What Does The Bible Say About Elders

Living Rightly Before God

Elders in the bible play an important role in leading their community and teaching the word of God. They are seen as representing the presence of divine authority and providing guidance and stewardship to their congregation. As a result, a great deal of scripture detailing the life and behaviour of elders can be found throughout the Bible. Most importantly, biblical texts make it very clear that being an elder is a great responsibility and requires great faith in God and adherence to a strict code of conduct.

The book of Proverbs contains much wisdom and advice on living rightly before God, and verses 19-22 of Proverbs chapter 3 explain in a clear way the gravity of the office of elder. In these verses, Solomon warns against taking the position of elder lightly. He emphasizes that the job of elder is a great responsibility, and should not be taken for granted, for being God’s steward does not entitle one to abuse or neglect the duties God has assigned them- rather it requires a deep dedication to His direction and care.

The book of Isaiah offers additional counsel to elders of the community, giving instruction on the importance of keeping their integrity and righteousness. The 4th chapter of Isaiah provides sound advice on how to lead their people with honesty and truth; “And the statutes, and the ordinances, and the law, and the commandment, shall be the base of judgment to the old men that sit in the gate, and the child shall be their crown” (Isaiah 4:2).

The book of Ecclesiastes goes further to explain the role proper role of elders. Chapters 8 and 9 discuss the importance of respecting authority – it is only when elders are respected that the wisdom of God through them can be divinely delivered. Furthermore, it cautions followers against questioning the decisions of elders, as the conclusion to Chapter 8 emphasizes: “Behold, I have found out this, that God made man upright; but they have sought out many inventions” (Ecclesiastes 8:29).

The Bible also mentions elders with regard to the power and authority they can wield spiritually. In Acts chapter 20, verses 17 and 28, Paul reminds the elders to “take heed to yourselves” and “feed the church of God which He hath purchased with His own blood”, emphasizing their stewardship over their flock and the severity of their responsibility for the fate of the community.

Elders are also raised up in the Bible with regard to their use as example of faith and righteousness. Titus 2:2-3 advises young men in the church to learn from the example of elders “that they should be sober, grave, temperate, sound in faith, in charity, and in patience”. These examples underscore the importance of having elders within the church teach and mentor others, ensuring that faith in God is passed on to the generations that follow.

Obeying Instructions and Having Respect For Other Religions

The Bible speaks to elders regarding their responsibility to obey instructions, heeding the directives of others, and having respect for other religions. In 1 Peter 5:5, Peter tells elders to “submit yourselves to the bishop, as unto God”, emphasizing the importance of obedience and faith. Heeding to this instruction is essential to the role of an elder, as it allows them to better serve their congregation and better lead them.

The Bible also mentions the importance of respecting other religions. In Exodus 22:21, God instructs all people to show respect and kindness to strangers in the land, regardless of their religious background. This speaks to the inherent care and understanding that elders should have for those of different backgrounds, ensuring all members of the congregation are accepted and respected.

In addition to showing respect and kindness, elders must also ensure that the faith of their congregation is kept. Deuteronomy 11 encourages elders to hold on to their faith, “ordering them to serve the Lord faithfully and wholeheartedly” (Deuteronomy 11:13). It is essential that believers remain committed to their faith and that elders lead by example, not just through words or teaching, but through action as well.

Elders are also reminded of their responsibility to educate the congregation about God and His will for His people. In Deuteronomy 6:1-25, Moses instructs the Israelites to “teach their children diligently”, reminding elders that they need to educate the congregation on God’s laws and teachings, ensuring they are able to lead a life that is pleasing to God.

Having Hope in God and Overlooking Minor Faults

The Bible directs elders to provide compassion and mercy in their decision making. The book of Micah instructs elders to “govern the people with justice and righteousness”, emphasizing the importance of justice and mercy in ruling the people (Micah 3:8).This provides a foundation for elders to follow, demonstrating God’s will for judgement to be tempered with compassion.

Elders should look beyond the faults of their flock, helping the people recognize the potential of their own beliefs and have hope in God’s love and mercy. The parable of the lost sheep exemplifies this: God loves every single member of His flock and elders should follow this example of loving and forgiving over punishing or disregarding. Similarly, in 1 Corinthians 13:7, Paul tells us that “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things”, stressing the importance of having faith in God, even in the face of disagreement or difficulty.

