Shepherds 4 Image






Shepherds in the Church

Part 4

First Peter 5.1–5

Don Ruhl • Savage Street, Grants Pass, Oregon • October 28, In the year of our Lord Christ, 2018


  1. First Peter 5.1–2a | An Elder Exhorts the Elders

    1 The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: 2a Shepherd the flock of God which is among you…

    1. Peter exhorted the elders in other congregations,
      1. which was his job as an apostle.
      2. However, his job as an elder extended only to his local congregation.
    2. He exhorted the elders:
      1. as a fellow elder,
      2. as a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and
      3. as a partaker of the glory that will be revealed.
        1. He put shepherding the flock of God in the context of
          1. watching Christ suffer and
          2. anticipating the glory that awaits us.
        2. Elders, keep your eyes focused on those two things, and
          1. you shall shepherd the flock just as God wants you to do.
            1. Remember what Jesus suffered for you and
            2. that He so suffered that you might share in His glory.
          2. He matters to you and
            1. what matters to Him
            2. is the work that you do for Him.
    3. Shepherd the flock of God.
      1. That means shepherds have to be involved in the lives of the flock.
        1. I have found that 99% of the sheep
        2. like it when church leaders take an interest in their lives.
      2. Remember that they are sheep.
        1. They need leadership.
        2. If not, then there never would have been a need for elders.
          1. Sometimes they do things that are frustrating and unexplainable.
          2. Yet, like with your children, you keep working with them.
      3. Remember that it is God’s flock.
        1. Since elders shepherd a flock,
        2. they might begin to think of it as their own personal flock.
          1. That might lead to dictatorial ways.
          2. Just stay a humble servant of the Chief Shepherd.
      4. Your responsibility is within your local flock.
        1. Paul prophesied in Acts 20
        2. that a departure would happen within the eldership.
          1. The departure happened when elders elevated one among them.
          2. Then the elevated one from other congregations
            1. got together and formed a group and
            2. among them they elevated one.
              1. Other regions did so and
              2. finally they all got together and
                1. elevated one over all the churches,
                2. ignoring what Peter had said here,
                  1. although they call him the first universal bishop.
                  2. Nothing could be further from the truth.
    4. Peter did not say much, but
      1. what he said, “shepherd the flock of God which is among you,”
      2. was God’s word, God’s dictate, and
        1. reading that simple declaration
        2. could have averted the huge apostasy that later arose.
  2. First Peter 5.2b–3 | Shepherding

    2b …serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock…

    1. Serve as overseers
      1. Remember what an overseer does.
        1. He keeps the work going.
        2. He does some work, but he does not do it all.
        3. He is not anyone’s personal servant.
        4. He works with a cooperative group of people.
      2. Do not let it be by compulsion
        1. He should not feel forced or pressured into doing it.
        2. If that is why he is doing it,
          1. God could have forced him and
          2. all of us to do what He wants.
        3. However, Paul said,

          14 Let all that you do be done with love (1 Corinthians 16.14).
        4. What kind of job will he do if he does it by compulsion?
      3. Let it be willingly, from the heart
        1. Is that not the type of shepherd you want over the local flock?
        2. Do you want someone who appears to love because
          1. he feels like he has to or because he wants to love you?
          2. Shepherds should be men who care for the health of the flock.
            1. They are not inwardly focused men, but
            2. they look outward, caring for their fellow Christians.
    2. Serve eagerly, not for dishonest gain
      1. First Timothy 5 shows that the church can pay elders

        17 Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. 18 For the Scripture says, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain,” and, “The laborer is worthy of his wages” (1 Timothy 5.17–18).

        1. If he only sees the work as a way of earning money or extra money,
        2. he has missed the mark.
      2. We honor elders for being elders.
        1. Some receive double honor because they serve full-time.
        2. Why should they not be paid, unless he does not need it.
          1. I wish that more of our congregations did this
          2. so that we might have men who will work full-time in this ministry.
            1. If he works at teaching,
            2. if he works at visiting,
            3. if he puts in the extra effort,
              1. let him be compensated for it.
    3. Serve as examples to the flock
      1. The flock needs to see the word of God in action,

        2 You are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read by all men (2 Corinthians 3.2).
      2. The flock has been entrusted to the elder/shepherds
        1. What does the Holy Spirit do when He appoints shepherds?
        2. He entrusts to their care the work of heaven.
          1. Jesus left heaven and died on the earth
          2. to acquire the fold.
            1. Yet, He also invites men to work with Him in this matter.
            2. He uses the Holy Spirit to put shepherds over His flock.
      3. Do not acts as lords
        1. All this does not make them lords.
        2. They are servants of
          1. God,
          2. Jesus Christ, and
          3. the kingdom.
  3. First Peter 5.4 | A Crown of Glory

    4 …and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.

    1. The Chief Shepherd will appear.
      1. Many things shall happen at the Second Coming,
      2. including Jesus rewarding His shepherds.
    2. Do those simple things and
      1. Jesus will give you a crown of glory that does not fade away.
      2. What do you think that will be like?
        1. I think most of us just want to make it to heaven.
        2. However, He will recognize the special work that some do,

          42 “And whoever gives one of these little ones only a cup of cold water in the name of a disciple, assuredly, I say to you, he shall by no means lose his reward” (Matthew 10.42).

          10 For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister (Hebrews 6.10).

          1. He knows what it is like to care for human sheep.
          2. He knows
            1. the frustrations,
            2. the sleepless nights,
            3. the overwhelming joy, and
            4. the blessedness of watching after people.
          3. He will make sure that shepherds are compensated for their work.
            1. If He will not forget when you give someone a cup of water,
            2. He will certainly remember you for overseeing His flock.
        3. Hebrew 6 even implied that it would be unjust of God to forget.
          1. However, you know that God is not unjust.
          2. Therefore, He will remember everything that you do.
      3. You have listened to people.
      4. You have cried with them.
      5. You have cared for their physical needs.
      6. You have supplied rides.
      7. You have encouraged.
      8. You have taught.
    3. He knows of it all.
      1. So imagine Him returning—and
        1. what a glorious event that will be—and
      2. He comes to you personally and gives you a crown.
  4. First Peter 5.5 | Submit to the Elders

    5 Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for

      “God resists the proud,
    But gives grace to the humble.”

    1. The rest of us have a serious obligation
      1. to submit to the elders,
      2. both officially with appointed elders and
      3. all of those who are older.
    2. Hebrews 13.17 declares,

      17 Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you (Hebrews 13.17).

      1. The Lord set up the system of elder/shepherds over His flock,
      2. not for their benefit, but
        1. for our benefit.
        2. Therefore, work with them and cooperate with them.
          1. If we do not,
          2. that will cause them grief.
            1. If they are filled with grief,
            2. how long do you think they will continue as shepherds?
              1. If the congregation, especially younger men, see their grief,
              2. how many do you think will want to be shepherds?
      3. The Lord uses them to watch out for our souls.
        1. He set up this system for us.
        2. He could do everything Himself, but
          1. He invites us to work with Him,
          2. whether as an elder or some other good work.
    3. If you have a spirit of submissiveness,
      1. God will give you grace.
      2. One way to show that submissiveness
        1. is by submitting to the elder/shepherds.
        2. Just do it and see how God blesses you.
    4. Resist His instructions to submit to the elders and
      1. see how your life turns out.
      2. And it all starts with whether you submit to the Lord fully.