Presentation on theme: "Faithful Shepherds vs. Savage Wolves. Faithful Shepherds The Psalmist David proclaimed, “The L ORD is my shepherd, I shall not want…” (Psa. 23). As the."— Presentation transcript:
Faithful Shepherds The Psalmist David proclaimed, “The L ORD is my shepherd, I shall not want…” (Psa. 23). As the people of His pasture and the sheep of His hand, we should praise God, trust in His promises, and avoid unbelief (Psa. 95:6-7).
Faithful Shepherds Born in Bethlehem of Judah, the Messiah would arise and shepherd His flock in the strength of the Lord (Mic. 5:2-5; Matt. 2:1-6). Accordingly, Jesus is described as the Good Shepherd (John 10:11-18), the Great Shepherd (Heb. 13:20-21), and the Chief Shepherd (1 Pet. 5:4).
Faithful Shepherds Elders who have oversight of local congregations are also called pastors (Eph. 4:11-13), responsible for shepherding the people of God (Acts 20:28; 1 Pet. 5:1- 4).
Characteristics Faithful shepherds tend the flock, offering leadership, provision and protection (Psa. 78:52-53; Isa. 40:10-11; Ezek. 34:11-16; John 10:1-6, 24-30; 1 Pet. 2:25). Paul spoke of the constant need for watchfulness, and warned of spiritual dangers arising from within and without (Acts 20:17-35, esp. vs. 28-32).
I Know that After my Departure On the night of His betrayal, Jesus prepared the disciples, not only for His impending passion, but also for the time when He would return to the Father (John 14:1-4, 25-31; 16:5-7). In the present context, Paul shows the same concern for Christians (Acts 20:29-32); later Peter would express similar sentiments (2 Pet. 1:12-15).
Savage Wolves will Come in Among You Both Testaments liken corrupt religious leaders to wolves (Ezek. 22:26-28; Zeph. 3:3-4; Matt. 7:15-20).
Not Sparing the Flock Faithful shepherds lovingly care for the sheep David (1 Sam. 17:31-37; Psa. 78:70-72) Jesus (John 10:11-18) In contrast, corrupt religious leaders are predatory rather than protective (Jer. 23:1-4; 50:6-7), caring for themselves (Jude 11-13). Jehovah stands in fierce opposition against such (Jer. 25:33-38; Ezek. 34:7-10).
From among your own selves men will arise Dangers arise from without and within. Individuals sometimes move into a congregation, making a good first impression, but hiding their evil past, their lack of conviction, or their manipulative agenda. Trusted and faithful men sometimes change with the passage of time, falling from their own steadfastness (2 Pet. 3:17-18), and leaving their first love (Rev. 2:4- 5).
From among your own selves men will arise Accordingly, an elder must not be a novice, but one with proven leadership abilities; manifesting continued faithfulness, not only in the past but also in the present (1 Tim. 3:1-7; Titus 1:5-13).
Speaking perverse things The Greek word diastrephō, here translated “perverse,” means “to distort, figuratively, misinterpret or corrupt” [Thomas #1294]. BDAG say it means “(1) to cause to be distorted, deform; (2) to cause to depart from an accepted standard of oral or spiritual values, make crooked, pervert; (3) to cause to be uncertain about a belief or to believe something different, mislead.”
Speaking perverse things Jesus referred to disobedient Jews of the first century as an “unbelieving and perverted generation” (Matt. 17:17; Luke 9:41). Paul exhorted the Philippians, “Prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as lights in the world” (Phil. 2:15).
Speaking perverse things Sometimes, the accusation is false (Luke 23:2); at other times, true (Acts 13:4–12, esp. vs. 8 & 10). According to the inspired apostle, the spiritual dangers facing the church were quite real (Acts 20:29- 30). Those who speak perverse things preach religious error and promote sinful practices, thus turning men away from the truth (2 Pet. 2:1-3).
To draw away the disciples after them False teachers are often dictatorial and domineering, reveling in their power and position. Some manifest the immaturity of James and John, pridefully seeking to be first, causing strife and division (Mark 10:35-40; cf. Matt. 20:20-23). Others are calculating and manipulative like Diotrephes, loving the preeminence, attacking any perceived rival (3 John 9-10).
To draw away the disciples after them In the political and religious spheres, men often seek a personal following. Gamaliel referred to this tendency (Acts 5:34-39, esp. vs. 36-37). So also the Roman commander who interrogated Paul (Acts 21:37-39, esp. vs. 38).
To draw away the disciples after them Pronouncing woes upon hypocritical scribes and Pharisees, Jesus said, “You travel around on sea and land to make one proselyte; and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as yourselves” (Matt. 23:15).
To draw away the disciples after them Binding circumcision upon Gentile converts, the Judaizers evidenced: Craven Cowardice (avoiding persecution for the cause of Christ), Hypocritical Dishonesty (not keeping the Law themselves), Controlling Domination (desiring to have you circumcised so that they may boast in your flesh) (Gal. 6:12-13)
Conclusion What attitude do we manifest toward our brethren? Are we given to sacrificial service, or are we self- serving and self-seeking (Acts 20:33–35; 2 Cor. 12:14– 18; 1 Thess. 2:5–8)?
Conclusion Loving parents do not dominate their children, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord, so that they eventually attain independence (Psa. 78:5-8; Eph. 6:1-4; Col. 3:20-21). So likewise, true spiritual leaders (pastors, preachers and teachers) help brethren under their charge grow to maturity (Eph. 4:11-16; Phil. 1:9-11; Col. 1:9-12).
Conclusion What attitude do we manifest toward the Father and the Son? Is Jesus Lord of your life? Have you obeyed the gospel of Christ? If we hope to enjoy the blessings of heaven, we must submit to Christ’s rule here on earth; otherwise, His protective shepherd’s staff will become to us a punishing rod of iron (Rev. 7:16-17; 12:5; 19:15).