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1. An Urgent Call to Shepherd God’s Flock

Biblical Eldership Resources is dedicated to helping believers understand: 1. What biblical eldership is (Teaching) 2. How to implement biblical eldership in your local church (Implementation) 3. How to become more effective in the pastoral care that elders exercise over the local church (Effectiveness). Learn more at http://biblicaleldership.com

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Part 1 of 5

“So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: 2shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight.” (1 Peter 5:1-2a ESV)

Introduction

A. So often, Peter is over-shadowed by Paul. We don’t even think of Peter’s instruction to the elders.

1. But may I remind you that the first church was held together, taught, and protected by Peter and the eleven other apostles? Peter was a great man and a gifted teacher and leader.

2. If we want to understand eldership as God intends, we need Peter as much as we need Paul. And we need Luke’s teaching in Acts, and the teaching of James, who was also an apostle.

B. Background

1. Up until this point in the letter, Peter has been addressing the suffering, persecuted churches. He has told them how they are to handle suffering and persecution in a hostile world. Now he turns to the leaders of all the congregations. They are usually the first to suffer persecution or be targeted by the opposition.

2. Peter is writing to many churches throughout northern Asia Minor. He assumes there is a body of elders in each church. This is the consistent pattern throughout the NT – a body of elders in each congregation.

3. When believers are suffering and under pressure, the leaders of the church make all the difference. In times of persecution or trouble, leaders are most needed to keep the flock united, encouraged, rested, and growing.

I. Peter — an Elder — to Fellow Elders (v. 1)

A. A Fellow Elder

1. By identifying himself as a “fellow elder,” Peter establishes a special bond of affection with the church elders. He creates a sense of colleagueship and mutual regard.

a) At one time Peter was a local church elder. He served with eleven other men during turbulent times in the church in Jerusalem.

b) At the time he wrote 1 Peter, Peter was an active shepherd caring for many churches. Hence, Peter has every right to call himself a “fellow elder.”

2. As a fellow elder, Peter sympathizes with the problems and dangers the Asian elders face.

a) He knows spiritual warfare and the practical problems of shepherding a church.

b) He serves daily on the front lines of battle. He knows how difficult the work is and is well-acquainted with the many pitfalls, abuses, and temptations of leadership.

c) He, too, feels the daily pressures and strains of pastoral responsibility.

B. A Witness of the Sufferings of Christ

1. The “sufferings of Christ” to which Peter testifies are the sufferings common to all believers as a result of confessing Christ and living in a Christ-like manner in an unjust, sinful world.

2. It is similar to 2 Corinthians 1:5, where Paul talks of sharing in Christ’s sufferings. Peter himself will face death soon, so he is a fellow sufferer.

3. This phrase could mean, however, that Peter witnessed the many sufferings of Christ over a period of two years from his opponents and ending at the cross.

C. A Partaker in the Glory to be Revealed

1. The future glory that Peter shares with the Asian elders is the joyous anticipation of the glory that will be revealed when Christ returns.

2. In the same way they have shared in Christ’s sufferings, so, too, they will share in the glory to come. This is a very encouraging promise (1 Peter 1:7, 11; 4:13).

II. Peter’s Charge to the Elders (v. 2)

A. Do all that a shepherd should do.

“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you.” Peter exhorts the elders to be what good shepherds should be, or, as one commentator says, “do everything that shepherding requires.” Peter’s charge encompasses the full shepherding responsibility of feeding, folding, protecting, and leading.

1. Peter knows people and the common temptations leaders face. He knows how often leaders:

a) Fail to be alert,

b) Do not push themselves to grow and change,

c) Get preoccupied with self-interests,

d) Are passive in their work,

e) Are minimalists,

f) Fail to be the kind of leaders that connect with the people,

g) Are not hands-on shepherds.

2. Reality is sad.

a) The Galatian elders and the Ephesian elders all failed to guard the church. False teachers entered in with minimal resistance.

b) The religious leaders of Jesus’ day failed the people. In Mark 6, when Jesus saw the people, He said they were like sheep without a shepherd. And He began to teach them. The problem was, the religious leaders had failed to shepherd the people with good teaching.

3. What Peter said needs to be said today. There is always this problem of elders not doing their job as they should. Do the job. Be effective. Be diligent. Be skilled. Know what you are doing.

a) On the authority of the apostle Peter, I say to you: Be everything that a shepherd should be to the people. Be like the Chief Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ. When he saw the people, he felt compassion and taught them many things (Matt. 14).

b) These are the words of our Lord to Peter 35 years before: “Shepherd my sheep,” and “Feed my sheep” (John 21:15-19).

c) Lord loved the church and gave himself for her (Eph. 5:25).

Related Topics: Discipleship, Ecclesiology (The Church), Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership, Pastors

2. An Urgent Call to Shepherd God’s Flock

Biblical Eldership Resources is dedicated to helping believers understand: 1. What biblical eldership is (Teaching) 2. How to implement biblical eldership in your local church (Implementation) 3. How to become more effective in the pastoral care that elders exercise over the local church (Effectiveness). Learn more at http://biblicaleldership.com

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Detailed Outline
Part 2 of 5

II. Peter’s Charge to the Elders (v. 2) (cont.)

B. What Shepherds Do

Peter, like Paul, uses the powerful, vivid imagery of shepherding sheep. This imagery appears throughout the Old Testament, and thus, is ready-made for explaining the tasks of elders. Elders are to shepherd sheep. However, they are not literal sheep but people.

1. The imagery of shepherding sheep pictures the following concepts:

a) Hard Work – Shepherding is hard work. It’s a busy life. Paul says to the Ephesian elders, “In all things, I have shown you that by working hard in this way, we must help the weak” (Acts 20:35).

b) Long Hours – The shepherd’s task is really never done. It starts early in the morning with taking the sheep out of the fold, being with them all day, returning to them to the fold in the evening, and guarding them at night. As elders you may get phone calls at any time of day. The state of the church is on your mind 24 hours a day. It is an intangible aspect of the work.

c) Sacrifice – There is a great deal of sacrifice on the part of the shepherd. He gives his life for the sheep. He must be dedicated to them. They are dependent upon him. In some cases, the shepherd will literally give his life for the sheep.

d) Dangerous Work – Sheep have many predators, and the shepherd must be constantly alert to danger. This means the shepherd must have courage. The chief enemy of the church of Jesus Christ is the false teacher. But the false teacher is only an agent of Satan. Like wolves, they never give up and never rest. Shepherds are in the direct line of Satan’s attacks. He will always attack them most viciously.

e) Skills – Shepherding entails many skills. It requires management of land, water, and the sheep’s health. There is a great deal of knowledge that goes into raising a healthy flock. Elders have to be good managers of the people, to be sure their gifts are not squandered. They have to know how to motivate and guide people and solve problems. In other words, good shepherd-elders are effective in their work.

f) Presence – One of the most mysterious parts of this job is the presence of the shepherd with the sheep. The sheep only rest when the shepherd is present, and the sheep know instinctively if the shepherd is not there. In other words, the sheep and the shepherd build a relationship. You cannot be a cold, unfriendly, absentee elder. The people will not follow you.

g) Love – Ultimately, the shepherd must love the sheep because he has to be with them all the time. This implies care, tenderness, gentleness and at times, toughness.

h) Authority – The shepherd has authority over the sheep to lead, discipline, teach, protect and care for them.

All of these ideas are entailed in the phrase “Shepherd God’s flock.” Thus the image is rich in its meaning for an elder. Some leaders today don’t like this old-fashioned image, and they would rather use the image of a CEO of a corporation. But this does not fit the nature of the church. It is the wrong imagery for the family of God.

2. What Shepherds Actually Do

a) Protecting

1) The church has many enemies. Satan and his merry band of false teachers are constantly attacking the church. If elders are sleepy, the church will be devoured.

2) You need to know who the wolves are who are surrounding your church and in your culture. It is our job to protect the church from the wolves that now attack our flocks. This means you need to be knowledgeable of the present-day theologies that will divide and ruin your church.

b) Teaching/Feeding

1) One of the best ways to protect the church is through feeding it nourishing food to make the sheep strong. In Acts 20, Paul tells the Ephesian elders that he did not shrink from declaring to them the whole counsel of God (Acts 20:27).

2) Feeding is the first and most important job of the elder. Everything the elders do is by means of the Word of God. That is why an elder must meet the Titus 1:9 qualifications.

3) You need to know how to feed the flock, and how to teach the whole counsel of God. This requires a clear philosophy of feeding the flock. This will include knowing how to teach the Word of God accurately, how to deliver a message in an interesting and challenging way. Just filling in the pulpit with a warm body is not teaching the people.

c) Leading

1) Sheep must be led in and out of the fold. They must be brought to fresh pasture in the hot summer months. They also have to be found when they are lost.

2) The biggest complaint I hear about elders is that they are not leading. They don’t solve problems. They don’t confront issues that are hurting the church. They have no fresh vision, no mission. They are caretakers, maintaining the past. They are not in touch with the people or the problems and they may not even know what to do.

3) People want to be led! They want their leaders to solve problems, to challenge the church, to take the church forward, and to be attentive.

d) Healing

1) This is the healing ministry – the many practical aspects dealing with disease, the sheering of sheep, keeping them from fighting, and keeping them clean.

2) For the elders it is counseling people, marrying people, burying people, and ministering to families.

