Welcome to the October edition of Good News, the monthly newsletter of the Fairview Park church of Christ! We hope that you find the articles below helpful, edifying, and true to the Bible. If you find the articles helpful in your Bible study, please forward this e-mail to a friend. May God bless you as you study his word!
Where Elders Come From
by Jacob Hudgins
Elders are all over the pages of the New Testament. When new churches are established, Paul and Barnabas quickly return to “appoint elders in every church”(Acts 14:23). Paul gives the elders at Ephesus a lengthy sermon of exhortation in Acts 20. Peter gives elders an outline of their work in 1 Peter 5. Timothy and Titus are given qualifications by which men are to be accepted as elders. The Hebrew Christians and the Thessalonians are told how to relate to their overseers. It is clear that these men, who have authority over a local congregation, are of crucial importance. So where do elders come from?
“In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will”(Eph 1:4-5).
When God wants to explain the incredible blessing he has given to us, he often uses metaphors that carry heavy emotional weight. We are blind but he opens our eyes. We are lost but he saves us. We are in debt but he forgives us. Yet few of the Bible pictures resonate quite like the image of the adopted child, a member of a new family, newly welcomed and beloved. What changes when we are adopted into the family of God?
“Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day”(Psalm 119:97)
We must first prepare ourselves to meditate. Time must be set aside to engage in this vital activity. David chose to fill his “down time” with thoughts of God’s goodness: “When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches”(Psalm 63:6). Perhaps a quiet time of driving to work, a moment of peace after the kids go to bed, or the quiet of an early morning are good times to set aside for our meditation of God. But it wasn’t just when convenient: “But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night”(Psalm 1:2). Thoughts of God should persist throughout our day, although at times they must be in the background of our tasks. A warning is also needed: meditation is not as exciting as recreation! It is a deep, introspective process that slowly refines character. We must prepare ourselves to be successful in it.