It has always saddened me over the years as I’ve watched church leaders bring a reproach on the church of Jesus Christ. What’s shocking to me is how frequently Christian leaders sin grossly, then step back into leadership almost as soon as the publicity dies away.

Some time ago I received a cassette tape that disturbed me greatly. It was a recording of the recommissioning service of a pastor who had made national news by confessing to an adulterous affair. After little more than a year of “counseling and rehabilitation,” this man was returning to public ministry with his church’s blessing.

That is happening everywhere. Restoration teams—equipped with manuals to instruct the church on how to reinstate their fallen pastor—wait like tow-truck drivers on the side of the highway, anticipating the next leadership “accident”. Our church has received inquiries wondering if we have written guidelines or a workbook to help restore fallen pastors to leadership. Many no doubt expect that a church the size of ours would have a systematic rehabilitation program for sinning leaders.

Gross sin among Christian leaders is a signal that something is seriously wrong with the church. But an even greater problem is the lowering of standards to accommodate a leader’s sin. That the church is so eager to bring these men back into leadership is a symptom of rottenness at the core.

Some have claimed that a leader’s failure makes him more effective in shepherding fallen people. That is ludicrous. Should we drag the bottom of sin’s cesspool for the most heinous sinners to lead the church? Are they better able to understand the sinner? Certainly not! Our pattern for ministry is the sinless Son of God. The church is to be like Him and her leaders are to be our models of Christlikeness.

We must recognize that leadership in the church cannot be regarded lightly. The foremost requirement of a church leader is that he be above reproach (1 Timothy 3:2, 10; Titus 1:7). That is a difficult prerequisite, and not everyone can meet it.

There are some sins that irreparably shatter a man’s reputation and disqualify him from a ministry of leadership forever. Even Paul, man of God that he was, said he feared such a possibility. In 1 Corinthians 9:27 he says, “I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified.”

When referring to his body, Paul obviously had sexual immorality in view. In 1 Corinthians 6:18 he describes it as a sin against one’s own body—sexual sin is in its own category. Certainly it disqualifies a man from church leadership since he permanently forfeits a blameless reputation as a one-woman man (Proverbs 6:33; 1 Timothy 3:2).

Where did we get the idea that a year’s leave of absence and some counseling can restore integrity to someone who has squandered his reputation and destroyed people’s trust? Certainly not from the Bible. Trust forfeited is not so easily regained. Once purity is sacrificed, the ability to lead by example is lost forever. It takes only one pin to burst a balloon.

What about forgiveness? Shouldn’t we be eager to restore our fallen brethren? To fellowship, yes. But not to leadership. It is not an act of love to return a disqualified man to public ministry; it is an act of disobedience.

By all means we should be forgiving. But we cannot erase the consequences of sin. I am not advocating that we “shoot our wounded.” I’m simply saying that we shouldn’t rush them back to the front lines, and we should not put them in charge of other soldiers. The church should do everything possible to minister to those who have sinned and repented. But that does not include restoring the mantle of leadership to a man who has disqualified himself and forfeited the right to lead. Doing so is unbiblical and lowers the standard God has set.

So why is the contemporary church so eager to be tolerant? I’m certain a major reason is the sin and unbelief that pervade the church. If casual Christians can lower the expectations on their leadership, they will be much more comfortable with their own sin. With lower moral standards, the church becomes more tolerant of sin and less tolerant of holiness. The “sinner-friendly” church is intolerable to God—that is a frightening condition.

Conservative Christians have for most of the previous century focused on the battle for doctrinal purity. And that is good. But we are losing the battle for moral purity. Some of the worst defeats have occurred among our more visible leaders. The church cannot lower the standard to accommodate them. We should hold it higher so we can regain purity. If we lose here, we have utterly failed, no matter how orthodox our confession of faith. We can’t win if we compromise the biblical standard of moral purity.

What should you do in the current crisis? Pray for your church’s leaders. Keep them accountable. Encourage them. Let them know you are following their godly example. Understand that they are not perfect, but continue nonetheless to call them to the highest level of godliness and purity. The church must have leaders who are genuinely above reproach. Anything less is an abomination.

