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P 1 4. Obligations toward. the Eldership. Introduction. A healthy relationship between members and overseers, which God’s pattern for the local church expects, also requires obligations on the part of the members. We want to consider 3 things tonight Obey, Submit, and having Unity

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obligations toward



Obligations toward

the Eldership

  • A healthy relationship between members and overseers, which God’s pattern for the local church expects, also requires obligations on the part of the members.
  • We want to consider 3 things tonight
    • Obey, Submit, and having Unity
  • “The church doesn’t run the elders, you don’t and I don’t, God does!” – Guy McDaniel (3/9/14)



what does the bible say is my responsibility toward elders
What does the Bible say is my responsibility toward Elders?
  • It is the responsibility of the members to appreciate, encourage, and support the elders in the difficult work they perform for the Lord.
  • This high respect and regard for the elders is necessary to support them when they find themselves in unenviable positions.
  • But some don’t support an Eldership in it’s decisions.

1 Thessalonians 5:12 And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, 13 and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.



what do members disagree with
What do members disagree with?

But some

reject this.


In ALL matters

of judgment,

it’s the elders’ job

to make the decision.

Major decisions

  • Selection of a preacher / preacher’s salary
  • Work that is supported elsewhere
  • Matters of church discipline
  • Labor of restoring an erring member

Minor decisions

  • Times of the worship services
  • Which songs that are sung
  • Temperature in the auditorium



democratic system

Rule of a Kingdom

Democratic System
  • The opinion of everyone matters.
  • Government serves the people.
  • Every citizen has equal rights.
  • Decisions are made based on popular vote.
  • The King’s opinion is the only one that matters.
  • The subjects of the kingdom serve the King.
  • The decisions are made by the King (or those appointed by the King to carry out the King’s law).

In the Kingdom of Heaven:

God is the King.

His Word is the Law.

Elders are given oversight of His church.

And we as members…?

Matthew 6:33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

hebrews 13 17 nkjv
Hebrews 13:17 (NKJV)



Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.

  • KJV – Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves
  • NIV – Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority
what does it mean to obey and submit let s look at some similar commands
What does it mean to Obey and Submit? Let’s look at some similar commands.
  • Children, Obey your parents as long as you agree with what they want you to do. Right?

Eph. 6:1 Children, obeyyour parentsin the Lord, for this is right.







what does it mean to obey and submit let s look at some similar commands1
What does it mean to Obey and Submit? Let’s look at some similar commands.
  • Citizens, submit yourselves to government as long as the laws seem fair to you. Right?

1 Peter 2:13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme, 14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good. 15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—

Must I always obey?





ephesians 6 1 in the lord the exception to the rule
Ephesians 6:1 – “In the Lord” – the exception to the rule
  • In these examples, the responsibility of the party commanded to obey or submit is unconditional UNLESS the submission would cause the submitting party to violate a clear biblical teaching.





and relative to obeying and submitting to an eldership the same is true
And relative to obeying and submitting to an Eldership, the same is true.
  • The congregation MUST SUBMIT TO THE AUTHORITY OF THE ELDERS unless doing so would cause the flock, collectively or individually, to violate a Scripture. The response of the apostles to the Sanhedrin Council that “[w]e must obey God rather than men” would certainly apply if the elders are requiring something of the congregation which would violate God’s word. This appears from Scripture to be the only reason justifying a member not submitting to the elder’s authority.



let s talk about unity
Let’s talk about unity…
  • Some have a distorted view of unity.
  • “I’ll believe what I want to believe and you believe what you want to believe, and as long as we don’t discuss our differing issues, we can have unity.”
  • There may be peace between 2 people, but that does not mean there is unity.



unity in the 1 st century church
Unity in the 1st century church



Acts 2:44 Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common,

45 and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.

46 So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart,

47 praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.

How could people

of such different backgrounds

have unity?



answer by understanding how to achieve true unity
Answer – by understanding how to achieve true unity



  • Ephesians 4:1-3.
  • “Unity of the Spirit” (must be based on the teaching of the Spirit), implies I need to know what the Spirit teaches. This involves working together and having the proper attitudes toward each other.

Ephesians 4:1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.

unity of the spirit in law
Unity of the Spirit in Law



  • An example – Mark 16:16
  • But not all accept this.
    • Some say he who does not believe and is baptized will be saved. (infant baptism)
    • Some say he who believes and is not baptized will be saved. (salvation by faith alone)

Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

unity of the spirit
Unity of the Spirit

Holy Spirit







understanding the elders role in unity
Understanding the elders role in unity
  • In being qualified and appointed, the men serving as elders are ordained by the Holy Spirit (Acts 20:28) to guide or direct the church.
  • Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.



Direct in matters of law?



unity of the spirit1
Unity of the Spirit

Holy Spirit









  • When we understand the work of elders and our obligations as members to them, we can fully understand the importance of having qualified men.
  • And we can understand the importance of supporting them in their work and striving for unity.



one elder told me
One Elder told me…





Al, I would dare say (and your Dad may verify it) 90% of the feedback we get is along the lines of what we should have done, what we ought to do (my favorite, it makes you feel like if you don’t’ do what they say, they label you as a failure and sets you up for), and “I told you so”.  90% is complaints and pointing out things for you deal with and only about 10% tell you, you did the right thing and they appreciate you.


strive for the faith of the gospel philippians 1 27
Strive For The Faith Of The Gospel – Philippians 1:27

Puzzle Answer

Only let your conduct be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of your affairs, that you stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel,