Join us Sunday for Worship at 10:30am

X Close Menu

Paul Addresses the Ephesian Elders Pt. 9 Guard Against Wolves: Acts 20:28-31

April 16, 2023 Speaker: Bob DeWaay Series: Ephesians

Scripture: Acts 20:28-31

This class focuses on the need to “guard” or “beware” of wolves who are a grave danger to the Lord’s flock. Paul warns against external wolves in Acts 20:29. To understand the danger, we focus on the nature of Jesus’ relationship to His flock and the definition of the church. Sadly, church history is filled with the seriously wrong definition of the church as an institution which perpetuates itself through processes which alienate true believers from the Lord who is the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). We address passages in Luke where Jesus says to beware of religious leaders like the Pharisees who love the status they have in the eyes of others (Luke 20:46-47). They love “chief seats in synagogues and places of honor at banquets.” This danger has been amplified after the death of Christ’s apostles as institutions arose which created massive organizations and hierarchies far more elaborate that those Jesus warned against. Rather than every member of the body of Christ being directly attached to the head of the church, Jesus Christ, those who do not appear to have anything to offer the institutionalized church are harmed or totally neglected. Eventually what is called “church” has no resemblance to the gatherings of believers addressed by Paul and Peter in these passages. The leadership of these groups was elders who were part of the local fellowship.  Eventually, the descendants of previous generations of Christians gain power in the ever growing institutions and determine what is taught and practiced. This explains how the gospel has been driven out of groups which were supposed to be those who would guard the integrity of the message of truth and the spiritual well-being of the flock. The wolves often become the leadership of the “church” which is in reality something all together different.