Sermon #1575††††††††††††††††††††††††††† Miscellaneous Sermons

 

†††† Title: †††† What Should You Do For Your Pastor?

†††† Text:††††† Isaiah 52:7

†††† Subject: The Churchís Care for Its Pastor

†††† Date:†††† West Harpeth Grace Church, Franklin, TN

†††††††††††††††††† Saturday Morning ó June 26, 2004

†††† Introduction:

 

Last night I described, as plainly and fully as I could, the responsibilities of gospel preachers to the church of God. This morning, I want to show you from the Word of God what your responsibilities are to your pastor. We will begin in Isaiah 52:7. Here the prophet of God describes the attitude which ought to prevail in the hearts of Godís saints towards those men who are sent of God to preach the gospel to them. ― ďHow beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth!Ē

 

The picture is of a city in captivity which begins to rejoice as she hears the sound of an army coming across the mountains to deliver her.

       The church of Godís elect is by nature in captivity, taken captive by Satan, held in the bondage of sin and shut up under the curse of Godís holy law.

       Godís servants are an army of men, coming over the mountains, proclaiming deliverance by our great God and Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, and they are highly valued by those who know their need of deliverance by Christ.

       Those men and women who have heard and experienced the salvation of God in Christ cherish the men who are sent of God to proclaim deliverance to their hearts.

 

Look again at the prophetís words. By divine inspiration Isaiah speaks as the representative of Godís church: ďHow beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation; that saith unto Zion, Thy God reigneth

 

Obviously, these words do not apply to every man who calls himself a preacher and claims to come in the name of the Lord. False prophets, preachers of free-will, works religion, are not beautiful or desirable, for they do not bring good news. They are not to be treated with respect, but with contempt. They are not to be received, but shunned. Isaiah tells us plainly who those preachers are whose feet are beautiful, whose coming is desirable to the church of God. They are the men who are sent of God to preach the everlasting gospel of his free, sovereign, saving grace in Christ (Rom. 10:15).

 

(Romans 10:15)† "And how shall they preach, except they be sent? as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

 

They bring good tidings! ― They bring good tidings from the heart of God to the hearts of needy sinners, declaring that righteousness is established and redemption is accomplished for all who believe by the Lord Jesus Christ (Rom. 10:4; Heb. 9:12).

 

(Romans 10:4)† "For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth."

 

(Hebrews 9:12)† "Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.Ē

 

They publish peace! ― Godís servants do not tell helpless sinners to make peace with God. How can a traitor, a rebel, a felon make peace with the sovereign he has offended? If peace is made it must be made by the sovereign. Godís servants proclaim that peace has been made for sinners by the Lord Jesus Christ (2 Cor. 5:18-21; Isa. 40:1-2).

 

(2 Corinthians 5:18-21)† "And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; (19) To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. (20) Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God. (21) For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him."

 

(Isaiah 40:1-2)† "Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God. (2) Speak ye comfortably to Jerusalem, and cry unto her, that her warfare is accomplished, that her iniquity is pardoned: for she hath received of the Lord's hand double for all her sins."

 

They bring good tidings of good! ― Godís preachers do not offer good advice. They proclaim good news.

       Justice is satisfied!

       Atonement is made!

       Redemption is finished!

       Sin has been put away!

       God is reconciled!

       God forgives sin! God accepts sinners!

       God is merciful to the guilty!

       God saves graciously!

God freely receives sinners as objects of his everlasting love through faith in the blood and righteousness of his dear Son, the sinnerís Substitute, Jesus Christ (Rom. 3:19-28).

 

(Romans 3:19-28)† "Now we know that what things soever the law saith, it saith to them who are under the law: that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. (20) Therefore by the deeds of the law there shall no flesh be justified in his sight: for by the law is the knowledge of sin. (21) But now the righteousness of God without the law is manifested, being witnessed by the law and the prophets; (22) Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference: (23) For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; (24) Being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: (25) Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God; (26) To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus. (27) Where is boasting then? It is excluded. By what law? of works? Nay: but by the law of faith. (28) Therefore we conclude that a man is justified by faith without the deeds of the law."

 

They publish salvation! ― Gospel preachers do not tell helpless, depraved, dead sinners what they must do to save themselves. They proclaim to the helplessly lost sons of Adam how that God sovereignly saves his elect for the glory of his grace by blood atonement, imputed righteousness and effectual power (Ps. 65:4; 110:3; Rom. 5:12-21; Eph. 1:3-14; 2:1-10).

 

(Psalms 65:4)† "Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee, that he may dwell in thy courts: we shall be satisfied with the goodness of thy house, even of thy holy temple."

