Bible Baptist Church

" Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." ...... John 3:3

Instructions for Pastoral Authority

Hebrews 13:7, 17, 24


·         When we examine these scriptures we learn something about the character of God, and the expectations of God for His people. In doing so we also learn a little bit about the nature of man- which I’ll get to shortly

·         God is a loving God. He does not give us rules and commandments to hurt us, but because He loves us!

o   V. 17- When followed it is not only a joy to leaders, but it is profitable for the whole body. It is for our own sake that we should obey and submit to God-appointed leaders.

o   Deut 6:20, 24

·         God is a God of order.

o   God is against anarchy, and confusion!

o   There are institutions ordained by God to this achieve this very purpose: Family, Government, Church

·         Man’s natural tendency is toward rebellion (Hebrews 3:8ff). We don’t want someone to rule over us!- illustr- Korah and Moses, David’s battles with Absalom


I.                    Order in society

a.      Government- while imperfect is designed to preserve order, and protect its citizens

b.      Romans 13:1-7, I Peter 2:17- Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king. I Tim 2:1-2- For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty.

c.       Home- Ephesians 5:22ff, 6:1-3

d.      Until we decide to do things God’s way, there will never be peace and blessing

II.                  Order in the church

a.      "Them which have the rule over you" (13:7) refers to pastors (cf. 13:17, 24; I Thess. 5:12, 13). Clearly churches are to be “Pastor-led.”

b.      The NT has several different terms to refer to Pastor. In view here is the idea of a Bishop and even a Shepherd.

c.       This passage cannot work for those who emphasize a “universal church.” I believe every genuine Christian is a part of the body of Christ, but God expects believers to be active participants in a local NT Bible preaching church!

d.      Which universal pastor do you have who will marry you, or bury you?

e.      Illustr- Stephen Anderson, and other false teachers who gullible church members blindly follow who undermine pastors.

f.        This passage also does not work for “church-hoppers.” (See v. 17). Illustr- Angry mom of teenager

g.      There are certain people who will not submit to pastoral authority.  God will judge them for their rebelliousness.

h.      Some church members criticize the pastor in front of their children, and then later on they wonder why their children have left the church and will never come back.

i.        The pastor preaches "the word of God" (13:7).  It is the most important work in the world.  Christians are to "follow" his leadership.

j.        Of course, if the pastor does not preach the Word of God (or if he doesn't practice what he preaches), then Christians should leave the church.

k.       We are told to recognize and follow godly leadership. This leadership is shown to be legitimate by faithfulness to the word of God and by godly conduct.

l.        V. 17- When speaking on the authority of God’s Word, leaders do have a right to tell us how to live and walk after God.

m.    God put them in a place of responsibility and accountability over us. Of course, this does not relieve individual responsibility but it puts an additional accountability and responsibility upon leaders.

n.      See I Peter 5:1-4- there are boundaries.

o.      Leading vs. lording- Shepherds should not do their job as lords, because the sheep do not belong to them. The sheep are entrusted to them. Therefore shepherds are to serve by being examples, not dictators.

p.      “In the spiritual realm God entrusts shepherds with leadership (influence), but not lordship (authority). Shepherds must exercise spiritual watch-care, and the sheep should be careful to obey the Holy Spirit when He speaks to them through their pastor.”

III.                Order in the universe

a.      The leaders and the Leader- ultimately we follow Christ- the Chief Shepherd.

b.      The right kind of leader in the Church preaches Christ and thereby brings men to him. Leslie Weatherhead somewhere tells of a public schoolboy who decided to enter the ministry. He was asked when he had come to that decision and said it was after hearing a certain sermon in his school chapel. He was asked the name of the preacher and his answer was that he had no memory of the preacher's name. All he knew was that he had shown him Jesus. The duty of the real preacher is to obliterate himself and show men nothing but Christ.

c.       Then the writer to the Hebrews moves on to another great thought. It is in the nature of things that all earthly leaders must come and go. They have their part in the drama of life and then the curtain comes down. But Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and for ever. His pre-eminence is permanent; his leadership is for ever. Therein lies the secret of earthly leadership; the real leader is the man who is himself led by Jesus Christ


·         Submission is a key part of Christian living, even though it goes against the desires of the world, the flesh, and the devil

·         We must submit to the leaders God has placed over us.

·         Churches are to be Pastor-led! "A committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing, and who collectively decide that nothing can be done."

·         Ultimately we submit to the Lord Jesus Himself! Peter calls Him the Shepherd and Bishop of our souls.