Related Topics: Discipleship, Ecclesiology (The Church), Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Pastors

3. An Urgent Call to Shepherd God’s Flock

Biblical Eldership Resources is dedicated to helping believers understand: 1. What biblical eldership is (Teaching) 2. How to implement biblical eldership in your local church (Implementation) 3. How to become more effective in the pastoral care that elders exercise over the local church (Effectiveness). Learn more at http://biblicaleldership.com

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Detailed Outline
Part 3 of 5

II. Peter’s Charge to the Elders (v. 2) (cont.)

C. The Church is God’s flock.

Since the elders are to “shepherd” the local church, those they tend are figuratively called “the flock [poimnion] of God among you.” What makes this flock special is that it is God’s flock. The flock metaphor signifies the Church’s true ownership and recognizes its dependence and need for feeding, protection, and care.

1. Ownership

a) As Paul reminded the Ephesian elders, this flock is the one “He [Christ] purchased with his own blood” (Acts 20:28). Elders must never forget that the flock is not their own.

b) They should never be indifferent toward a single one of the sheep. The sheep are of immense value to God because of the price paid for them. It is a great honor to be under-shepherds of God’s blood-bought flock. Do you see it that way?

c) Cranfield draws out the implications of this truth when he writes,

“A church that could be ours would be only a false church. So the sheep are not ours for us to use or misuse as we like. If we lose one, we lose another’s property, not our own; and He is not indifferent to what becomes of His flock.” – Charles Cranfield

2. Dependence

a) The Bible teaches that people are like sheep (1 Peter 2:25), and sheep cannot be left unattended. Their well-being depends on a great deal of care and attention.

b) As God’s sheep, Christian people need to be fed God’s Word and to be protected from wolves in sheep’s clothing. They need continuous encouragement, comfort, guidance, prayer, and correction.

c) Elders, you are needed. The people need you to do the job that the Holy Spirit has called you to do – to shepherd them effectively. Don’t let them down. Give your life, your time, your energy, and your efforts for the sheep. Give them your all.

D. Exercising Oversight

1. Following the imperative command to shepherd God’s flock, Peter further describes the elders’ duty: “Shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight.” This word is the verbal form of the noun, “overseer.”

2. The terms shepherding and overseeing are often closely associated because they are similar in concept. In this passage, overseeing is equivalent to shepherding.

a) Shepherding is the figurative expression, while overseeing is the literal term, which can be used to clarify the first.

b) To shepherd the flock entails oversight--the overall supervision and watchful care of the flock.

III. Peter’s Call to Shepherd God’s Flock in God’s Way (vv. 2-3)

God is preeminently concerned about the motives, attitudes, and methods of those who lead his people, so Peter considers the attitudes or motives that should or should not characterize the elders to be very important. Therefore, he carefully describes how the elders are to serve.

A. “Not Under Compulsion, but Willingly, As God Would Have You”

1. God doesn’t want reluctant, unwilling shepherds to care for his people, so Peter warns against an elder serving “under compulsion.”

a) If a man serves as an elder because his wife or friends pressure him to serve, or because he is trapped by circumstances, or because no one else will do the work, he is serving “under compulsion.”

b) Lenski captures the spirit of Peter’s thought well when he says elders are not to serve “like drafted soldiers but like volunteers.”

2. In contrast to serving under compulsion, Peter emphatically says that elders are to shepherd the flock “freely,” “willingly,” and “voluntarily.” Those who oversee the church “voluntarily” do so because they freely choose to serve. It is what they want to do.

a) The willing spirit that Peter speaks of is “according to the will of God” (literally, “according to God”). Glad, voluntary service is God’s standard. It is the way God expects things to be done. God is not a reluctant, unwilling shepherd. He cares for his sheep gladly, willingly, freely, and graciously. In the same way that “God loves a cheerful giver” (2 Cor. 9:7), he loves cheerful, willing elders.

b) This motivation comes from the Holy Spirit, according to Acts 20:28. When the Holy Spirit moves a person to desire eldership, he gives the motivation, energy and desire.

B. “Not for Shameful Gain, but Eagerly”

Peter next addresses what Cranfield terms “the spirit of hirelings.” This is a big problem worldwide.

1. I have collected over the years many newspaper articles about the Lord’s servants stealing or misappropriating money.

a) This is why, whenever money is handled, it must be done by a group of people and accountability, open to the church. Even the best of people are tempted to steal.

b) Example: one pastor was caught playing golf every week and charging it to the church’s credit card. When he was caught doing this, he said it was ministry he was doing with other men. The problem was no one knew the money had been appropriated to this so-called ministry. There are many other ways people can misappropriate the Lord’s money and excuse petty theft.

2. In contrast, Peter describes the right spirit in which to shepherd God’s flock as “eagerly.” The word means “readily,” “zealously,” and “enthusiastically.” “Eagerness” emphasizes, even more than the term “voluntarily,” personal desire and passion. It is this kind of eagerness--a strong desire and motivation--that is endorsed by the “trustworthy statement” of 1 Timothy 3:1.

a) Eager elders are driven to care for the sheep. The sheep are their life, their chief concern. Hence, they are not concerned about the personal sacrifice they make or their own financial gain.

b) Like Paul, who at times provided his own income through tent making, they gladly serve without pay or recognition (Acts 20:33-35). They go beyond minimal duty, self-interest, and money. They love to shepherd God’s people. They are eager to do the work of an elder.

Related Topics: Discipleship, Ecclesiology (The Church), Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership, Pastors

4. An Urgent Call to Shepherd God’s Flock

Biblical Eldership Resources is dedicated to helping believers understand: 1. What biblical eldership is (Teaching) 2. How to implement biblical eldership in your local church (Implementation) 3. How to become more effective in the pastoral care that elders exercise over the local church (Effectiveness). Learn more at http://biblicaleldership.com

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Detailed Outline
Part 4 of 5

III. Peter’s Call to Shepherd God’s Flock in God’s Way (vv. 2-3) (cont.)

C. “Not Domineering over Those in Your Charge, but Being Examples to the Flock”

The third unworthy motive for an elder is a far more subtle and widespread temptation than that of greed. It is the desire to rule over others.

1. The verb for “domineering over” (katakyrieuo) means “ruling over” or “lording it over.” This term is used here in a negative sense. The idea is seeking to control people.

2. Jesus, on the other hand, in what has been called the “great reversal,” taught servant leadership and modeled it for his disciples:

“I am among you as the one who serves” (Luke 22:27b ESV).

a) He taught that leaders are to serve one another, to act humbly toward one another, and to live in loving brotherly community. It is others-oriented leadership, not self-oriented leadership. It is giving one’s life for the building up and advancing of others.

b) Jesus Christ, thus, taught a style of leadership that emphasized service and humility. This does not mean people do not have authority to shepherd and oversee people. It means they are to exercise their authority in a way that builds up other people and is not abusive.

3. The clause, “those in your charge,” further strengthens the concept that the people are not the elders’ possessions to be ruled over. The people do not belong to the elders; they belong to the One who assigned them to the elders’ care, that is, to God.

a) Kleros means an “allotment” or “portion assigned to someone” (Acts 1:17; 8:21). Kleros, then, is something given, not earned. In this context, it is not land, money, or responsibility that is allotted, it is God’s people. Thus the elders are prohibited from ruling over them as a lord rules over his subjects. The people are not the slaves of the elders.

b) Peter is saying that God has allotted portions of the whole flock of God to various groups of elders (John 10:16; 1 Peter 5:9). In a similar way, Peter refers to the specific flock of God in which the respective elders function as “the flock of God among you [in your care]” (1 Peter 5:2; italics added). The elders, then, are not to rule over their allotted portions of God’s flock. Peter’s warning against ruling over others certainly demonstrates that elders had authority to govern.

4. In contrast to ruling over others, elders are to be examples or models of godly living.

a) Much of the Bible is biographical, demonstrating by example how and how not to live for God. Jesus is the greatest example of all and the chief example to follow (1 Peter 2:21).

b) So in the church, the elders’ primary style of leadership is to model Christ. They are to be role models. Ultimately in the end, people follow those they respect and love. People don’t care what your title is. They care about how you live and minister to others.

5. Throughout this epistle, Peter emphasizes the importance of humility and submission (1 Peter 2:13-3:12; 5:5). If elders are petty rulers over the local church, others will follow their example, fighting one another to gain power and recognition. This is the wrong role model, as we will see in the next verse.

Related Topics: Discipleship, Ecclesiology (The Church), Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership, Pastors

5. An Urgent Call to Shepherd God’s Flock

Biblical Eldership Resources is dedicated to helping believers understand: 1. What biblical eldership is (Teaching) 2. How to implement biblical eldership in your local church (Implementation) 3. How to become more effective in the pastoral care that elders exercise over the local church (Effectiveness). Learn more at http://biblicaleldership.com

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Detailed Outline
Part 5 of 5

“And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. 5 Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”” (1 Peter 5:4-5 ESV)

IV. Peter’s Promise of Future Rewards for Elders (v. 4)

A. The Chief Shepherd

Peter appropriately calls Jesus Christ the “Chief Shepherd.” According to the New Testament there is only “one flock with one shepherd” (John 10:16) and Jesus Christ is that one, incomparable, irreplaceable Shepherd. Someday he will return in all his glory to take his flock to be with him forever. At that time, the “Chief Shepherd” will fully reward his under-shepherds.

1. The imagery of the “Chief Shepherd” or “Arch Shepherd” (archipoimenos) emphasizes Christ’s relationship to all other shepherds. Because he is “Chief,” all other shepherds are his under-shepherds.

