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Paul Addresses the Ephesian Elders (Pt. 7) Guard the Flock

March 12, 2023 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Ephesians

This class focuses on the imperative statement “be on guard” at the beginning of this verse. Having established that elders, overseers and shepherds are the same people, we not look at their duty to protect the Lord’s flock. The term “guard” is prosecho_ which means “beware” or “look after” or “devote to” depending on the context. It is used 24 times in the NT. We discuss some passages in Luke where Jesus warned His disciples to “beware” of certain dangers. When He warned “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy” (Luke 12:1), it was in the context of apparent success. Many elders and church leaders have fallen into the trap of gaining status in the eyes of their religious peers and then failing to protect the flock. Have power and prestige easily moves the focus away from the well-being of seemingly ordinary believers to gain influence and power with people who are not even in the local church. We have an extended discussion about how such pride is endemic to fallen humans and entices preachers toward the “leaven of the Pharisees.” Honor, power, and money await to seduce leaders away from caring for the people who need to be protected. Paul’s teaching to the elders in Ephesus warns about this. We discuss the simplicity of the local church grounded on the authority of Scripture and priesthood of every believer. The elders must never silence the church, but feed the flock and care for them.