Sunday, January 31, 2016

Be At Peace Among Yourselves - The Devilment of Division - Part I

Temple Baptist Church - 1-31-2016
1 Thessalonians 5:13

A.  In these last days, Satan has done a job on local churches and one of his greatest tools is that of division. 
1.  In verse 13, Paul says, “And be at peace among yourselves.”  I have spent many hours preaching and teaching on the subject of division because it is a tactic that Satan uses effectively over and over. 
2.  A house divided cannot stand in spite of doctrinal purity and adherence to the Bible!  Satan does not attack liberal or apostate “churches” because they are actually on his side to begin with.
B.  Unity is the “strong man” that Christ spoke of when speaking of a house divided.  Division is the “cord” that binds the “strong man.”
1.  The cause of division is carnality - 1 Corinthians 3:3  For ye are yet carnal: for whereas there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are ye not carnal, and walk as men?
2.  The result of division is confusion - James 3:16  For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
C.  When writing to the Corinthian Church (the carnal church), Paul spoke first of the divisions within the body.  2 Corinthians 12:20  “For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults.” 
1.  He feared finding the people living in carnality and sinfulness.  A true pastor or man of God desires only the best for the church and its members.
2.  He feared the people finding him in a chastening mode instead of purely loving one.  A true pastor or man of God wants to be loving and kind at all times but has the love and boldness to deal with sinfulness when it becomes necessary.
D.  What does the devilment of division do to the local church?
1.  Division Destroys The Fellowship Of The Church.  (People sit on the pews of the church with malice and un-forgiveness in their hearts.  They are Achans!)
2.  Division Destroys The Commission Of The Church.  (Missions has been damaged because of gaining a family and then losing a family through spiritual nonsense!)
3.  Division Destroys The Testimony Of The Church. (Church fights and splits have been detrimental to the prosperity of the church, both physically and financially.)
4.  Division Destroys The Posterity Of The Church.  (Children both see and hear the ungodliness of the parents.  It affects their spirituality and, eventually, they are lost.)
5.  Division Destroys The Worship Of The Church.  (God and His Holy Spirit are grieved with this division and worship is neither holy nor acceptable.)
6.  Division Destroys The Evangelism Of The Church.  (Instead of keeping our eyes upon the harvest and doing all that we can to win souls, our time is spent in bitterness and souls are lost.)
7.  Division Hinders The Prayers Of The Saints.  (Malice and a lack of forgiveness are sins and when we regard iniquity in our hearts, our prayers go unheard.)

Holding Fast To Our Expectancy

Temple Baptist Church - 1-31-2016
2 Peter 3:1-9

A.  In case you haven’t noticed, the Lord did not return last year. 
1.  We are now one month into 2016 and we need to be reminded that He is coming again just as He said.  “If I go away” and He did, “I will come again” and He will!  As we read our text in 2 Peter, we find the increase of “spiritual” scoffers in the last days who say, “For since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation.” 
2.  This is not the atheistic crowd or the agnostic crowd.  These are people who believe that “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.”
B.  This is the religious crown that may say it with their mouths but certainly live it with their lives. 
1.  They confess to be saved but do not believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come in their lifetime if at all.  Most of us have heard messages on the second coming and rapture of the church over the years but pulpits began to quieten down since the turn of the century.  Why, because the Lord did not come according to the Gregorian Calendar! 
2.  In the late ‘80’s through Y2K, we heard preaching that heralded His coming.  Books were circulated such as “88 Reasons Why The Rapture Will Be In 1988” and many denominations predicted that something would happen at the stroke of midnight on December 31, 1999. 
3.  I still remember the Y2K Seminars and the Y2K Closets that people filled with water and food.  I remember that night well because we had a New Year’s Eve Service and I thought about having one of my deacons throwing the main breaker at midnight!
C.  Not much has been said over the past 16 years concerning the second coming of Christ. 
1.  I understand that no one knows the day nor hour of His but “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you.”  The Bible gives the analogy of God’s time and His time is not our time!  But, we can look around us and see the sign of the times on every hand.
2.  Now, we find the problem!  When the Lord does not come on our time, we have a tendency to say that we know that He is coming and yet live as if He will not!  “All things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation” becomes our way of thinking.
3.  Our perspective must remain biblical and can be summed up in this little statement: “Plan as if the Lord will never come and live as if He would come today!”
D.  Our perspective does several things:
1.  It helps us to prioritize our lives.  1 John 2:28  And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.
2.  It gives us comfort when we lose loved ones to death.  1 Thessalonians 4:17-18  Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.  Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
3.  It helps us to stand strong in tribulation.  Ephesians 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
4.  It causes us to keep our eyes upon the harvest that will perish.  2 Timothy 4:1-2  I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
5.  It will have a purifying affect upon our lives.  1 John 3:3  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
6.  It will help us to keep our hearts in perfect peace.  John 14:1-3  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.  (2)  In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.  (3)  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.
7.  It will keep us in the love of God.  Jude 21  Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
8.  It will renew our strength when weak.  Isaiah 40:31  But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. 
9.  It will keep the expectancy and excitement in our hearts and minds.  Titus 2:13  Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;  (A new body, new heaven and earth, and the New Jerusalem.)
10.  It will keep us longing for our eternal home.  1 John 3:2-3  Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is.  (3)  And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.  (The older we get; the more problems that we endure; the more we long for home!) 

