in the church. From these passages in the book of Acts it becomes clear that in the early church there were elders. The concept of elders most likely was carried over from the Old Testament (eg. ; ); however the New Testament changes the function of this role in a way that is applicable to the New Testament church.

So then, what is an elder? When used of this particular position and function, the word “elder” refers to an individual who serves in a leadership role in the church. The word elder draws attention to his spiritual maturity. It is the teaching and assumption of the New Testament that there will be a plurality of elders functioning in the local church. There are two other words used of an elder, an “overseer” (or “bishop”) and “pastor” (or “shepherd”). These three terms all refer to the same position, are used interchangeably (; ) and provide insight into the nature of this role. Amongst the plurality of elders in the local church, one of them is usually recognized and gifted as the pastor-teacher (). This individual will labour mostly in the preaching and teaching of the Word of God, be devoted to the ministry and will be remunerated (), however other elders and gifted men can still preach and teach.

23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.

18 And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent.

28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

18 knowing that you were ransomed from the futile ways inherited from your forefathers, not with perishable things such as silver or gold, 19 but with the precious blood of Christ, like that of a lamb without blemish or spot.

28 Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom.”

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

1:1 Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus,

To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the overseers and deacons:

11:1 Now the apostles and the brothers who were throughout Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him, saying, “You went to uncircumcised men and ate with them.” But Peter began and explained it to them in order: “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision, something like a great sheet descending, being let down from heaven by its four corners, and it came down to me. Looking at it closely, I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air. And I heard a voice saying to me, ‘Rise, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I said, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But the voice answered a second time from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, do not call common.’ 10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven. 11 And behold, at that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea. 12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. 13 And he told us how he had seen the angel stand in his house and say, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon who is called Peter; 14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.’ 15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning. 16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ 17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?” 18 When they heard these things they fell silent. And they glorified God, saying, “Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance that leads to life.”

19 Now those who were scattered because of the persecution that arose over Stephen traveled as far as Phoenicia and Cyprus and Antioch, speaking the word to no one except Jews. 20 But there were some of them, men of Cyprus and Cyrene, who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Hellenists also, preaching the Lord Jesus. 21 And the hand of the Lord was with them, and a great number who believed turned to the Lord. 22 The report of this came to the ears of the church in Jerusalem, and they sent Barnabas to Antioch. 23 When he came and saw the grace of God, he was glad, and he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast purpose, 24 for he was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and of faith. And a great many people were added to the Lord. 25 So Barnabas went to Tarsus to look for Saul, 26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians.

27 Now in these days prophets came down from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 And one of them named Agabus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world (this took place in the days of Claudius). 29 So the disciples determined, everyone according to his ability, to send relief to the brothers living in Judea. 30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

30 And they did so, sending it to the elders by the hand of Barnabas and Saul.

35 and laid it at the apostles’ feet, and it was distributed to each as any had need. 36 Thus Joseph, who was also called by the apostles Barnabas (which means son of encouragement), a Levite, a native of Cyprus, 37 sold a field that belonged to him and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

Acts 6:1-6

6:1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” And what they said pleased the whole gathering, and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Spirit, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolaus, a proselyte of Antioch. These they set before the apostles, and they prayed and laid their hands on them.

19 But Jews came from Antioch and Iconium, and having persuaded the crowds, they stoned Paul and dragged him out of the city, supposing that he was dead.

23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

15:1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.” And after Paul and Barnabas had no small dissension and debate with them, Paul and Barnabas and some of the others were appointed to go up to Jerusalem to the apostles and the elders about this question. So, being sent on their way by the church, they passed through both Phoenicia and Samaria, describing in detail the conversion of the Gentiles, and brought great joy to all the brothers. When they came to Jerusalem, they were welcomed by the church and the apostles and the elders, and they declared all that God had done with them. But some believers who belonged to the party of the Pharisees rose up and said, “It is necessary to circumcise them and to order them to keep the law of Moses.”

