Acts + Letters Lesson 10 Day 5
Peace be to all of you who are in Christ Jesus.
13. The concept of elder came from Jewish culture (Exodus 3:16, 12:21, and 19:7).
The Old Testament elder was a mature, wise family patriarch. Likewise, the New Testament Greek word translated elder over 60 times means “one who is mature, having seasoned judgment and experience” who acted as “spiritual parents who lived day-by-day alongside their spiritual children like shepherds.” The word is used to describe both mature men and mature women. (Richard Jacobson)
Peter’s instructions to the elders
Shepherd [compassionately] the flock of God which is among you. (Protect, guide, nurture, and care for)
Serve voluntarily and willingly “from a heart that loves God’s people as a shepherd loves sheep and wants to serve them.” (Enduring Word)
Not for dishonest gain but eagerly. (“The gain is dishonest because it was their motive for serving as shepherds. Instead, they should serve eagerly, willing to serve apart from financial compensation.” Enduring Word) My thought is that these were not paid positions any more than children pay their parents for watching over them. I think it referred to the honest management of funds collected to feed the widows or others in need.
Not as lording it in a high-handed manner over others but [lead others by your beautiful] examples.
The sheep belong to Jesus. Elders should serve with their heart and soul as though they are serving the Lord. (Colossians 3:23)
Instruction for the younger ones 1 Peter 5:5a
Be respectful and willing to receive counsel.
Submit yourselves to your elders.
14. Peter instructs everyone with humility.
Peter identified himself as a fellow elder, not as a superior. He claimed no special privilege, authority, or position.
God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble. Proverbs 3:34
Humility conducts the grace of God like copper conducts electricity. Pride stops the flow of God’s grace as an insulator stops the flow of electricity.
Notice that humility is something that we have to do voluntarily. When others humble us, that isn’t humility but humiliation.
The way up in God’s kingdom is down. Before honor is humility (Proverbs 15:33 and Proverbs 18:12). But when we do humble ourselves, God will exalt us. It takes humility to accept God’s promotion too. (AWLC)
Clothe yourselves with humility in order to subject yourselves to one another.
The phrase “be clothed” translates a rare word that referred to a slave putting on an apron before serving, even as Jesus did before washing the disciple’s feet (John 13:4).
i. Some marks of humility:
· The willingness to perform the lowest and littlest services for Jesus’ sake.
· Consciousness of our own inability to do anything apart from God.
· The willingness to be ignored of men.
· Not so much self-hating or depreciation as self-forgetfulness and being truly others-centered instead of self-centered. (Enduring Word)
Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God that he may exalt you in due time.
Cast all your worries on him [God], because he cares for you.
Be sober and self-controlled.
Be watchful because of our adversary the devil is looking for an opportunity to devour us.
Withstand [the adversary] steadfast in your faith.
15. It’s important to unite with a family of believers.
We’re moving to be part of a caring community* of like precious faith-ers (2 Peter 1:1). It’s that important to us.
*Ecclesia (or Ekklesia) in Christian theology means both a particular body of faithful people and the whole body of the faithful.
- Koinonia / Fellowship
The essential meaning of the koinonia embraces concepts conveyed in the English terms community, communion, joint participation, sharing and intimacy. Koinonia can therefore refer in some contexts to a jointly contributed gift. The word appears 19 times in most editions of the Greek New Testament. In the New American Standard Bible, it is translated “fellowship” twelve times, “sharing” three times, and “participation” and “contribution” twice each. Source
- Study, worship, and pray together.
- Give and receive support during times of trial with meals, cleaning, or running errands.
- Opportunities to serve and contribute
- Mentor younger believers
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Scripture references from the public domain WEB translation unless we identify another source.
My answers to BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Acts + Letters of the Apostles Lesson 10 Day 5