The Church and Its MinisterBy Pastor Boffey on Sunday, January 1, 2012.
The Church and its Minister I. All sinners have a problem with submitting to authority. A. “...sin is the transgression of the law” (1JO 3:4). B. law: A rule of conduct imposed by authority. C. For someone to say that he has no problem with authority is to say that he has no sin, which is self-deception and in effect charges God with lying. 1JO 1:8, 10. D. Honesty and sincerity demand that we admit that we have a natural reluctance to submit to godly authority because it gets in the way of our sins, our liberties, our plans and our pride. E. Men particularly struggle with respecting authority wielded by someone well-known and close to them. GEN 37:8; ACT 7:27, 35; MAR 6:4. F. N.T. saints are warned against murmuring as did Israel. 1CO 10:10-12. 1. Though Israel directed their murmurings towards their leadership, their murmurings were against God. EXO 16:2, 7-8. 2. Their design to appoint new leadership according to their own liking was deemed rebellion. NUM 14:1-4 c/w NEH 9:17. II. Jesus Christ characterized true faith as recognizing the need to submit to authority as well as exercise it. MAT 8:8-10. A. The sinless Christ submitted Himself to the authority of flawed humans. LUK 2:51. B. 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. C. Even the authority of the Scribes and Pharisees was to be honored. MAT 23:2-3; ACT 23:3-5. III. 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. J. How do you view your pastor? IV. The minister of Jesus Christ must do much more than preach about grace, love, salvation, mercy, peace, etc. A. He must warn his flock of sinful tendencies, sin and its consequences---OR ELSE! 1CO 4:14; COL 1:28 c/w EZE 3:18-20; JOH 10:12-13. B. He must charge (as necessary) that contrary doctrine not be circulated. 1TI 1:3. C. He must exercise his rule authoritatively. TIT 2:15. D. He must press the claims of King Jesus upon God's people in season and out of season. 2TI 4:2. The Church and its Minister 1-1-12 Page 1 of 31. reprove: To reject. 2. To express disapproval of (conduct, actions, beliefs, etc.); to censure, condemn. 2. rebuke: To beat down or force back; to repress or check (a person); to repulse. 2. To reprove, reprimand, chide severely. 3. exhort: To admonish earnestly; to urge by stimulating words to conduct regarded as laudable. 4. admonish: To put (a person) in mind of duties; to counsel against wrong practices; to give authoritative or warning advice; to exhort, to warn. E. These duties are to be done publicly and privately. ACT 20:20. F. How do you react to your pastor's reproofs, rebukes and exhortations: 1. as a wise man? PRO 13:18; 15:5, 31-32; 27:5-6; PSA 141:5. 2. as a fool? PRO 12:1; 15:10; GAL 4:16; HEB 12:5. V. The account of Aaron and Miriam speaking against Moses (NUM 12) shows a need for caution in challenging ordained leadership because of disagreement with the leadership's personal choices. A. The LORD responded to this challenge suddenly. v. 4. B. Miriam (who appears to have led the challenge, v. 1) was made leprous and separated from the camp and Aaron's attitude radically changed. vs. 9-15. C. Israel was later told to remember what befell Miriam. DEU 24:9. D. Such things are recorded for our admonition. 1CO 10:11. VI. ITI 5:1. Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity. A. This verse does not forbid a pastor from rebuking someone who is older than himself; neither does this verse support the idea that a minister is totally immune to rebuke. B. If someone is so much as a few minutes older than another, he is his elder in age. ROM 9:12. 1. If this forbids a pastor from rebuking someone older than himself in age, then in some cases a pastor cannot rebuke many or most of the church. How then can he fulfill 2TI 4:2 and 1TI 4:11-12? 2. In TIT 2:15; Titus was commanded to teach, exhort, AND REBUKE the things noted in that chapter, which include instruction to aged men and women. 3. The elder in 1TI 5:1 cannot be limited to the elder in age. The language is broad enough to include the elder in office also. 4. In the church, God gives the elder in office authority over the elder in age. Pastors oversee ALL the flock. ACT 20:28. 5. Timothy was to impart this instruction to the church at large that the members might be blameless. 1TI 5:7. C. Consider the definitions. 1. rebuke: To beat down or force back; to repress or check (a person); to repulse. 2. To reprove, reprimand, chide severely. 2. intreat: To treat; to handle; asking, asking of somebody or for something. D. This is instruction to the church members to personally appeal to one another as in a family. E. In families, the father is generally not to be rebuked. So, too, Christ's minister should be respected and intreated as a father. The Church and its Minister 1-1-12 Page 2 of 3 F. A minister should intreat older men as fathers and older women as mothers in a personal context. G. But in the office of pastor, he must deal with older members as with the rest, rebuking as required. 1TI 5:20-21. H. A distinction must be made between a minister's personal and official relationships. VII. Before you disrespect the minister of Christ or go to war against him without good cause, know that the only one who is blessed in such situations is the minister. ISA 54:17; MAT 5:11-12.