The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter. And after there had been much debate, Peter stood up and said to them, “Brothers, you know that in the early days God made a choice among you, that by my mouth the Gentiles should hear the word of the gospel and believe. And God, who knows the heart, bore witness to them, by giving them the Holy Spirit just as he did to us, and he made no distinction between us and them, having cleansed their hearts by faith. 10 Now, therefore, why are you putting God to the test by placing a yoke on the neck of the disciples that neither our fathers nor we have been able to bear? 11 But we believe that we will be saved through the grace of the Lord Jesus, just as they will.”

12 And all the assembly fell silent, and they listened to Barnabas and Paul as they related what signs and wonders God had done through them among the Gentiles. 13 After they finished speaking, James replied, “Brothers, listen to me. 14 Simeon has related how God first visited the Gentiles, to take from them a people for his name. 15 And with this the words of the prophets agree, just as it is written,

16 “‘After this I will return,
and I will rebuild the tent of David that has fallen;
I will rebuild its ruins,
and I will restore it,
17 that the remnant of mankind may seek the Lord,
and all the Gentiles who are called by my name,
says the Lord, who makes these things 18 known from of old.’

19 Therefore my judgment is that we should not trouble those of the Gentiles who turn to God, 20 but should write to them to abstain from the things polluted by idols, and from sexual immorality, and from what has been strangled, and from blood. 21 For from ancient generations Moses has had in every city those who proclaim him, for he is read every Sabbath in the synagogues.”

22 Then it seemed good to the apostles and the elders, with the whole church, to choose men from among them and send them to Antioch with Paul and Barnabas. They sent Judas called Barsabbas, and Silas, leading men among the brothers, 23 with the following letter: “The brothers, both the apostles and the elders, to the brothers who are of the Gentiles in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia, greetings. 24 Since we have heard that some persons have gone out from us and troubled you with words, unsettling your minds, although we gave them no instructions, 25 it has seemed good to us, having come to one accord, to choose men and send them to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul, 26 men who have risked their lives for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ. 27 We have therefore sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will tell you the same things by word of mouth. 28 For it has seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay on you no greater burden than these requirements: 29 that you abstain from what has been sacrificed to idols, and from blood, and from what has been strangled, and from sexual immorality. If you keep yourselves from these, you will do well. Farewell.”

30 So when they were sent off, they went down to Antioch, and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 And when they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement. 32 And Judas and Silas, who were themselves prophets, encouraged and strengthened the brothers with many words. 33 And after they had spent some time, they were sent off in peace by the brothers to those who had sent them. 35 But Paul and Barnabas remained in Antioch, teaching and preaching the word of the Lord, with many others also.

36 And after some days Paul said to Barnabas, “Let us return and visit the brothers in every city where we proclaimed the word of the Lord, and see how they are.” 37 Now Barnabas wanted to take with them John called Mark. 38 But Paul thought best not to take with them one who had withdrawn from them in Pamphylia and had not gone with them to the work. 39 And there arose a sharp disagreement, so that they separated from each other. Barnabas took Mark with him and sailed away to Cyprus, 40 but Paul chose Silas and departed, having been commended by the brothers to the grace of the Lord. 41 And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches.

15:1 But some men came down from Judea and were teaching the brothers, “Unless you are circumcised according to the custom of Moses, you cannot be saved.”

The apostles and the elders were gathered together to consider this matter.

17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.

18 On the following day Paul went in with us to James, and all the elders were present.

16 Go and gather the elders of Israel together and say to them, ‘The Lord, the God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob, has appeared to me, saying, “I have observed you and what has been done to you in Egypt,

Exodus 12:21

21 Then Moses called all the elders of Israel and said to them, “Go and select lambs for yourselves according to your clans, and kill the Passover lamb.

16 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Gather for me seventy men of the elders of Israel, whom you know to be the elders of the people and officers over them, and bring them to the tent of meeting, and let them take their stand there with you.

