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The Marks of a God-Given Ministry (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg
The Truth Network Radio
October 11, 2021 4:00 am

The Marks of a God-Given Ministry (Part 2 of 2)

Truth for Life / Alistair Begg

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October 11, 2021 4:00 am

Pastors are men on a God-given mission. Although teaching styles and personalities may vary, the Bible outlines a specific pattern for their ministry. What should pastors be doing? Find out when you listen to Truth For Life with Alistair Begg.


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The pastors are on a mission. Although they may have different teaching styles and different personalities. Colossians chapter 1 outlines a pattern for every pastors ministry should a pastor be doing a untruthful life. Alister Meg examines the purpose and the pastors work again with Paul's words to the church. First Corinthians chapter he said when I came to you I did not cotton with impressive words of man's was no are with superior eloquence. I recognize that the Jews demand a sign and the Greeks seek wisdom, I access the consumer expectations understood quickly what it was they wanted and it determined to give them nothing of what they want. Instead, when I came to you, I came in weakness and in fear and in much trembling. And my words were not wise and impressive as I determined to know nothing among you say Jesus Christ and him crucified. Why, because that is the only answer to the drugged out teenage can that is ultimately the only answer to the selfless act of proud businessmen. That is the only answer to the fractured family and to the disintegrating culture. The world says do something dramatic. The church in many places says, do something political and I want you to know that on the basis of this pattern of ministry. I have done what I am doing and if God spares me.

I want you to know it's going to be just as boring. It is the same mission is going to be the same message and it is going to be the same methodology and if that should be something other than it is desired, then so be it. But I have no other strings to my bowl. I have no other mission than the one I have received, I have no other message than the one I must proclaim and I have no other apostolic pattern of methodology and the one that has been given. Well, that's a word or two about the pastors pattern. Let's spend less time on the pastors purpose. What is the pastors purpose in ministry. If, as we have noted his posture on the one hand is to make the word of God fully known.

He is equally concerned and so he says to see the people of God become fully mature is not what he saying that in verse 28. We proclaim admonish, teach, with all wisdom, so that the henna clause in the Greek so that we may present everyone perfect or mature in Christ. Now the phraseology that he uses here is in the present continuous TENS. In other words, he is speaking about continual and habitual action.

He is speaking not about I cannot slam band jam approach whereby as a result of sleep talk and instantaneous dramatic results. Everything is transformed he is talking about God which takes place over a period of time and if I've learned one thing in pastoral ministry. I've learned this, you better minister with a sense of history and what I mean by that is simply this, and I tell my colleagues all the time, as much as we may desire to have a significant opportunity in this point in history. All that we may be being called of God to do at this point is to keep our foot in the door for another who will come after eyes who will be manifestly blessed and who will enjoy a great ingathering of soul, so that where we are apparently successful on the basis of numbers or whatever criteria may be used by people we do not use that as our own personal manner of assessment. What we do use is to see whether the people who are under our care are growing to maturity, or whether we have a congregation of people that are always on the training wheels who can never go very far from the door, who are not being prepared to step out into share their faith in the responsibility of a father and a mother is to prepare their children for the day when having taken off the training wheels of emotional responsibility and financial security and so on. The child is able to go off on the wrong and that says Paul is my purpose and that is why he says I am involved in admonishing in verse 20 that is the correct through instruction and warning. That is why I teach as I do, and he talked in all these places, to the point of his own virtual demise because he was thrilled and hearing his own voice because he was convinced about the message to know how tired I get of hearing my own voice.

He said what we hear it yet, but I hear it all the time. And now, courtesy of Truth for Life. I hear it every day when I'm in my study as I walk the corridors coming out as the radio programs or produce. I'm not enamored by the sound of my voice. I'm not thrilled by the quality of the messages I keep them so that I can cry over the when I think about how bad many of them have been because the issue is on the cornerstone out here when you entered God's plan to exalt above all things. His name and his word and the ultimate issue is whether the people who are being fed are becoming mature, whether they are making the connection between doctrine and discipleship, whether their faith is beginning to function whether they are understanding why it is that the instruction of God's word is so crucial for their own growth as Christian and I want you to know it is a struggle. It's a struggle to be prayerful. It's a struggle to be positive is a struggle to keep going. In light of setbacks in light of discouragements when the people that you thought what the starters on your team have quit showing up even other training practices when forms that you thought you could bank on for always turn and just walk right out of your life.

It's a struggle I don't say that to be encouraging any kind of condolence on your part.