 

(Psalms 110:3)† "Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth."

 

(Romans 5:12-21)† "Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned: (13) (For until the law sin was in the world: but sin is not imputed when there is no law. (14) Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam's transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come. (15) But not as the offence, so also is the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many. (16) And not as it was by one that sinned, so is the gift: for the judgment was by one to condemnation, but the free gift is of many offences unto justification. (17) For if by one man's offence death reigned by one; much more they which receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness shall reign in life by one, Jesus Christ.) (18) Therefore as by the offence of one judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one the free gift came upon all men unto justification of life. (19) For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. (20) Moreover the law entered, that the offence might abound. But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound: (21) That as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord."

 

(Ephesians 1:3-14)† "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: (4) According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: (5) Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, (6) To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. (7) In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; (8) Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; (9) Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: (10) That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: (11) In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: (12) That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. (13) In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, (14) Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory."

 

(Ephesians 2:1-10)† "And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins: (2) Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: (3) Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. (4) But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, (5) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) (6) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: (7) That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. (8) For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (9) Not of works, lest any man should boast. (10) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

 

They say unto Zion, ďThy God reigneth!Ē ― Every man who is sent of God as a messenger of grace to needy sinners proclaims, in clear and unmistakable terms, the glorious, absolute and universal sovereignty of God in creation (Gen. 1:1), providence (Rom. 8:28; 11:36) and grace (Rom. 9:11-23). ― ďOur God is in the heavens; he hath done whatsoever he hath pleasedĒ (Ps. 115:3). ― ďWhatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep placesĒ (Ps. 135:6). Every message from every faithful gospel preacher sets forth the glorious sovereignty of God.

 

       Any man who does not preach these things is not sent of God and must not be received, heard, or aided in any way by Godís church (2 John 9-11).

       Any man who does preach these things is to be heard and received by the church of God and treated as the angel of God among them. He is Godís messenger.

 

If you know the value of your soul, the preciousness of Christ and his blood and the blessedness of the gospel, you will cherish that man who is sent of God to preach the gospel to you. You want to treat him as the messenger of God to your soul and do everything you can for him. I am sure you are very interested in the answer to this question: ďWhat should I do for my pastor?Ē

 

I have searched the Scriptures and found ten answers to that question. Here are ten things revealed in the Word of God which every church and every believer within the church should do for the man who preaches the gospel of Christ to them, laboring for their soulsí eternal good.

 

I.      Know him (1 Thess. 5:12)

 

(1 Thessalonians 5:12)† "And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;"

 

Obviously, this means more than having a bare acquaintance with him. It is unthinkable that a church might have a pastor with whom it is unacquainted. To know your pastor is to acknowledge him as your pastor, as the messenger of God to your soul.

 

Every believer should get to know and show his care for every faithful pastor, preacher, missionary and evangelist that he can. Godís people need to build strong relationships with Godís servants everywhere. I highly encourage the people of our assembly to write to, visit and get to know every faithful gospel preacher they can. (Godís servants are not jealous or fearful of one another!)

 

But there should be a special relationship between a pastor and the congregation which he serves. Your pastor is to be acknowledged by you, above all others, as Godís messenger to you. That makes him special to you.

 

To know your pastor is to love him. The word ďknowĒ is often used for ďloveĒ in the Scriptures, and every member of the church should have a distinct love for the man who is the instrument of God to minister to the needs of his people. The man who devotes his life to securing your soulís comfort, edification and strength is worthy of your love.

 

To know your pastor is to hold him in respect. Paul admonished the Philippians to hold their pastor Epaphroditus in reputation, to honor him (Phil. 2:29). Godís people are to give honor to those men who are Godís ambassadors. They are to be treated as Godís ambassadors (Luke 10:16).

 

(Luke 10:16)† "He that heareth you heareth me; and he that despiseth you despiseth me; and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me."

 

To know your pastor is to show concern for his comfort, welfare, safety and protection. David used the word ďknowĒ in this way (Ps. 142:4).

 

(Psalms 142:4)† "I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me: refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul."

 

Churches should be greatly concerned for the safety and welfare of their pastors in the discharge of their responsibilities.

       Pray for your pastorís spiritual safety and well-being.

       Protect his name and reputation from the slanderous gossip of evil men, and always endeavor to encourage him in his work.

 

Paul gives three reasons why you should make it your business to know your pastor.

