Over You In The Lord
1 Thessalonians 5:12: And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you; 13 And to esteem them very highly in love for their work*s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.
Many believers convince themselves that there is no one over them in the Lord and that they do not need anyone over them but the Lord. The main evidence of that is that they do not regularly attend a church. They believe that they can be right with God all by themselves. They cannot.
1 Thessalonians 1:6: And ye became followers of us, and of the Lord, having received the word in much affliction, with joy of the Holy Ghost: 7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.
Key words in the passage are them and in the Lord. Them is plural. There should be many who are over you in the Lord. If you are in the Lord there will be some and probably many who are over you in the Lord. I once had a teacher who belittled the commentaries. He said he wanted to learn things for himself. But he didn*t learn them very well.
Ephesians 4:11: And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Pastors and teachers are also plural titles. The best of my pastors and teachers have quoted other spiritual leaders often. And they give credit to those other spiritual leaders. I had one pastor who quoted other spiritual leaders writings extensively but did not give credit to the authors. He was a plagiarist. He wanted us to believe he found those truths for himself. He wanted to be thought of more highly than he ought. The Thessalonians were some of Paul*s favorite believers and yet he gave them commands.
2 Thessalonians 3:4: And we have confidence in the Lord touching you, that ye both do and will do the things which we command you. 6 Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us. 7 For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us: for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; 10 For even when we were with you, this we commanded you, that if any would not work, neither should he eat. 11 For we hear that there are some which walk among you disorderly, working not at all, but are busybodies. 12 Now them that are such we command and exhort by our Lord Jesus Christ, that with quietness they work, and eat their own bread.
So who is over you in the Lord? If you think there is no one over you in the Lord, you are not right with Him. If there are no other believers that you want over you, you have a problem with pride, a big problem.
Proverbs 16:18: Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.
Even new believers often teach mature believers. Many times within minutes of receiving Christ, the Holy Spirit gives them wonderful words to describe the Lord and what He has done for them that I have never heard before and that I needed to hear and learn from. More key words are which labour among you. Every believer who is serving the Lord can teach us something. It is vital that we learn to labour among other Christians. The passage does not say that we will labour above them.