Summary: The Bible places a premium on spiritual leadership. The Bible places high standards on those who serve in the churches with a position of leadership.
Special lessons for spiritual leaders
Malachi 2:1-17 06/04/06
The Bible places a premium on spiritual leadership. The Bible places high standards on those who serve in the churches with a position of leadership. The Bible places high standards on those who serve as deacons. The Bible places high standards on those who serve in children ministry. The Bible places high standards on those who serve as Sunday school teachers. We expect those who work in capacity of leadership to have high standards. If leaders do not lead the way they should lead then it has a detrimental affect upon the people.
What we have here folks is an entire chapter in the Bible devoted to those who are leaders. You must have known that this sermon was coming sooner or later. So if you are a leader in some capacity, then this chapter speaks to you this morning.
I have looked around this morning since I have been talking and some of you are cleaning out a spot to sort of sleep through this sermon. You say I am not a deacon, teacher, choir member or work in any capacity of the church. Well listen; this chapter has something to say to you as well. You see this chapter doesn’t only speak of leadership but also stewardship. Man to have a chapter devoted to speaking to those who are in leadership and also to speak to us about stewardship has to be one of my favorite chapters in the Bible.
As we look at these 17 verses, we cannot help but to see that Malachi is dealing with some problems. We want to take a look at these problems and what the Word of God has to say about them. The first one we deal with is what we will call MINISTERIAL PROBLEMS. Look at verse 1.
Somebody says I am glad you are going to talk about the preachers this morning. Well, somebody ought to talk about them and I think I will do that for a while. Now remember all of us are believer priest in that we are to be about winning people to Jesus. The Lord did not call me to preach primarily to win people to Jesus; I was already doing that.
Here, he is dealing with a group of priest who are not living up to the standard. He says in verse 2, “If you will not lay it to heart, change your ways, to bring glory to my name. In other words, he was saying as a preacher, you to be living a life that would bring glory to my name. Then He says if you don’t do it the very things that are suppose to be a source of blessing will become a curse to you. Now folks look at verse 3. He says in verse 3 “I will corrupt your seed.” Most every commentary you read about this verse says it refers to their children. Many times it is the children that suffer when there is a lapse of spiritual leadership. I have seen it more times than not those who God has set aside for spiritual leadership and they become unfaithful in their responsibility, they pay the price in their children. But you also find in verse 3 that God says I am going to remove you from your responsibility of leadership.
In verse 5 and some other verses, He tells us what a true minister is to be about. God’s ministers are to be born again. They are to speak the truths of the Bible. You have a right to hear the truth from this pulpit even if it sort of works against the grain in your life. You have the right to hear the truth from the preachers and all leaders from this church even if it rubs you the wrong way sometime. Listen, I am concerned what you think about my sermon when I preach but not half concerned about what you think as I am concerned about what God thinks about it.
When you get to verse 8 God says to those unfaithful ministers He is going to judge their failures because they have caused many to stumble at the law or at their preaching and living. Many people are unkind to God today and a lot of it is because of the leadership they have in their churches.
I want you to notice that he is dealing not only with ministerial problems but also MARITAL PROBLEMS. Look at verse 11.
Mixed religious marriages. The Bible makes it clear that believers are to marry other believers. The Bible says we are to marry in the Lord. There are many reasons that believers ought to marry other believers and one is when difficulties come in life a believer approaches it differently than a nonbeliever. The believer will take the difficulty to the Lord and that is pretty strange for the unbeliever.