2. As under-shepherds, all elders are under the authority and rule of the Chief Shepherd. Thus, the elders’ shepherding work must be done in complete agreement with his ways and teaching. And that is just what we learned in the above verses.

a) Like their loving Chief Shepherd, shepherding elders must shepherd the flock eagerly and willingly, as models of godly disposition.

b) Shepherding elders are not free to speak or lead the people in any way they wish, for they must answer to the Chief Shepherd. “Christian leadership is thus a sharing in the leadership of Christ under his direction.”

3. What could be more encouraging to faithful shepherds who face many heartaches, problems, trials, and persecutions than to look forward to Christ’s return as the “Chief Shepherd” and to share in his divine glory? When elders think of Christ as “Chief Shepherd,” their present work is enhanced and his return becomes even more personal.

B. The Unfading Crown of Glory

1. Peter states that upon Christ’s return the faithful elders will receive an “unfading crown of glory.”

a) In this context, “crown” is used symbolically to represent reward or special honor. The reward is for faithful, honorable achievement as under-shepherds of God’s flock.

b) This crown is unlike any earthly crown made of precious metal or ivy because it is “unfading.” It will never wither like a laurel wreath or tarnish like gold.

2. The reason for this crown’s unfading quality is that the material used to make this crown is divine, heavenly glory. The adjective “glory” tells us of what the crown consists.

a) In Greek, “glory” is a genitive of apposition, meaning that the crown consists of glory. The glory is the reality, and the crown is the metaphor.

b) This glory is Christ’s glory that will be displayed at his appearing. He will give the “crown of glory” to his under-shepherds.

3. What a time of victory, vindication, and joy Christ’s appearance will bring to lowly, unnoticed elders who have faithfully shepherded God’s flock!

a) Hard-working, selfless shepherds may not have many earthly goods to show for a lifetime of toil, but some day the Chief Shepherd will come and fully reward his under-shepherds.

b) Their work will no longer go unnoticed or unappreciated, for he will reward them publicly before the hosts of heaven. He will bestow on them heavenly honor and glory. All elders are to keep their eyes steadfastly fixed on his appearing, for reward day is coming!

V. Peter’s Exhortation for Mutual Humility (v. 5)

A. The Call to Submission

1. Peter has just exhorted the elders not to lord it over the flock. Now he feels compelled to instruct the younger members to subject themselves to the elders.

2. The younger adult members who are diligently working – eager for change and further service – are the ones who are most likely to conflict with the church elders.

a) If the eldership is stagnant or ineffective, the younger adult members are the ones who are most likely to be discontent.

b) Such younger people are often (but not necessarily) junior leaders, ready to learn from and assist those directing the church. But their very readiness for service and commitment can make them impatient with the leaders, who either due to pastoral wisdom or the conservatism that often comes with age are not ready to move as quickly or as radically as they are.

c) It would be quite fitting to address such people with an admonition to be subject to their elders. Indeed, particularly in a time of persecution their willingness to take radical stands without considering the consequences could endanger the church.

3. The best training a Christian young person can have in preparation for church leadership is to first learn to submit to those in spiritual leadership. A spiritually keen young man can gain invaluable wisdom and leadership skills through the experience of older, godly men, even if they are not paragons of leadership excellence (which most are not).

B. The Call to Humility

1. Knowing the ever-lurking potential for disagreement, fighting, and division between all parties in the local church, accentuated by the pressures of a hostile society, Peter offers the best possible counsel. This counsel is both for the junior leaders and for the elders. Elders are included in the command to wear the proper “clothing” when gathering together with others:

Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5)

2. Only when everyone wears the garments of humility--elders, young men, women, and deacons--will peace and unity prevail.

3. This is excellent advice for all churches, for all elders, all younger, junior leaders. It is not possible to live and work together without humility. And we should be very concerned about the attitude of humility because of the frightening statement, that God opposes and resists the proud and his grace comes to the humble.

“What a blessed influence is the holy character and conduct of Christian elders calculated to diffuse through the church.” – John Brown

Related Topics: Discipleship, Ecclesiology (The Church), Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership, Pastors

The Importance of the Shepherd’s Presence (1 Peter 5:2)

Biblical Eldership Resources is dedicated to helping believers understand: 1. What biblical eldership is (Teaching) 2. How to implement biblical eldership in your local church (Implementation) 3. How to become more effective in the pastoral care that elders exercise over the local church (Effectiveness). Learn more at http://biblicaleldership.com

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“Shepherd the flock of God that is among you.” (1 Peter 5:2 ESV)

Introduction

A. Peter exhorts the Asian elders to “shepherd the flock of God that is among you” (1 Peter 5:2).

B. One of the most amazing aspects of shepherding sheep is the presence of the shepherd among the sheep.

C. In his book A Shepherd Looks at Psalm 23, Philip Keller writes:

In the course of time I came to realize that nothing so quieted and reassured the sheep as to see me in the field. The presence of their master and owner and protector put them at east as nothing else could do. Continuous conflict and jealousy within the flock can be a most detrimental thing. The sheep become edgy, tense, discontented, and restless. They lose weight and become irritable. But one point that always interested me very much was that whenever I came into view and my presence attracted their attention, the sheep quickly forgot their foolish rivalries and stopped their fighting. The shepherd’s presence made all the difference in their behavior.” – Philip Keller

D. Of course this applies supremely to Christ’s presence among his people.

1. He promises us his continual presence. He is the shepherd and we are his sheep. We know he is always with us. And this is comforting and reassuring to the troubled believer.

2. In John 10, Jesus is the Good Shepherd. And it says, the sheep know his voice (10:4) and he knows their names (10:3). There is a wonderful intimacy between Christ and his people.

E. In a similar way, the elders’ presence makes a big difference to the flock.

You need to know and understand, that your presence is important to the people and it makes a big difference in how they act and feel. This is a true reality.

F. Illustration

I remember once we had an all-church picnic. A number of the elders did not show up. Others showed up late. As I was circulating among the people, I was asked by almost everyone, “Where are the elders?” They were not saying that to be critical. They really wanted to know where they were. They love the elders. I don’t even think they realized they were saying what they did.

I. Invisible Shepherds

A. They have a title and an office, but they have no presence among the people.

B. They come to church on Sunday morning, and see their friends and relatives, but do not understand the importance of their presence among the entire flock.

C. Illustration

1. In a church near ours, the pastor was caught for the second time in an adulterous relationship with someone from within the church. The elders said, “This is too much. We are going to fire the pastor.” The pastor on a Sunday morning told the congregation that the elders were dismissing him from his job, even though he had fully repented of his sin. The people became very angry. They said, “We don’t know who these elders even are. They are not our pastor. You will stay and they will leave.”

2. You see, these men were elders, but they were invisible elders. They were not present among the people. They were just there, like any other church attendee.

3. Maybe they had some legal or formal position in the church, but that’s all it was. They weren’t biblical shepherds.

II. Suggestions for Making Your Presence Known and Felt

A. Greet the people as they come and as they leave.

1. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of you elders being present when people come into the assembly to be greeted by you and of course others.

2. One of the most important things is for all the elders to be at the door as people leave. Many important encounters happen at the door. People want to tell you about their problems or needs. For some of us, this is the only time we even see these people.

3. See the one-minute shepherding article by Church Gianotti.

B. Reach out to the people with friendly gestures, a smile and warm Christian greetings.

1. It is important that the elders display friendliness to the people, joy in gathering together, and true brotherly and sisterly relationships. If the elders are cold and aloof, the people will become that way.

2. Friendliness and greeting are very important in the family marked by Christ’s love. Yet many churches are not friendly to new people.  People are standoffish or afraid to reach out to new people.

3. Learning people’s names is part of being friendly and loving church. John says, “The friends greet you. Greet the friends by name” (3 John 14).

4. Five times in the New Testament, believers are told to greet one another with the holy kiss. Paul loves to send greetings.

5. I believe we should have a strong greeting ministry. I am not talking about handing out bulletins, but greeting people and directing them.

C. Circulate among the people on Sunday morning.

1. I call it “circulate and percolate” among the people.

2. See those who are alone. The seniors love to be kissed and hugged, especially widows and people of advanced age. 

3. Before the meetings start, people may be sitting alone and need a greeting.

D. Have people over to your home.

We will talk about this in another section, but if you really want to get to know the people, have them at your table to eat and talk about your lives.  Elders are to be hospitable!!

E. Visit people.

Another way to get to be in the presence of the people is to visit them in their homes. You will see them differently after you have been in their home.

F. Ministering to people when they are suffering is an important way that we all connect.

People when they are hurting are most touched by their shepherds. This is when the relationship is built into deeper sheep-shepherd relations.

III. Some Principles Regarding the Shepherd’s Presence

A. When you love the people, you will want to be with them.

1. Shepherding means being with people. Your life revolves around them.

2. A real shepherd begins to smell like the sheep because he is around them. The same should be true of spiritual shepherds.

B. When you love the people, you will feel a deep sense of responsibility for them.

1. You think about them, you wonder how they are doing. You miss them if they are not around.

2. You can’t rest if one is not showing up to church. When they are facing an operation you call or visit. When they hurt you hurt.

3. Seeking lost sheep –This is something we are all bad at.  We give up too easily.

C. When you love the people, you will feel compassion for them.

1. The great scholar B.B. Warfield said that the key emotional word describing Jesus Christ is compassion, and shepherd must have compassion for people: blind, lepers, outcast women, poor people, children, and the multitudes.