 

A.   He labors among you.

 

God has given you a faithful pastor. He has given you a man who labors for your soul. He fills his hours with diligent work, studying hard, praying earnestly, preaching fervently. He corresponds with needy people. He visits the sick. He writes excellent, instructive, comforting articles for your soulsí benefit every week. The vast majority of a pastorís work is unseen by those for whom it is done, and too often unappreciated. But faithful pastors are laboring pastors.

 

B.   He is over you by divine appointment.

 

God has placed your pastor over you as your spiritual guide and ruler in his kingdom. If you would follow his faith, you need to know him.

 

C.   He admonishes you.

 

Your pastor continually reminds you, in public and in private, of things which you need to know.

       He reminds you of your past experiences of grace (Isa. 50:1-2).

       He faithfully preaches and instructs you in the doctrines of the gospel (1 Cor. 1:26-31; Rom. 8:28-39).

       He reminds you of your privileges and responsibilities in this world (Eph. 4:17-5:2).

       He points out the dangers you must face (ďThe cares of this world and the deceitfulness of richesĒ Matt. 13:18-23 ― Heresies, etc.).

       Finally, he ever reminds you of the blessed, soul-cheering promises of God in Christ (Isa. 43:1-5; 2 Cor. 1:20).

        

II.   Esteem him very highly (1 Thess. 5:13)

 

(1 Thessalonians 5:13)† "And to esteem them very highly in love for their work's sake. And be at peace among yourselves."

 

Every believer should esteem his pastor very highly. The word is ďsuperabundantly,Ē over and above the esteem given to other brothers and sisters in Christ. This is not because he possesses any personal superiority; he does not. He, like you, is ďonly a sinner saved by graceĒ. But he is to be esteemed superabundantly for his workís sake. What does this mean?

 

A.   You are to entertain the highest possible opinions of your pastor at all times.

 

Hold him up in your own mind. Highly esteem his gifts and abilities as a preacher, and his grace and faithfulness as a believer. If you have a low opinion of a man, it is not likely that he will be of much use to your soul. His words will carry no weight with you.

 

B.   Always speak honorably of your pastor.

 

Believers should always speak well of one another, but this is especially true regarding their pastors. If you do not speak well of your pastor, it is not likely that anyone who knows you will have any respect for him. At home, among the members of your family, among one another, at work, in the midst of your co-workers and in the community, always give Godís servant the highest possible esteem in your speech.

 

C.   Speak respectfully to your pastor as Godís messenger to you.

 

The use of titles and names of distinction to separate and elevate Godís servants above his people is to be deplored. Our Lord plainly forbids it (Matt. 23:7-9). We should address no man as ďReverendĒ, ďFatherĒ, or ďDoctorĒ! But Godís servants should be spoken to and of in respectful terms. Neither the pastorís office nor his work should be made the object of a joke or of ridicule. Like a father in his household, the pastor is to be treated and spoken to with the respect that becomes his high and holy office in the church.

 

This superabundant esteem must be the esteem of sincere love for the pastorís workís sake. It is not a forced reverence for an office. It is to be a heartfelt esteem flowing from your realization of the burden, labor and value of the work of the gospel, to which Godís servant faithfully gives himself. That man deserves your highest, most loving esteem who spends his life in ardent labor for the gospel, who has been the instrument used of God for your salvation, who ministers to the comfort of your soul and is used of God for your spiritual growth and edification in the knowledge of Christ.

 

III.           Remember him (Heb. 13:7)

 

(Hebrews 13:7)† "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation."

 

Ever keep your pastor close to your heart in fond remembrance. Remember him at the throne of grace when you pray; but particularly, the admonition here is to remember his messages and the doctrine he preaches. Listen carefully to what he preaches. Take notes to aid your memory. Discuss his sermons at home, among your brethren, and store up his doctrine in your mind, so that you may apply it to yourself as you seek to live in this world for the glory of God. As you read the Word of God in your private worship, if you remember what has been preached to you the Word will open before you and be blessed of God to your heart.

 

Here are two reasons for remembering your pastor, particularly, for remembering his messages.

 

A.   First, he has the rule of the church.

 

His word is to be remembered, because God has made him your spiritual guide in this world.

 

B.   And, second, he speaks to you the Word of God.

 

He does not come in his own name, teaching his own opinions, or the philosophies of men. If he is Godís man, your pastor comes to you with Godís message, armed with Godís authority, and what he says you are responsible to hear, remember and obey. He preaches to you the Word of God.

 

IV.           Follow him (Heb. 13:7)

 

(Hebrews 13:7)† "Remember them which have the rule over you, who have spoken unto you the word of God: whose faith follow, considering the end of their conversation."

 

Believers and churches are to follow their pastors. Your pastor is your leader and guide in the kingdom of God.

