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February 10, 2002 PM

1 Pet 5:1-4

INTRO: I am not the least surprised that close to the end of this first letter Peter had a special word to address to the elders among the Lords church. He had written of the privileges and obligations of the Christian life, of the several relationships Christians sustained, of fiery trial which would soon burst upon the church ... no wonder, then, that a special word is needed for the men who would lead congregations of the church through perilous and difficult times ... who would be watching for the welfare of the church. From the four verses we have read I would infer that there is no weightier human responsibility than that of ones being an elder in the Lords church.


A. He does not here refer to his apostleship

1. in this first letter no direct mention of apostleship

2. may I suggest, then, a couple of possibilities:

a. apostleship was a one time office but eldership a continuing one

b. he identifies with privilege and responsibility of the eldership as the office vital to well-being of the church

B. As an elder, he could not have been first pope

1. obviously a married man: Mt 8:14; 1 Cor 9:5; 1 Tim 3:2

2. too, does not speak of any primacy here ... he is also an elder not chief elder on earth, etc.


A. Feed the flock (5:2a)

1. feed is of word from which pastor comes

2. denotes all involved in shepherds care of flock

3. but especially idea of feeding is here emphasized

4. only way Christians survive and thrive is through the proper diet .. that of Gods word taught abundantly see Acts 20:28-32 the answer for apostasy is the word

B. Oversee the flock (5:2b)

1. oversight from the word from which bishop comes

2. denotes superintending the flock and its affairs

3. the elder is a person in authority within the church expressly charged with managing (1 Tim 3:4,5) and with soul responsibility (Heb 13:17)

4. it is noteworthy that flock is to obey the church of the Lord is neither democratic nor anarchistic! God placed elders in the organization of the church to feed and to rule

C. Lead the flock (5:3)

1. being ensamples from the word for pattern

2. denotes, then, showing flock how to live Christian life

3. observe Heb 13:7 whose faith follow

4. these men will stand up in any persecution, controversy, circumstance on the side of the Lord - a few courageous leaders can take us safely through!


A. A firm spirit taking

1. he must be a firm, decisive man

2. leadership is no place for a man who is unwilling to make decisions, commit to those decisions

B. A willing spirit not of constraint

1. he must not feel the office is a burden of duty such a sense would lead to neglect, procrastination ... even to compromise

2. he must be willing to be spent (2 Cor 12:15)

C. A selfless spirit not for filthy lucre

1. must not seek any particular self advantage

2. he must - to the contrary - be a man of open and great generosity ... who truly is concerned with giving (not with getting)

D. A humble spirit neither as being Lords

1. first, the church is Gods heritage not the elders

2. elders must not be petty tyrants, bossy a quiet calm, concerned, decisive oversight is the manner of their rule

CLOSE: The elders have an end in view. They look for Christs coming and for the unfading crown (5:4). Perhaps they will receive little applause in their role, but that is not their interest. They seek Gods approval; therefore, they serve faithfully by Gods word and pattern.

Cecil A. Hutson

10 February 2002

God's Plan of Salvation

You must hear the gospel and then understand and recognize that you are lost without Jesus Christ no matter who you are and no matter what your background is. The Bible tells us that “all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Before you can be saved, you must understand that you are lost and that the only way to be saved is by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ. (2 Thessalonians 1:8) Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” (John 14:6) “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (Acts 4:12) "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." (Romans 10:17)

You must believe and have faith in God because “without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Hebrews 11:6) But neither belief alone nor faith alone is sufficient to save. (James 2:19; James 2:24; Matthew 7:21)

You must repent of your sins. (Acts 3:19) But repentance alone is not enough. The so-called “Sinner’s Prayer” that you hear so much about today from denominational preachers does not appear anywhere in the Bible. Indeed, nowhere in the Bible was anyone ever told to pray the “Sinner’s Prayer” to be saved. By contrast, there are numerous examples showing that prayer alone does not save. Saul, for example, prayed following his meeting with Jesus on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:11), but Saul was still in his sins when Ananias met him three days later (Acts 22:16). Cornelius prayed to God always, and yet there was something else he needed to do to be saved (Acts 10:2, 6, 33, 48). If prayer alone did not save Saul or Cornelius, prayer alone will not save you. You must obey the gospel. (2 Thess. 1:8)

You must confess that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. (Romans 10:9-10) Note that you do NOT need to make Jesus “Lord of your life.” Why? Because Jesus is already Lord of your life whether or not you have obeyed his gospel. Indeed, we obey him, not to make him Lord, but because he already is Lord. (Acts 2:36) Also, no one in the Bible was ever told to just “accept Jesus as your personal savior.” We must confess that Jesus is the Son of God, but, as with faith and repentance, confession alone does not save. (Matthew 7:21)

Having believed, repented, and confessed that Jesus is the Son of God, you must be baptized for the remission of your sins. (Acts 2:38) It is at this point (and not before) that your sins are forgiven. (Acts 22:16) It is impossible to proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ without teaching the absolute necessity of baptism for salvation. (Acts 8:35-36; Romans 6:3-4; 1 Peter 3:21) Anyone who responds to the question in Acts 2:37 with an answer that contradicts Acts 2:38 is NOT proclaiming the gospel of Jesus Christ!

Once you are saved, God adds you to his church and writes your name in the Book of Life. (Acts 2:47; Philippians 4:3) To continue in God’s grace, you must continue to serve God faithfully until death. Unless they remain faithful, those who are in God’s grace will fall from grace, and those whose names are in the Book of Life will have their names blotted out of that book. (Revelation 2:10; Revelation 3:5; Galatians 5:4)