I just said to be honest to stay in pastoral ministry in one church week after week after week after week. Now why which and how could the answer is right in the various because he is struggling. He says in verse 828, 29, not with his energy but with God's energy ultimately is not meant struggle to struggle is God's enabling which gives us the ability to keep going and as is true for you as it is for me and to the end that my purpose would be in pastoral ministry to see you in maturity. I share with Paul the conviction that these things are to be happening there in verse two of chapter 2. My purpose is number one that you might be encouraged in your hearts that you would be encouraged that in the very core of everything you would be strengthened, you would be stirred and you would be picked up. Even when you get one on the back of the head that is that still you in understanding the purposes that he would be encouraged even when we have to admonish and when we have to warn when we have to speak with forcefulness. Still, the people of God but understand that his word comes in order to encourage us is why the lovely song would be learning from Philippians 21 is so nice in our congregation. If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ any comfort in his lap and make my joy complete by being on the same mind with one another where.

What is the source of encouragement.

It is being united with the Lord Jesus Christ and mercifully God anticipates that the encouragements within the body of Christ will come from multiple sources. I love some of the unsung heroes of the New Testament, don't you. I'm looking forward so much to meeting this check to check us. I like his name for a start.

I wouldn't call my son that, but I do like his name. Assertive ring that it has stood did she curse I may probably call them tics were short, I'm sure that in: costs and I need mentioned in Ephesians 621 to check is the dear brother and faithful servant of the Lord will tell you everything so that you also may know how I am and what I'm doing now. Here's why I'm sending them to you is for this very purpose that you might know how we are and that he may in courage you get the same thing in Colossians 4 and in verse eight.

I am sending to you gets to you for the express purpose that you may know about our circumstances and that he may encourage your hearts.

It surely obvious that Paul was unable personally to offer the same level of encouragement to everybody, to whom he wrote in all these churches that he is that and it would be an unrealistic expectation on the part of the people who are under his care, and under his tutelage feel somehow or another that unless they were personally encouraged as a result of personal interaction that somehow or another. This was not the place for them to be. I want you to be encouraged in your hearts. I want you to be united in love. That's what he says, united in love, not mushy sentimentality, but love that is formed by truth.

Making sure that we are speaking the truth in love. Ephesians 415, making sure that we are united on the basis of our understanding of God's truth in our preparedness to tell the truth whenever the belt of truth is left off in the armor, chaos will ensue, and love and truth are always interwoven very important that you speak the truth to one another that when you have concern about another person, a brother or a sister that you speak to that person and it is important when you're spoken to that you respondent honesty and you do not live by your silent for failure to do so. Will said in process of bad viral infection which will lay the body. Sooner or later flat on his back.

Paul says of the Colossians, I want you to be encouraged in your hearts. I want you to be united in your love and I want you to be complete in your understanding. Indeed, the first to frame the way for complete understanding. He says encouraged hearts and united in love gives way to the riches of complete understanding because you see if you are not encouraged in your heart and united in your love and you've got a bad attitude and when you have a bad attitude you can't take in the word of God when you don't take in the word of God. You can have a full understanding and it all fits together. That's why we're labeling hard to say to you, doctrine or teaching of the Bible is so very, very important. We could do series that are different from what we do.

We could do as many other places do and simply have how to do this and how to do that in the next six weeks will how to be the perfect dad in the following three weeks will be how to be the perfect husband and so on and from time to time we doing in classes in the different ways we will over not to make that the staple diet and the reason is that while there are a lot of men out there who feel that what they need is a course on how to be the perfect husband or how to be the right kind of dad what you actually need is a course in biblical doctrine. See what you need is to understand who God is and what man is in relationship to God because once you begin to work that out once you begin to understand the first three chapters of the book of Romans and understand that all men are accountable before God and then understand the wonder of justification and then understand what it means to be sanctified in growing grace and knowledge of Christ and understand what it means that there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus, and understand that in all things God works for the good of those who love him. Suddenly when you begin to put all of that superstructure together your ability to be a husband and a father and all these other things begins to fall into line. That doesn't mean that you won't benefit from the books or you don't need the answer to your question, but it's not really your question and the church in the United States of America. The moment is Arcana tertiary level experience a bunch of pragmatic how to use and it is about a fall on its face because people are not taking the time to put the foundations of biblical doctrine in correctly and as soon as the winds and the waves blow and beat up on the house in Wolf fall with a great crash.

It's not as spectacular to spend such times in the foundations is not a spectacular to have such slow growth is not a spectacular to have things done in this way. The only reason is because it is our's express purpose, you would be encouraged in heart, united in love and completing your understanding. That's why says in verse four.

The reason I'm telling you this is so that no one may deceive you by fine sounding arguments.