2. We need to be continually helping our congregation to reach out to new people, to be friendly and genuinely concerned, and not just in a holy huddle.  This is something you must model and exhort continually.

Conclusion

The point of all this is for you to understand your influence in the flock. Your presence is vitally important to God’s people. God has called you a steward of his household (Titus 1:7). The steward must be present in the household.

So I am calling upon you to have a renewed understanding of your presence among the sheep. They can tell if you love to be with them or if you just do things out of rote habit.

Related Topics: Discipleship, Ecclesiology (The Church), Issues in Church Leadership/Ministry, Leadership, Pastors

The Net Pastor's Journal, Eng Ed, Issue 10 Winter 2014

Winter 2014 Edition

Produced by ...

Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,

The Institute for Biblical Preaching

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

www.tibp.ca

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“Strengthening the Church in Biblical Preaching and Leadership”

Part I: Preparing For Preaching

“Selecting Texts And Topics”

By: Dr. Roger Pascoe

The Institute for Biblical Preaching,

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

One of the questions that is often asked by preachers is, “How do you select the text you are going to preach on?” The other question is, “When should you select the text you are going to preach on – well in advance, just a few days before you preach, or when you stand up to speak?”

Text selection is a very important part of preparing to preach. First, let me point out two dangers to avoid:

1. Too short a text – a single verse or sentence. If the text is shorter than the author’s unit of thought (which we would usually call a paragraph), you must be aware of its immediate context in order to properly understand and preach its meaning. That is the danger of preaching from a single verse or sentence – you run the risk of wrongly interpreting and applying it by missing the particular emphasis in the text.

2. Too long a text. If the text is too long you run the risk of just giving an overview by generalizing a large text without due regard to the flow of thought.

Selecting your text forces you to think through what preaching is all about:

  1. What it is supposed to do - how it meets the needs of your congregation.
  2. What the role of the Holy Spirit is in planning sermon texts and topics.
  3. How God sovereignly uses your preaching to minister to situations that you know nothing about and didn’t plan the sermon to address.

Ultimately our responsibility is to preach what the Holy Spirit directs us to preach, but how does this work in practice? How do you decide what to preach on? What is the right text? Which comes first, text or topic? How do you respond to a crisis (e.g. in world events or in your church) that does not fit with the series of sermons you are currently preaching? When do you decide what to preach on? Do you decide each week what to preach on next Sunday or do you plan a preaching calendar? If a preaching calendar, for how far in advance?

Preaching Plans

The Debate About Preaching Plans

The value and rightness of planning your sermon topics and texts in advance has been debated down through the years. The question is, “How do you plan a sermon series in advance and at the same time be obedient to the leading of the Holy Spirit concerning what you should preach on? Is there a conflict between pre-planning a sermon series and allowing the Holy Spirit to guide you as to what to preach on?”

Some preachers would say, “Yes, there is a conflict.” They would argue that you should not pre-plan your preaching series and texts, and that the preacher must daily and weekly seek the leading of the Holy Spirit as to the text to preach. If that assertion is true, that would mean you could never plan on preaching a series through a book of the Bible or a particular theme.

I would say: “No, there is no conflict.” Those who oppose pre-planning your sermon series assume that the Holy Spirit only leads you from week to week and not month to month, or year to year. But there is no reason why the leading of the Holy Spirit is restricted to a certain time frame - i.e. that the Holy Spirit will only lead you from week to week in your text selection and not for a longer period of time in advance. I believe that the Holy Spirit can and does direct preachers to a specific text for a particular need for this week and that He directs preachers to a book of the Bible or theme from the Bible for a sermon series over a longer period of time.

A pre-planned preaching series does not mean that you are not sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit, nor does it mean that you would not deviate from your series in order to address a certain crisis or need in your church or in the world. For this reason, if you decide to preach a series, I would recommend that you not publish the passages and titles of your sermons in advance, so that you are at liberty to change your preaching plans as you sense the leading of the Holy Spirit.

I agree with Martin Lloyd-Jones who said: “Having asserted that we are subject to the Spirit, and that we must be careful to make sure that we really are subject to Him, I argue that He may lead us at one time to preach on odd texts and at another time to preach a series of sermons” (Preaching and Preachers, 188-189).

The important principle concerning text selection is:

  1. that you always be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit
  2. that the freedom of the Spirit to lead you to preach from a different text than the pre-selected passage be preserved
  3. that you always select your preaching texts and topics prayerfully, being sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit.

From a practical viewpoint, I would argue that preaching demands as much planning as it does study in order to be as effective for God as you can be. Since we would not think of approaching any other organizational task with no planning, how much more should we plan our preaching. Why should we approach such a serious task as preaching and think that we can do it without any planning?

A preacher who preaches without planning is guilty of:

  1. not taking his preaching task seriously
  2. not serving his congregation well
  3. approaching it haphazardly
  4. confusing his congregation who will not know from one week to the next what he is going to preach on
  5. failing to teach his people systematically.

The Advantages Of Preaching Plans

Here are four advantages and good reasons to adopt preaching plans:

1. Planning will help keep your preaching balanced and intentional. It will be balanced in that it will take into account the biblical priorities for preaching and not dwell on your pet themes or popular topics. It will be intentional in that your sermons will cover the full scope of Scripture, exposing your people to Scriptural truth that will build them up in their knowledge of the Scriptures, their relationship with God, and their spiritual maturity.

2. Planning will help your efficiency in preparing sermons. It helps your efficiency because:

  1. you will know where you are going in advance and not have to spend time figuring out what to preach on each week
  2. you will only have to prepare background material once for the whole series
  3. you will gain more insight and material for preaching because you are concentrating on a particular series.

3. Planning will help you meet ministry needs. When you plan your sermon series in advance, you can take into account the long term and short term ministry and spiritual needs of the church.

4. Planning will help you assess your ministry progress. Whether you are in a church ministry, para-church, or mission, you will have a yardstick to measure yourself by and you will be able to say that you have proclaimed the full scope and balance of Scriptural truth – i.e. that you have fed your people balanced and nutritious spiritual food; that your preaching is Christ-centered; and that you have not been negligent.

Part II. Leadership: Being A Godly Role Model

“Your Personal Devotional Practices”

By: Dr. Roger Pascoe

The Institute for Biblical Preaching

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

As we have seen in the last few issues of The NET Pastors Journal, being a godly role model extends to every aspect of our lives. We have looked at “your personal holiness” and how it impacts your ability and effectiveness as a godly role model. Holiness cannot be properly maintained or pursued without disciplined spiritual practices in your life. Spiritual disciplines are vital for us to become more like Christ - for our own relationship with God; for personal spiritual growth; for personal purity and for personal spiritual power and vitality.

Godly character stems from spending time with God. Disciples spend time with their leader (cf. Mk. 3:13-14). Our character is to be an expression of Christ’s character (Gal. 4:19) and our conduct is to be an expression of Christ’s conduct. How we live, what we do, and who we are must reflect how Christ lived and who He is. We can only reflect Christ’s character and conduct if we know him intimately. And we can only know him intimately if we spend time with him.

We talk about “doing” our devotions. In one sense we shouldn’t “do” devotions – rather, we should live in a constant state of devotion, so that “doing” devotions does not become merely a mechanical act or duty, but a delight.

1 Timothy 4:7 instructs us “to discipline (ourselves) for the purpose of godliness.” Spiritual disciplines are the means by which spiritual growth is developed in us through (1) reading, memorizing, and meditating on the Word; (2) prayer; (3) worship; (4) evangelism; (5) and service.

It is vitally important to set aside a certain time and place for a daily quiet time with God – a daily routine for reading, meditating, praying. For most of us, this is a difficult practice because so many other things that seem to be more important constantly compete for our time and attention. I find that if I don’t spend a quiet time with the Lord first thing every day, the chances of doing it later in the day dwindle as the day wears on. This is probably true for you as well.

If you are like most Christians, you probably find prayer specifically to be a difficult daily, consistent practice. Satan does not want us engaged in daily quiet times, particularly prayer. So, let me outline what I think are the basic components of a daily quiet time with the Lord. You may vary this to suit your own practice, but these are the main items.

Personal Meditation

1. Waiting quietly on God - in solitude. This is where we truly get to know God. Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still and know that I am God.” In those times when God forces us to wait (particularly in the dark, hard times of our lives), I believe that we learn more about God and ourselves than we do during the good times. We need quietness, stillness, a time apart from the routine and rush of life in order to meet with God. You need a place where you can shut yourself away, and you need a time that you schedule for this purpose.

2. Listening attentively to God – in silence. Talk as little as possible and listen for God to speak through his Word. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He influences your mind, heart, conscience.

3. Reading meditatively – in Scripture. Take time every day to read, meditate, and pray through the Scriptures. Eastern meditation requires the emptying of the mind, but Christian meditation requires the filling of the mind with the thoughts of God as he has revealed them to us in his Word.

This is not studying Scripture. This isn’t preparing a sermon or a Sunday School lesson - that focuses on how you are going to explain it and apply it to others. But this is a different form of reading that focuses on your own spiritual life and personal application. This is the time when you allow Scripture to speak to you, when God nourishes your heart and soul in the Word, when you become saturated in the Word, such that it prompts you to praise to Him, to understand Him better, to love Him more.

The daily reading of the Scripture was one of the ingredients that gave George Mueller such a powerful life. He knew the truth that “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4).

Be systematic, purposeful, and sequential in your reading. Plan your reading schedule. Try to read from various parts of the Bible: from Proverbs or Psalms; from an O.T. book; and from a N. T. book.

