Sunday, May 2, 2010

Weakness And Fear: The Strength Of A Pastor

Temple Baptist Church - 5-2-2010

1 Corinthians 2:1-8

Introduction: One of the greatest essentials of Christian service is that of knowing your limitations and that God has none!

A. As I continue to preach on the church, I want to look again at the man of God given to the local church: the pastor.

B. The pastor is a special man. Not because of who he is but because of what he is. He is special because God made him different. He is your God called shepherd.

1. He is God chosen – do not ask me why God chose me because I find nothing in me that is worthy of being chosen. He does not choose to preach; he is chosen to preach.

2. He is God called – On March 17, 1983, 6:30 PM on a Saturday night in the prayer room of the First Baptist Church of Sturgis, KY, God called me into the ministry using Matthew 9:38. I KNOW! I conferred not with flesh and blood!

3. He is God equipped – God gives to His pastors wisdom and discernment; he is filled to preach and apt to teach; he has leadership ability and he is not a dictator; and he has compassion and love for the people of God.

4. He is God prepared – God teaches His pastors from the Bible as they teach you from the Bible. He is neither a novice nor is he a know-it-all.

5. He is God given – God calls pastors to churches! They are not “mama called” and “daddy sent.” They are not to be moved by pulpit committees or troubles. They are to remain where God calls until God calls away.

6. He is God protected – Be careful how you handle, speak about, and follow God’s man. He may seem to be just another man to you but He belongs to God and He not only prepares him—He protects him.

C. These verses (through the inspiration of the Holy Ghost), give the believer a little insight into the man instead of the great Apostle Paul. Several times, the Bible exposed the weaknesses of this great man.

1. The Weakness Of His Flesh - Romans 7 “no good thing”

2. The Weakness Of His Suffering - 2 Corinthians 12 “thrice”

3. The Weakness Of His Longsuffering – Acts 15 “contention was so sharp”

4. The Weakness Of His Service – 1 Corinthians 2 “weakness…fear…trembling”

D. It is of importance to see that, before the Lord would let Paul rebuke the Corinthian Church, the Holy Ghost let him know that he was not perfect either. It is so easy to see the sins of others and forget what manner of men we are.

E. We often place men of God on a spiritual pedestal that is above their ability to attain instead of seeing that these were just men. These were men who loved the Lord, but were robed in sinful flesh just as you and I.

F. When we see our fears and limitations, then we see our possibilities. We have the same God and the same Holy Spirit as they; therefore, we have the same possibility of service.

1. Paul’s Resolve

a) What Paul Resolved Not To Do – Rely upon fleshly wisdom (which he certainly had)

b) What Paul Resolved To Do – Depend completely upon the power of the Holy Spirit.

2. Paul’s Reasoning

a) That Their Faith Not Stand In Wisdom Of Men

b) That Their Faith Should Stand In The Power Of God

1. Weakness – The Pastor’s Strength – 2 Corinthians 12:6-10

a. Paul Was Not Powerful In Body

1) He Was Evidently Small - 2 Corinthians 10:10 For his letters, say they, are weighty and powerful; but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible. (Little Man’s Syndrome Is Dangerous)

2) He Was Evidently Sickly - Galatians 4:13 Ye know how through infirmity of the flesh I preached the gospel unto you at the first.

b. Paul Was Not Powerful In Oratory - 2 Corinthians 11:6 But though I be rude in speech, yet not in knowledge; but we have been throughly made manifest among you in all things.

1 Corinthians 2:4 And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

c. Fleshly Weakness Destroys Pride – “lest I should be exalted above measure”

d. Fleshly Weakness Brings Realization – “My grace is sufficient”

e. Fleshly Weakness Brings Reliance – “that the power of Christ may rest upon me”

2. Fear – The Pastor’s Steadfastness

a. He Was Afraid Of Personal Sin - Romans 7:14-23 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin. For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I. If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good. Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

b. He Was Afraid Of Robbing God Of His Glory - Galatians 6:14 But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world. (“Lest I should be exalted”)

c. He Was Afraid Of Becoming A Castaway - 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 Know ye not that they which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain. And every man that striveth for the mastery is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a corruptible crown; but we an incorruptible. I therefore so run, not as uncertainly; so fight I, not as one that beateth the air: But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. (Unapproved)

d. He Was Afraid Of Quitting - 1 Corinthians 16:13 Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.

2 Timothy 4:10 For Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica; Crescens to Galatia, Titus unto Dalmatia. (Earthly mindedness.)

John 21:3 Simon Peter saith unto them, I go a fishing. They say unto him, We also go with thee. They went forth, and entered into a ship immediately; and that night they caught nothing. (Went back to his old profession.)

e. He Was Afraid Of Bloody Hands - Acts 20:26 Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.

Ezekiel 33:8-9 When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul.

f. He Was Afraid Of Seeing A Lost World Go To Hell – John 3:16-18 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved. He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. (Sinners do perish!)

Romans 10:14, 17 How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? 17 So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

Revelation 20:12-15 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire. (Sinners do spend eternity in hell!)

Romans 9:3 For I could wish that myself were accursed from Christ for my brethren, my kinsmen according to the flesh:

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