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
2. The Leadership’s: Divine Assignment
3. The Leadership’s: Divine Assurance
1. In our lesson today we are going to be discussing the theme: “Divine Call to Leadership.” 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.”
3. Second, we will discuss the elders at Ephesus’ divine assignment. Paul continued with his discourse: “For I know this that after my departure shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock... And of your own selves shall men arise... Therefore watch and remember... I cease not to warn every one night and day with tears,” Acts 20:29-31. This is an office of service and devotion to the people of God. The leadership is ever vigilant in its oversight of the church. They must defend her from false doctrines and the wolves that constantly attack it. This will be accomplished with careful watching, prayers unto God often, and many tears being shed for its safety and salvation, as “they watch for their souls.”
4. Lastly, we will investigate the elders at Ephesus’ divine assurance. Paul concludes his assurance unto them: “And now, brethren, I commend you to God, and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up, and to give you an inheritance among all them which are sanctified,” Acts 20:32. The beloved apostle now encourages them and grants unto them a divine assurance: an inheritance among all them which are sanctified. What a tremendous reminder of these men’s divine call to leadership. The Holy Ghost not only called them; but, now assures them that God will by His grace build them up, and will grant unto them “an inheritance” with all the saints. Truly, their “labor will not be in vain in the Lord,” 1 Corinthians 15:58. With this brief introduction, let’s consider our first point.
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....