Think through what you read. As you read, ask yourself some questions to stimulate your response:

  • Is there a command you need to obey?
  • Are there connections with other Scriptures you hadn’t noticed before?
  • Is there a lesson you need to learn?
  • Is there a new teaching you need to believe or adopt?
  • Is there a blessing for you to enjoy?
  • Is there a practice, attitude, or relationship you need to change?
  • Is there a blessing for you to embrace?
  • Is there an encouragement for you to take heart in?
  • Is there an error you need to avoid? It’s very comforting to know that if I have unknowingly stepped in a wrong direction or made an unwise decision, God’s word can reveal that to me. It’s easy to see mistakes others make, but much harder to see our own mistakes. This is where the Word of God becomes like a mirror (James 1:23-25).
  • Is there an example for you to follow? Does something jump off the page and prompt you to say, “I want to be more like that!”
  • Is there a duty for you to perform? Is God’s word calling you to act? Are you neglecting something in your home or where you work or in your personal life? If so, you want to know what it is so you can work on it.
  • Is there a promise you can claim? As you study the Bible, you will hear the Lord committing himself to certain things or to act in certain ways. As you come to those promises, you acknowledge, “Yes, God! You are like this and you’ve promised to be this way for all my life, and I trust you.” Your faith will be strengthened as you learn and review the promises of God.
  • Is there a sin you need to confess? You won’t read the Bible long until you come across passages that reveal the error of your ways. One promise that helps me with this is, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 Jn. 1:9).

Let the words “abide in you” (Jn. 15:7). From your reading, pray your thoughts back to God in adoration, confession, thanksgiving, intercession, and supplication. Memorize Scripture as you read it. “Your Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps. 119:11).

Let the words produce fruit in you. Share what you have learned at the appropriate time with others.

Be obedient to the word you have read. Throughout the day, put into practice what you have read that morning.

4. Drinking deeply – from devotional books. I find devotional books to be very helpful in nourishing and stimulating my heart toward God. Examples of books that I have found helpful in my quiet times are:

  • John Piper: “Hunger for God”; “Desiring God”; “A Godward Life”.
  • A. W. Tozer: “Knowledge of the Holy”; “Pursuit of God”.
  • Dietrich Bonhoeffer: “The Cost of Discipleship”.
  • R. C. Sproul: “The Soul’s Quest for God”.
  • Oswald Chambers: “My Utmost for his Highest”.
  • John MacArthur: “Truth for Today”; “Drawing Near”.
  • Ken Gire: “Intense Moments with the Saviour”.
  • Tricia Rhodes: “Contemplating the Cross”.
  • V. Raymond Edman: “They Found the Secret”.
  • Walter Walker: “Extraordinary Encounters with God”.
  • James G. Lawson: “Deeper Experiences of Famous Christians”.
  • C. H. Spurgeon: “Morning and Evening”.

These kinds of books stir you to a deeper relationship with God. They generate in you a deeper knowledge of Him.

Personal Prayer

1. Repenting contritely - in confession…to God, to your wife, to an accountability partner, or perhaps a pastoral colleague.

2. Conversing intimately - in prayer. Your prayer life is fundamental to spiritual power and vitality. It’s mandatory for a meaningful, relevant, powerful, Christian life. And yet, it is one of the most difficult practices in which to be consistent and it is one of the most lacking in the lives of Christian leaders.

Most of us find it hard to be disciplined in prayer. There are so many other things we would rather do and that crowd in on us. Martin Luther prayed more when he was burdened down with extra duties. He said: “Work, work from early to late. In fact, I have so much to do that I shall spend the first three hours in prayer.” When Jesus was very busy and preoccupied, he spent whole nights in prayer (Lk. 6:12).

Prayer is the channel through which we converse with God. We can’t know him without conversing with him; we can’t speak well of him publicly to others if we don’t extol him privately ourselves. Discipline yourself to pray. Get into a habit. Always try to combine Scripture reading with prayer.

Pray intentionally – e.g. at a specific time each day. First thing in the morning is usually best before you get absorbed with other things. You can’t be powerful in public prayer if you aren’t committed to regular, intentional, private prayer.

Pray unceasingly – i.e. throughout the day (1 Thess. 5:17). Pray whenever something or someone comes to mind - in your car or while you’re walking. Pray out loud or silently.

Pray methodically by using a prayer journal or list of prayer items. My prayer journal is broken down as follows:

  1. Prayer verses – verses that magnify God; prayer passages. Pray through special verses that are meaningful to you. Pray Scripture back to God.
  2. Permanent prayers to pray every day – for family, missions, special people etc.
  3. Temporary prayers - issues, situations that come and go.
  4. Daily prayers. I assign a different prayer topic to each day:
  • Sunday – Sunday church services and pastors I know; salvation for various people and relatives.
  • Monday – missions and missionaries.
  • Tuesday – thanksgiving, answers to prayer, encouragement, our government and authorities, our Bible study group.
  • Wednesday – ministries and ministry workers.
  • Thursday – my own ministry, my supporters, upcoming ministry commitments.
  • Friday – families, marriage relationships, people with health issues.
  • Saturday – young adults, young married couples, and young families who have been a significant part of our lives.

Pray mutually – i.e. with a partner. Pray with your wife or with a colleague or a friend.

Pray responsibly. Pray as though you are the one responsible, but knowing that God is the only One who can bring it about. Wrestle in prayer (Col. 4:12; Eph. 1;16). Intercede on behalf of other people (e.g. pray through your church directory). Supplicate God for needs. Adore God for who He is. Pray in the energy and power of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 6:18).

Pray attentively. Listen to God. Let him speak to you through the Holy Spirit (Rom. 8:26-27).

Part III. Devotional Thoughts

“The Ministry of Earthen Vessels, Pt. 2: The Motivation for Ministry” (2 Cor. 5:10-13)

By: Dr. Roger Pascoe

The Institute for Biblical Preaching

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

In 2 Corinthians 4 and 5, the apostle Paul points out three motivations for ministry:

  1. the motivation of future transformation (4:16-5:9)
  2. the motivation of accountability to God (5:10-13)
  3. the motivation of Christ’s love (5:14-17).

We discussed the motivation of future transformation in the fall 2013 edition of this journal. Now we are going to look at the second motivation for ministry: THE MOTIVATION OF ACCOUNTABILITY TO GOD (5:10-13). Here Paul has two sources of motivation...

1. The accountability of believers at the judgement seat of Christ (5:10)

The motivation of our future transformation reminds us of our present responsibility to be conformed to Christ’s nature and character even now on earth, “for” (9) our motivation to be well-pleasing to him is that “we must all appear before the judgement seat of Christ, so that each one may receive the things done in the body according to what he has done, whether good or bad” (5:10). We are responsible for how we live. The present expectation of being with the Lord ought to heighten our desire to please him now and our awareness of the future judgement seat of Christ.

Christians face a day of accounting. In that day, everything we have done down here will be exposed. “All things are naked and open to the eyes of him to whom we must give account” (Heb. 4:13). This prospect of future accountability ought to motivate us to holy living, so that our outward actions are consistent with our inner thoughts and beliefs. We are not exempt from the standard and scrutiny of God's moral law. We have been justified (Acts 13:39; Rom. 8:1) and cleansed, and now we are responsible to glorify God in our bodies (1 Cor. 6:20). Hence, the evaluation by God of everything we have done here on earth, whether good or bad.

As one commentator puts it, this is an “assessment of worth” not a “declaration of doom”, in order for Christ to assign or withhold rewards. This has nothing to do with condemnation but everything to do with commendation. Every Christian is responsible not for earning salvation (for we cannot), but for building on that foundation that is laid, which is Jesus Christ (see 1 Cor. 3:10-15). Our foundation is absolutely secure: if we are true believers we cannot lose our salvation. But we are accountable to God for what we have built on that foundation – whether it is “gold, silver, precious stones” or wood, hay, straw. Every believer will stand before Christ’s judgement seat, not to determine one’s salvation or condemnation, but to receive either rewards for deeds done for Christ or to have burned up those things not done for Christ – i.e. bad things. For “faith without works is dead” (James 2:26) and our works will be exposed for what they truly are. Only now in this life do we have the opportunity to glorify God in word and deed, in our bodies which are his (1 Cor. 6:20).

This surely should be a great motivation for our ministry – the accountability of believers at the judgement seat of Christ. Then, secondly, there is...

2. The accountability of unbelievers at the Great White Throne (5:11-12)

“Therefore” (in the light of the judgement seat of Christ before which all believers will stand), “knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men” (11a). This motivation of future accountability to God motivates Paul to do his ministry of persuading men (unbelievers) of the truth of the gospel. The prospect for believers of the judgement seat of Christ where our deeds done in the body will be assessed as to whether they were good or bad is serious enough. But how much more serious is it for unbelievers to stand before God in the final judgement at the Great White Throne? That will be abject terror. No wonder Paul says, knowing the terror of the Lord we persuade men. That is a serious motivation for our ministry of preaching the gospel.

Nonetheless, Paul is not trying to justify himself and his ministry activities for, he says, “we are well known to God and I also trust are well known in your consciences” (11b). God knows Paul’s genuine motivation for ministry, so he does not need to justify what he does and why he does it. And, he hopes that his motivation for ministry is equally well known in (the Corinthians’) consciences also. He hopes that his labours among them will convince them in their consciences of the validity and purity of his calling, as they consider his life and ministry in the light of all the accusations brought against him by false apostles.

