Sunday, October 10, 2010

Pastoral Authority

Temple Baptist Church - 10-10-2010

I Peter 5:1-4

Introduction: I want to preach on this subject tonight, not because of our church where the pastor is respected and obeyed, because it is a subject both rejected and neglected! I heard a man once say, “Anything with two heads is a freak and will soon die.” So it is with the local church! God has a chain of command in the family; God has a chain of command in the government; God has a chain of command in the work place; God has a chain of command in the local church.

A. One of the most misunderstood aspects of the local church is that of pastoral authority. This problem has evolved for several reasons:

1. The operation of the local church has changed. The mission of the church has changed and churches have become social clubs. Instead of soul winning, saint feeding churches—they have evolved into entertainment centers for the unsaved or carnal believers.

2. The chain of command of the local church has changed. Most churches have become mirror images of other denominational churches. They are now operated by deacon and trustee boards or “mob” rule. This problem has evolved through the following problems.

a) The pastors of the local church keep changing on a regular basis. Some are voted out by the “once a year” evaluation of the pastor’s ministry while many have pastors who change churches more often than they change automobiles. God gets the blame for most of these moves when, in reality, it is because of either better salary and benefits or the pastor has used up most of his sermons. Pulpit Committees contacting pastors of another churches in order to fill their pulpits is a travesty. These pastors belong to other churches and, the last I heard, they were to be God called. When a pastor believes it the will of God to leave a church, I believe it to be the will of God for him to be honest with his present church and resign prior to seeking another.

b) The respect for the pastor of the local church has degenerated. The office of the pastor has been brought down to a “supervisor” status and we all know that everyone complains about the “boss!” Pastors are now spoken to on a first name basis instead of “Preacher,” “Pastor,” or simple “Brother So-in-so.” I was taught in the army to “salute the uniform,” and not the man.

c) The office of the pastor has been corrupted by hirelings. God called men are getting fewer and father between. Men of character, conviction, compassion, and call once filled the pulpits of our nation. I have seen a great change in the quality of men going off to Bible College these days and these men have little capacity to stand for the things of God.

B. We must learn to “Be Careful With God’s Man.” I want to forewarn our people again that God will hold the church responsible with the Pastor that God gives to them. I will give an account at the Judgment Seat of Christ for each of you according to Hebrews 13:17. You will not give an account of God’s man at the Judgment Seat, therefore, you will give an account of him in this life. Every person who mistreated or maligned the man of God in the Scripture paid the price. You may not always understand what God’s man does or agree with what he does, but—as long as he is not teaching heresy or living in open sin—follow him and leave his discipline and guidance to God. You will be glad that you did!

C. Most church members do not want a Pastor. They want a preacher to give a generic, offend no one message and visit the hospitals and funeral homes. They want preachers who are “Yes Men” and obedient to the will of the people. God called pastors have God given authority!

1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;

Hebrews 13:17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that [is] unprofitable for you.

D. The Holy Ghost spent this entire chapter vindicating the man of God before the Corinthian people. There were those in the church who maligned God’s man to the people in his absence. Verse 2 says, “bold against some.” Verse 6 says, “revenge all disobedience.” Verse 11 says, “let such an one think this.” Paul was God’s man sent to the Corinthian Church.

Let us look at the subject of “Pastoral Authority” in these verses.

1. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Tempered – vs. 1

a. Tempered with Gentleness - 2 Timothy 2:24 And the servant of the Lord must not strive; but be gentle unto all [men], apt to teach, patient,

b. Tempered with Meekness - 2 Timothy 2:25 In meekness instructing those that oppose themselves; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;

2. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used Boldly – vs. 1-2

a. Boldness is not Dictatorship - Boldness keeps him from becoming a “Door Matt.”

b. Boldness is not Meanness – God’s man is to be loving and compassionate.

3. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used For Edification – vs. 8

a. God’s men are not to destroy the Lord’s Heritage.

b. God’s men are to build the Lord’s Heritage.

4. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used In Discipline – vs. 10-11

a. Paul identified the offenders – A pastor’s ear is to be always “to the ground” because this age old problem of disrespect and attack is always possible.

b. Paul isolated the offenders – vs. 11 “let such an one” He did not “take it out” on the rest of the church.

5. Pastoral Authority Is To Remain Elevated – vs. 12

a. God’s man is not just another man. He may look like just another man, but he is different.

b. God’s man is elevated. He holds the office of a Bishop or, as we call them today, a Pastor.

6. Pastoral Authority Is To Be Recognized As God Given – vs. 18

a. The Pastor is not man-called, mamma-called, or daddy sent! He is not a volunteer! He is not self-elevated to the office!

b. The Pastor is God Selected, God Called, God Anointed, God Equipped, God Led, God Chastised, and GOD PROTECTED!

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