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Demetrius: A Man of Good Report

Temple Baptist Church - 1-27-2016
3 John 12

A.  3 John was written to commend two men and condemn another. 
1.  It was written to Gaius but, in interpretation, was an admonition to a local church.  It is also prophetic of the conditions that would precede the second coming of the Lord. 
2.  Fortunately, we have two types of these people (Gaius and Demetrius) and, unfortunately, we occasionally have the third (Diotrephes) in our churches today.
B.  Tonight, I want to take a close look at a man named Demetrius.  This is the only mention of Demetrius and it only involves one verse of Scripture.  Acts 19 makes mention of Demetrius the silversmith but he is not the man of this book.
C.  Though there is only one verse offering a characterization of this man, God said a lot in a short sentence.
D.  I want to look at verse 11 as I lead up to our verse on Demetrius: 3 John 1:11  “Beloved, follow not that which is evil, but that which is good. He that doeth good is of God: but he that doeth evil hath not seen God.” 
1.  John is admonishing Gaius to not be a follower of those who do evil but rather those who do good and points him to Demetrius.  The evil “hath not seen God” but the good “is of God!”  This is a strong statement concerning the spiritual state of both Demetrius and Diotrephes. 
2.  Demetrius us “of” God.  The preposition “of” denotes the origin of something or out of something.  Demetrius was a saved man whose life was derived from Christ Jesus.  As we take on the physical and psychological characteristics of our parents, the child of God takes on the spiritual characteristics of the LORD.
3.  Diotrephes “hath not seen God!”  I believe that many of these traveling troublemakers that go from church to church are not acquainted with our Lord!  I do not want this to be a blanket statement as all of us can get out of the will of God and have some of the characteristics of Diotrephes but people who do not love God’s people, God’s man, and God’s church probably fit into the category of the lost!
e.  Now, let us look at Demetrius’ report card. 
1.  When I was young, you were graded with A through F.  Each of these grades had a percentage number that it represented: A (90-100), B (80-99), C (70-79), D (60-69), F (0-60).  With letter grades, you knew where you or your children stood as far as their work was concerned. 
2.  Some gives grades of S (satisfactory or pass) and U (unsatisfactory or fail).  These grades do not tell you where your child is!
3.  I believe that the reason the LORD gave Demetrius a “good report” is to show that he passed and his work was satisfactory.  Not all students are A+ students!  If a C or D is the very best that a child can do, then his report card is good.  If an A is what a child is capable of and he or she gets a D, that is not a good report card.  God gives to all of us different talents and capabilities.
f.  Demetrius got a “good report” card in three areas:
1.  Demetrius got a “good report” of all men.  Men measure that which can be seen.
a.  A man to be followed.  This is not man-worship.  We hear a lot about “preacher worship.”  God ordained that we follow in the steps of good men who tread the paths before us.  Every generation does not have to re-invent the wheel.  Neither does each generation have to cut a new path.  Follow those who follow the Old Paths.
b.  A man to be imitated.  Demetrius could not only be followed; he could be imitated.  Godly men should be our examples and role models after which we pattern our lives.
2.  Demetrius got a “good report” of the truth itself.  The truth measures what a man is.
a.  A man who spoke the truth.  What Demetrius said was Biblical!  A man that spoke God’s Word without deviation or compromise.  God said what He meant and meant what He said.
b.  A man who lived the truth.  Demetrius was a man who lived what he believed.  To him who knoweth to do good and doeth it is a man of truth.
3.  Demetrius got a “good report” of God’s men.  God’s men measure that which a man can achieve.
a.  A man with spiritual potential.  God gives to every man and woman gifts to be used for the glory of God and the continuity/welfare of the local church.  It takes the God given gifts of all of us to make the church what it should and needs to be.  Each of you have something to contribute.
b.  A man who attained his potential.  We often hear the phrase “wasted potential.”  Demetrius lived up to the expectations of the man of God.  “To who much is given, much is required!”  Our talents are not to be hidden but to be used.  Demetrius was all for God that God intended him to be.
Conclusion:  Not everyone is a Gaius and, thank the Lord not everyone has characteristics of old Diotrephes, but everyone here in this church can be a Demetrius and receive a good report both here and at the Judgement Seat of Christ.

