On Saturday we studied the lists of qualifications for the elders. While we were all sufficiently humbled by these lists, we were also encouraged by these two quotes from the church's past:
Regarding what it means to "desire" the position of elder (1 Tim. 3:1), Patrick Fairbairn:
It is not merely a post of honour, or a position of influence; not that primarily at least, or in its more direct aspect, but a work of active service, and one that from its very nature brings one into living fellowship with the pure and good. The seeking here intended, therefore, after such an office, must be of the proper kind, not the prompting of a carnal ambition, but the aspiration of a heart which has itself experienced the grace of God, and which longs to see others coming to participate in the heavenly gift.
Regarding what it means for elders to be blameless (1 Tim. 3:2), John Calvin:
He wishes a bishop to be blameless…that he must not be marked by any infamy that would lessen his authority. There will be no one found among men that is free from every vice; but it is one thing to be blemished with ordinary vices, which do not hurt the reputation, because they are found in men of the highest excellence, and another thing to have a disgraceful name, or to be stained with any baseness. In order, therefore, that a bishop may not be without authority, he enjoins that there shall be made a selection of one who has a good and honorable reputation, and not chargeable with any remarkable vice. Besides, he does not merely lay down a rule for Timothy what sort of person he must select, but likewise reminds every one of those who aspire to that rank, to institute a careful examination of himself and of his life.
So, if in my last post I could be so bold as to ask you to pray for your preachers, may I now ask you to pray for your elders; pray that their desire would be for God's glory and your good. Pray that they would indeed be blameless, that God would keep them from such sins that would lessen their authority and ability to guide you in His grace.