Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Follow the Leader
Temple Baptist Church - 10-17-2012
A. Ephesians 4:8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (In His absence, our Lord gave four gifts to the local church of which two were passing gifts and two were permanent gifts.)
1. The passing gifts were the apostles and prophets.
a) The Apostolic Age passed with the death of the 12 apostles. As the Old Testament priests represented man to God, the New Testament apostles represented God to man. There are no apostles today.
b) There are two means of prophesying: fore telling and forth telling. The gift of prophecy ceased with tongues and knowledge when the canon of Scripture was completed. There are no prophets today!
1 Corinthians 13:8-10 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. (9) For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. (10) But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.
2. The permanent gifts were the evangelists and pastor-teacher.
a) The biblical evangelist is the missionary and what a wonderful gift they are! They are to be loved, respected, and received by the local church. You love missionaries and you will be blessed. They are God’s special people.
b) The pastor-teacher is the bishop or overseer of the local church. He is to be God called, God led, and God purposed.
Ephesians 4:11-16 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (12) For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (13) Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: (14) That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (15) But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: (16) From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.
1) Perfecting of the saints – to bring to maturity.
2) Work of the ministry – to lead in the work and mission of the local church.
3) Edifying of the body of Christ – to build and encourage the saints.
4) Unity of the faith – to bring about doctrinal correctness within the church.
5) Protection of the flock – to watch for wolves.
6) Truth in love – to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
B. In many of his epistles, Paul dealt with pastoral authority and leadership. In today’s churches, many pastors do not command respect because of their lifestyles are contrary to the truth that they preach and teach. Also, there are many church members who are “heady” and will not follow God’s men. Therefore, the Holy Spirit often mentioned tonight’s subject.
C. At the end of verse 9, we see both a commandment and a blessing.
1. The commandment is “do.” This is the will of God for each of His children. It is not to be a burden but rather a blessing. So often, Satan tells God’s children that serving the Lord is a burden to be shunned. He is a liar!
2. The blessing is “the God of peace shall be with you.” We know that we always have the presence of God but we often lack the peace that should come with that presence. The God of peace gives rest to those who are obedient.
Two things we are to do!
1. Do those things which you have learned and received. 2 Timothy 3:14 But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
1 Timothy 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee. (Learned and embraced! We are exposed to truth; we learn truth; and we embrace truth. This is a personal recognition of truth and personally taking it into our lives as our guiding principle. Many people adhere to certain truth because the pastor and church believe it but, when they choose to leave those circumstances, they quickly become distant to that truth.)
2. Do those things which you have heard and seen. 1 Corinthians 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-12 For ye remember, brethren, our labour and travail: for labouring night and day, because we would not be chargeable unto any of you, we preached unto you the gospel of God. (10) Ye are witnesses, and God also, how holily and justly and unblameably we behaved ourselves among you that believe: (11) As ye know how we exhorted and comforted and charged every one of you, as a father doth his children, (12) That ye would walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto his kingdom and glory. (Heard and seen! We hear the truth preached and taught by God’s man then watch as he walks within the realm of that truth. A vital part of the work of the pastor is that of example and steadfastness. If you have heard the truth and recognize it as truth; watch the consistency of the pastor’s walk in truth; then follow him as he follows Christ.)
Philippians 4:9 Those things, which ye have both learned, and received, and heard, and seen in me, do: and the God of peace shall be with you.