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October 21, 2020 4:00 am
The apostle Paul was a modern-day church consultant.
What kind of coaching would he provide for today's church pastors today on Truth for Life.
Alastair Begg presents the final message in a series called the pastors study. This message was originally presented to a gathering of pastors and church leaders, and Alister taught from Paul's letter to the Colossians chapter 1 about the priority for pastors presenting everyone mature in Christ. The best way for us to motivate our flock to grow is simply by reminding them of all the things that are the heirs in Christ. That's why in verse 27, which was largely ignored.
He is pointing out what a wonder it is that the Gentiles which is this great mystery hidden from before, to which he refers in Ephesians 2 that the Gentiles, that out of these two God is made one new man in the Gentiles have become beneficiaries of the riches of glory which he says is Christ in you Christ in you, and so what does it mean that to motivate them in this way. Wallace ultimately met the work of the spirit of God through the word of God through the servant of God and is the word of God is proclaimed. Verse 25.
Again, I became a minister according to the stewardship from God gave it to me to do what to present my own opinions know to let people know how funny I am bright and know to make the word of God fully know and is the word of God is made fully known than the spirit of God is at work is at work like a sculptor on on on our life's chipping away at this so as to conform us to the image of the Lord Jesus Christ says Paul in two Corinthians 3 we are being transformed into his image, says John in first John three and when we see it in. We will be like him so he not only sculpts us, but he also moves us applying the truth of God's word to the varied circumstances of our lives.
And of course we know that no matter how well we know our congregation.
We could never know the details of their lives.
How can how can we ever make application people asked all the time. Are you and apply that what we seek to apply it as best we can, but is in the ministry when people come to us and say you know I hear this or I had that you find yourself saying I don't ever said that. How did the of the great mystery of the work of the spirit bring home the word of God well notice to that the that the Lord Jesus presents all eyes in the presence of the father in verse 21 four we were alienated we were hostile, and so on.
He has reconciled us in order to present us. That's what he does now here in verse 28. We are engaged in this proclamation in order that we may present everyone on that day present all those for whom we have had responsibility I think is such a such a challenge in such a wonderful thing to do is not what you think of Paul in this regard. 20 rights to the Thessalonians. Thinking about the privacy I think about the day when everything is finally wrapped up and he says for what is our hope, our joy, our crown in which we will glory in the presence of the Lord Jesus when he comes, is it not you indeed you are our glory and our joy to remember that him the sands of time, or sinking the dawn of heaven breaks written by poem written by Margaret Carson's was a friend of Samuel Rutherford, her husband and Rutherford were friends and it runs about 53 verses. I think it was collapsed into a him and there is there is a verse in it, and it's a little Victoriana is a little you know chlorine but don't don't let that door that you off when it when I redo this she she she she chewed, she took the letters and the journals of Rutherford to write the spoil your member that Rutherford ministered in relative obscurity actually in a tiny little place on the river Solway in and with and so she created a verse of Rutherford and Rutherford's words all and with by this all way to me that I was still art dear E from the edge of heaven. I shed for the tear but if one soul from and with meets me at God's right hand. My heaven will be to the heavens in a manual/you are our joy. You are our whole. You are our wise shepherds. May we be wise shepherds, wise shepherds look for their rewards, then and not now, not well what are you doing proclaiming Christ proclaiming the Scriptures why we doing it well. In this context, in order that we may present everyone mature and how are we doing it if you like what is the what what is the experience of doing this will notice there in verse 29 for this I toil I toil, struggling I donate. So my with all his energy that he powerfully works within me at six, there's a lot of struggling when you read Paul in first Timothy four. To this end, we toil and strive first Corinthians 15 path race is struggling to sell. Goodness gracious. I got I got a resource to be enough just fine no turbulence and up we get to cruising altitude and just look out the window well no not at all. At least if that your experience come and see me afterwards that I want to learn how to do it no verse one of chapter 2 for I want you to know how great a struggle I have for you. This is visit is not a walk in the park. This is not take your laptop down to Starbucks and sit around with a latte pretending you're involved in ministry. I'm just talking myself now noticing the ice cream is a really helpful book right zeal without burnout asked me if I write a piece about that may have written forward to it.
Actually goodness gracious of all the forwards I wrote were put into a book to be terrific but us. But I find it really hard to write a foreword because I don't know anything about that zeal without burnout that I could burnout could rest out quicker than I could. Burnout know it's a useful book and it's a real and present danger for some of us, but no.