17 Now from Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called the elders of the church to come to him. 18 And when they came to him, he said to them:

“You yourselves know how I lived among you the whole time from the first day that I set foot in Asia, 19 serving the Lord with all humility and with tears and with trials that happened to me through the plots of the Jews; 20 how I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable, and teaching you in public and from house to house, 21 testifying both to Jews and to Greeks of repentance toward God and of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ. 22 And now, behold, I am going to Jerusalem, constrained by the Spirit, not knowing what will happen to me there, 23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies to me in every city that imprisonment and afflictions await me. 24 But I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God. 25 And now, behold, I know that none of you among whom I have gone about proclaiming the kingdom will see my face again. 26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all of you, 27 for I did not shrink from declaring to you the whole counsel of God. 28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. 29 I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; 30 and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. 31 Therefore be alert, remembering that for three years I did not cease night or day to admonish everyone with tears. 32 And now I commend you to God and to the word of his grace, which is able to build you up and to give you the inheritance among all those who are sanctified. 33 I coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel. 34 You yourselves know that these hands ministered to my necessities and to those who were with me. 35 In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’

36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all. 37 And there was much weeping on the part of all; they embraced Paul and kissed him, 38 being sorrowful most of all because of the word he had spoken, that they would not see his face again. And they accompanied him to the ship.

5:1 So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;

11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers,

17 Let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox when it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer deserves his wages.”

Four Lessons from 1st Timothy

Written by Pastor Andrew Courtis

1 Timothy

A few weeks ago it was my privilege to finish a verse-by-verse exposition of Paul’s first letter to Timothy. I would like to share some key points and lessons I have learnt from this great letter.

But first,a brief introduction.

The first letter of Paul to Timothy provides us a clear understanding of a church’s confession and conduct. Shortly after his Continue reading Four Lessons from 1st Timothy

The Roles in Marriage: Husbands

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What does the Lord require of a husband?

Husbands are to make sure that they are fulfilling their role in leading their wives with love. Husbands are to love their wives just as Christ loves the church (). The word for love goes beyond romantic affection. This word has to do with an unconditional loyalty and commitment – a love that keeps on loving. This kind of love is a picture of Christ’s love for His church (). What does this love look like?

A Sacrificial Love
It is not enough for a man to say, “I love you” to his wife with mere words. It needs to go beyond that. How did Christ express His love for the church? He “gave Himself for her” (). This was the greatest demonstration of love (). How do we know that Christ loves the church? He died for her. If the husband is going to love his wife, he needs to die to self. Life is not about his agenda, his priorities, his ambitions or his goals. He is to lead with a love towards  his wife that will be sacrificial. He must even be prepared to give up his actual life for her. That is sacrificial love!

A Sanctifying Love
We know Christ loves His church, because He not only was a sacrifice for her but He also sanctifies her. How is this done? By means of spiritual nurturing (). As the Lord Jesus Christ is concerned for the purity, integrity and holiness of His bride, the husband is to display a sanctifying love for his bride. He will make sure that he is assisting her in holiness. He will be concerned that she conducts her Continue reading The Roles in Marriage: Husbands

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her,

but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word,

The Need for Effective Leadership

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Over the last week or so, there has been a challenge to the Prime Minister’s position in the Australian government. Naturally this has caused much unrest and angst among the party and further frustration to the nation. The current Australian Government is a “hung” parliament. Basically the party in power did not have enough votes to be in power outright, so therefore required the support of the smaller parties. This naturally creates a manipulative environment whereby people from different viewpoints have the power to push their agenda and influence the leadership of the country in potentially unproductive directions. If the Prime Minister and other key ministers are not strong in their leadership, they will naturally be caught up in trying to please others in order to hold onto power. Continue reading The Need for Effective Leadership

What makes an effective Church leader?

We are in the process of searching for a lead pastor for our church. It’s a daunting process as we are a young church and the outcome will have a huge bearing on the future vitality of our church community. We want to make sure we are in tune with the Holy Spirit’s guidance, as He knows what’s best for our church. As a result, myself and the other church leaders have been pondering what characteristics we are to look for in a potential candidate.

Continue reading What makes an effective Church leader?