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1 Tim. 3:1-7 GOD'S WORD TO GOD'S MEN

Intro: Tonight, we have gathered in this church to charge and ordain a new pastor. Tonight, we carry forward a legacy that has been handed down since the birth of the church, 2 Tim. 2:2. For 2,000 years, God has been calling men to preach His Gospel to a lost and dying world. Since that time, churches have been calling and ordaining pastors. It is that tradition that we seek to carry on this evening.

The Student of the New Testament will encounter several names given to this greatest of all offices. The pastor is called:

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 - This word brings to mind the preacher's responsibility to care for the flock and to lead them in the Lord's will.

4. Preacher - This speaks of his sacred duty to boldly herald 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 - This speaks of the fact that the pastor is not above his people, but is to devote his life to ministering to the need of others.

7. Steward - This word reminds the pastor that he is in the business of caring for the property of another: The flock of God!

Given the names detailing the work and ministry of the pastor, it seems plain that this office is like no other in the world. Perhaps this explains the reason why God had so much to say to the men whom He had called to lead His sheep.

Tonight, I would like for us to take a moment to look at some of the things God had to say to his preachers. Let's take a few minutes and look together at God's Word To God's Men.

I. V. 1 GOD ADDRESSES THE PASTOR'S CALL

A. He Is A Handpicked Man - Ill. Desire - To reach or stretch out. This word carries the idea of having a deep, burning desire to be something one is not. What I mean by this is that no one just decides to go into the ministry. The call of God is a mysterious, but very real, event! If God has called a man to preach the Gospel, then that man is a handpicked man! (Ill. Amos - Amos 7:14-15.) (Ill. Jeremiah - Jer. 1:5; John the Baptist - Luke 1:15-17)

B. He Is A Highly Privileged Man - Ill. Good Work - An excellent undertaking! Why? Because of 2 Tim. 4:1-5! The pastor has the remarkable privilege of preaching the soul saving Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ as well as the great doctrines of the faith! In 2 Tim. 4:1-5, Paul tells us that proper conduct in this office requires:

1. V. 2 Preparation - The man of God must be a studious man. He must be a man of the Book - 2 Tim. 2:15. (Notice the use of the word "doctrine." The preacher is to give his people doctrine, messages squarely based in the Word of God. When we give our opinions, we are helping no one! When we preach the Word of God and teach it as we go, then we are helping all who hear us! (Ill. True biblical preaching is the explanation and application of Bible doctrine. Anything else is just religious speechmaking!) If we are to be men of the Book, then we muststudy this Book!

2. V. 2 Passion - The man of God must love the people of God enough to tell them the whole truth from God's Word. There are times when you will build them up and times when you will blister their hides, but always preach the Word of God, not you opinions and always preach it to them in love and the sheep will flourish!

3. V. 3-4 Patience - The man of God must know that often his message will fall on deaf ears! Men will turn away from him, but he must keep on preaching. Not everyone loves preaching, but thank God the majority will praise the Lord for a man who will preach the Word!

4. V. 5 Persistence - The preacher is called upon to exercise longsuffering, v. 2; and endurance! There will be times when the battle will rage and there will be temptations to drop out of the fight, but keep standing, keep preaching and keep looking to Jesus. It will be worth it all one day after a while!


II. V. 2-7 GOD ADDRESSES THE PASTOR'S CHARACTER

(In this section, Paul touches on 16 areas of the Pastor's character that must be under the control of the Lord Jesus, if that man is to be a successful Pastor of God's flock.)

A. V. 3 His Personal Qualifications -

1. Blameless - (Ill. Lit. "To take hold of") This means that there is nothing in the Pastor's life that Satan or an unsaved world can take hold of to tear down the ministry or the church. (Ill. No man is sinless, but the Pastor must strive to be above reproach in every area of life!)

2. The Husband Of One Wife - Simply put, no man can pastor a New Testament church if he has been married, divorced and remarried! Isn't Paul talking about polygamy? No! No polygamist would have been considered for the ministry anyway. How can a pastor who cannot control his own marriage counsel those who come to him for help with the marriages? No man who has been divorced and remarried is qualified to pastor any church.

3. Vigilant - This word means "temperate." The pastor must be a man who is in control of himself. The thought here is of one who is able to act, think and render sensible, sober judgment in all areas of life.

4. Sober - The pastor must possess a serious attitude and he must be serious about his work. This does not mean that he cannot possess sense of humor, (Ill. He had better have one), it means that he does not act in a foolish manner that cheapens the Gospel.

5. 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.

6. Given To Hospitality - (Ill. Literally, "One who loves the stranger.) 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.

7. Apt To Teach - The Pastor must be a man of the Book. He must be a student of the Book, and be able to explain and apply the message of the Book to those who hear him speak.

8. Not Given To Wine - Self explanatory! The Pastor, along with all Christians, are to avoid alcohol.

9. No Striker - Literally, "Not looking for a fight." The Pastor is not to be a man of battles, but rather a man of peace. The Pastor must learn to control his temper and take the good with the bad, the smart with stupid the and the ups with the downs!

10. Not Greedy Of Filthy Lucre - The Pastor must not use the ministry as a means of increasing his wealth. It is right and proper for a church to provide for their Pastor. Anything less is sinful! More about that later, but the Pastor is to stay away from shady deals, under the table deals, etc. He is to be above reproach in this area as well.

11. Patient - The Pastor must be a gentle man. He must be willing to listen to people when they need him and he must be able to take criticism without responding in anger. The Pastor will take a lot! However, proper conduct will mark a man and people will respect the Pastor and will treat him accordingly.

