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Hebrews Week 58 | A Call to Die: Loving through Submission

Hebrews 13:17-19 (ESV)
17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.
18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.
19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

AEon Flux

Obey – this word builds many thoughts and feelings among people of today. OBEY! OBEY! OBEY!
Thoughts on how we see this word.

What it really means:

Significance of leadership

Paul is turning the churches focus to their spiritual leadership:

Hebrews 13:7 (ESV)
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you.

TROUBLE:

We like being our own leaders:

We must allow God’s word to check our hearts in this matter and make sure we are not saying, “I’ll decide what goes on around here…” or “I am not going to have any one else telling me what to do.” How about, “We’ve been around longer than they have and now’s not the time we are going to lose control.”

See the sinfulness of pride in these types of statements? We all have said them… we all say them in some form now.

GOD’S INSTRUCTION on SUBMISSION:
TO THE LEADERS OF THE WORLD:
Romans 13:1 (ESV)
1 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.

ALSO IN THE CHURCH:
Acts 14:23 (ESV)
23 And when they had appointed elders for them in every church, with prayer and fasting they committed them to the Lord in whom they had believed.

Titus 1:5 (ESV)
5 This is why I left you in Crete, so that you might put what remained into order, and appoint elders in every town as I directed you—

Acts 20:28 (ESV)
28 Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood.

Man’s THOUGHTS:
These guys work FOR us, so do what WE want.
God’s THOUGHTS:
These men work for ME, so do what I say so that you will BENEFIT through their care.
“Leadership in the church answer to God and work for the benefit of the flock!”

Pastor’s / Leaders / Elders / Overseers – Their ROLE:
Titus 2:15 (ESV)
15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.

Modern Times video 1 Peter 5:2-3 (ESV)
2 shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly;
3 not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock.

1 Peter 5:4 (ESV)
4 And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.

JESUS IS THE CHIEF 🙂

Elders in the church are representative of God’s authority and guidance:

OUR RESPECT to Leaders is respect to Christ
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (ESV)
12 We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you,
13 and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves.

Our SUBMISSION TO leaders is submission to Christ
John 13:20 (ESV) (JESUS)
20 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.”

Now back to OBEY and SUBMIT

17 Obey your leaders and submit to them,

Lack of obedience is a lack of trust in leaders and could be a lack of trust in God.
It results in idolatry, false teaching and sin in the church:
Hebrews 13:9 (ESV)
9 Do not be led away by diverse and strange teachings, for it is good for the heart to be strengthened by grace, not by foods, which have not benefited those devoted to them.

for they are keeping watch over your souls,
2 Corinthians 12:15 (ESV)
15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for your souls. If I love you more, am I to be loved less?

3 John 1:4 (ESV)
4 I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth.

The desire of a pastor is to give the sheep what is needed to finish the race, worship the savior and have a life of reaching the sinner… all for the glory of God!

as those who will have to give an account.

Answering to GOD for their shepherding, not the world, man or themselves…

Let them do this with joy and not with groaning,
JOY is the result of positive and submissive response to the leaders of the church
Paul exhorts the body to Obey and Submit just as he exhorts the church to be about building each other up
Hebrews 3:13 (ESV)
13 But exhort one another every day, as long as it is called “today,” that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin.

FAILURE to do so, will result in burdensome and tiresome labor for the leadership and discouragement and disunity in the body – which is not the purpose of the church.

STRIVE for PEACE and JOY will result
Philippians 2:18 (ESV)
18 Likewise you also should be glad and rejoice with me.

for that would be of no advantage to you.
The ADVANTAGE is that you finish the race and receive the prize:
Hebrews 10:39 (ESV)
39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who have faith and preserve their souls.

Not listening or following Godly leadership in the body could result in not having a true salvation… hear this.

LEADERS who remain faithful, although burdened and worn, are free from judgment if they stay to the call of God:
Ezekiel 3:19 (ESV)
19 But if you warn the wicked, and he does not turn from his wickedness, or from his wicked way, he shall die for his iniquity, but you will have delivered your soul.

Hebrews 10:30 (ESV)
30 For we know him who said, “Vengeance is mine; I will repay.” And again, “The Lord will judge his people.”
Psalms 135:14 (ESV)
14 For the Lord will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.

18 Pray for us, for we are sure that we have a clear conscience, desiring to act honorably in all things.

The ROLE and action of elders are to work for the salvation of the souls of the church… so that they will continue to teach, pray for and exhort the congregation to finish the race, know Christ and grow in Grace.

Back to the Future Part II rip

An overseer should have a clear conscience and needs prayer – pray for them, pray for me!
Not that we have one, but that we are sure we do, so pray for us as we need it… our desire is to honor God’s calling, the Gospel and needed ministry to the saints.

NOT everyone should be prayed for just because they ask for it… be careful, don’t waste prayer time for just any person who asks.

An elder oversees through the power of the word of God and pays close attention to what God is saying rather than what man or culture desires:
Hebrews 2:1 (ESV)
1 Therefore we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it.

Hebrews 13:7 (ESV)
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

An elder oversees by continuing to watch Christ who is the living word of God, not watching the culture, trends or self-serving missions:
Hebrews 3:1-3 (ESV)
1 Therefore, holy brothers, you who share in a heavenly calling, consider Jesus, the apostle and high priest of our confession,
2 who was faithful to him who appointed him, just as Moses also was faithful in all God’s house.
3 For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself.

CHRIST is the finisher and hope of our glory:
Hebrews 3:6 (ESV)
6 but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

An elder oversees by continuing to watch his personal holiness and character not preaching to those who should do what he is not doing:
Hebrews 13:7 (ESV)
7 Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith.

The Matrix film 1 Timothy 4:16 (ESV)
16 Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers.

An elder oversees by continuing to watch the conduct, lives and growth of the people in the church, not ignoring spiritual life for matters of ministry or gain:
Hebrews 10:25 (ESV)
25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

An elder oversees by continuing to have joy in Christ, but the congregation must also see that this takes place – joy in Christ is mandatory for the leader – so we again look back to submission for joy:

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2 Corinthians 1:24 (ESV)
24 Not that we lord it over your faith, but we work with you for your joy, for you stand firm in your faith.

If the leaders is not living in Joy, the people are not living in Joy, then the seriousness and clarity of the gospel could be ignored.

JOY in Christ is the ultimate goal… He must be our treasure!

19 I urge you the more earnestly to do this in order that I may be restored to you the sooner.

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