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Summary: APPOINT QUALIFIED ELDERS WHO CAN TEACH AND DEFEND SOUND DOCTRINE

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BIG IDEA:

APPOINT QUALIFIED ELDERS WHO CAN TEACH AND DEFEND SOUND

DOCTRINE

I. (:5) NEED FOR ELDERS

A. Sometimes The Way to Get Ahead is to be Left Behind

"For this reason I left you in Crete"

B. Orderliness is Next to Godliness

"that you might set in order what remains"

C. Plurality of Elders is the Norm for the Local Church

"and appoint elders in every city"

D. The Form of Church Government is Not Optional

"as I directed you"

II. (:6-9A) QUALIFICATIONS FOR ELDERS

A. Gender Requirement -- "if any man"

B. General Requirement -- "be above reproach" (:6)

"for the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward" (:7)

C. Family Requirements

1. With respect to His Wife

"the husband of one wife"

2. With respect to His children

a. Positive -- "having children who believe"

b. Negative -- "not accused of dissipation or rebellion"

D. Character Requirements

1. "not self-willed"

Kent: "This adjective is derived from hedomai, enjoy oneself, take pleasure, and autos, self. Thus comes the meaning of self-pleasing, self-willed, arrogant..Here is the head-strong, stubborn man who demands his own way without regard for others."

2. "not quick-tempered"

3. "not addicted to wine"

4. "not pugnacious"

5. "not fond of sordid gain"

6. "hospitable"

7. "loving what is good"

8. "sensible"

9. "just"

Kent: "This term and the one following are similar, but have a different emphasis. ’Righteous’ or ’just’ refers to conduct which meets the approval of

God. The term is a legal one, and here refers to the verdict as pronounced by the divine Judge."

10. "devout"

11. "self-controlled"

E. Doctrinal Requirement

"holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching"

III. (:9B) FUNCTION OF ELDERS (WITH RESPECT TO SOUND DOCTRINE)

(Not a comprehensive list of their functions; just an emphasis on those functions that relate to remaining faithful to sound doctrine)

A. Teach Sound Doctrine

"that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine"

B. Defend Sound Doctrine

"and to refute those who contradict"

* * * * * * * * * *

DEVOTIONAL QUESTIONS:

1) Should every local church be governed by a plurality of elders, or just every city see

a functioning of multiple elders? What type of government would you have if only one elder ruled in the local church? (Study other corresponding NT passages to help shed light on this issue.)

2) How is it even possible to be "above reproach"? What does Paul mean by this general requirement? What type of investigation or examination is required to reach such a verdict?

3) What is our standard for faithfulness on the part of those we employ? What are some of our expectations? What is God’s standard for faithfulness on the part of those who would be stewards of His message of eternal life?

4) How can one perform the functions of exhorting and refuting without manifesting an argumentative spirit?

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