Page 20 - May 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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rom other articles in this issue, it will   Who Is He Accountable To?
             be clear how great a burden falls   The scriptural elder will recognise that
        Fon those who have responsibility     the assembly is not his but God’s, and
        as leaders in a local assembly. We should   that all Persons within the Godhead are
        pray continually for them that they will be   involved and interested in it; thus, he
        able to fulfil the role of shepherding the   exercises overseership conscious that he
        flock for the good of the assembly.   is accountable in that function.
          The elder, sometimes called overseer or   First, the assembly is “the flock of God”
        shepherd in Scripture, will not be someone   (1Pe 5:2). Sometimes when, in a colloquial
        who has sought a position of prominence   way, we refer to “our” or “your” assem-
        or dominance in the assembly. He will   bly, we ought to be clear that it is not in
        not see the role as standing at the top of   a possessive sense, but more by way of
        a hierarchical ladder of status or achieve-  personal identification with a particular
        ment, looking at the rest in the assembly   local assembly. It is God’s assembly, and
        as subpar Christians. Scripture specifically   a heritage or charge that has been allotted
        forbids this: “neither as being lords over   to elders to oversee and shepherd.
        God’s heritage” (1Pe 5:3).  It is worth not-
                                                Second, the elder will understand that
        ing that for a person to take up the role, as   his role is given to him by the Holy Spirit.
        just described, he will not be able to fulfil   When Paul met the elders from the church
        it completely, but will, nevertheless, be
        held accountable for doing so. The same   at Ephesus, he reminded them that they
        standard of assessment will be applied   should take heed, or be on guard, for
        to all, irrespective of the degree of fitness   themselves and the flock, “over the which
        for service.                          the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers”
                                              (Act 20:28). The same stewardship of the
          Rather, the spiritual leader will be a   Holy Ghost that makes a man an overseer
        brother who approaches the task with all   will fit that man for such a service.
        gravity, knowing that he will be held ac-
        countable for how he exercises that role.   Third, Peter writes of the Chief Shep-
        In Hebrews, the saints are reminded not   herd, who, when He appears, will review
        only to remember those leaders, now in   and reward a crown of glory for the elders
        glory, who had previously taught them   of the flock (1Pe 5:4). So, elders are ap-
        and lived as examples of faith in such a   pointed by the Holy Spirit of God over
        way that they should imitate them (Heb   the flock of God and are accountable as
        13:7), but they are also to obey them that   under-shepherds to the Lord Himself.
        presently have the rule over them. One of   This review will take place at the judg-
        the reasons for this was that “they watch   ment seat of Christ following the Rapture
        for your souls, as they that must give ac-  of the Church.
        count” (13:17). Some questions arise, then,   Who Is He Accountable For?
        in relation to the overseer’s accountability.   From Acts  20:28  it  can  be  seen  that
        Who is he accountable to? Who is he ac-  leaders are accountable for a “flock,” an
        countable for? What is he accountable for?   assembly of Christians in a given locality.
        ¹ Bible quotations in this article are from the   Paul, making his way to Jerusalem, instead
        KJV.                                  of passing through Ephesus sent for the

        148 TRUTH kTidings   May  2023
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