Summary: This sermon promotes the necessity of character traits in a minister's life.
SOBER WORDS FOR A SERIOUS CALLING
TEXT: 1 Timothy 4:14-16
1 Timothy 4:14-16 KJV Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.  Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.  Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.
I. INTRODUCTION—THE ORDINATION OF A MINISTER
-It is a great honor and privilege to be able to preach this ordination message to our brothers in this setting.
-There is no higher calling that a man can have on his life than to be a minister of the Gospel.
• It is more important than the task of the mayor in our respective cities.
• It is more critical than the work of the senators and governors in our states.
• It is more vital than the role that the President of the United States will play.
-What all of those roles have in common are their effect on time while the responsibilities of the ministry has an impact on eternity. Time is limited, eternity is unlimited and never-ending.
Oswald Chambers—One man or woman called to God is worth a hundred who have elected to work for God.
-It will not be too long from now that these men who are to be ordained will have a charge read to them and then the presbytery will lay hands on them, confirming the gift that was placed there by the Holy Ghost.
-I trust you will grant me some latitude in this message to bear down on the seriousness of our calling and our part to play in this matter of the Lord building his church (Matthew 16:18).
II. THE PASTORAL EPISTLES
-The words that I read to you come from a segment of Scripture that coming is referred to as the Pastoral Epistles. The Pastoral Epistles of 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus form the job description for those who are called into the ministry.
-There are things that we find in these short letters to two of Paul’s adopted sons of the Gospel. We find compelling words that deal more with the character and growth of a minister’s soul than the character and growth of the church that he serves.
-Paul knew that if the character and growth of the man’s soul who stood in the pulpit and gave himself to the building of that church was secure, then the church would be secure. While our times have been inundated with leadership books, leadership seminars, and leadership lessons, Paul was more concerned about the shape of a preacher’s soul than about his leadership capacity.
-When you march through these letters, there are some things that began to stand out, things that Paul calls us to flee from, follow after, and fight for (1 Timothy 6:11-12).
1 Timothy 6:11-12 KJV But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.  Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.
-All of these things matter! At the end of the day, Paul’s writings to these two young men can be boiled down in to:
• Be faithful in their preaching of biblical truth.
• Be bold in exposing and refuting error.
• Be an example of personal godliness to the flock.
• Be diligent and work hard in the ministry.
• Be willing to suffer hardship and persecution in service to the Lord.
-There ought to be a longing in those matters of our service to the Lord.
III. SOBER WORDS FOR A SERIOUS CALLING
-There are a few words that we must explore when it comes to this matter of our calling and how that our text commanded that we are to take heed to ourselves and to our doctrine. In emphasis Paul is conveying the fact that we have to watch our lives and our doctrine because they are matters of life and death.
-There are four areas that I want to touch on but by no means are these areas exhaustive. There are others that could be added but for the sake of time we cannot get to them now. However, I pray that I provoke and challenge your mind in such a way that you will go home and literally dissect every verse that is contained in these three epistles.
A. 1 Timothy 1:3-4—Stay In Ephesus
1 Timothy 1:3-4 KJV As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.