Sunday, January 20, 2013

The Pastor

Temple Baptist Church - 1-20-2013
1 Timothy 5:17-19


A. As we study through the Pastoral Epistles, we see the inner workings of the local church. One of the most important aspects of the local church is the work and care of the pastor.

1. Very few churches fully understand the relationship of the church to the pastor, let alone the relationship of the pastor to the church. This relationship is reciprocal: a two way street. There are obligations on both sides.

2. There are very few churches who actually want a pastor. They are interested in a preacher whose responsibility is to visit and preach. Far too many church people do not want the pastor to have a place in their lives. The local churches are run by families and boards who make all of the decisions and see to it that the church moves in their desired direction.

3. There are very few pastors in our day. There are those who only want to preach and visit because they are looking forward to the day when they can step down and have their retirement. Then, they can just become an interim pastor in order to have a little additional income with no responsibility. The other side of this coin is made up of men who want to be dictators and have everything their own way.

B. Now, this is going to be simple tonight. We are not here to preach on the entirety of the pastor’s work or the total obligation of the church towards him. Paul sets forth these two things in the verses that we read:

1. The responsibility and work of a good pastor.

a. They are to rule well. 1 Peter 5:2-3 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; (3) Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

1) Not because he is compelled to do so, but willingly. If he is God’s man, he will “desire the office of a bishop.” Just the other day, I told one of my sons that I want to remain in this pulpit for life. I want to be strong physically so that I can preach with passion; I want to be compassionate because my desire is to help you, not hurt you; I am not your pastor because God “made me do so” but because I would do nothing else. Willingly!

2) Not because I love to be paid for not working but of a ready mind. Excited about the prospect! I love to preach to and teach you. You cannot pay me to preach a sermon. I preach because I love what I am doing tonight. Some preach for money and retire because they can now live well without you. I have been asked often in the past couple of weeks the question, “Are you retired?” I tell those who ask that I am just now getting enough biblical sense to help people.

3) Not because I am a dictator. I do lead but I try to lead well, not in a self-serving manner. I also “take the oversight thereof” by not leading from behind. Many pastors find out what way the majority would like to go and then get in front of them. This is not my church neither is it your church. It is OUR church.

b. They are to labor in the Word. 2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

1) Find out what God says by “rightly dividing” the Word of Truth. I enjoy finding out what God said in this Bible, not constantly reading about what someone else said about it. I am not an enemy of reading but too often avid readers simply adapt their beliefs to the beliefs of the author. If these men would spend as much time in the Bible as they do in books about the

Bible they would undoubtedly know a lot more about the Bible.

2) Maintain and protect sound biblical doctrine. I maintain sound doctrine by preaching and teaching it. Doctrinal truth is often abhorred by those who feel the need to be entertained. I spend much time preaching through books of the Bible because it there that sound doctrine is found. Then I protect sound doctrine by not allowing anyone in this pulpit that does not stand where I stand because I stand right! They may get mad but that is their problem, not mine. If they were doctrinally correct, then they could preach here.

2. The responsibility and care of a good local church.

a. They are to honor him doubly. 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.

b. They are to care for him plentifully. 1 Corinthians 9:13 Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?

c. They are to protect him fiercely. 3 John 9-10 I wrote unto the church: but Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, receiveth us not. (10) Wherefore, if I come, I will remember his deeds which he doeth, prating against us with malicious words: and not content therewith, neither doth he himself receive the brethren, and forbiddeth them that would, and casteth them out of the church.

3. The testimony of a pastor is of the utmost importance. Much is said concerning the pastor being an example.

1 Timothy 4:12 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.

Philippians 3:17 Brethren, be followers together of me, and mark them which walk so as ye have us for an ensample.

1 Thessalonians 1:7 So that ye were ensamples to all that believe in Macedonia and Achaia.

2 Thessalonians 3:9 Not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an ensample unto you to follow us.

1 Peter 5:3 Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.

a. The Importance To The Flock - Lends Credibility To The Message

b. The Importance To The Church - Lends Credibility To The Community

c. The Importance To Our Families - Lends Credibility To Our children

4. How to deal properly with a sinful pastor. Verses 19-21

a. It is to be done justly. Verse 19. “before two or three witnesses” Deuteronomy 19:15 One witness shall not rise up against a man for any iniquity, or for any sin, in any sin that he sinneth: at the mouth of two witnesses, or at the mouth of three witnesses, shall the matter be established. (He deserves the same benefit of the doubt that the Bible affords to you.)

b. It is to be done biblically. Verse 20 “rebuke” Titus 2:15 These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee. (Rebuke him sharply with the authority of the Word of God. God’s man is not above God’s Word.)

c. It is to be done openly. Verse 20. “before all” Ezekiel 33:30a Also, thou son of man, the children of thy people still are talking against thee by the walls and in the doors of the houses … (It is not something that needs to be discussed in either private among God’s people nor in public before the world. Too much of the church’s “laundry” is hung out on the “clothes line” of the world.)

d. It is to be done universally. Verse 20. “without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality” Leviticus 19:15 Ye shall do no unrighteousness in judgment: thou shalt not respect the person of the poor, nor honour the person of the mighty: but in righteousness shalt thou judge thy neighbour. (His position is not his protection. Church judgment of sin is to be done in equality. The pastor is to be disciplined by the same rules as every other member.)

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