Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The Pastor & Teacher a gift of Grace

He is an Elder  (He is wise & respectable)
This speaks of His Position
 (The Pastor's God given Authority to Lead a Flock) 
or we could say
 "Who he is!" He is God's man authorized to lead a particular flock.

He is an Overseer  (He has superior vision)
This speaks of His Purpose 
(The Pastor's God given Anointing to Hear, See, & Know God's Will for that Flock)
 or we could say
 "Why he is who he is!" He is anointed by God to see and cast God's vision for a particular flock.       

He is a Shepherd (He will care for and tend to...)
This speaks of His Priority 
(The Pastor's God given Aim to Feed this God given Flock)
 or we could say 
"What he does!"  His aim, from day to day, is to have a life that is being conformed to the life of Jesus Christ in order to feed God's people with the knowledge and understanding of who He is, and help them live God's way, as it is revealed in His Word. 

Acts 20:17, 28
    And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church. 
    Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed (shepherd) the church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood. 

1 Peter 5:1-4 
    The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: [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; [3] Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. [4] And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. 

Jeremiah 3:15 
    And I will give you pastors (shepherds/leaders) according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. 


Prophetic Preaching

The truth reveals to us that the pastor is assigned by God to take
over the aim or vision of the church as His distinct undershepherd.
One role the pastor has is to have the superior aim or vision that
God desires to give to a local fellowship. This is why it is so crucial
to have the man God desires to lead a congregation. Please don’t
misuse or allow the office of the pastor, what God has ordained for
His own glory, to be mocked by ungodly men.
Jokes, humanistic schools, cultural educators, or educations have
never set a man free in Christ, and they won’t do it today either. The
preacher is to preach and teach the Word of God under the authority
of God and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. Preaching should never
appeal to the flesh, but it should actually call on the sinner to (1)
mortify his flesh by denying its cravings (2) turn from known sin (3)
trust and follow hard after Jesus. When truth is preached, it should
always produce hate for sin in those caught in sin. They will either
hate their sin or the servant who has warned them of the consequences
of it when truth is preached. Listen to what God instructed Jeremiah
to tell His people about the role of the prophetic preacher:

I have not sent these prophets, yet they ran: I have not spoken
to them, yet they prophesied. But if they had stood in My
counsel, and had caused My people to hear My words, then
they should have turned them from their evil way, and from
the evil of their doings.
Jeremiah 23:21-22

The prophet is to never fortify and aid the sinner in his rebellion.
God sends His prophets with the truth to free the rebellious from their
sins. Truth is given by the Lord through His prophets to tell the sinner
that God knows where he is and to warn him that there is a consequence
for his sin. Because of the grace of God, the prophet is also
sent to win the sinner unto repentance through the revelation of truth.
God wants to free the sinner from his sin and not aid him in his sin.

Likewise, the same applies for the priests. Malachi is a book that
deals with God’s disgust over the attitude and actions of the priests
in Malachi’s day.

For the priest’s lips should keep knowledge, and they should
seek the law at his mouth: for he is the messenger of the Lord
of Hosts. But ye are departed out of the way; ye have caused
many to stumble at the law; ye have corrupted the covenant
of Levi, saith the Lord of hosts.
Malachi 2:7-8

The priests were called on by God to be His messengers to turn
men from their iniquity. They were not called to popularity and
fame, but faithfulness to God and His ways.
We are in need of men who will be dangerously strong for the
truth on the earth today. Champions of truth are needed in the visible
church during this hour. We do not need those who peddle the Word.
“Everyone has a price preacher,” some might say. That is a fact. The
majority will have their price, and the minority accepts the price
that has already been paid on Calvary. We have been told things
will get worse and worse in the latter days. We are in the latter days.
Paul told the church at Corinth that even back then the majority of
the preachers were corrupting God’s Word for a price. They were
retailing the preached Word of God to the highest of bidders: “For we
are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity,
but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ” (2 Corinthians
2:17). The word corrupt is rooted in the idea of marketing or selling
the Word of God. The corruption happened when they distorted it
or changed the meaning of the word to fit their listeners’ lifestyles.
Why did they do it? They wanted to keep their position, make their
living, and appear successful. How do they do it today? The exact
same way they’ve done it for centuries.

Are we guilty of converting the truth to fit our lifestyles?
Are we involved with a church that is aiming to be successful at
the cost of compromising truth?
How well do we and our churches relate to a functioning but
fallen society?
Is there much difference between us and them?
Should there be a difference between the disciples of Jesus and
a lost world?

*Taken from chapter 2 of Magnify the Lord: Ten Reasons to Discover, Declare, and Defend why Christ Came, Xulon Press 2007