Sunday, January 24, 2016

Holding Fast in Faithfulness

Temple Baptist Church - 1-24-2016
Matthew 24:32-47

A.  I started off the New Year of 2016 by preaching on “Tightening Your Grip.” 
1.  Tightening your grip does not change what you are hold, it just allows you to hold on to what you believe more securely.  We have a church full of, for the most part, mature believers.  We are not anchored in what a man says; we are not anchored in a creed; we are not anchored in what a denomination traditionally believes; we are anchored in the Word of God, the King James Bible, an unmovable rock!  We are Biblicists!
2.  But among us, there are some more recently saved or have come from different churches that may or may not have taught doctrine on a consistent basis.  Then, we have our children who have not yet begun to hold fast that which they believe because, under the care of their parents, those beliefs are kept secure.  But, one day, our children will have to make the beliefs of the parents their own.
B.  The First Mention of the word “faithful” is found in the Book of Numbers: “My servant Moses is not so, who is faithful in all mine house.”  (Numbers 12:7) The LORD declared Moses to be “faithful in all mine house!”
1.  In the First Mention of a word, God declares His mind concerning its meaning and continuation.  “Faithful” means to foster as a parent or a nurse; it means to hold something in trust; faithful of long continuance!
2.  As Moses was trusted with “all mine house:” put in trust with a) the Nation of Israel (a complaining, murmuring mixed multitude that gave Moses a constant headache), b) God’s Law given from Mt. Sinai (Moses faithfully delivered the Law to Israel and faithfully recorded the Law), c) and with the commission to lead Israel into the Promised Land (which involved 40 years of wandering in the wilderness until the rebellious crowd died).  Moses spoke unadvisedly with his lips when he once loss of patience with the murmuring of the people but delivered the Nation of Israel to Canaan twice before he died.
3.  Thus God has entrusted us with all that He has delivered and preserved!  We are to be faithful in “all” things, not just what we pick and choose. “Faithful” means faithfulness in all things today just as it meant in “all mine house” when the LORD vindicated Moses!
C.  Our text for this morning gives the First Mention of “faithful” in the New Testament. 
1.  My message is the application of the Parable of the Fig Tree.  A parable is an earthly story with a heavenly meaning or spiritual truth.  The Fig Tree is Israel; Israel became a nation on May 14, 1948.  The tree has bloomed and we live in the last days. 
2.  Now let us look at verses 44-46.  What does God expect of His stewards in the light of His coming?  It is summed up in one verse: 1 Corinthians 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
1.  Let us be faithful to our Lord and Saviour!  Ephesians 2:10  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
2 Timothy 1:9  Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
2.  Let us be faithful to our families.  Ephesians 5:31-33  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  (32)  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.  (33)  Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
Ephesians 6:1-2  Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right.  (2)  Honour thy father and mother; (which is the first commandment with promise;)
3.  Let us be faithful to the local church.  Acts 2:41-42  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.  (42)  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.
Hebrews 10:25  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
4.  Let us be faithful to one another.  Hebrews 10:24-25  And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: (25)  Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day
Acts 2:44-46  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  (45)  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  (46)  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
5.  Let us be faithful to our missionaries.  Philippians 4:14-16  Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my affliction.  (15)  Now ye Philippians know also, that in the beginning of the gospel, when I departed from Macedonia, no church communicated with me as concerning giving and receiving, but ye only.  (16)  For even in Thessalonica ye sent once and again unto my necessity.
1 Thessalonians 5:25  Brethren, pray for us.
6.  Let us be faithful to sinners.  John 4:4-7  And he must needs go through Samaria.  (5)  Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph.  (6)  Now Jacob's well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with his journey, sat thus on the well: and it was about the sixth hour.  (7)  There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink.
Romans 1:14-17  I am debtor both to the Greeks, and to the Barbarians; both to the wise, and to the unwise.  (15)  So, as much as in me is, I am ready to preach the gospel to you that are at Rome also.  (16)  For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  (17)  For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Holding Fast Our Profession