May God Forgive Us All

In His Continual Grip

Scott

Views: 505

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

Great word...Thanks!

"A sinner-friendly" church is indeed intolerable to God.

The first scripture that came into my spirit while reading this was Galatians 6:1

Brethren, even if anyone is caught in any trespass, you who are spiritual, restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness; each one looking to yourself, so that you too will not be tempted.

Restoration should always be in order, but indeed our leaders should be blameless and beyond reproach. Character flaws can impede their witness to the body of Christ and the world.
Exactly my point. Restoration. All of the great leaders of the Bible had Character Flaws (ie: Moses, David, Solomon, Peter, Paul...) but God used them for His glory. It is truly not our place... Its God's decision. And if one is restored, we ought to rejoice, that our fellow brother or sister has now been redeemed by the hands of an All-Mighty Deliverer.
In reading your discourse, Galatians 6 comes to mind, also the woman caught in the act of Adultery (in all this woman had 7 men and Jesus spared her from stoning.) The proverbs dealt with the 7 things God hated, and the weightier matters of the heart, are more tolerated than the sexual sins we often like to make a big deal about. Adultery, yes is a sin and involves more than just the physical act itself. It involves lying, coveting, and as you stated, a lack of integrity.

Yes, eventually a repented pastor should be restored to leadership. I find it amazing that we can preach come as you are, but discount that "All Have sinned, not Ya'll have sinned." I would humbly suggest, praying for all of our collegues in the Gospel, who all (if they are truly honest) have some kind of "thorn" they wrestle with. No one is perfect but Christ, and as we grow in the unmerited favor of Him, then we shall become overcomers through Him.
Let me say, that yes we are as believers called to repent when one sins and are restored back to our right place in God. However, there are fundamental biblical standards that a Pastor or leader of a church body must adhere too that is specified only in two books of God's Word. The book of 1 Timothy as well as the book of Titus. It is in those two books in the new testament that lays the foundational role of a leader and his responsibility in how to carry himself worthy of the title that has been given him to sheppard the flock by being the example of the living Christ. This is a high calling to the office of Bishop and elder of the church. God's work is Holy! Pastors and Bishops positions are not regular jobs. Paul was very specific in his reproach regarding renegade pastoral positions for the edification of the saints. Sin is to be taken very seriously.

Yes we all have sinned and there are great consequences to sin. I speak at the many prisons here in Florida (a rarity these days) and even though God forgives them when they are repentant at heart, they still must finish out their punishment and even after they are released the sting of sin still has long term consequential results.

Where is the standard? God's standard is higher than man's. God's work is Holy, and these reckless pastors should know better than most.

In His Grip

Scott
Again, there are 2 books covering the actions and role of leaders of the church. Those books are 1 Timothy and the book of Titus. Please use those tools to discuss the boundaries that have been spelled out concerning pastoral duties.

Thank you.

Scott
This is what God's Word says, since His Word is the ultimate authority and standard in which is the tool we should live and to be willing to be judged by. Forgive me for the length, but didn't see no other way to cut it down, for all to be able to discern scriptural truths set by the example of true men of God who strived to be Holy and Just and Righteous men, who glorified their Savior Jesus the Christ as the example of how to live gloriously.

God’s work is sacred. So when a person engaged in ministry repeatedly defies God’s high and holy standards, that individual is to be removed. The apostle Paul’s judgment and command are uncompromising. The very reason God’s work is holy is because He is holy. Those who minister will never do so without some failures, because they are not holy as He is. God’s grace, however, is sufficient to forgive those frailties. But those who cover up a lifestyle of sin behind the façade of sacred ministry must be confronted and removed.

The consequence of violating God’s sacred work, that which is performed for God’s glory and the body’s edification, is severe—disqualification from ministry—because His work bears His mark and reflects His reputation. Because this is true, God sets the boundaries in which His work is to be accomplished. The standards are high and holy. That is why Paul warned Timothy and Titus to treat with care any accusations against those who minister but to not falter when confrontation was necessary.