I said to myself, know I should be writing a forward for a book called lessons for the lazy or secrets sluggard's never learn as a door turns upon its hinges, so turns a lazy man upon his bed. Alan Redpath when I was a boy used to say.
And let me ask you son. Do you have blanket victory, blanket, victory me like like comprehensive total victory. No blanket victory, you have to help me with this.
Can you get out of your bed in the morning.
Can you get can you beat the blankets toiling the word force struggling these words are not used just haphazardly by Paul, what we know of.
Paul guarantees this doesn't his own testimony as experience of life. None of us have ever come close to approximating all that he went through. Nevertheless, the word that is used here is is the word that would be used for a contest, a fight, usually involving weaponry and of course she remembered in Ephesians, Paul is making it clear that we are involved as the Westminster confession reminds us in a continual and irreconcilable war and part of that war involves the burden that we bear for those who are under our care for.
Let us not forget that we will give an answer so we are those who keep watch over their souls, as those who will give an answer.
How could this be easy you can. You think you can go back in the quote green room and say to the person is about to preach on data gathering. I hate it when people say that to me. I want to get him to send it to what you mean getting what could I possibly do nothing.
It's a struggle in our weapons are prayer and the ministry of the word. We will give ourselves, says Lucas. Again, there is no shortcut here for lazy pastors or undisciplined believers. The word here in verse 28 the work that is described in it is harder than anyone who has not attempted it can ever imagine and it will sap the strength of the youngest and the fittest people who endeavor to proceed minus this trend, which God supplies to remember in the second volume of Lord Jones Ian Murray quotes William Taylor who says a young minister is prone to try to attain by one jump. The height which others have reached by a long series of single steps in the labor of 1/4 of a century. If that is a temptation on the front and what about the temptation on the back. Those of us who are further along the path. Those of us who have less in front of us than we then then we have behind us, we face the danger of thinking that we may just coast put it in the reader that he put everything in the car drives itself you know will register.
We can just roll along. Now you can use their window groups brother be better we die and we cruised the devil that there was not a multi-concern about dad pastors is really concerned about half dead pastor where some are another along the way. The joy has gone or the toilet school. We decided that we are in a position I will have to be bothered with any of that stuff will listen.
The constant study and teaching of the Bible will be enough to teachers what it means remembering Shakespeare's Hamlet, when they come on the gravediggers and that one of the gravediggers is is joking around and Andy's and these he singing and somebody says has this fellow, no feeling of his business and Horatio replies custom have made it in him a property of easiness have been doing it so long that I don't really get concerned about it one way or another that we die Perkins in the 16th century says to his people. You are a minister of the word mind your business and to mind our business is to realize that this is a toil. Now there is something in ever ministry. Isn't that the same ministry that you have in Philippians 1. Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who is at work in you both to will them to do of his good pleasure. You've got a similar statement here in verse 29 for this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me working hard and the supply of the energy of God or some are another interwoven. The thing I think it is important to see is that we discover God's power at work within us, in the context of work, there's no sense in which Paul appropriates divine energy is aware in a vacuum.
What he's seeing is when I put my shoulder to the plow. I was amazed that even though I came to the task in weakness and in field and in much trembling. I discovered God, powerfully work within me.
Preparation is toilet. It really well. It really is you sit with your Bible, you said with a partner. Whatever you use and you say, dear Lord this is the passage is, you know, of course, Linda.
I can think of a single thing about this passage in a civilizing or go to the bathroom so we go through there for little while, get a drink of water come back and is still there.
The blooming thing, a minister in the end she with nothing written on this okay is just Wednesday. Now you fast-forward in this frayed love ones is toil.
I used to think I know don't.
I'm not going to play fast and loose with you over time one's facility and ability with the text ought to get back it, we ought to be able to get the things without a lot of the rigmarole that was part and parcel of our early started with that said, with that said, it remains a real toil. The preparations toil.
The preaching is toil in the aftermath is an absolute struggle.
The aftermath is a struggle I don't know about you but I don't come down from the pulpit going there we go.
No, I come down I want to go through that door and try and beat the people who leave from there. Setting get up the stairs before the even see my face struggle is any what the stairs and some are not a disease always up there the evil one. Yeah either to inflate you with notions of usefulness, a or to deplete you to undermine you with any notion of effectiveness today. Danger is that it danger evil one comes and says you know everybody is really, or a come see us as you know what nobody cares nothing about what you have to say both wage and that struggle, the longer I tell the story, the more study they might even be fictitious itself, but I know that it is and it has to do with Lloyd Jones and has to do with Eric.