       You are to follow his example of faith and faithfulness.

       Follow the pure gospel doctrine that he preaches to you. It leads to life everlasting.

       Follow his example of devotion to Christ.

 

Your pastor is a man of resolute, heart devotion to Christ, his church, his gospel and his glory. He guides Godís you by his own example of consecration to Christ. Follow his example of faithfulness.

 

The one thing God requires of his servants is faithfulness, and if you would be serviceable to the cause of Christ in your own sphere of responsibility, you will learn how by following your pastorís example.

 

This is not blind allegiance to a man. This is obedience to Christ. If you would follow Christ, you must follow the man he has made your guide, considering the end of his conversation. ― ďJesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and for everĒ (Heb. 13:8). Christ is the object of our faith, the pattern of our faith and the end of our faith. Follow your pastor in the life of faith, as he presses towards the mark, Christ Jesus.

 

V.  Obey him (Heb. 13:17)

 

(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."

 

Obedience is not servitude, but it does mean submission. Godís people are expected and required to obey their pastors. In spiritual, doctrinal matters, in all things regarding the affairs and work of the church, the pastor is to be obeyed. If he is not worthy of obedience, he should not be the pastor.

       Elders are to serve the church in obedience to the pastor.

       Deacons are to serve the church in obedience to the pastor.

       Teachers are to serve the church in obedience to the pastor.

       Every member of the congregation is to serve the church in obedience to the pastor. The pastor is the captain of the ship. All the crew must serve in obedience to him.

 

Obey his message, the gospel of the grace of God. Hear it. Receive it. Love it, and order your life by it.

 

Obey his direction in the worship of Christ. Every aspect of the worship and work of the church should be carried out in accordance with the pastorís instruction. The order of the services, the selection of music, the administration of the ordinances and the activities of the church are to be performed in the way required by the pastor, as he is guided by the Word of God. There is no need for committees and societies within the church body. The pastorís voice, as he seeks the will and glory of God, is to be obeyed in all things.

 

Obey his admonitions and reproofs. No pastor is infallible. He will often err. But if he is a faithful man, his errors will be errors of judgment, not errors of principle. You can safely follow such a man and obey him. His admonitions and reproofs, if he is God s servant, are not personal attacks, or fits of passion. They are thoughtful, needful, God-given warnings and directions for your soulís eternal good.

 

VI.           Submit to him (Heb. 13:17)

 

(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 admonition here is to submit yourself to the Spirit-led, faithful care of your pastor. Do what he tells you to do, even if you do not really understand why. That may seem a little too much to expect, but a little consideration will show that it is not.

 

Thirty years ago, I was dying with cancer. The doctors wanted to treat my disease by injecting me with a series of drugs, drugs that could be deadly, and cobalt treatments, treatments that often made people invalids for life! The drugs and the treatments could have been fatal, if they were not properly administered. I do not understand how they work, but, being confident of my physiciansí abilities, I submitted myself to them and did what they told me to do, because I knew that they knew better than I did what I needed.

 

You are to submit to your pastor in just that way. If he is a faithful man, he probably knows better than you what is best for your soul, the cause of Christ, the welfare of the church and the furtherance of the gospel. He will not wilfully mislead you, and he will not abuse you, or take advantage of you.

 

Your pastorís concern is for the welfare of your soul. He watches for your soul as one who must give account, both to his own conscience and at the judgment bar of God. Every faithful pastor exercises great care and diligence as he watches over Godís people, for he desires to give account of his hearers with joy and not with grief. If on the Day of Judgment Godís servant gives account of you with grief, as one who has heard but refused to obey the gospel, you will suffer the wrath of God for it (Godís word to Moses ― Deut. 17:11-12).

 

(Deuteronomy 17:11-12)† "According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall show thee, to the right hand, nor to the left. (12) And the man that will do presumptuously, and will not hearken unto the priest that standeth to minister there before the LORD thy God, or unto the judge, even that man shall die: and thou shalt put away the evil from Israel."

 

VII.       Pray for him (Eph. 6:19; Col. 4:3; 2 Thess. 3:1)

 

(Ephesians 6:19)† "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel,"

 

(Colossians 4:3)† "Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:"

 

(2 Thessalonians 3:1)† "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as it is with you:"

 

Let every child of God pray continually for all who faithfully preach the gospel of Christ, but every believer should especially pray for his own pastor. C. H. Spurgeon was once asked, ďTo what do you attribute the phenomenal success of your ministry?Ē Without a momentís hesitation, he replied, ďMy people pray for me.Ē

 

Let all who believe follow their example. Pray for your pastor. As he seeks a message for your soul in his private study and preparation for the pulpit, pray for him. As he preaches the gospel to you, pray for him. Pray, too, for your pastor with regard to his life and conduct in this world. He is a man, like yourself, weak, frail, sinful and tempted of the devil. Pray for his preservation from the evil one. Pray that God will ever give him grace to seek neither to avoid the disfavor of men, nor to crave the favor of men.