“For we do not commend ourselves again to you” (cf. 3:1) “but give you opportunity to boast on our behalf that you may have an answer for those who boast in appearance and not in heart” (12). He isn’t trying to convince them of his trustworthiness all over again, but rather to give them an opportunity to come to his defence and to actually boast about him. He doesn’t just want them persuaded in their consciences as to his authenticity as a minister of the gospel, but rather that they will actually speak up for him against those who are the exact opposite of himself - viz. those who “boast in appearance and not in heart”. That is the quintessential definition of false ministers – hypocrites who look good on the outside but in their innermost being are corrupt; who care more about show, money, and power than they do about “persuading men” or shepherding God's people.

This is exactly the opposite of Paul who counted all those things rubbish (money, power, heritage, religious lineage etc.) for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ (see Phil. 3:1-11). “Most gladly, therefore, will I boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me” (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul boasted in the cross (Gal. 6:14). He didn’t try to impress others with high-sounding intellectual speech but he came to them in fear and weakness (2 Cor. 5:1-5). Thus, the genuine minister of Christ glories in heart and not in appearance. His values are spiritual and internal, not material and external.

Conclusion: “For (because) if we are beside ourselves, it is for God; or if we are of sound mind, it is for you” (13). Paul says, “If I am out of my mind as my accusers say (Acts 26:24; 2 Cor. 11:1,16;12:11) – i.e. a religious extremist who takes risks and hardships that a sane person would not - it is to serve God. But if I am sane, I use it for your benefit in the preaching of the gospel.” May we also use all the abilities and opportunities God gives us for his service. May our future accountability to God motivate us to minister for God out of the pure motive of benefitting others.

Part IV. Sermon Outlines

John 8:1-11, Jesus’ Dialogue with the Pharisees

For the English audio version of these messages, click on these links: Link 1 - Jn. 8:1-5; Link 2 - Jn. 8:6-7; Link 3 - Jn. 8:8-11

Title: A Confrontation with Hypocrisy

Point #1: The accusers defy Jesus (8:3-6a)

1. The set-up of the woman (3)

2. The show-down with Jesus (4-5)

Point #2: Jesus discredits the accusers (8:6b-9a)

1. Jesus refuses their demand (6b, 8)

2. Jesus reveals his divine wisdom (7)

3. Jesus reaches their consciences (9a)

Point #3: Jesus deals with the accused woman (8:9b-11)

1. Jesus deals with her personally (9b-10a)

2. Jesus deal with her protectively (10b-11a)

3. Jesus deals with her pastorally (11b)

Related Topics: Pastors

La Revue Internet Des Pasteurs, Fre Ed 10, Edition de l’hiver 2014

Edition de l’hiver 2014

Sous la direction du

Dr Roger Pascoe, Président de

l’Institut pour la Prédication Biblique

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

www.tibp.ca

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Renforcer les capacités de l’Eglise

dans la prédication biblique et le leadership

1ère Partie: La Préparation De La Prédication

“Le choix du texte et du thème”

Par: Dr. Roger Pascoe,

Président de l'Institut pour la prédication biblique,

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Une des questions que les prédicateurs posent le plus souvent c’est : «Comment choisissez-vous le texte sur lequel prêcher?» Ou encore cette question: «A quel moment choisissez-vous le texte sur lequel prêcher - longtemps à l'avance, quelques jours avant votre prédication, ou lorsque vous vous levez pour prendre la parole? »

La sélection du texte est une partie très importante de la préparation de la prédication. Tout d'abord, permettez-moi de souligner deux dangers à éviter:

1. Un texte trop court - un seul verset ou une seule phrase. Si le texte est plus court que l’unité de pensée de l'auteur (ce que nous appelons habituellement un paragraphe), vous devez garder à l’esprit son contexte immédiat afin de bien comprendre et prêcher sa signification. C'est le risque que comporte le fait de prêcher sur un seul verset ou une seule phrase - celui de mal l’interpréter et de mal faire son application en passant à coté de la substance du texte.

2. Un texte trop long. Si le texte est trop long, vous courez le risque de faire un simple survol en disant des généralités sur le texte sans prêter suffisamment d’attention à la progression dans la pensée de l’auteur.

Le choix du texte vous oblige à bien réfléchir sur ce que ce qu’est la prédication :

  1. Ce qu'elle est censé faire - comment elle répond aux besoins de votre assemblée.
  2. Ce qu’est le rôle du Saint-Esprit dans la programmation des textes et des sujets sur lesquels prêcher.
  3. Comment Dieu utilise souverainement votre prédication pour résoudre à des situations qui vous sont inconnues et dont vous n’imaginiez pas que votre prédication pouvait solutionner.

En fin de compte, notre responsabilité c’est de prêcher ce que le Saint Esprit nous conduit à prêcher. Mais comment cela fonctionne t-il dans la pratique? Comment décidez-vous sur quoi prêcher? Quel est le texte approprié? Qu’est-ce qui vient en premier : le texte ou le sujet? Comment vous adressez-vous à une situation de crise (par exemple dans les événements qui surviennent dans le monde ou dans votre église) qui ne cadrent pas avec la série de prédications que vous êtes en train de développer? Quand décidez-vous sur quoi prêcher? Est-ce que vous décidez chaque semaine sur quoi prêcher le dimanche suivant, ou est-ce que vous établissez un programme de prédication? Si vous suivez un programme de prédication, combien de temps à l'avance l’établissez-vous?

Les Programmes De Prédication

Le Débat Sur Les Programmes De Prédication

La programmation à l'avance des sujets et des textes sur lesquels prêcher est une pratique dont l’importance et la pertinence ont été longtemps débattue. La question c’est: «Comment programmer une série de prédications tout en étant soumis à la direction de l'Esprit Saint quant à ce que vous devez prêcher? Y a t-il une contradiction entre le fait de programmer une série de prédications bien à l’avance et le fait se laisser guider par le Saint-Esprit sur ce qu'il faut prêcher? »

Certains prédicateurs disent: «Oui, il ya contradiction.» Ils disent que l’on ne devrait pas planifier à l'avance une série de sujets de prédication et de textes, et que le prédicateur doit chaque jour et chaque semaine chercher la direction du Saint-Esprit quant au texte sur lequel prêcher. Si cette affirmation est juste, cela signifie que vous ne pourrez jamais planifier de prêcher une série à travers un livre de la Bible ou sur un thème particulier.

Moi je dirais: «Non, il n'y a pas de contradiction. » Ceux qui s'opposent à une planification bien à l’avance de vos séries de prédications supposent que le Saint-Esprit ne vous conduit qu’une semaine après l’autre et non mois après mois, ou année après année. Cependant il n'y a aucune raison de penser que le Saint-Esprit ne puisse vous conduire que sur un certain laps de temps – en occurrence que l'Esprit Saint ne vous conduira que de semaine en semaine dans le choix des textes et pas pour une période plus longue. Je crois que le Saint-Esprit peut conduire un prédicateur vers un texte particulier pour un besoin particulier de cette semaine, et qu’aussi il peut le diriger vers un livre de la Bible ou un thème de la Bible pour une série de prédications sur une période de temps plus longue.

Une série de prédications planifiées à l’avance ne signifie pas que vous n'êtes pas sensible à la direction de l'Esprit Saint, et cela ne signifie pas non plus que vous n’allez pas sortir de votre série pour répondre à une crise particulière ou un besoin particulier dans votre église ou dans le monde. C’est pourquoi si vous décidez de prêcher en série, je vous recommande de ne pas publier les passages et les titres de vos prédications à l'avance, de sorte que vous soyez libre de changer vos programmes de prédication selon la direction du Saint-Esprit.

Je suis d'accord avec Martin Lloyd-Jones, qui a dit: «Etant entendu que nous sommes soumis à l'Esprit, et que nous devons nous assurer d’être vraiment soumis à Lui, je soutiens qu'Il peut parfois nous conduire à prêcher sur des textes hétéroclites et à un autre moment à prêcher en série» (Prédication et Prédicateurs, 188-189).

Le plus important au sujet du choix du texte c’est que:

  1. vous soyez toujours sensible à la direction de l'Esprit
  2. l'Esprit soit toujours libre de vous conduire vers un texte différent de celui que vous avez présélectionné
  3. vous choisissez toujours vos textes et sujets de prédication dans un esprit de prière et de sensibilité à la direction du Saint-Esprit.

D'un point de vue pratique, je dirais que la prédication exige autant de planification que d’effort dans l'étude si nous voulons être aussi efficaces que possible entre les mains de Dieu. De même que nous n’imaginons même pas aborder des tâches organisationnelles sans une certaine planification, nous ne pouvons pas non plus manquer de planifier notre prédication. Pourquoi devrions-nous aborder une tâche aussi grave que la prédication sans aucune planification?

Un prédicateur qui prêche sans aucune planification est coupable de:

  1. ne pas prendre sa tâche de prédication au sérieux
  2. ne pas bien servir son assemblée
  3. faire son travail avec grand amateurisme
  4. semer la confusion dans son assemblée qui ne sait pas sur quoi il va prêcher d'une semaine à l'autre
  5. ne pas enseigner les fidèles de façon systématique.

Les Avantages Des Programmes De Prédication

Voici quatre avantages et de bonnes raisons pour établir des programmes de prédication:

1. Planifier aidera à garder votre prédication équilibrée et intentionnelle. Elle sera équilibrée parce qu'elle tient compte des priorités bibliques pour la prédication et ne s'attardera pas sur vos thèmes de prédilection ou sur des sujets populaires. Elle sera intentionnelle parce que vos prédications couvriront l'ensemble de l'Écriture, exposant vos fidèles à l’ensemble de la vérité biblique ; ce qui consolidera leur connaissance des Écritures, leur relation avec Dieu, et leur maturité spirituelle.