Temple Baptist Church - 1-17-2016
Hebrews 10:23

A.  I want to deal with one of the most important things in our lives this morning.  Our profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord of our lives. 
1.  Over these past 39 years of being saved, I have seen so many people who started right, ran well for a while, then completely destroyed their testimony for Christ.  Good people who once loved and lived for the Lord.  Pastors, evangelists, missionaries, Sunday School teachers, soul winners, good fathers and mothers.  People who were once faithful to the Lord, their families, and the local church are no longer faithful and serving.  Pastors, evangelists, and missionaries who lose the qualification of blamelessness.  Though they can get right with the Lord, there is no humanistic “Band-Aid” that can be placed upon their sin that will ever again spiritually qualify them for the ministry.
2.  Once our testimony for Christ is either tarnished or lost, it is virtually impossible to regain to its previous state because people 1)  are always scrutinizing our lives to see if what we have is real   2) will always seem to forget all of the years that we lived for Christ and remember only our failures.  David with Bathsheba is a classic example.  Yes, there was forgiveness but the “sword” never left David’s house.  The consequences of his sin were a continual reality.
B.  This morning, I want to look at two things that should dictate how the child of God should live:  confession and profession.  In doing so, I want to compare three portions of Scripture.
Romans 10:9-11  That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  (10)  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.  (11)  For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.
1 Timothy 1:15-16  This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.  (16)  Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting(Paul’s salvation experience shows forth a pattern of what salvation is.)
Acts 9:4-6  And he fell to the earth, and heard a voice saying unto him, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?  (5)  And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.  (6)  And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do.
1.  Confession!  The word “confession” has more than one meaning and the different meanings of the word give a vivid description of what takes in salvation. 
a.  The acknowledgment of a crime, fault or something to one's disadvantage; open declaration of guilt, failure, debt, accusation, &c.  The Repentance of the sinner.  “It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks!”  The Lord confronted Paul with who he was.  Only sinners need to be saved.
1 John 1:8-10  If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.  (9)  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (10)  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.
b.  The act of acknowledging; agreement. Paul said, “Who art thou, Lord?”  Which turned into “Lord!” 
Philippians 2:11  And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
c.  An avowal, or covenant.  “Lord, what wilt thou have me to do?”  When a sinner comes to the Lord Scripturally, he bows to the Lordship of Christ!  This is not an act of doing something but it is a desire to live for Christ! A change of heart that changes the mind that changes the life! 
2 Corinthians 5:17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.
2. Profession!  The word “profession” means an open declaration; public avowal or acknowledgment of one's sentiments or belief.
a.  Profession is made in baptism as the child of God present himself/herself for believer’s Baptist.  Not baptized to be saved but an open profession of faith.  When I baptize a believer (emersion is the only form of baptism), I utter these words: “Upon your profession of faith in Jesus Christ as Lord, I baptize you my brother/sister/son/daughter in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost.  Buried in the likeness of His death and raised to walk in newness of life.” 
Acts 2:41  Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. 
b.  Profession is made in association as the child of God assembles with the local church. 
Acts 2:42-46  And they continued stedfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.  (43)  And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles.  (44)  And all that believed were together, and had all things common;  (45)  And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need.  (46)  And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart,
c.  Profession is made in public as the child of God consistently lives for Christ in this present evil world.
Acts 2:47  Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved.
Conclusion:  Let us hold fast our profession as we walk openly before the unsaved!  To lose our profession will turn the lose away from Christ instead of to Him!
2 Corinthians 3:1-2  Do we begin again to commend ourselves? or need we, as some others, epistles of commendation to you, or letters of commendation from you?  (2)  Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men.