From Tabernacle to Temple to Hearts

Since the creation of humankind, God has been at work in the lives of His people. In His infinite creativity, God has varied the method by which His sacred work has been performed, but His standard has never changed: He requires holiness from those who serve Him.

After the Lord led Israel out of slavery in Egypt and they wandered in the desert, doing the Lord’s work consisted of serving in the tabernacle, a portable building where the people worshipped. Priests who served wore sacred garments, did their work around sacred furniture, read the sacred Scriptures, and carried out sacred sacrifices for God’s sacred purposes (Exodus 39-40). Priests who failed to maintain the holiness of God’s work often paid with their lives, because God is serious about His work being done His way
(Numbers 3:4; 1 Samuel 2:12-17, 22-25, 34).

Under the reign of Solomon, the place for worshipping God changed from temporary to permanent with the construction of the temple in Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 28-29;
2 Chronicles 2-3). The structure may have changed, but God’s standard remained. God’s work continued to be sacred. Over the passing of time, the temple ultimately was destroyed because God’s people compromised His standards (2 Chronicles 36:14-19).

After a time, and in His mercy and grace, God sent His Son to earth to die, removing the barrier of sin between God and humans. After He rose again and before He ascended to heaven, Jesus sent us His Spirit (John 14:16-19; Ephesians 3:16-17), no longer to inhabit temples “made by human hands” (Acts 7:48) but ones made by divine hands. No longer residing in a building, God has moved into the lives of His people (1 Corinthians 3:16; 6:19). We who are believers form “the church of the living God” (1 Timothy 3:15). From tabernacle to temple to hearts—God’s standard for holiness has never changed. It’s just more personal now.

When a Leader Is Accused

Paul’s admonitions in 1 Corinthians apply to all Christians, but they are to be of particular concern to Christian leaders. For both the layperson and the leader, God offers forgiveness. But for the leader who harms his or her body as well as the church, there is also judgment. As we will discuss later, Paul instructed Titus to deal with leaders drawn into the sin of factious strife and disputes. But first we will read how Paul instructed another young protégé, Timothy, about how to handle sinful leaders.

At times in the life of a church, an accusation comes against one of its spiritual leaders. So Paul instructed Timothy to tune out hearsay and turn a deaf ear to gossip or suspicious hunches and refuse to act quickly on every rumor. Setting the bar high, Timothy was to receive only hard evidence, accompanied by provable and viable facts, presented by “two or three witnesses” (1 Timothy 5:19).

The offense, once verified, was not to be ignored, not secretly addressed, not overlooked, and not swept under the rug. Rather, the offender was to be rebuked “in the presence of all” (5:20). The reason was clear—“that the rest also will be fearful of sinning.” Since Paul was addressing leadership issues, most likely the “all” represents all who are affected by the offender’s leadership: all who have a need to know and all whose lives are directly impacted by the leader being accused. As information is shared openly, an appropriate fear will sweep over the people of God. If someone in the congregation is engaged in the same or similar sin, his or her heart will feel the sting of conviction.

Paul took seriously the sacredness of God’s work. That’s why he impressed upon Timothy the need to maintain God’s standard of holiness. “I solemnly charge you,” Paul wrote Timothy (5:21). As one swearing an oath in court, Paul charged Timothy “in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and of His chosen angels” to preserve the holy work of God within the temple, the church. And he said the principles of investigating and rebuking a sinning leader must never be carried out with “bias” or “partiality,” regardless of whom the accused was. He stressed that any leader who decides to lead a double life—one of sacredness in public but sinfulness in private—was to be rebuked.

Engaging in God’s work is serious because it is sacred business. Therefore, Paul instructed Timothy to be cautious in laying his hands on anyone to commission them for holy service
(1 Timothy 5:22).

When a Leader Falls

Paul instructed Timothy on the rebuke of a sinning leader. But what if that leader continues in his or her sin—continues to cover the stench of it under the perfume of sacredness? And, as was the case in Crete, what if his or her sin is causing factions to form in the church? What then?

