Summary: A close look at the duties and difficulties of being a good pastor.
I. PASTORS Eph 4:11-16
1. Pastor --- a shepherd, one who tends herds or flocks (not merely one who feeds them), is used metaphorically of Christian "pastors" --- Vine's
2. Applied spiritually to Christ
a. Great Shepherd Heb. 13:20 of the sheep
b. The Good Shepherd John 10:11
c. One fold and one Shepherd John 10:16
d. Shepherd and Bishop of your souls I Peter 2:25
3. A designation for a spiritual pastor of the flock Eph 4:11
4. Frequently called bishops and elders
B. A Gift of God
1. Old Testament Jer. 3:15
2. New Testament Eph. 4:11
II. PURPOSE OF PASTORS
A. Perfecting of the Saints --- to bring into an orderly spiritual state and frame those who had been dislocated and disjointed by sin, and then to strengthen, confirm, and advance them therein, that so each, in his proper place and function, might contribute to the good of the whole.
B. For the Work of the Ministry --- that they might dispense the doctrines of the gospel, and successfully discharge the several parts of their ministerial function.
C. For the Edifying of the Body of Christ --- to build up the church, which is Christ's mystical body, by an increase of their graces, and an addition of new members.
III. REASONING BEHIND PURPOSE
A. Till We All Come
1. To unity --- to meet together in like precious faith
2. To knowledge of the Son of God
3. To a perfect man --- to our full growth of gifts and graces, free from those childish infirmities that we are subject to in this present world
B. To Prevent Us From Being
1. Children --- no longer children in knowledge, weak in faith, and inconsistent in our judgments, easily yielding to temptation
2. Tossed to and fro --- like ships without ballasts, like clouds in the air
a. By sleight of men --- gamesters, seducers
b. Cunning craftiness --- skillful to deceive
C. To cause us to
1. Speak the truth in love
2. Grow up into Christ
It is not such a bad condition to be immature, but to stay immature is to neglect one's own salvation.
We should grow up towards maturity, which is opposed to being children.
3. Fit together in the body
A. Must Feed
1. "with knowledge and understanding" Jer 3:15
2. Willingly I Peter 5:2
3. Feed, Don't Beat the Sheep
We preachers desperately need the advice which an aged minister gave a young man who was just entering upon his life work as a shepherd of God's flock. "My son, " he said, "feed the sheep; do not beat them. If a sheep is well fed, he can endure and will submit to some harsh treatment, but to starve and beat him at the same time is likely to prove fatal." Illustration #529
B. Must Oversee
1. The flock appointed by the Holy Ghost Acts 20:28
2. With authority Titus 2:15
As coming in the name of God, and armed with His threatening and disciplines. Matthew Henry.
A pastor without authority is not a biblical pastor. A church with a pastor without authority is not a biblical church.
Remember them which have the rule over you. Heb. 13:7 --- Not by their will, but God's will.
(1) To be of good cheer Acts 27:22
(2) To pray I Tim 2:1, 7-8
(3) With longsuffering II Tim 4:2 II Thes 3:13 " be not weary"
(4) To be soberminded Titus 2:6
(1) Them that sin I Tim 5:20, II Tim 3:16 scripture reproves
Ministers are reprovers in the gate. (Matthew Henry)
To prevent them from coming up short Hebrews 4:1
(2) Them sharply Titus 1:13
Ministers must not be cold and lifeless in delivering heavenly doctrine. (Matthew Henry)
(3) As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten Rev. 3:19 Laodicean Church
Had I hated you, I would have let you alone, to go on in sin to your
C. Not As Lords But Examples I Peter 5:3
D. Must Watch and Warn
Acts 20:31 II Tim 4:5 Isa 62:6
Ezek 33:1-9 Delivered --- to be saved, to free oneself
a. thy work
c. over souls
2. Warn ---to shine, to be bright, to make to shine; to enlighten, to teach, to warn, admonish, dissuade.
V. RESPONSIBILITY OF PASTORS
B. Must answer to Christ II Cor 5:10 Heb. 13:17
VI. RESPONSIBILITY OF THE SHEEP
A. Obey --- to be persuaded or confident --- follow
Heb. 13:17 --- have rule over you
B. Submit --- yield, to surrender
The duty---to obey them, and submit to them. It is not an implicit obedience, or absolute submission, that is here required, but only so far as it is agreeable to the mind and will of God revealed in His word; (Matthew Henry)