Sunday, September 2, 2012

The Qualifications of the Pastor

Temple Baptist Church - 9-2-2012
1 Timothy 3:1-7
A. The pastor is a called man! The two gifts to the local church are the evangelist (missionary) and the pastor-teacher.
1. Elder - This speaks of his wisdom and maturity.
2. Bishop - This speaks of his office as an overseer of the work of the church.
3. Pastor - responsibility to care for the flock and to lead them in the Lord's will.
4. Peacher - duty to boldly preach the whole council of God's infallible, inerrant and inspired Word.
5. Teacher - This reminds the pastor that he is to instruct those given to his leadership.
6. Servant - to devote his life to ministering to the need of others.
7. Steward - he is in the business of caring for the property of another: The flock of God!
B. In verse 1, Paul addresses the pastor’s call.
1. He Is A Handpicked Man - Desire
2. He Is A Highly Privileged Man - Good Work
C. In verses 2-7, Paul gives the requirements of the pastor’s character:
1. He is to be a male in gender – Goes along with chapter 2. If a woman cannot teach or usurp authority over the man, she cannot be a pastor.
2. He must have a desire – God places a desire in his pastors. I would do nothing else.
3. He must be blameless – Not sinless but without fault; innocent, guiltless, or not meriting censure. No man is sinless, but the Pastor must strive to be above reproach
4. He must be the husband of one wife – not one at a time! We understand this for several reasons.
a. Paul had already set forth this principle in Romans 7:1-3 and 1 Corinthians 7:2.
b. The Roman government had outlawed polygamy during this time.
c. There are no instances of polygamy being practiced in the New Testament.
d. The verse specifically says “husband on one wife!” This is reinforced in 1 Timothy 5:9.
4. He must be vigilant - Watchful; circumspect; attentive to discover and avoid danger, or to provide for safety.
5. He must be sober – serious minded and under control.
6. Of Good Behavior - This refers to an orderly life. The pastor must be a man who has his life in order. He is also orderly in his teaching and preaching.
7. Given To Hospitality - The Pastor must have an open door. His people, as well as those outside the faith, need to know that the Pastor will receive them and will reach out to them in Christian love.
8. Apt To Teach - The Pastor must be grounded in the Bible. He must be a student of the Bible, and be able to explain and apply the message of the Bible to those who hear him speak.
9. Not Given To Wine – this verse makes no reference to fermented wine but to the “blood of the grape!” The word “wine” must always be interpreted both within the context as well as with other verses.
Proverbs 20:1 Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.
Proverbs 23:31 Look not thou upon the wine when it is red, when it giveth his colour in the cup, when it moveth itself aright.
Wine (grape juice) was something for the rich or for special occasions. God’s men are not to be “given” the pleasures of this life. It is not wrong to have a good time and to enjoy the things of life but the seriousness of the office of a bishop demands constant attention.
10. No striker – gentle in his handling of others. Not easily angered, wrathful, or vengeful.
11. Not greedy of filthy lucre - The Pastor must not use the ministry as a means of increasing his wealth. He is to be above reproach in the area of finances. He is also to preach regardless of monetary reimbursement.
12. Patient – not easily upset by problems or people. He is to be longsuffering and forbearing as many oppose themselves by their lifestyles and unfaithfulness.
13. Not a brawler – not to go around looking for a fight. I have seen so many preachers who spend much of their pulpit time fighting others on the outside of his local church. “If they had been here, I would have gotten them” makes for good “preaching to the choir!”
14. Not covetous – not having to have what everyone else has. I thank God for what I have: a nice but modest home, my newest vehecile is 9 years old, my four wheeler is a ’85 model and was given to me (I love it), my pickup truck is a ’90 with almost as many miles on it as I have on me! I am certainly not “knocking” those who have newer; I am proud of you but I have enough. I am not complaining about what I have because these things are wonderful and I thank God for them.
15. One that ruleth well his own house – children living within the walls of a pastor’s home are to be well behaved! The pastor’s wife is to be in subjection and not a “loose cannon” with either her tongue or behavior. If he cannot rule his home, he cannot rule God’s church.
16. Not a novice – he must be a man of experience, both spiritually and in the things of life. How can he advise when he does not have the experience that generates knowledge? He is to be seasoned. Otherwise, he will be lifted up with pride and, when you are on the “top of the hill,” there is only one way to go and that is down.
17. He must have a good report of them which are without – his testimony among his neighbors and within the town or community where the church is located must be a good one. They may not like him because of what he preaches but they must respect him for how he behaves!

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