Paul was succinct and brutally clear: such a divisive person is to be rejected (Titus 3:10)! The word Paul used, paraiteomai, carried with it the stern action of “discharging” or “dismissing” someone. Or stronger still, to “drive [them] out.”¹ Why such drastic action? If the person causing division, dissension, and unrest in the church is allowed to continue, his or her actions could destroy the church, the temple of God (1 Corinthians 3:17). This counsel is especially applicable to leadership in the local church, but it can also apply to any ministry. The sacredness of God’s work is not confined to the church’s four walls but extends to parachurch ministries, missions organizations, and scores of other ministries.

The text tells us Titus was not to reject an accused leader without careful investigation. Just like Timothy, he was to take pains to confirm that the information was correct and warn the sinning leader, not once but twice, before taking action (Titus 3:10). If the one caught in sin didn’t heed the warnings, only then was he or she to be rejected.

Why would such a person reject the opportunity to repent when grace is twice extended? Paul said it is because a divisive person is “warped and sinful” (Titus 3:11 NIV) or “perverted” (NASB). The word ekstrepho means to “turn aside,”² to be twisted and bent out of shape. A perverted person can’t walk a straight line, like a drunkard stumbling in the darkness. He or she is in a sinning state, willfully choosing to violate God’s standard of holiness. As such, the individual has already condemned himself or herself.

Perhaps nothing has more potential to blight the sacred work of God than willful, deliberate, and repeated sinfulness by those engaged in ministry. That is why Paul was so pointed in his instruction—“Reject a factious man . . . [because he] is perverted” (3:10-11).

Conclusion

If you’ve ever been in a church that has had to apply discipline to a wayward leader, you know the sadness and pain associated with “rebuking” and “rejecting” a beloved servant of God. If you’ve been part of a church that should have disciplined a sinning leader but didn’t, you know the frustration and anger of seeing God’s sacred work stained. If you’ve been a member of a church that has never had a “warped and sinful” leader, you are most fortunate. Regardless of your past experience, you or your church leaders may eventually be faced with doing the hard thing of confronting a sinning minister. If and when that day comes, here are five practical and proven principles to follow.

First, we must have accurate information based on facts. If we are committed to maintaining the integrity of God’s ministry, we must be willing to do the hard thing. This requires the ability to discern and to listen only to hard facts—not hearsay, rumor, or innuendo.

Second, we must undertake discipline only when it would be for the overall good of the ministry and be to the benefit of the individual. The sting from a ministry leader’s sin may prick our hearts, but our discipline must never be a personal attack. We must understand that sometimes removal is necessary for the sake of the church and for the purging of the sin in the individual’s life.

Third, we must discipline in a spirit of genuine love and care for the person. We must also keep in mind that the fallen leader is loved by the Lord and our call is to love him or her as Christ does. We don’t uphold the sacredness of God’s work if we don’t discipline God’s way—in grace.

Fourth, we must carry out the action only after much prayer. In our zeal for truth, we may be tempted to simply cut off the sinning leader, but we must submit to the wisdom of the Spirit. We must approach the situation with integrity, discernment, and humility.

Finally, we must have as our goal the restoration of the individual. Discipline should never condemn but should seek complete repentance and reconciliation of the individual.

There are times when doing the hard thing is, in fact, the best thing. This is especially true when it comes to God’s sacred work. He has always held an increasingly high standard for those who handle His Word and work with His people. James, the half-brother of Jesus, understood the high and holy work of a minister. That’s why he warned: “Let not many of you become teachers, my brethren, knowing that as such we will incur a stricter judgment" (James 3:1). For the leader refusing to repent of his or her sin, part of that “stricter judgment” involves consequences of rebuke and rejection.

Though no one relishes administering such judgment, God’s work is too important to avoid the hard thing of confrontation when it really is the best thing for the church and the sinning leader.

In His Grip

Scott
Scott, this is a better position taken than your earlier train of thought. It appears that you are being challenged in this area, and I will be praying that the Will of God be done. The way Christ handled things are quite different than Paul. Also, lets not forget that when Paul wrote his letters, he had no idea that they would be read by us today or for that matter, by anyone outside of those the letters were addressed to.

