Since there is a danger in God’s church for wolves to come with false doctrine, God has established under-shepherds who are responsible to protect the flock. Paul tells the Ephesians elders: “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has appointed you as overseers, to shepherd the church of God, which he purchased with his own blood” (v. 28). The best way to fight against false doctrine is a steady diet of biblical teaching.
Knowing he’ll never see them again, Paul gathers the Ephesian elders and counsels them with these words:
Pay careful attention to yourselves and to all the flock, in which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to care for the church of God, which he obtained with his own blood. I know that after my departure fierce wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock; and from among your own selves will arise men speaking twisted things, to draw away the disciples after them. (Acts 20:28-30)
Paul has invested much in the church in Ephesus and now he’s leaving it to the care of these men. Much can be learned from this passage, but I’d like to point out three points:
Fierce Wolves Will Attack
Scripture warns us over and over about the danger of wolves in the church. This passage refers to the wolves as “fierce” or “savage.” These wolves will not spare the flock. What will they do? They “will rise up even from your own number and distort the truth to lure the disciples into following them.” Scripture often indicates that wolves in the church are false teachers leading others astray with bad doctrine. Consider Matthew 7:15- “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves.”