2. Planifier augmentera votre efficacité dans la préparation des prédications. Cela augmentera votre efficacité, car:

  1. vous saurez à l'avance où vous allez et vous n’aurez pas à perdre du temps pour déterminer sur quoi prêcher chaque semaine
  2. vous n'aurez qu'à préparer les informations sur l’arrière plan du texte une seule fois pour toute la série
  3. vous aurez plus de perspicacité et d’arguments pour la prédication parce que vous vous concentrez sur une série particulière.

3. Planifier vous aidera à répondre aux besoins du ministère. Lorsque vous planifiez votre série de prédication à l'avance, vous pouvez prendre en compte le ministère et les besoins spirituels à long et court terme de l'église.

4. Planifier vous aidera à évaluer les progrès dans votre ministère. Que vous soyez dans un ministère d'église, un ministère para-ecclésiastique ou une mission, vous aurez un point de référence pour vous évaluer vous-même, et vous serez en mesure de dire si vous avez proclamé de façon systématique et équilibré l’ensemble de la vérité biblique – en occurrence que vous avez donné à vos gens de la nourriture spirituelle équilibrée et bien nutritive; que votre prédication est centrée sur le Christ, et que vous n'avez pas fait preuve de négligence.

2eme Partie: Le Leadership - Etre Un Modele Selon Le Cœur De Dieu

«Votre pratique de la méditation personnelle»

Par: Dr Roger Pascoe

L'Institut pour la prédication biblique

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Comme nous l'avons vu dans les précédents numéros de la Revue Internet des Pasteurs, être un modèle selon le cœur de Dieu couvre tous les aspects de notre vie. Nous avons parlé de «votre sainteté personnelle » et de la manière dont elle affecte votre capacité et votre efficacité en tant que leader spirituel. La sainteté ne peut être correctement entretenue ou recherchée sans une pratique soutenue des disciplines spirituelles dans votre vie. Les disciplines spirituelles sont essentielles pour vous amener davantage à la ressemblance de Christ - pour votre propre relation avec Dieu, pour votre croissance spirituelle personnelle ; pour votre pureté personnelle et pour votre force et votre vitalité spirituelle.

Un caractère pieux provient du fait de passer du temps avec Dieu. Les disciples passent du temps avec leur maitre (cf. Mc. 3:13-14). Notre caractère doit être une expression du caractère de Christ (Galates 4:19) et notre conduite une expression de celle du Christ. Notre manière de vivre, ce que nous faisons, et qui nous sommes doivent refléter comment le Christ a vécu et qui Il est. Nous ne pouvons refléter le caractère et la conduite du Christ que si nous le connaissons intimement. Et nous ne pouvons le connaître intimement que si nous passons du temps avec lui.

Nous parlons de «faire» notre méditation. Dans un sens, nous ne devrions pas «faire» notre méditation – mais plutôt vivre dans un état constant de méditation, de sorte que «méditer » ne soit pas simplement un acte mécanique ou un devoir, mais un plaisir.

1 Timothée 4:7 nous demande de nous « exercer à la piété ». Les disciplines spirituelles sont les moyens par lesquels la croissance spirituelle se produit en nous par (1) la lecture, la mémorisation, et la méditation de la Parole; (2) la prière; (3) la louange (4) l'évangélisation; (5) et le service.

Il est extrêmement important de réserver un temps et un lieu précis pour une rencontre quotidienne avec Dieu - une routine quotidienne de lecture, de méditation, de prière. Pour la plupart d'entre nous, cette pratique est difficile parce que beaucoup d'autres choses en apparence plus importantes nous disputent constamment notre temps et notre attention. Je constate que lorsque la première chose que je fais dans la journée n’est pas d’avoir ma méditation avec le Seigneur, alors les chances de pouvoir le faire par la suite s’amenuisent à mesure que la journée s’épuise. Cela est probablement vrai pour vous également.

Si vous êtes comme la plupart des chrétiens, vous trouverez probablement que la prière est particulièrement difficile à pratiquer de façon quotidienne et constante. Satan ne veut pas nous voir engagés dans la méditation quotidienne, particulièrement la prière. Alors, permettez-moi de décrire ce que je pense être les composantes de base d'une méditation quotidienne avec le Seigneur. Vous pouvez modifier cela en fonction de vos propres habitudes, mais je vous donne ci-après les principaux éléments.

La Meditation Personnelle

1. Attendre Dieu tranquillement - dans la solitude. C'est là que nous avons véritablement l’occasion de connaitre Dieu. Il est écrit dans le psaume 46:10: «Arrêtez, et sachez que je suis Dieu ». Ce sont des moments où Dieu nous oblige à attendre (en particulier pendant les temps obscurs et difficiles de notre vie). Je crois qu’à ce moment nous en apprenons davantage sur Dieu et sur nous-mêmes que pendant les moments agréables. Nous avons besoin de calme, de sérénité, d’un temps en dehors de la routine et du stress de la vie pour rencontrer Dieu. Vous avez besoin d'un endroit où vous pouvez vous enfermer, et vous avez besoin de planifier un temps à cet effet.

2. Ecouter Dieu attentivement - dans le silence. Parlez très peu et écoutez Dieu vous parler à travers sa Parole. Soyez sensible à l'Esprit Saint pendant qu’il touche votre esprit, votre cœur, votre conscience.

3. Lire de façon méditative - dans les Écritures. Prenez du temps chaque jour pour lire, méditer, et prier à travers les Ecritures. La méditation orientale nécessite que l’on vide son esprit, mais la méditation chrétienne demande plutôt que nous remplissions notre esprit des pensées de Dieu - telles qu’il nous les a révélées dans sa Parole.

Il ne s’agit pas d’étudier les Écritures. Il ne s’agit pas de préparer une prédication ou une leçon d'école du dimanche – ces choses consistent à se concentrer sur comment vous allez l'expliquer et de l'appliquer à d'autres personnes. Mais il s’agit ici d’une autre forme de lecture de la bible qui met l'accent sur votre propre vie spirituelle et l’application de la parole à votre cas personnel. C'est le moment où vous permettez à l'Écriture de vous parler, où vous laissez Dieu nourrir votre cœur et votre âme dans la Parole, où vous devenez saturé de sa Parole au point d’être incité à le louer, à mieux le comprendre, à l'aimer davantage.

La lecture quotidienne des Écritures est l'un des ingrédients qui ont donné à George Mueller une telle puissante dans sa vie. Il savait la vérité selon laquelle «l'homme ne vivra pas de pain seulement, mais de toute parole qui sort de la bouche de Dieu» (Matthieu 4:4).

Soyez systématique, intentionnel, et séquentielle dans votre lecture. Etablissez un plan de lecture. Essayez de lire dans différentes parties de la Bible: dans les Proverbes ou les Psaumes; dans un livre de l’ancien testament, et dans un livre du nouveau testament.

Réfléchissez à ce que vous lisez. Pendant que vous lisez, posez-vous quelques questions pour stimuler votre réponse à la parole:

  • y a t-il un commandement auquel vous devez obéir?
  • y a-t-il des liens avec d'autres passages des écritures que vous n'aviez pas remarqués auparavant?
  • y a t-il une leçon à apprendre?
  • y a t-il un nouvel enseignement que vous avez besoin de croire ou d’adopter?
  • y a t-il une bénédiction dont vous devez jouir?
  • y a t-il une pratique, une attitude, ou une relation que vous avez besoin de changer?
  • y a t-il une bénédiction que vous devez saisir?
  • y a t-il un domaine dans lequel prendre courage?
  • y a t-il une erreur à éviter? Il est très réconfortant de savoir que lorsqu’inconsciemment je prends une mauvaise direction ou lorsque je prends une décision insensée, la parole de Dieu peut me le révéler. Il est facile de voir les erreurs des autres, mais il est beaucoup plus difficile de voir nos propres erreurs. C'est là que la Parole de Dieu devient comme un miroir pour nous (Jacques 1:23-25).
  • y a t-il un exemple à suivre? Est-ce qu’il ya quelque chose dans la page que vous lisez qui vous invite à dire: «Je veux être davantage comme cela!»
  • y a t-il une tache ou une responsabilité que vous devez accomplir? Est-ce que la parole de Dieu vous pousse à agir? Êtes-vous en train de négliger quelque chose dans votre foyer ou votre lieu de travail ou dans votre vie personnelle? Si oui, vous devez en prendre conscience et le corriger.
  • y a t-il une promesse que vous pouvez réclamer? En étudiant la Bible, vous entendrez le Seigneur lui-même s'engager à certaines choses ou à agir d’une certaine façon. Lorsque vous abordez ces promesses, vous devez reconnaitre: «Oui, Dieu! Tu es ainsi et tu as promis d'être ainsi tout au long de ma vie, et je te fais confiance ». Votre foi sera renforcée à mesure que vous assimilez et examinez les promesses de Dieu.
  • y a t-il un péché que vous devez confesser? Vous ne pouvez pas lire la bible assez longtemps sans tomber sur des passages qui exposent des erreurs dans votre vie. La promesse qui m'aide est la suivante : «Si nous confessons nos péchés, il est fidèle et juste pour nous pardonner nos péchés et nous purifier de toute iniquité.» (1 Jean 1:9).