Paul's epistles give us an example of the liberty in Christ Jesus to handle spiritual matters. As each situation is unique, a prayer for wisdom (James 1) would be in order. Fallen leaders and their families deserve the same respect that they have given every sinner that ever walked into their lives.

Paul's admonishment to investigate allegations was not for laypersons, but for an impartial fellow minister to do. For far to long, those who are not in active daily ministry have stood as judge, jury, and executioner, with NO attempt at restoration, or reconciliation. This is out of order.

It would behoove any man or women of God to teach on this subject as lay members have not handled this delicate situation with regards for the Fallen Leaders time, sacrifice, tenure, wife, children and the one who he or she was sleeping with. Let's just be "Get Real". I find it hypocritical that the preacher can except everyone just as they are, and the very second someone learns of a sin he or she has commited, the verdict is "They Ain't No Minista".

The fact is, each "title" we claim to hold, is in fact an office. Every "Title" was introduced to the Corinthian Church not as "Apostle", but as "apostle". Not "Pastor" but "pastor". They are service-oriented positions. No person in their right mind would want to eat a meal served by someone who noticeably has "Dirty Hands". There would only be two choices in that situation, a.) someone of higher authority would handle the situation, or b.) the customer would leave. Common sense would prevail everytime.

Two wrongs don't make it right, and if this issue is handled in the "Spirit of Meekness" by one who is empowered by the Holy Spirit with Wisdom, then repentance and restoration would not be the result. Whereas, I agree with your conclusion, I would add these words from John 3:17,

"He (Christ) did not come to condemn the world, but that through Him (Christ) we might be saved (rescued, delivered).

In Him

John
I agree with you Jaja.
First I would like to say, I thank you Jaja for your wise counsel and the grace you have demonstrated concerning this timely topic of what should happen to those pastors who fall in adultery.

Just to give you and others some background on me. I work for a Para church organization called Wycliffe Bible Translators, headquartered here in Orlando.

It had taken me over 6 months to get approved and accepted, as they are the equivalent of the Princeton of mission organizations, with over 6,000 missionaries serving worldwide in the unreached and unevangelized and dangerous places in the world to translate God's Word in the indigenous languages of their mother tongue. This process is unbelievably tedious, which can take the average Bible translator up to 3 yrs just to create an alphabet out of grunts and moans to be able to begin to translate the first verse in the Bible, "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth". To be able to translate the whole bible in their heart language of understanding can require one to spend the next 20-30yrs of their sacrificial lives to fulfill God's mandate of discipling and teaching God's truths to a lost and dying world through Bible translation.

All that said and with a mandate now that Wycliffe Bible Translators has now begun the "Last Languages Campaign" to have a mission to see a Bible translation program in progress in every language still needing one by 2025. So far to date, more than 700 New Testaments have been completed with the participation of those servants who are chosen by God to have made this possible to have God's Word accessible to all people in a language that speaks to their heart.

During my training period with them, we were told; all 40 of us new recruits, who chose to give up all to go to the nations ultimately even our very lives, that the only time a Bible translation if affected negatively is when we who are called as a type of pastoral leaders fail morally. Once an egregious offence has occurred, whether its adultery, fornication or addictions, its reverberation is heard throughout the Bible Translation team as well as to the indigenous people who look to us as leaders and progenitors of God's truth's to be morally and disciplined in carefully making sure we don’t disqualify ourselves and God’s work by slipping into certain sins that have long lasting consequential affects.

When these failings take place in a foreign world where the lost are heavy laden and steeped into sin, where Satan has deceived them into thinking that what is good is evil and what is evil is good. Most in the world where Christ name is not known look to those professing and living by the standards of a Holy and Just God who bring good tidings, must truly be transformed from the world and our minds renewed to not jeopardize the good work of Jesus the Christ or bring Him shame to His name, thus invariably hindering many to come to follow Him that creates many stumbling blocks that now has to be addressed, but not excused, justified or pushed under the proverbial rug.

