Remember them which have the rule over you
Christ's church is a kingdom, and he is King in it; pastors of churches are subordinate governors; who rule well when they rule not in an arbitrary way, according to their own wills, but according to the laws of Christ, with all faithfulness, prudence, and diligence. The word may be rendered "guides" or "leaders"; for such point out the way of peace, life, and salvation to men, and direct them to Christ; and guide them into the understanding of the Scriptures, and the truths of the Gospel; and lead them in the paths of faith and holiness, and are examples to them. The Greek word, here used, is what the Jews call Christian bishops by; and (hgemonia) , is, by Maimonides F23, said to be the same as (twdyqp) , "a bishopric": to "remember" them is to know, own, acknowledge, and respect them as their governors; to obey them, and submit to them; to treasure up in memory their doctrines and exhortations; to be mindful of them at the throne of grace, to pray for them; and to take care of their maintenance and outward supply of life:
who have spoken unto you the word of God;
of which God is the author, being agreeably to the Scriptures, given by inspiration of God; the subject of which is the love and grace of God in Christ; and which God makes useful for conversion and comfort; and which, when spoken aright, is spoken freely, boldly, and faithfully:
whose faith follow;
or "imitate"; meaning either their faithfulness, by owning the truths and ordinances of the Gospel before men; by reproving fellow Christians in love; by discharging the several duties of their place in the church; and by performing the private duties of life: or the grace of faith, their strong exercise of it, together with its fruits and effects, love, and good works; also the profession of their faith, which they hold fast unto the end; and the doctrine of faith, by embracing the same, as it appears agreeably to the word; by abiding by it, standing fast in it, striving for it, and persevering in it to the end.
Considering the end of their conversation;
which may intend the whole of their conduct in the discharge of the several duties of their office; the end of which designs either the manner of it, as De Dieu explains it, agreeably to the sense of the Hebrew word, (twauwt) in ( Psalms 68:20 ) or the drift and scope of it, which was Christ, his honour and glory, as in connection with the following verse; or the event of it in life, being for the glory of God, and the good of men; or rather the issue of it in death, or what a comfortable end they made; and so the Ethiopic version renders it, "considering" their "last manner of living, in their exit out of the world"; and this is to be considered for imitation and encouragement.
F23 In Misn. Gittin, c. 1. sect. 1.