Opposing God's Minister Part 1

I. Ministers are closer to God’s lightnings than others. JAM 3:1. A. They are to preach what the flesh despises and this often generates opposition. 2TI 4:2-3. B. They are continual hypocrites for preaching a flawless code of righteousness. 1. This fact is not a license for uncharitably attacking or rejecting a minister or making him an offender for a word or something of little account. ISA 29:20-21. 2. Nor is it a justification for a minister to avoid preaching against his own “issues” or justifying in himself a dissolute lifestyle rather than repent. MAT 23:28. C. They especially offend all. JAM 3:2. D. They will incur God’s wrath directly for self-muting or dereliction of duty under pressure. EZE 3:18-20; 1CO 9:16-17. E. They are not exempt from being made castaways. 1CO 9:27. F. The greatest of ministers are subject to correction. GAL 2:11; ACT 23:1-5. 1. Jesus Christ characterized true faith as recognizing the need to submit to authority as well as exercise it. MAT 8:8-10. 2. Christ submitted Himself to the authority of flawed humans. LUK 2:51. a. Therefore, the lack of moral or judicial perfection in legitimate authorities does not justify someone's refusal to render any fidelity and submission to such authorities. b. Even the authority of the Scribes and Pharisees was to be honored. MAT 23:2-3; ACT 23:3-5. 3. Hence, saints should submit to faithful ministers doing their job and ministers should heed faithful corrections from saints where justified. 4. Two issues are at large in opposing the minister: when is it justified (and when not), and how should just opposition be undertaken? PRO 27:6.

II. We ought not to be ignorant of Satan’s devices (2CO 2:11) which are many and varied: moral pollution, doctrinal corruption, exploiting emotional weaknesses and lusts, fomenting strife and division, etc. These all have a common goal: separating you from the truth which links you to God through Jesus Christ. JOH 14:6; 1JO 5:20. A. One of his devices is to prejudice your mind against the man whom the Holy Ghost has made your overseer. ACT 20:28. 1. Sometimes this is done by spreading contrary doctrine, diluting allegiance. GAL 4:13-18. 2. Sometimes this is done by inventing false reports about the man of God. ACT 6:10-13; 14:1-3; ROM 3:8; GAL 1:10; 5:11. 3. Sometimes this is done by feigned appeals for superior direction. 2SAM 15:1-6. 4. Sometimes this is done by sniping from the shadows about the minister’s foibles. 2CO 10:10. B. Another device is to use afflictions and challenges to alienate God's people from the minister and his message. EXO 5:19-21; 6:9. C. Because a minister represents the Lord, sometimes God's people take out their frustrations with God on the minister. 1. We are warned against murmuring as did Israel. 1CO 10:10-12. 2. Israel’s argument was really with God. EXO 16:2, 7-8. 3. Israel sought different leadership when they disapproved of God's leading through Moses and Aaron. This was an act of rebellion. NUM 14:1-4 c/w NEH 9:17. Opposing God’s Minister 9-4-22 Page 1 of 2

III. Beware of speaking against the man of God because he does something that you dislike, but God allows. Aaron and Miriam learned this the hard way. NUM 12:1-16. A. They spoke against Moses because of the Ethiopian woman he had married. v. 1. B. Their criticism of Moses was expressed in their claiming that God had not only spoken by Moses, but by them also. v. 2. C. They concluded that because they had been used of God, they could therefore speak against Moses. D. The Lord replied to this SUDDENLY. vs. 4-5. E. God replied that He had dealt with Moses in a manner superior to the way that He had dealt with other prophets. Therefore, they should have been afraid to hastily speak against Moses. vs. 6-7. F. Their speaking against Moses angered the Lord and Miriam ironically became leprous, white as snow. vs. 9-10. G. As a result, Aaron's attitude toward Moses underwent a radical change. vs. 11-12. H. Even though Moses made intercession for Miriam's healing, God still made her bear her shame for seven days. vs. 13-15. I. God's actions towards Miriam were to be a memorial. DEU 24:9.

IV. Heed some things Scripture says about the relationship between church members and the minister which God sends to them. A. He is the minister of the Lord Jesus Christ, the highest authority. MAT 28:18. B. He is the church's overseer (ACT 20:28); he is over you in the Lord. 1TH 5:12. C. His biblical rule is to be obeyed and submitted to. HEB 13:7, 17. D. His faith is to be followed in view of the end of his conversation. HEB 13:7; 1PE 5:4-5. E. He should be held in reputation. PHIL 2:29. F. He is to be esteemed very highly in love for his work's sake. 1TH 5:13. G. He is not to be rebuked like a sibling or underling but intreated as a father. 1TI 5:1. H. Uncorroborated accusations are not to be received against him. 1TI 5:19. I. If he rules well, he is worthy of double honour. 1TI 5:17.

V. So members could be resolved by simply talking respectfully to the minister about the issues. A. You might find your minister to be reasonable, amenable to correction, willing to consider many of the abrasions and conflicts that invariably arise between the minister and church your situation. B. Do not resort to underhanded sniping, passive-aggressive resistance, politicking to rally support for your own cause and other such carnal methods because you are too cowardly to address a matter in a godly way, or because you know that your cause will not bear examination. PRO 15:12.

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