Grace Protestant Reformed Church

Obey Them That Rule Over You

Minister:
Date: AM
Text: Hebrews 13:17
Psalters: 168, 336, 367, 358
Installation of Elders and Deacons
  1. What we must do.
    1. The first calling is to obey.
      1. Listen, pay attention to listen with a view to being persuaded, to be a follower.
      2. The concept implies that we have minds and wills, which are Spirit influenced for good.
      3. And implies that the elders use the only power they really have: the Word of God.
    2. And we are to “submit” ourselves, i.e., accept their authority, be subject to them, yield to them.
    3. These two admonitions fit together.
  2. The reasons for our submitting and obeying our office-bearers.
    1. First, we submit because the authority of an office-bearer is that of Christ.
    2. The second reason is found in the fact that they “watch for your souls.”
      1. They take spiritual care of the souls of the sheep God gave into their charge.
      2. The care is described as “watching,” i.e., alert, attentive, sleepless, circumspect, ready.
    3. A third reason for submission is the fact that the elders have to give an answer to God for their care.
      1. In the judgment day they will be judged for how they cared for and watched over God’s sheep.
      2. The knowledge of the judgment day is an incentive to the sheep, as well as to the office-bearers.
      3. Office-bearer grief is “not profitable” for the sheep, because it brings hurt to themselves.
    4. May we, the sheep of God’s flock, remember this calling God gives us, and be more determined to obey and to receive the Word brought by the office-bearers with all readiness.