12. Not A Brawler - The Pastor is not to be the kind of man who is always looking for an argument. The Pastor must not be guilty of trying to stir up strife in the body of Christ.

13. Not Covetous - The Pastor must learn to be a man of faith.

He is not to be known as a man who is always after what he doesn't have, (i.e., larger church, more money, popularity, fame etc.). The Pastor is to be an example to the flock. He is to lead the way in placing Christ first and then trusting Him for every need - Matt. 6:33!

B. V. 4-5 His Family Qualifications - The Pastor, not his wife, should be the head of the home. He must be the kind of man that is respected by his wife and children. If those who know him best cannot respect him, then why should anyone else?

C. V. 6-7 His Church Qualifications -

1. Not A Novice - The preacher must be matured sufficiently before he is placed in the pastorate. To place a "new convert" in such a place of responsibility and authority is a recipe for disaster! The man of God must be thoroughly grounded before he is placed in the Pastorate.

2. Possessing A Good Testimony Outside The Church - The Pastor must be a man whom the community at large can have confidence in and respect for. This means always living the right kind of life in front of the world. It means paying one's debts. It means keeping that right kind of relationship with all men at all times.

D. If these qualifications bothered you, that is good! We ought to be disturbed! Truthfully, no pastor ever feels that eh measures up to all that he could be. However, we are to strive to be everything God desires us to be. We should be the best men of God we can be and we should serve the Lord with everything we have in us. Possess the right kind of character!

E. Did you notice that there are qualifications for the deacon's wives, but not the Pastor's wife? I wonder why? Here is just a thought: Most pastor's wives end up holding their homes together while their husband tries to hold other homes and the House of God together. The godly pastor's wife is praying, she is supporting, she is laboring alongside her husband. She has plenty to do just being the pastor's wife! Therefore, do not weigh her down with a bunch of jobs that other people are too lazy to do. Leave her free to do the hardest job in your church: Living with the Pastor!

III. 5:17-20 GOD ADDRESSES THE PASTOR'S CONGREGATION

A. God's Men Are To Be Respected - The Bible says that he is worthy of "double honor!" If the man of God is doing what the Lord has called him to do to the best of his ability, then no congregation of people has the right to tear him down! Churches need to remember that the Pastor is not their "errand boy" he is not the "hired help." He is God's man, and he has been handpicked to lead the flock of God in the will of God. The wise sheep learn to follow the shepherd and are not always trying to find a way to exalt themselves above him! (Ill. Heb. 13:7, 17 - Never be guilty of trying to turn God's man into your "boy." Respect him for the office God has called him to. He is the man of God! He prays for you, he loves you, he preaches to you and one day he will give an account of his ministry to you. He is not just one of the boys, he is the man of God. Never forget it!

(Ill. By the way, V. 19-20 tells us that we are not to listen to gossip about our pastors! We are to respect them and hold them up. You ought to tell every gossip who opens their big mouth against God's man to shut up in Christian love!)

B. God's Men Are To Be Rewarded - Far too many churches have the attitude, "Lord, you keep our preacher humble, and we'll keep him broke!" According to God's Word, the laborer is worthy of his hire! Don't be cheap when it comes to taking care of God's man. If you will see that his needs are met, God will see that your church prospers! If you are stingy, then He may just turn off the faucet of blessing. You have a responsibility to care for this man in the best way you can! (Ill. 1 Cor. 9:5-14!)

C. God's Men Are To Be Refreshed - Church, this man will walk through valleys that none of you will ever know about! Do you think it is easy to preach to people who determine the size of your paycheck? Who decide how nice a car you drive? How good your clothes are? What kind of house you live in? Do you realize that, not only does he have your problems, but like any other normal person he has problems of his own? Things tear up at his house too! He and his wife disagree too! He has to face the same pressures of life that you do, but he has yours on top of his, (Ill. Paul - 2 Cor. 11:28). All I am saying is pray for him! Love him! Put you arm around his neck every now and then and tell him what a blessing he is. Let him know when his sermons hit home. Be an encouragement to the man of God!

How can the church best help her Pastor?

1. Protect His Time - Give him opportunity to pray and study the Word. Don't expect him, his family or his home to be the center of entertainment for the community. Every Pastor wants to be available when needed, but no spiritual man of God can afford to waste his time!

2. Pray For Him Daily - Call his name out to the Father and God will fill him and use him.

3. Pay Attention While He Preaches - The sermon is not the time to be fiddling with the checkbook, looking through the hymnal, cutting your toenails or taking a nap. The man of God has labored long and hard to prepare the spiritual meal. At least have the common decency to pay attention when he preaches!

4. Provide For The Needs Of The Pastor Of The Church - This means that there will be a need for sacrificial giving on the part of every member. It is sad when 20% of the members of the local carry 80% of the financial burden! When this is the case, the Pastor lacks and the work suffers. Bring your tithes and offerings into the storehouse.

If the church will do these things for the man of God, the Pastor will be free to serve the Lord and the Lord will be free to bless the church!

Conc: These are exciting days for both preacher and congregation! There will be many blessings ahead and there will be some bumps in the road, but let me tell you that no matter what you face in the ministry, you will never face it alone. Jesus will always stand through it with you and He will give you people in every church you pastor who will love you and lift you up before the Lord. Like Aaron and Hur, they will hold up your arms when you feel like quitting and you will feed them when they are hungry and together you will march forward for the glory of God and He will smile on the ministry He has given you and souls will be saved and his Name will receive the glory It deserves. Therefore, come what may, keep preaching and keep serving the Lord Jesus.

Sermon By Alan Carr

 


 
 
 
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