Alexander is a young man who preach for us here some time ago know when he was a young man but Eric Alexander was leading a meeting at which Lord Jones preached and Lloyd Jones, preached and an preached powerfully and with great effectiveness of your solar Jones preached he was of is a fascinating fellow and he didn't like it if it was cold and he went like any of this music or toilet. Would've you would've left the conference about after the first song on Monday and he was wrong and that but that's by the way, will talk about in heaven, but he didn't like being called and any would sit on the platform, wearing his coat and if he still felt cold even start off with his coat on and inanity preached and and and preach his heart out and he sat down and Eric Alexander was there was a young minister and he was so excited that he got to lead in 44 Lloyd Jones and he sat down beside him. He said that Dr. Lloyd Jones how you feel and like John said tire. I wasn't good enough for Eric Teresa's yearbook and coming anything else and he said young man I think that this pointing to the pool is the closest that a man will ever come to the experience of childbirth.
I suggest to you that even when you allow for the eccentricities of of the Welsh which he was which always need to be moderated by the phlegmatic approach of the English which then can be corrected by the Scots and turned into an argument by the Irish even even when you allow for that. It it it is a challenge in this respect is not because you take that and said against the gravediggers see all God do not let us ever become accustom of easiness whereby the sense of theirs is. There's just nothing there. Well we should and shouldn't we lose equal to this, who is equal to this as well. Paul S. In second Corinthians in answer is not one of us and ourselves. But those who are called by God are equipped by him. He uses the strangest of people. Some of us have good voices.
Some of us have squeaky voices. He uses us despite ourselves, but there is there is a definite underlying strain that is present with usefulness in the service of God and that that that is why I quoted from from Guinness because the thing that kills us all is our pride.
This is the one to my Luke says the Lord.
Isaiah 66 to be.
He is humble and contrite in spirit, and trembles at his word. So what shall we do is make it our goal. First of all, to present ourselves as workmen who do not need to be ashamed workmen, rightly dividing the word of truth, because only then will we ever be able to present everyone mature in Christ Jesus. And so in many ways the verse with which I and is the verse which gave rise to this conference 20 years ago and from which we've never deviated Paul to Timothy in two Timothy four. As for you Timothy. Keep your head in your hardship, do the work of an evangelist and discharge all the duties of your ministry, and we say together God being our help. We will endeavor to do so.
Wrapping up this newest volume in the pastor's study series your listing to Alister bag Truth for Life will pause for a brief order prayer in just a minute so please stay with us each year. It's our tradition to observe pastor appreciation month in October.
That's the reason were presenting this collection of messages on church leadership called the pastor's study here on this final day of the series.
Keep in mind you're always welcome to download the audio files from any of the messages you here on Truth for Life, including the entire eight volume set from the pastor's study or you can listen directly on the Truth for Life mobile app or if you prefer, you can purchase the pastor's study series on CD or a USB drive there available at our cost without any markup. All these options are easily firstname.lastname@example.org/store. None of these resources could be offered in this way without the generosity of truth partners and all those who financially support truth for each month we designate resources to share with you when you give a donation as a way of expressing our thanks and today were pleased to offer a new documentary called Puritan all of life, to the glory of God. This is a beautifully filmed look at the Puritans. This documentary will introduce you to many of the men and women who shaped our faith today through their prolific writing their influence.
During the Reformation and their commitment to Christ. Even to death. Ask for your copy of the DVD when you make a donation email@example.com/donate or click on the images in the mobile app you can also call us right now at 888-588-7884 if you'd prefer to stream the video. There are instructions available and how to do that inside the DVD kit. Now Alister concludes today's program with prayer father, thank you that you have chosen to put your treasure no clay pots so that the transcendent power might be seen to belong to God and not to us. Thank you for the immense privilege common fillers afresh for the Holy Spirit with joy in service, diligence, and application to the glory of your name. Amen. If you have read Mark's gospel. You know it emphasizes the certainty that Jesus is the Christ the son of God sure to join us tomorrow as Alister begins an in-depth study and mark beginning with chapter 12 Bob Lapine the Bible teaching of Alister bag is furnished by truth for the Learning is for Living