Isn't it interesting when your children come home from a trip. You know, one of the first times and they went out in one of those bazaars are in one of those open markets and they had a little bit of money in their pocket, and he come back and tell you how they got this great deal on such and such a fitting wall man, a guy was going to charge you know $15 for it and then he said he would charge 50 was going to charge 1290 knocked her down from 12 and finally they bought it for five in the shoulder. Sorry piece of merchandise to you and it isn't worth a dollar 50. I may have been deceived by high sounding arguments and so what you do you try and walk with them and walk through that experience and show them and guide them and nurture them so they won't be trapped love ones. That's what this is all about.

And as you thing about the instruction of God's word from the pulpit, week by week. Listen to this. Learn to examine all the teaching on the truthfulness of its content rather than on the attractiveness of its packaging learn to examine the teaching on the truthfulness of his content not on the attractiveness of its packaging. Nothing is as dangerous as feeble reasoning allied fast talking and unless a congregation has been nurtured and instructed in the things of biblical doctrine, then they will be suckers for feeble reasoning allied to festal.

What a last thought is simply the pastor's pleasure in ministry. What is the pleasure in ministry. Well goodness it is so many we could stay here all day, but the one that he mentions in verse five is so clear, he says, although I am absent from human body and present with you in spirit and I delight to see how orderly you are and how firm your faith in Christ is he uses to military metaphors here in these very what adverts the orderliness to which he refers is the orderliness of people in the ranks of the Army. It is the opposite to chaotic disarray. I've never served in the forces I listen to my father ad nauseam tell me about him serving the forces, and so I feel as though I've actually been there but I do know this, that in that boot camp and not training. If I have it correct. The Sergeant Major does not get the recruits in and say to his friends. You all now, this is George and he has a bunch of doughnuts and here is Fred and he's going to be bringing the coffee and the lemonade. Whatever you might like and what I want you to do is I want you all to get together and set a cozy up to one another and tell each other about stuff and I want you to get so you like one another and they are all a happy group of campers and then finally come back in a few days and when you are all perfectly united and encouraged and committed and and devoted and stop.

Then we'll see if we can go out and fight the Army you know fight the war is is is a ridiculous idea is was the guy do that all right pumps. My name is Frank I'm your Sergeant Major said Jones and she you're in the Army and then he calls for absolute unquestioning commitment to the standing orders and he doesn't get weather and light bill or bill wants to spend the rise of his life with Rodney. It doesn't even focus in his thinking because he got back on the fight and he's got an army to get together and they need to be orderly. You see, and once they get an order underneath the commanding officer and in obedience to the standing orders and they go out and understand who the real enemy is been a number of things happen. One, they don't fight each other. They don't fight each other in downtime. Armies may fight each other when they get a chance to go play ping-pong etc. but not when the howitzer is pointing right up there no every time you ever find a church that fights with each other. I guarantee you one thing absolutely certain that church has lost sight of the real enemy, but here's an interesting thing that happens I would've that orderly array and out of that unified commitment to the commanding officer in the standing orders. What do you find when you going to McDonald's and there are old guys there with the hats and the badges on your find when they open up their wallet every so often outcome those old Army photographs captured at the corners guys there been seen for 45 years whom they grew to love with passion because they both went to the same school, not because we both have the same general interests in life, not because they had a canna homogeneous approach to thing because they were called underneath the standing orders to understand what it is to be fervently united in mind and heart submit to the commanding officer and pay attention to the standing you make friendly best friend you ever had you make friends for eternity stand.

He says I'm so delight.

I'm delighted to see how orderly you are, and I'm thrilled to see how firm your faith that is Alister big Truth for Life. If you're a frequent list or you have heard me mention our mission which is to teach the Bible in a way that is clear and relevant. One of the outcomes of that mission is that pastors will be encouraged in their ministry united in God's word with their congregation.

Today's book recommendation puddle devoted to God's church by Sinclair Ferguson explains what God's word has to say about the church and about your role in it. In fact, Alister and other leaders of Parkside have found this book so insightful that Alister is here today to tell us about.

While this is my pleasure Bob because anything written by Sinclair Ferguson is that the very top of my reading list and we as a church leadership have been reading devoted to God's church because it is so profoundly helpful as sinker. Challengingly makes the point that instead of our church involvement being an addendum to a life well lived. It is actually at the very heart of what it means to be living the Christian life and even our physical family concerns are set within the context of the local church. These are reminders that all of us need and they are clearly delineated in this really helpful book devoted to God's church. Thanks Alister if you would like to request your copy of devoted to God's church was a Truth for or give us a call at 888-588-7884 give Metz 888-588-7884 also mail your donation along with the request for Sinclair's book by writing to us for life, PO Box 39, 8000, Cleveland, Ohio 441 Bob Payne when a group of people are facing a hard time their leaders who often set the tone for how they will respond see if business were in politics when churches tomorrow will learn how Nehemiah responded to devastating news and how we live. God's people through the tragedy joined us the Bible teaching of Alister big is furnished by Truth for Life Learning is for Living


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