Summary: To establish that one of the church’s greatest needs is a sound and faithful leadership. That means the appointing of elders and deacons (along with their families), who are committed to their divine assignment of: lovingly watching over, caring for and shepherding, the children of God.
1. The Leadership’s: Divine Appointment
1. Today we will be discussing point one, of the lesson series: “Divine Call to Leadership.” This lesson deals with the leadership’s, divine appointment. One of the church’s greatest needs is sound and faithful leadership. This is not just a calling for men; but it includes their entire families; who are devoted to the work of Christ, and the shepherding of God’s people. There will be times in that service, that the family unit will be challenged; and in some cases, even caused to question their calling. Yet, if accepted, and successfully executed; many will be called and won to Christ; and souls will be saved by their sacrifice and their careful watching, over God’s people.
2. First, we will consider the elders at Ephesus, divine appointment. Paul reminded them: “To take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood,” Acts 20:28. The call to leadership was from a divine source: the Holy Ghost. Who had “made them overseers, to feed the church of God” with the word of life. This is urgently necessary, because the “church is the prize possession of Christ, having been purchased with His own blood.”
BODY OF LESSON
I THE LEADERSHIP’S: DIVINE APPOINTMENT
A. Take heed: “First to yourselves.” Paul charges the elders to first conduct a self- examination; to first take heed unto their own soul’s condition, 2 Corinthians 13:5. He makes mention first, regarding his own life and work among them in Ephesus, after their arrival to Miletus. Notice:
1. First, he describes his commitment to them; while he labored in Ephesus, establishing the church and appointing them to this office, Acts 20:17-24.
2. Further, he mentions his commission unto them; regarding their work and the upcoming apostasy, Acts 20:25-32. We’ll speak more to this later in this lesson series.
3. Lastly, his outlines his character while he labored with them, in Ephesus, Acts 20:33-35. He wrote: “I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel. Yea, ye yourselves know, that these hands have ministered unto my necessities, and to them that were with me...remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he said, it is more blessed to give than to receive,” Acts 20:33-35.
4. Therefore, he could ask of them to present themselves; in the same fashion before the church, and the citizen of Ephesus. Every elder ought to be an example before the flock. The elders must be a capable teacher of the word; and in his walk in Christ. Notice....
a. Paul reminded these leaders:
1) First. “I taught you publicly; and from house to house.”
2) Further, “For three months I taught in the Jewish synagogue at Ephesus.”
3) Next, “And for two years in the school of Tyrannus.”
4) Finally, “Besides my teaching and preaching in the assembly, at Ephesus.” The apostle preached and taught them all things that were necessary that they might show works of: “Repentance toward God, and faith in Jesus Christ,” Acts 20:21. I have shown you by my example how to love God, and serve Jesus: “Your first love,” Revelation 2:4. Notice....
b. To Corinth he wrote: “Be ye then a follower of me as I am of Christ,” 1 Corinthians 11:1. We cannot ask of the church; that which we are not ourselves giving or demonstrating. I wish I had some help!
d. He further wrote: “And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also,” 2 Timothy 2:2; 2 Timothy 1:13; 2 Timothy 3:14.
NOTE: To obtain more on Paul’s admonition to these young preachers, review our lesson: “The Minister’s Life and Work” on SermonCentral.com.
B. Then to church: “All the flock.” He now turns their attention to the flock, or the church. Please note he said: “To all the flock.” This no doubt is a reference to the make-up of the church of Christ in Ephesus. This assembly was attended by both “Jews and Gentiles.” Take heed that you oversee, “all the saints” in the body of Christ, in Ephesus. Observe....
1. The church’s make up was of both “Jews and Gentiles.” Each called into the same body by the “gospel of Christ.” Each was to have the same inheritance through their “calling and election” unto Jesus Christ. To the Ephesians’ Paul wrote: “That the Gentiles (the other members):”
a. “Should be fellowheirs.”
b. “And members of the same body.”