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 (niké 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.

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