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Getting To Know Your Pastor

Temple Baptist Church - 1-10-2016
1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

A.  For the past few weeks, we have been taking a brief look at Eschatology or the Doctrine of Things to Come. 
1.  Though no man knows what tomorrow may bring, through the Bible, we can know what God has ordained for the future.  Biblically ignorant people are Bible ignorant people! 
2.  This problem is both a personal and a pulpit problem. 
a)  Shallow preaching produces anemic believers!  I am all for topical preaching as it has its place but there is no substitute for verse by verse doctrinal preaching.  Acts 20:26-27  Wherefore I take you to record this day, that I am pure from the blood of all men.  (27)  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
b)  The phrase “sound doctrine” is found 4x in your Bible and all of them are found in the Pastoral Epistles!  God’s men are to preach “sound doctrine!”  Topical preaching can contain sound doctrine but sound doctrine must find its foundation in expositional preaching and teaching.
1 Timothy 1:10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
2 Timothy 4:3  For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
Titus 1:9  Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
Titus 2:1  But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
3.  God has given us a Bible that we can rely upon and the inward gift of the Holy Ghost to properly interpret it.  For the saved, there is no excuse for ignorance concerning the future events so vividly prophesied in the Bible.
B.  In light of these last perilous days, the Bible commands you to get to know your pastor.  You need a pastor!  He is God’s gift to the church and to every individual within the church.  God gave me to you!  When our Lord Jesus Christ resurrected, He gave shepherds to the flocks: pastors to the churches!  These gifts to the churches were both passing and permanent:
Ephesians 4:8-13  Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  (9)  (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  (10)  He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  (11)  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets (these two were passing gifts as, since the completion of the canon of Scripture, we have no more need of them); and some, evangelists (which are your missionaries); 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:
C.  Not having a proper perspective of God’s man will cause you to do one of two things.
1.  It will cause you to elevate your pastor to a plane of perfection that he cannot fulfill and, if he falls, you will fall with him.
2.  Or, it will cause you to lower your pastor to a position of disrespect and, therefore, render his influence ineffectual and he will not be able to help you.
D.  I want to look at three things concerning your pastor, your gift from the Lord.
1.  Get to know your pastor as a Man! So many good people never really get close to God’s man.  Yes, He gave me to you as a preacher and pastor but He also gave me to you as a man.  True men of God are knowable.  By that, I mean that they will allow you to get as close as you wish because they love you and have nothing to hide.
a.  Your Pastor Is God’s Man – vs. 1 - Ephesians 4:11-12  And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. (Ministers of Christ, not man.)
1)  Be careful how you treat him.
2)  Be careful how you talk about him.
b.  Your Pastor Is Just A Man – vs. 6 - 1 Corinthians 2:3  And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. (Pray for him; undergird him.)
Acts 14:15  And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:
James 5:17  Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain: and it rained not on the earth by the space of three years and six months.
1)  He has feelings – He is not invincible!
2)  He has faults – He is not perfect!
3)  He has failures – He is not super spiritual!
c.  Your Pastor Is Your Man – vs. 8 - Jeremiah 3:15  And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. (He has given his life for you and your family.)
1)  He is your gift.
2)  He is your friend.
d.  The Pastor Is A Hated Man – vs. 9-13 - 2 Timothy 4:14  Alexander the coppersmith did me much evil: the Lord reward him according to his works. (Not for who he is, but for what he stands for.)
1)  He is hated because of the stand that he takes.
2)  He is hated because of the Word he preaches.
3)  He is hated because of the Lord he represents.
e.  The Pastor Is A Loving Man – vs. 14-15 - 2 Corinthians 12:15  And I will very gladly spend and be spent for you; though the more abundantly I love you, the less I be loved. (He will overlook your faults.)
1)  He loves the Lord.
2)  He loves the Word.
3)  He loves the saints.
4)  He loves the sinner.
f.  The Pastor Is Beseeching Man – vs. 16-17 - Hebrews 13:22  And I beseech you, brethren, suffer the word of exhortation: for I have written a letter unto you in few words.  (Paul used the word beseech 24 times in the Book of Acts and the Pauline Epistles.)
1)  He desires only the best for you.
2)  He desires only the best for your family.
3)  He desires only the best for the church.
g.  The Pastor Is A Concerned Man – vs. 18-21 - 2 Corinthians 11:2  For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have espoused you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ. (Don’t be mad if he looks over your shoulder.  He cares.)
1)  He watches over you.
2)  He worries over you.          
