Hello readers. I’ve been discussing the issue of the placement of elders in the early church, showing that they were placed at different levels in the line of authority. Regardless to the placement, their key role is to feed the flock of the Lord. Today I will talk about the significance of the lines of authority in the church, since everyone cannot be in the same place. Here are some of my rationales for that statement:

1. The elders represents those who worship in proximity to the throne. In Rev 4, we were shown the example of the 24 who worship and are privy to information that the other saints in heaven do not appear to possess. Therefore, elders in the church should be more like the Lord than anyone else in charis and dunamis (Acts 4: 33, Gal 5: 22, 23 and 1 Cor 2: 4). Charis means “the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues. Dunamis means “power for performing miracles and moral power and excellence of soul” (Strong’s in blueletterbible.com). The office of “elder” should therefore not be entered into lightly. It is not a title or for the sake of prestige, but represents a solemn responsibility for the souls of men for which we will be held accountable.

3. Lines of authority are important for accountability. Paul held Peter and the other elders accountable for the teaching of the false brethren by going up to Jerusalem to settle the matter of the circumcision of the Gentile believers. Paul also rebuked Peter for causing conflict in the early church by failing to eat with the Gentile believers when the Jewish believers preaching circumcision were among them (Acts 15, Gal 2: 1-14). Jesus Himself has said that He is able to keep us and “… is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy”. He is accountable to the Father.

4. Since elders are the stewards of the mysteries of the faith, these mysteries are revealed as they spend time with the Lord and grow from glory to glory. Some elders are at more advanced stages of glory. For example, an elder may be in charge of the youth ministry, but not sufficiently advanced in revelation to be in charge of the souls of a nation of souls. This truth is also seen in the mystery of the talents (1 Cor 4: 1).

More to come. All grace and glory to the Father, Son, Holy Spirit and praise be to God for His ministering spirits the Holy angels and to the saints, members of His body.