We see that the Lord has created authority in many areas for the good of society - in the state, in marriage and in the home. It should come as no surprise, then, that He has created authority also in His church. However, our flesh naturally rebels against all authority.
We examine the nature of the authority given to the elders of the church and see that they rule on behalf of Christ and not in their own name. Their incentive to do well is that they must give an account for the way they have exercised the authority delegated to them by Christ.
We look at those occasions when we must obey the elders and those times when we should not.
Finally, we consider the incentives given to church members in this passage to obey their elders and we see that the text has two legitimate applications - one for this world and one for the world to come and specifically the Day of Judgment.