2.  Get to know your pastor as a Pastor!  Many 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 responsibility and authority!  God likens the pastor to a shepherd and the church as a flock.
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;
a.  The Pastor Is A Father.
1)  Representative Of Respect - 1 Timothy 5:17  Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
2)  Representative Of 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;
b.  The Pastor Is A Shepherd.
1)  As You Follow, He Guides - Psalms 23:1-3 The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.  He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.  He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
2)  As You Follow, He Guards - 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.
c.  The Pastor Is A Teacher.
1)  He Teaches By 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.
2)  He Teaches By Explaining - Acts 20:27  For I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God.
d.  The Pastor Is A Disciplinarian.
1)  The Power Of Discipline – 1 Corinthians 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
1 Timothy 1:20  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme.
2)  The Progression Of Discipline. - 2 Timothy 4:2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
e.  The Pastor Is A Friend.
1)  He Is A Friend To The Family - Isaiah 40:11  He shall feed his flock like a shepherd: he shall gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.
2) He Is A Friend To The Fallen - Amos 3:12  Thus saith the LORD; As the shepherd taketh out of the mouth of the lion two legs, or a piece of an ear; so shall the children of Israel be taken out that dwell in Samaria in the corner of a bed, and in Damascus in a couch.
3.  Get to know your pastor as an Overseer. In the majority of churches across the Bible Belt (which is unbuckled), the pastor is just a preacher that visits and the people, deacons, or Board of Trustees run the church.  This is not what God either intended or wants.  There is the Chief Shepherd, our Lord Jesus Christ, and then the under-shepherd which is the pastor.  That is the power structure of the local church!  The people, the deacons, and the trustees have no verses of Scripture that gives them authority in the local church.
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.  (The authority of the pastor is to be one that is profitable to the people and pleasing to the Lord.)
a.  Pastoral Authority Is Not Dictatorship - 1 Peter 5:3  Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
1)  One of the errors mentioned in the churches of Asia Minor was the “deeds of the  Nicolaitans,” found in Revelation 2:6, in  which later found its fruition in the “doctrine of the Nicolaitans,” in Revelation 2:15.  Our Lord, in Revelation 2:15, said, “Which thing I hate.” 
2)  The word "Nicolaitan" comes from two Greek words (nik√© and laos) which together mean "victory over the people" (Strong's) or "conquering the Laity."  The doctrine which God hates is still found in denominations that still hold to the Old Testament priesthood such as Roman Catholicism.  The word “Nicolaitans” is attributed to Nicholas of Antioch, one of the first deacons
3)  Historically, the Nicolaitans were a religious sect who were typified by their view of clerical rule and the separation of the clergy (church leadership) from the laity (the common people). This view was also prevalent under Papal rule, the foundation of the Roman Catholic religion. The Nicolaitans were religious, bigoted and prideful of their spiritual prowess.
b.  Pastoral Authority Is To Be Tempered.
1)  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,
2)  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; 
c.  Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used Boldly.
1)  Boldness is not Dictatorship - Boldness keeps him from becoming a “Door Matt” to run over.
2)  Boldness is not Meanness – God’s man is to be loving and compassionate.
d.  Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used For Edification.
1)  God’s men are not to destroy the Lord’s Heritage.  Ezekiel 34:9-10  Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the LORD;  (10)  Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them.
2)  God’s men are to build the Lord’s Heritage.  Psalms 78:70-72  He chose David also his servant, and took him from the sheepfolds:  (71)  From following the ewes great with young he brought him to feed Jacob his people, and Israel his inheritance.  (72)  So he fed them according to the integrity of his heart; and guided them by the skilfulness of his hands.
e.  Pastoral Authority Is To Be Used In Discipline.
1)  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.
2)  Paul isolated the offenders – vs. 11 “let such an one”  He did not “take it out” on the rest of the church.
f.  Pastoral Authority Is To Remain Elevated.
1)  God’s man is not just another man.  He may look like just another man, but he is different.
2)  God’s man is elevated.  He holds the office of a Bishop or, as we call them today, a Pastor.
g.  Pastoral Authority Is To Be Recognized As God Given.
1)  The Pastor is not man-called, mamma-called, or daddy sent!  He is not a volunteer!  He is not self-elevated to the office!
2)  The Pastor is God Selected, God Called, God Anointed, God Equipped, God Led, God Chastised, and GOD PROTECTED!
Conclusion:  1 Thessalonians 5:12-13  And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;  (13)  And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves.