The Faithful Pastor (Pt. 2)

Let us examine God’s Word and uncover “10 Marks of a Faithful Pastor.” God’s opinion is really the only voice that matters, right? We need to ask then: What characteristics does God value in a Pastor? What “Marks” separate faithful shepherds from all the rest? 

Mark #1: The faithful pastor knows His Maker. 

Said another way, the faithful pastor has an intimate relationship with His Savior.  The qualifications for elders are clearly laid out for us in Titus 1 and in 1 Tim 3.  This mark is not mentioned in these texts, but I do believe it’s assumed.  For godly character is never formed in a box.  Personal holiness is not gained apart from personal exposure to the Knowledge of the Holy.  It was the burning bush and the 10 plagues that helped Moses better understand Who it was he was working for!  I hope you understand this point. 

The faithful pastor walks humbly with His God (Micah 6:8).  He has a personal relationship with the God of the universe.  His life is marked by prayer because he is humbly dependant on God (Acts 6:4).  Daily, he communions with God and he lives to know God more intimately each day (see JI Packer’s ‘Knowing God’). 

AW Tozier put it this way, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.”  Do you want to know whether or not your Pastor has intimate knowledge of the Creator?  Then listen to his theology proper!  Does He have a high view of God and a proper view of man?  Does his preaching EXALT the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ?  Listen to your pastor’s theology proper.  Pastor Flatt’s God-centered sermons tell us a great deal about His knowledge of God.  Don’t underestimate the importance of this first mark!  Later in his classic book, Tozier correctly notes that, “The first step down for any church is taken when it surrenders its high opinion of GOD.” Mark #1: The faithful pastor knows His Maker.

 

Mark #2: The faithful pastor accurately & consistently preaches the Word! (2 Tim 2:15, 2 Tim 4:1-5) 

There are NO substitutes for God’s Word!  God has disclosed Himself to us in one book, and in one book alone! The Bible alone makes us wise unto salvation & it alone is sufficient to sanctify (2 Timothy 3:15-17).  The faithful pastor believes this and thus feeds His people wholesome food!  He, like the good Shepherd, leads his people into green pastures (to feed).  Jesus told Peter three times to ‘Feed his sheep’ in John 21:17.

 

Would you respect a mother who constantly feeds her children junk food, even when she has a refrigerator full of delicious & nutritious foods?  I hope not!! I have a major sweet tooth.  I appreciate dots and juju fruits and chocolate milk more than the average Joe.  But one can not receive constant nourishment by eating junk food.   Then why do so many today applaud those ear tickling preachers, who simply expand there peoples (already) massive egos?  Why do people flock to churches where all they receive is spiritual junk food?  For the life of me I don’t get this.  Nothing has become more fashionable then to be a shallow, evangelical, principlizer when it comes to preaching God’s Book.      Which is why 2 Timothy 4:1-5 is so crucial.  I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom:  2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction.  3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires;  4 and will turn away their ears from the truth, and will turn aside to myths.  5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.

This is why men pleasers don’t make good preachers!  You need to be willing to bring God’s message whether or not it is fashionable to do so or not.  Biblical preaching may not gain a huge crowd but it will most definitely build up Christ’s church!  Strauch says it like this, “The Christian community is created by the Spirit’s use of God’s Word (1 Peter 1:23; James 1:18).  There is a famine in the land when it comes to solid expositional preaching (see Steve Lawson’s wonderful book)!  Only those who preach weekly understand the immense challenge it is to accurately and consistently bring God’s message each Sunday!  Your only as good as your last sermon and your last sermon is never good enough.  Why?  Because we’re dealing with God’s holy revelation.  Every single Monday a preacher has to start from scratch.  It’s like writing a new dissertation, every single week of one’s life. BUT for the faithful minister there’s ONLY one option.

 

 2 Timothy 2:15, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth.  It’s about cutting the Word straight every time the preacher preaches!  The word on the street I hear is, “If you want in-depth Bible exposition, check out First Baptist Church of Carmel!”  32 years of diligence brings about this reputation!  That is something us younger pastors should strive for.  So (#1) The faithful pastor knows His Maker &  (#2) The faithful pastor also accurately & consistently preaches the Word.  To be continued…

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