Sunday, 27 August 2017

The Pastor's Ministry


Scripture: Ephesians 4 v 11 - 16: "And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
 12  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
 13  Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: 
 14  That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
 15  But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: 
 16  From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."


Pastors have great responsibilities before the Lord Jesus and must give account to Him for how they carry out their tasks. Those in the congregation should know what is expected of their pastor and how they can help and pray for him.  The first instruction to a minister is -

FOR THE PERFECTING OF THE SAINTS:
Saints are forgiven but not immediately made perfect and your pastor spends much time praying for you and counselling you on areas in your life that need improving. He will address your and other's needs in his sermons and you should respond to the altar call if you are in need of more prayer.  

Saints are not long dead Catholics you pray to for help!  
There is no scriptural instruction to canonize - this word does not appear in the Bible - saints after their deaths.  This is spiritualism and wrong.  Saints as described in the Bible are those who are born again believers.  Sinners are those not yet born again.


FOR THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY:
All saints are called to be ambassadors of Christ and your pastor will be exhorting and encouraging you to share your faith with your friends and colleagues and to lead those who want salvation to receive Jesus as Saviour. You may have a specific strong calling on your life to be a minister - pray with your pastor for direction and guidance into where you will best shine.


FOR EDIFYING THE BODY OF CHRIST:
The Body is edified by the Gifts of the Holy Spirit and your pastor will see that you are properly baptized in water and in the Holy Spirit and teach you the proper working of gifts such as Tongues, Prophecy, Healing, Discerning of Spirits and Miracles etc. Sharing your testimony at appropriate times also edifies the Body.


TILL WE COME IN UNITY OF THE FAITH:
The Body of Christ has been terribly divided by controversy over things that have been falsely added to Biblical doctrines and are now traditional practices in the Church. Like Christening of babies. There is no such doctrine and it undermines the proper salvation of converts. The correct way is repentance of sin, receiving Jesus as Lord, baptism in water and in the Holy Spirit.

There is a  teaching that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were only for the early disciples and not for today. We need these gifts more now than ever. Certainly some have gone overboard and abused these gifts but that is no reason to discard them. We do not discard motor cars because some have crashed them.

The Toronto Blessing, or Catch the Fire, has brought massive division into the Body of Christ.  It is a false doctrine and a false revival.  Pastors must discern and resist accepting popular deviations from the true gospel to protect the sheep.


THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD:
We never stop learning about the might and glory of Jesus. Paul, at the end of his long and intimate fellowship with the Lord, said, That I might know Him and the power of His resurrection. Pastors are equipped to teach you about Jesus and His works but your own personal relationship with Him should be a constant source of new knowledge about Jesus.

Prayer: Heavenly Father You have been talking to me about responsibility and accountability of those who serve You. I pray that all Your servants will search their hearts and Your Word for things that match and discard that which does not. I pray for all pastors to conform to the Lord Jesus Christ and be found faithful. In Jesus' name. Amen.