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Bible verses about Elder
(From Forerunner Commentary)

The New Testament uses a number of words to designate leaders in the congregations: elder (presbuteros), bishop (episkopos), and pastor (poimen). Presbuteros generally emphasizes the dignity of the office. But because the elder has an office, as contrasted with others in the body who do not, it indicates a leadership role. The term is derived from the Old Testament where "elder" represented a village, town, or city leader.

Episkopos, meaning overseer or supervisor, highlights the elder's duty. The episkopos was appointed to oversee or supervise elements of the congregation's activities.

Poimen, in other contexts, is translated "shepherd." A shepherd leads, guides, and oversees the welfare of a flock of sheep that follow him wherever he leads. This word often stresses the manner in which a leader leads. In this article, however, I am not concerned about the quality of leadership, but that we understand that we cannot be true Christians without following a man.

John W. Ritenbaugh
'I'll Never Follow Another Man!'


 

Acts 20:28   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Paul tells the elders to be careful how they shepherd the flock. He emphasizes that it is a God-given duty and responsibility. He says, "The Holy Spirit has made you overseers." Elders, ministers, are especially called out to watch over the flock, to guard it, to help it, to lead it. This is no light matter: The ones they are to help are the precious redeemed of God. Jesus Christ has given His life's blood for these people, and they are precious in God's sight. So the ministry is to be very careful how they watch over the people.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Jude


 

1 Corinthians 3:9-10   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

If God places us within an office in the church—as an elder or a deacon—it must be looked upon as a blessing that is a responsibility, not a reward! It is given for God's purposes. Paul even had his office as apostle because it was given to him. It is implied that all the powers to perform it were also given. He used them to lay the foundation.

Everybody else is the same way. The important thing is that each one of us must use our gifts to build. Paul says, "Be careful how you build." The foundation that was laid is Jesus Christ. When we begin to expand on it, it consists of the apostles and the prophets as well—the things that they wrote and the examples that they set. Everybody is to build on the same foundation! God gives everybody the gifts to enable them to do so.

To some, God gives gifts to be apostles; to others, He gives gifts to be an evangelist, pastor, teacher, or whatever. They are given, though, and every time God gives an office, He gives all that is needed for the person to fulfill that office—including overcoming sin.

The Bible consistently teaches that an office is not a place from which to exercise power, but a position from which to exercise service. The authority is certainly there, since God gives it. He always gives the authority to go with the office, but having it means that the elder or deacon must also have the right perspective on how to use the office God has given him. The office is given, not earned.

John W. Ritenbaugh
Grace Upon Grace


 

1 Timothy 3:1   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

It is not wrong to want to be an elder, or an overseer, or a pastor. If one's motives are right, it is not an improper ambition. Being a pastor of a church and helping the people are good works, if they are pursued in a godly way.

Richard T. Ritenbaugh
Countering Presumptuousness


 

1 Peter 5:1-5   (Go to this verse :: Verse pop-up)

Notice all the words that suggest leading and/or following: elder(s), shepherd, flock, serving, overseers, lords, entrusted, and examples. This clearly establishes that God's church is a body in which He has placed leaders to oversee and care for His people. Further, the leadership is to provide examples for them to follow.

The Bible nowhere anticipates independent Christians in its instructions, but it always assumes the body has ministers given by Christ to provide teaching and guidance. Too frequently, people separate from one group then regroup around a person whom Christ has not appointed to teach His Word. It is not that this person cannot teach at all but that Christ has not given him the gifts to teach His people in His behalf. He was not placed in the body for that purpose. Steady spiritual degeneration within that group occurs.

John W. Ritenbaugh
'I'll Never Follow Another Man!'


 

Find more Bible verses about Elder:
Elder {Nave's}
 




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