Posts in Elders
Who Are The Bishops of Philippians 1:1?

Paul writes at the beginning of his letter to the Philippians in Philippians 1:1,2: "Paul and Timothy, bondservants of Jesus Christ, to all the saints in Christ Jesus who are in Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Who were these bishops?

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What Does It Mean For An Elder To Hold Fast To The Word of God?

One of the qualifications that must be found in a mature Christian man before being appointed to the eldership is that he must hold fast to the word of God (Titus 1:9-11).

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Is A “Bishop” The Same Work As An “Elder”?

The answer to this question is “Yes”.

This question arises from a Bible study that was conducted with two young Latter-Day Saint (hereafter, LDS) missionaries who were given the title “elder”. Each LDS congregation has one bishop. They also have missionaries who are called elders and serve under the bishop of each of their congregations. The LDS denomination seeks to be like the true church that is found in the Bible, yet their pattern of church organization is very different from the church organization found in the Bible.

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Is It Right To Pay An Elder For His Services?

In 1 Timothy 5:17, 18, the Bible states: "Let the elders who rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine. For the Scripture says, "You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain," and, "The laborer is worthy of his wages."

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Must An Elder Have A Plurality of Children?

One of the qualifications that a Christian man must hold to in order to be appointed to the eldership is that he must "blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of dissipation or insubordination" (Titus 1:6) and "one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, ho w will he take care of the church of God?)" (1 Timothy 3:4,5).

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What Are The Duties Of The Members Toward Its Elders?

1. Know the eldership (1 Thessalonians 5:12).

2. Esteem the eldership (1 Thessalonians 5:13).

3. Be at peace among yourselves (1 Thessalonians 5:13).

4. Be submissive to the eldership (Hebrews 13:17).

5. Obey the eldership (Hebrews 13:17).

6. Receive not an accusation against an elder except by the mouth of two or three witnesses (1 Timothy 5:19; keep in mind this principle: rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father, 1 Timothy 5:1).

8. Remember and imitate the eldership (Hebrews 13:7).

9. Count the elders worthy of double honor (1 Timothy 5:17,18).

10. Call the elders when you are in need (James 5:14,15).

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What Are The Duties Of The Elders Toward Its Members?

1. Take heed to themselves (Acts 20:28).

2. Watch for grievous wolves [i.e. false teachers] (Acts 20:29-30).

3. Stop the mouth of vain talkers (Titus 1:11).

4. Take heed to the flock (Acts 20:32).

5. Feed the flock (Acts 20:28; 1 Peter 5:1,2).

6. Be guided by the word of God (Acts 20:32; Titus 1:9).

7. Oversee/shepherd the local congregation (1 Peter 5:2)

8. Be examples to the flock of God (1 Peter 5:3).

9. Rule well (1 Timothy 5:17).

10. Make decisions in the local congregation concerning matters of judgment (Acts 15:6) and enforce matters of faith (Titus 1:9-15).

11. Admonish the church (1 Thessalonians 5:12).

12. Support the weak (Acts 20:35).

13. Pray for the sick and administer to their needs (James 5:14,15).

14. Watch for the souls of the church (Hebrews 13:17).

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Can An Elder Serve A Congregation As He Should When He Preaches At Some Other Place On Sundays?

No. God has charged that elders ought to be overseeing and feeding the flock of God of which he is part. 1 Peter 5:1-4 states: "The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away."

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Must Deacons Have The Same Qualifications As The Elders?

No. Paul makes it clear by the authority of Christ (1 Corinthians 14:37), the Head of the church (Ephesians 1:22,23), that these works are different and distinct from one another. In 1 Timothy 3:1-13, Paul uses the word "likewise" to show a distinction between the two functions. Paul, in his letters, means by that word that a new section is beginning, but it is somehow related to the previous section. The similarity is that they must exhibit the qualifications to be appointed to either of these two works. One can also see that there are two different sets of qualifications showing that they are both different works.

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Should One Elder Take It Upon Himself To Make Changes Without Consulting The Other Elders?

No. Authority does not reside in one man, but within the eldership. Note the plurality mentioned in (Acts 14:23; Titus 1:5). The elders must agree upon the changes in question and discuss whether they are in accordance with the word of God (Colossians 3:17).

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Must an elder have every qualifications himself? Or can all the elders share together all the qualifications?

1 Timothy 3:1-7 states: "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having hischildren in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

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Is It Possible For Today's Men To Meet All The Qualifications Of An Elder?

This question assumes that a person cannot obey the commandments of God. It assumes that God's commandments are impossible. Would God give such impossible commandments? The qualifications do not demand a sinless, perfect man (1 John 1:7-10). If that were true, no man would qualify. The fact of the matter is that some of these qualifications tak e time to develop, therefore, we need to teach our young men to desire to be an elder one day.

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Could A Bachelor Be An Elder If He Has Had Experience With Children, Such As A School Teacher?

No. 1 Timothy 3:1-7 states: "This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach; not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but gentle, not quarrelsome, not covetous; one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); not a novice, lest being puffed up with pride he fall into the same condemnation as the devil. Moreover he must have a good testimony among those who are outside, lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."

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Must An Elder Remain Married?

As part of the qualifications of an elder the Holy Spirit says, “This is a faithful saying: If a man desires the position of a bishop, he desires a good work.  A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, temperate, sober-minded, of good behavior, hospitable, able to teach…” (1 Tim. 3:1-2).

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What Is the Scriptural Procedure to Appoint Elders In A Local Church?

God designed and planned His church from all eternity before time began (Ephesians 3:10-11). God also designed the organization of His church so that each local congregation would appoint an eldership (a group of two or more qualified, spiritual mature Christian men who have and maintain certain qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:1–7 and Titus 1:5–12; Elders are also known as shepherds/pastors, Ephesians 4:11, bishops/overseers, Philippians 1:1; Acts 20:28, and stewards, Titus 1:7, indicating the importance and extension of their work).

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Can A Christian Male Be Qualified For The Eldership If He Has A Christian Child Who Was Adopted?

Yes.

One of the qualifications a man must have in order to be appointed to the eldership is mentioned in 1 Timothy 3:4,5, “one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence 5 (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)” and Titus 1:6, “having faithful children.”

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Can A Christian Male Be Qualified For The Eldership If He Has A Stepson or Stepdaughter Who Is A Christian?

Yes.

One of the qualifications a man must have in order to be appointed to the eldership is 1 Timothy 3:4,5, “one who rules his own house well, having his children in submission with all reverence (for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?)” and Titus 1:6, “having faithful children.”

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If A Local Church Does Not Have Two Or More Qualified Men Who Could Be Appointed As Elders, Can They Still Function As A Scriptural Church?

Yes.

There is no indication of elders in the Jerusalem church of Christ until Acts 11:30; yet they were scripturally functioning as the church of Christ.

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