Qualifications of a TRUE Elder


ELDERS (bishops)

Rightly dividing the Word of Truth

How did Jesus,
through Paul, set up the church (Assembly) and its leadership?

Allow me to set up the basics, before beginning. Many church leaders make some grave mistakes concerning leadership in the church. This appears to be true in almost every denomination.

Almost all of these leaders overlook, or are ignorant of what the Bible says about this subject. Here's what Paul instructed Timothy to do:
Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15:


Yet, what did Paul mean by this statement
: "rightly dividing the word of truth"?

Orthotomeo (the original Greek word for dividing, used here) means: to correctly 'expound' (the divine Scriptures); to examine and dissect just what the Scriptures are saying: For example, To whom is a Scripture directed? To the church; the preachers; or the elders?

Paul, here, is instructing Timothy about the different assignments of leaders in the church. An elder (overseer or bishop), for instance, is not a part of the Ministry, strictly speaking. Elders were not Preachers (as were Paul and Timothy), but looked after the welfare of the church, much like the superintendent of a building. They looked over the family of God, in a particlar church (e.g., the the church of God which is
at Corinth - 2Cor:1:1). On the other hand, Ministers or preachers, such as Paul, Silas, and Timothy, preached the Word of God. We must also have a full understanding that Sunday mornings were not, usually, a time for preaching, but a time for remembrance of the Lord's death and resurrection. The elder presides over the assembly, but he is not a preacher. There were special qualifications for elders, just as there were for preachers.

Elders, then, needed to be well-rooted, married men :

             Acts:14:23: And when
they had ordained them elders in every church,
             and had prayed with fasting, 
they commended them to the Lord...

Who is
"They", and who is "them"? THEY, the preachers, appointed THEM, the elders. (See
below)

1Tim:3:1: This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop [elder], he desireth a good work... 2: A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife... 4: One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection... 5: (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
Titus:1:5: For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:

So, WHO ordained these elders?

The laborers (Matthew 9:37/ 20:2/ :9:38, or the preachers) installed these men. In Titus we see a parallel verse, speaking of
elders, with that of I Timothy: If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. verse 7: For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God...

(Continued on page 8)

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