Remember the enemy is watching, and doesn’t want us who bring God’s Word and truth to go to those who sit in darkness with no hope, to continue to worship wooden idols and their customary witch doctors who continue to use spells and deceptions to further push them into the dark abyss to never return, by tactics that are designed to imput fear and control.

Even witch doctors in the dark world have codes to follow, that they carefully follow not to be disqualified as a witch doctor. What about us? If there is no removal of the individual from the field, what follows is unimaginable, that even the whole village has been affected. Strife and divisions are usually formed. People are confused and invariably take sides, while some even backslide since most are usually babes in Christ and see themselves have having very little hope in regaining what was stolen. When a leader, the head falls, usually the body follows suit. As a gambler once reminded, “sometimes one has to cut their losses”.

This calling is a very serious one indeed, not that God would not forgive me or anyone who truly is repentful and goes through some sort of resolution and restoration process in some back room meeting place. And after a protracted period of time, after trashing his reputation and shaming the office of Bishop will be restored back to his rightful place, to me is insane and will lead many who watch this from the pews to not feel the sting of conviction when in a similar sin. My father to this day is not saved, why? Not because of Jesus or what the Bible stipulates, he hasn’t seen as he says, “any Christian who is in the world, but not of the world.” It’s a stumbling block to him, when leadership, not those who sit in the pews, but the teacher who handles God’s Word in one hand, while at the same time handles depravity and lasciviousness in the other. How does he balance the two and make amends for?

When a long term Bible translator in India or in Sudan Africa is living among the people for 20yrs or so and has been found to be in adultery, we admonish them lovingly and mercifully and prayerfully. We counsel and will minister to his/her whole self and reconcile them back to God’s truths in a loving and beautiful way through the repentance process. And they are also removed from the field. They can still be and many times they are still with the organization, but in another capacity and position within the company. Why? Because God’s Word is too important and too valuable to those whom God sent for us to bring His son Jesus to bring hope, deliverance and salvation to a lost and dark world.

The Cost Is To Great!

God Bless

In His Grip

Min. Scott
Brother and Pastor Ja and others who have responded:

I don't mean to come off unsympathetic to what you have surely been through since the reckless shooting rampage that beset you. I'm encouraged and honored to know that you were victorious through God's mercy in having His mighty hand upon you as He ultimately favored your life, to not depart from His work that rests upon your heart. Yes, the weapon will be formed to destroy us, but it won't be successful. Your appointed time to depart from this earth was not for this season. This was a season of service. Through all the trials and tribulations you endured, it was the brethrens turn to demonstrate to you during that difficult time in showering you with the agape love a more deeper love and care for those to carry out the gifts and God giving talents to minister to you and restore you back to your first love.

I'm not naive to believe that you falling into addictions from the pain is what I'm speaking about here. Of course every incident must be carefully examined before making any rash claim of admonishment. I would be overstepping my boundaries to even suggest that the addiction you fell in, was premeditated or even intentional. Even in the criminal sector, there is a determining factor in deciding by wise and prudent judges and prosecutional evidence as to whether they should seek to convict or not to convict based on circumstances leading up to the death of the victim.

After re-reading my long and exasberated posts, I feel the need to shift from looking at this issue from another angle. And the angle is what is the role of a leader and pastor who sheppards and equips the flock? Why is it so important to have a pastor with high character and integrity and what does it look like from the vantage point of a highly principled leader we have in Jesus the Christ?

"Study universal holiness of life. Your whole usefulness depends on this, for your sermons last but an hour or two; your life preaches all the week. If Satan can only make a covetous minister a lover of praise, of pleasure, of good eating, he has ruined your ministry. Give yourself to prayer, and get your texts, your thoughts, your words from God. Luther spent his best three hours in prayer."—Robert Murray McCheyne

God’s plan is to make much of the man, far more of him than of anything else. Men are God’s method, instruments of His will. The Church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. “There was a man sent from God whose name was John.” The dispensation that heralded and prepared the way for Christ was bound up in that man John. … When God declares that “the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him,”

What the Church needs today is not more machinery or better, not new organizations or more bigger and outlandish buildings and a slamming choir and novel methods, but men whom the Holy Ghost can use—men of prayer, men mighty in prayer. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but through men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men—men of prayer and consecrated secret lives.
The character as well as the fortunes of the gospel is committed to the preacher. He makes or mars the message from God to man. The preacher is the golden pipe through which the divine oil flows. The pipe must not only be golden, but open and flawless, that the oil may have a full, unhindered, unwasted flow.

