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Paul Addresses the Ephesian Elders Pt. 8 Every Sheep Matters to God: Acts 20:28-30

April 9, 2023 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Ephesians

Scripture: Acts 20:28-30

The noun “flock” and the verb “to shepherd” found in Acts 20:28 reveal an important aspect of the role of elders in the local church. The Lord’s blood bought people are seen in terms of His sheep to be guarded and cared for. We reference many other biblical passages which demonstrate this truth. The Lord’s cares for His flock individually and elders in the local church must see their duties in this light.

We reference Luke 15:1-6 where the religious leaders “grumble” because Jesus was dining with sinners. In response, Jesus speaks of leaving the 99 to find the one lost sheep. This causes great rejoicing. This leads to a discussion of the bigger issue of the local church as a flock as opposed to an institution which gravitates to perpetuating the power and prestige of the institution.

The importance of a real relationship with individuals who are the Lord’s sheep gets lost in the politics of the bigger institutional church. There is no institutional hierarchy endorsed in the New Testament. Instead there are local elders/overseers/shepherds who care for the flock. We also cite passages from John 10 where Jesus speaks of Himself as the “good shepherd” who lays down his life for the sheep.

This is contrasted with the hirelings who flee and to do no guard the flock. We also cite passages from the Psalms where the Lord is the shepherd. In I Peter 5:4 Jesus is called the Chief Shepherd. This analogy shows that the institutionalized “church” as a self-perpetuating religious system is not the church as defined in the Bible.