Qualified, or a Man of God?
2 Cor 10:8-17
I have been trying to uncover the promises of God’s Word found in 2 Corinthians. I could not pass up the opportunity to study this portion of chapter 10 because it relates to a topic that is very important to me. I have mentioned on previous occasions that I think one of the most, upside down, backwards and unscriptural activities in our churches today is the selection of a pastor. Here is my opinion of what takes place in a few words.
We need a pastor, what should be our plan of attack? Well, let’s let other pastors, and Bible colleges know about our need. Next let’s put some ads out on the internet and advertise on the World Wide Web. We can ask for resumes and we will develop a questionnaire. Here is an impressive resume. Let’s ask him in to preach and see how he does. Next, they ask questions concerning his qualifications.
Blameless, Husband of one wife, Vigilant, sober, good behavior, hospitality, apt to teach, not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre, patient, not a brawler, not covetous, ruleth well his own house, novice, good report of them which are without. Then the church votes, and they call their pastor. Did you know that a false teacher could fulfill most of those qualifications? I was talking to someone that was from a Bible church background, and their particular congregation did not believe in the call to preach, they just looked for the spiritual gift of teaching. So how do you determine if the man that is aiming for the pulpit of your church is just merely qualified or a man of God? We are ultimately doomed to fail when we only look on the outward and do not consider the inward. Remember in our study of David how Israel chose Saul. He had a good lineage, and he was tall. Well, we are not choosing a king…it’s a higher matter than that. Spurgeon said, “If God has called you to preach do not stoop to be a king.” Matthew Simpson said, “His throne is the pulpit; he stands in Christ’s stead; his message is the Word of God; around him are immortal souls; the Savior, unseen, is beside him; the Holy Spirit broods over the congregation; angels gaze upon the scene, and heaven and hell await the issue. What associations, and what vast responsibility.” This is an important, practical lesson tonight. You can use this as you look for a new church when you move out of the area, or if you find yourself in the position of being in a church without a pastor.
1. A man of God is sent by God. First of all he must be born again, just like any other church member is supposed to be. Secondly, he must be led to be a part of that particular church, just like any other church member is supposed to be. How did the Apostle Paul decide where he was going next. Sometimes it was the route, other times it was the wind, but don’t live the Spirit of God out of the equation.
Do not minimize the route he was taking, or the direction the wind was blowing, if you believe in the providential hand of God, you know a shift in the wind’s direction may be much more than a coincidence. But the Spirit forbade Paul from going into Asia, and inot Bithynia. That night Paul saw a vision that declared, “Acts 16:9...Come over into Macedonia, and help us.” Now all of this cannot be seen outwardly, at first. But over the process of time it will be made manifest by a man who strives to walk close to the Lord, and a man who loves the people. Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?
Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.
2. A man of God uses his authority to edify, not to destroy. Power in the wrong hands is a scary thought. This is power that is given by God, as all power is. But what if that power is being used to build an empire? You don’t’ think there are Baptist churches that have become empires…would you like me to name a few? Let me give you a little more insight. If there is more teaching on the attributes of the pastor than the attributes of God, then there is a problem.
1 Peter 5:1-3 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: 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; Neither as being lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock. A pastor who is not concerned with feeding the flock is in reality starving the flock, and they begin to look elsewhere. Why did God ordain that churches have pastors?
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:
3. A man of God is not concerned with what everyone else thinks of him. This falls right in line with our current trend of today’s preacher. Be a sharp dresser, and excel in eloquence.
How was the preaching? Oh he was so eloquent, and he looked so nice it was just a wonderful message!
One of the greatest preachers in Puritan history was Jonathan Edwards. He read his notes up close to his face and was known for have a high, squeaky voice.
But what was in the message? Consider the heart of Paul.
1 Corinthians 9:16 For though I preach the gospel, I have nothing to glory of: for necessity is laid upon me; yea, woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!
4. A Man of God practices what he preaches. We talk about not being hearers only, but doers of the Word. That also applies in the direction of the pulpit, be not sayers only… That is the opposite of hypocrisy, also known as integrity. Swaggert, et al.
5.A man of God is a humble man. Humility is seen in different areas.
That every good thing comes from God.
James 1:17 Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.
That God is good no matter the circumstances.
Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.
That being in the ministry is the gift of God and in His purpose.
1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
A. Doesn’t dwell on comparing himself with others (12). Why aren’t we growing?
We sure are better off than those birds down the street.
That sounds familiar:
Luke 18:11 The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. Just measure yourself to the standard of Christ and you will always fall short.
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
B. He uses his God given authority in the place that God gave it to him(13-15). Not concerned with spreading his influence throughout the world. That is so important that the focus be on the local church. Let the man of God down the street handle his problems at the other local church. Darrell Roe and I.
C. He gives God the glory (16-18).
Psalms 118:23 This is the Lord's doing; it is marvellous in our eyes.
Rise up, O men of God!
Have done with lesser things.
Give heart and mind and soul and strength
To serve the King of kings.