 

Call upon God to preserve him in grace, in usefulness and in health and strength, and pray for your pastorís constant and increasing usefulness in the cause of Christ.

 

VIII.    Provide for him (1 Tim. 5:17-18; Gal. 6:6; 1 Cor. 9:7-14)

 

(1 Timothy 5:17-18)† "Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. (18) For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward."

 

(Galatians 6:6)† "Let him that is taught in the word communicate unto him that teacheth in all good things."

 

(1 Corinthians 9:7-14)† "Who goeth a warfare any time at his own charges? who planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of the fruit thereof? or who feedeth a flock, and eateth not of the milk of the flock? (8) Say I these things as a man? or saith not the law the same also? (9) For it is written in the law of Moses, Thou shalt not muzzle the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn. Doth God take care for oxen? (10) Or saith he it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written: that he that ploweth should plow in hope; and that he that thresheth in hope should be partaker of his hope. (11) If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shall reap your carnal things? (12) If others be partakers of this power over you, are not we rather? Nevertheless we have not used this power; but suffer all things, lest we should hinder the gospel of Christ. (13) Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar? (14) Even so hath the Lord ordained that they which preach the gospel should live of the gospel."

 

Carefully read these texts of Scripture often. Ask God the Holy Spirit to apply them to your heart. It is a shame and reproach upon any congregation which is able to care for its pastor, if the pastor has to provide for any of his own, or his familyís earthly, material needs. And it is the congregation itself which suffers when the pastor has to support himself.

 

Every local church should generously supply every need of the pastor and his family, so that he may be able to give himself wholly to prayer, study and preaching. A faithful man will make whatever sacrifices and adjustments are necessary to live within his means, and he will not take advantage of the generosity of Godís people. But every church, and every member of the church, should do everything within its ability to see to it that Godís servant lacks nothing.

 

IX.           Adhere to him (2 Tim. 1:15-18)

 

(2 Timothy 1:15-18)† "This thou knowest, that all they which are in Asia be turned away from me; of whom are Phygellus and Hermogenes. (16) The Lord give mercy unto the house of Onesiphorus; for he oft refreshed me, and was not ashamed of my chain: (17) But, when he was in Rome, he sought me out very diligently, and found me. (18) The Lord grant unto him that he may find mercy of the Lord in that day: and in how many things he ministered unto me at Ephesus, thou knowest very well."

 

In every state, condition and circumstance, adhere to your pastor. He needs you.

       In difficulty, support him. When he is discouraged, encourage him.

       When he is engaged in trials, sympathize with him.

       When he is opposed, stand by him.

       When men speak evil of him, defend him.

       In all his labor for Christ, your soul and the gospel of the grace of God, do whatever you can to assist him, for the glory of God.

 

 

X.  Treat him as the minister (servant) of Christ (1 Cor. 4:1-2)

 

(1 Corinthians 4:1-2)† "Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God. (2) Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful."

 

He has been made your minister for Christís sake by the will of God. He is the steward of the mysteries of God. God has made him the servant in his house who is entrusted with the treasury of the house, the gospel of the grace of God. And, if he is Godís servant, he is faithful to your soul in all things.

 

Application:

 

We have seen, from the Word of God, ten things which the believer should be doing for his pastor. Many will say, ďNo man deserves to be treated so royally,Ē and, of course, they are right. No man deserves to have such treatment from his peers. But if Godís servants are to be effective in and give themselves to the work of the gospel, they must have the unwavering help, support and faithfulness of Godís people behind them.

 

Remember also that your pastor is Godís faithful servant, Godís ambassador to your soul; and the Lord regards that which is done to his ambassadors, be it good or bad, as having been done to him (Luke 10:16).

 

Churches sometimes wonder why they cannot keep a pastor more than a few years. There may be many reasons. But this one thing I have observed, after a good many years of pastoral experience: very few pastors would even consider the possibility of leaving any church which did for them the things which we have seen in this chapter. If you would do what is right, and if you would keep your pastor, these are the things you should be doing for him.

 

One more thing ― If you would do what is best for yourselves as an assembly, do these things for him (1 Thess. 5:12-13).

 

(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."