Joh 7:38 “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, from within him shall flow rivers of living water.”

How can those rivers flow from within, if what is within is riddled with unrepentant depravity?

The man makes the preacher. God must make the man. The messenger is, if possible, more than the message. The preacher is more than the sermon. The preacher makes the sermon. As the life–giving milk from the mother’s bosom is but the mother’s life, so all the preacher says is tinctured, impregnated by what the preacher is. The treasure is in earthen vessels, and the taste of the vessel impregnates and may discolor. The man, the whole man, lies behind the sermon. Preaching is not the performance of an hour. It is the outflow of a life. It takes twenty years to make a sermon, because it takes twenty years to make the man. The true sermon is a thing of life. The sermon grows because the man grows. The sermon is forceful because the man is forceful. The sermon is holy because the man is holy. The sermon is full of the divine unction because the man is full of the divine unction.

The sermon cannot rise in its life–giving forces above the man. Dead men give out dead sermons, and dead sermons kill. Everything depends on the spiritual character of the preacher. Under the Jewish dispensation the high priest had inscribed in jeweled letters on a golden frontlet: “Holiness to the Lord.” So every preacher in Christ’s ministry must be molded into and mastered by this same holy motto. It is a crying shame for the Christian ministry to fall lower in holiness of character and holiness of aim than the Jewish priesthood.

The preacher must impersonate the gospel. Its divine, most distinctive features must be embodied in him. The constraining power of love must be in the preacher as a projecting, eccentric, an all–commanding, self–oblivious force. The energy of self–denial must be his being, his heart and blood and bones. He must go forth as a man among men, clothed with humility, abiding in meekness, wise as a serpent, harmless as a dove; the bonds of a servant with the spirit of a king, a king in high, royal, in dependent bearing, with the simplicity and sweetness of a child. The preacher must throw himself, with all the abandon of a perfect, self–emptying faith and a self–consuming zeal, into his work for the salvation of men. Hearty, heroic, compassionate, fearless martyrs must the men be who take hold of and shape a generation for God. If they be timid time servers, place seekers, if they be men pleasers or men fearers, if their faith has a weak hold on God or his Word, if their denial be broken by any phase of self or the world, they cannot take hold of the Church nor the world for God.

The preacher’s sharpest and strongest preaching should be to himself. His most difficult, delicate, laborious, and thorough work must be with himself. The training of the twelve was the great, difficult, and enduring work of Christ. Preachers are not sermon makers, but men makers and saint makers, and he only is well–trained for this business who has made himself a man and a saint. It is not great talents nor great learning nor great preachers that God needs, but men great in holiness, great in faith, great in love, great in fidelity, great for God—men always preaching by holy sermons in the pulpit, by holy lives out of it. These can mold a generation for God.
…The preaching man is to be the praying man. Prayer is the preacher’s mightiest weapon. An almighty force in itself, it gives life and force to all.

"Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
Purge out the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, even as ye are unleavened. For our passover also hath been sacrificed, even Christ:"
(1 Cor. 5:6-7)

The real sermon is made in the closet. The man—God’s man—is made in the closet. His life and his profoundest convictions were born in his secret communion with God. The burdened and tearful agony of his spirit, his weightiest and sweetest messages were got when alone with God. Prayer makes the man; prayer makes the preacher; prayer makes the pastor.

The sheep deserve nothing less~~

God Bless

In His Grip

Min. Scott
Consider these scriptures. Galatians 6:1-5 " Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted. Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Each one should test his own actions. Then he can take pride in himself, without comparing himself to somebody else, for each one should carry his own load."

Mark 10:18- Why do you call me good? Jesus answered, "No one is good--except God alone.
AMEN Scott!

RSS

© 2024   Created by Raliegh Jones Jr..   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service