In addition to overlooking minor faults, scripture also reminds elders to relish in the joys that their congregation can bring. Psalm 133:1 speaks to this, noting how important it is to remain unified and to “walk in the house of God with a perfect heart”. Through these words, elders can be reminded of their duties to foster harmony and respect within the congregation, being diligent in their spiritual care of their followers.

The Bible is full of instruction on the duties, rights, and responsibilities of elders. From Proverbs to Acts, the bible provides clear advice for what is expected of elders. It is evident that being an elder is no small task – it requires faith, dedication and humility in order to properly shephard the flock of God. It is a position of great responsibility, and as long as elders remain committed to the words of scripture, then God’s will shall be done through them.

Transition to Maturity and Replacing Elders with Righteousness

Throughout the Bible, great emphasis is placed on the progression of elders, the responsibility to pass on their knowledge and wisdom, and the right to be replaced with righteousness. In Deuteronomy 34:9, we are told that “Joshua was full of the spirit of wisdom”. This verse symbolizes the transition of elders to ensure that the new generations can learn the sacred teachings. It is a reminder that as elders grow in age, they must also continue to grow in knowledge and wisdom to help mentor the generations that replace them.

In Ecclesiastes 8:10-12, readers are reminded of the importance of wisdom, character, justice and humility. This passage speaks to the need for elders to consistently work at developing the qualities needed to make them righteous shepherds for their flock, for only in righteousness are we able to lead our people and teach God’s word.

The book of Ezra also speaks to the importance of replacing elders with righteousness. In Ezra 10:4, the leadership is told to “separate yourselves from the people of the land and from the strange wives”. This passage teaches that elders must choose their own and their community’s righteousness over their own desires, and that they must remain humble and reverent of God, in order to continue to serve and guide the flock.

Finally, the book of Deuteronomy speaks to the responsibility of elders, prompting them to pass on the wisdom they have learnt throughout their years of service. In Deuteronomy 11:19, Moses instructed the elders to “teach your children”, emphasizing the importance of passing on their knowledge and wisdom to the future generations. This also speaks to the importance of elders always learning, continually growing in their faith, and constantly applying their wisdom to the church.

Self-Discipline, Integrity and Justice

The Bible also mentions the importance of exhibiting self-discipline in order to live a holy life. In the book of Proverbs 16:32, wisdom is given to us with the verse, “When it goeth well with the righteous, the city rejoiceth: and when the wicked perish, there is shouting”. This speaks to how accomplishment and triumph come through the righteousness and self discipline of an individual. Self-discipline, being obedient to God and being weary of temptation will all have positive outcomes in the life of an elder.

The Bible also highlights the importance of integrity in the life of an elder. The book of 1 Timothy 3:8-9 tackles unrighteous behavior in elders, emphasizing that integrity is key to their service and leadership, as it should be “above reproach” in the eyes of God and man. This passage also speaks to the need for elders to remain focused on their service in the church and not become distracted by their own desires or needs.

Finally, the Bible speaks to the responsibility of elders to ensure justice through their rulings. In Amos 5:24, God speaks to the Israelites and preaches that they must act with justice and righteousness. This is a reminder that elders must always remain steadfast in their commitment to justice, no matter where they may find themselves in their service.

The Bible is filled with instruction and guidance for elders, and those wishing to lead a biblical life. These words should provide insight and direction to those wishing to be a godly steward and leader to their congregation. The Bible speaks on the commitment, compassion and courage that elders must exhibit in order to be effective and righteous in their role. The words of scripture should provide a foundation for those looking to follow God and His will.

Marcos Reyna is a Christian author and speaker. He is dedicated to helping create disciples of Christ through spreading the power of the gospel to others. He has written several books and articles on a variety of theological topics, including matters of faith, worship, biblical studies, practical ethics, and social justice. A trained theologian and devotee of spiritual writing, Marcos has a mission to spread Christian love everywhere. He lives with his family in Nashville, TN where he spends his days encouraging others to seek Christ's grace in all things.

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