Laissez les mots «demeurer en vous» (Jean 15:7). À partir de votre lecture, servez-vous des pensées que cela vous inspire pour répondre à Dieu dans l’adoration, la confession, l'action de grâce, l'intercession, et la supplication. Mémorisez l'Écriture pendant que la lisez. «Je serre ta parole dans mon cœur afin de ne pas pécher contre toi» (Ps. 119:11).

Laissez les mots produire des fruits en vous. Partagez ce que vous avez appris avec d’autres personnes à un moment opportun.

Obéissez à la parole que vous avez lue. Tout au long de la journée, mettez en pratique ce que vous avez lu ce matin-là.

4. Rafraichissez-vous abondamment – dans les livres de méditation. Je trouve les livres de méditation très utiles pour nourrir et stimuler mon cœur vers Dieu. Ce genre de livres vous incitent à une relation plus profonde avec Dieu. Ils génèrent en vous une connaissance plus profonde de sa personne.

La Priere Personnelle

1. Repentez-vous avec contrition - dans la confession ... à Dieu, à votre femme, à la personne à qui vous rendez compte de votre vie, ou peut-être un collègue, un pasteur, etc.

2. Conversez intimement - dans la prière. Votre vie de prière est fondamentale pour garder votre vitalité spirituelle. Elle est indispensable pour une vie chrétienne consistante, pertinente, et puissante. Et pourtant, elle est l'une des pratiques les plus difficiles à maintenir, et l'une des choses qui font le plus défaut dans la vie des leaders chrétiens.

La plupart d'entre nous avons du mal à être disciplinés dans la prière. Il ya tellement d'autres choses que nous préférerons faire et qui nous absorbent tant. Martin Luther avait l’habitude de prier plus lorsqu’il avait des responsabilités supplémentaires plus lourdes. Il a dit: «Du travail, du travail tôt le matin et tard le soir. En fait, j'ai tellement à faire que je dois passer les trois premières heures de la journée dans la prière. » Quand Jésus était très occupé et préoccupé, il passait des nuits entières à prier. (Luc 06:12).

La prière est le canal par lequel nous conversons avec Dieu. Nous ne pouvons pas le connaître sans converser avec lui ; nous ne pouvons pas dire du bien de lui publiquement aux autres si nous ne le louons pas nous-mêmes en privé. Disciplinez-vous à prier. Faites en une habitude. Essayer toujours de combiner la lecture des Écritures à la prière.

Priez intentionnellement - par exemple à un moment précis chaque jour. Il est préférable que ce soit la première chose que vous faites le matin avant que vous ne soyez absorbé par d'autres choses. Vous ne pouvez pas être puissant dans la prière en publique tant que vous n'êtes pas engagé dans la prière de façon régulière et intentionnelle en privé.

Priez sans cesse - c'est à dire tout au long de la journée (1 Thess 5:17). Priez chaque fois que quelque chose ou quelqu'un vous vient à l'esprit - dans votre voiture ou pendant que vous marchez. Priez à haute voix ou en silence.

Priez méthodiquement en utilisant un canevas de prière ou une liste de sujets de prière. Mon canevas de prière se présente ainsi qu’il suit:

  1. Des versets sur la prière – des versets qui magnifient Dieu; des passages sur la prière. Priez à l’aide de versets particuliers qui sont importants pour vous. Inspirez-vous de l’Écriture pour vous adresser à Dieu dans la prière.
  2. Les sujets de prière permanents pour chaque jour - pour la famille, les missions, des gens particuliers, etc.
  3. Les sujets de prière temporaires - des questions, des situations qui vont et viennent.
  4. Les prières quotidiennes. J’affecte à chaque jour un sujet de prière différent:
  • Dimanche – le culte du dimanche et les pasteurs que je connais; le salut pour différentes personnes et pour des gens de la famille.
  • Lundi - les missions et les missionnaires.
  • Mardi - action de grâce, les réponses à la prière, les sujets d’encouragements, notre gouvernement et nos autorités, notre groupe d'étude de la Bible.
  • Mercredi – les ministères et les serviteurs dans ces ministères.
  • Jeudi - mon propre ministère, ceux qui me soutiennent, les engagements à venir du ministère.
  • Vendredi – les familles, les relations dans les foyers, les gens ayant des problèmes de santé.
  • Samedi - les jeunes adultes, les jeunes couples mariés et les jeunes familles qui ont occupé une place importante dans notre vie.

Priez mutuellement - c'est à dire avec un partenaire. Priez avec votre femme ou avec un collègue ou un ami.

Priez de façon responsable. Priez comme si vous en êtes seul responsable (comme si tout dépendait de vous), mais en sachant que Dieu seul peut le réaliser. Luttez dans la prière (Col. 4:12; Ep. 1, 16). Intercédez en faveur d'autres personnes (par exemple, priez en suivant l’annuaire de votre église). Suppliez Dieu pour leurs besoins. Adorez Dieu pour qui Il est. Priez dans l'énergie et la puissance du Saint-Esprit (Eph. 6:18).

Priez de façon attentive. Écoutez Dieu. Laissez-le vous parler par le Saint Esprit (Romains 8:26-27).

3ème Partie: Meditation

«Le ministère des vases de terre (2ème partie): La motivation pour le ministère » (2 Cor.5 :10-13)

Par: Dr Roger Pascoe

Institut pour la prédication biblique

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Dans 2 Corinthiens 4 et 5, l'apôtre Paul souligne trois motivations pour le ministère:

  1. la motivation de la transformation future (4:16-5:9)
  2. la motivation du jugement de Dieu (5:10-13)
  3. la motivation de l'amour du Christ (5:14-17).

Nous avons discuté de la motivation de la transformation future dans le numéro de l'automne 2013 de cette Revue. Maintenant, nous allons examiner la deuxième motivation pour le ministère: LA MOTIVATION DU JUGEMENT DE DIEU (5:10-13). Ici, Paul a deux sources de motivation ...

1. Les Chrétiens Rendront Compte Devant Le Tribunal De Christ (5:10)

La motivation de notre future transformation nous rappelle notre responsabilité présente d’être conformes à la nature et au caractère de Christ, dès à présent sur la terre, «car» (10) ce qui nous motive à lui être agréable, c'est que nous devons « tous comparaître devant le tribunal de Christ, afin que chacun reçoive selon le bien ou le mal qu’il aura fait, étant dans son corps.»(5:10). Nous sommes responsables de la façon dont nous vivons. Notre espoir actuel d'être avec le Seigneur doit renforcer notre désir de lui être agréable maintenant, et aussi nous rendre conscient du tribunal à venir de Christ.

Les chrétiens rendront compte un jour. En ce jour-là, tout ce que nous avons fait ici-bas sera exposé. «Tout est à nu et à découvert aux yeux de celui à qui nous devons rendre compte » (Hébreux 04:13). La perspective de ce compte rendu à venir devrait nous inciter à une vie sainte, de sorte à ce que nos actions extérieures soient conformes à ce que nous pensons et croyons au fond de nous. Nous ne sommes pas exemptés des exigences de la loi morale de Dieu. Nous avons été justifiés (Actes 13:39; Rom 8:1) et purifiés, et maintenant la responsabilité nous incombe de glorifier Dieu dans notre corps (1 Cor 6:20). C’est pourquoi Dieu nous évaluera sur de tout ce que nous avons fait ici bas, que ce soit en bien ou en mal.

Comme un commentateur l’a souligné, il s'agit non pas d’une «sentence de condamnation» mais d'une «évaluation de la valeur» afin que Christ puisse attribuer ou refuser des récompenses. Cela n'a rien à voir avec la condamnation, mais tout à voir avec les félicitations. Chaque chrétien est tenu responsable non pas de l’obtention de son salut (car nous en sommes incapables par nous mêmes) mais de la manière de construire sur cette fondation qui a été posée, à savoir Jésus-Christ (voir 1 Cor. 3:10-15). Notre fondation est complètement sécurisée: si nous sommes de vrais croyants, nous ne pouvons pas perdre notre salut. Mais nous serons tenus responsables devant Dieu pour ce que nous aurons construit sur ce fondement - si c’est « avec de l’or, de l’argent, des pierres précieuses » ou plutôt avec « du bois, du foin ou du chaume ». Chaque croyant se tiendra devant le tribunal de Christ, pas pour savoir s’il sera sauvé ou pas, mais pour recevoir soit des récompenses pour les actes qu’il a accomplis pour le Christ, ou rien pour avoir mis le feu par ces choses qu’il n’a pas faites pour le Christ - c'est à dire les mauvaises choses. Car «la foi sans les œuvres est morte» (Jacques 2:26) et nos œuvres seront exposés pour ce qu'ils sont vraiment. C’est seulement maintenant, dans cette vie que nous avons l'occasion de glorifier Dieu en paroles et en actes, dans notre corps qui est le sien. (1 Cor. 6:20).

Cela devrait certainement être une grande motivation pour notre ministère - Les chrétiens rendront compte devant le tribunal de Christ. Ensuite, d'autre part, il y a le fait que ...

2. Les Incroyants Rendront Compte Devant Le Grand Trône Blanc (5:11-12)

« Donc » (à la lumière du tribunal de Christ devant lequel tous les croyants se tiendront), « connaissant la crainte du Seigneur, nous cherchons à convaincre les hommes » (11a). Cette motivation de la responsabilité future devant Dieu motive Paul à faire son ministère qui consiste à convaincre les hommes (incroyants) de la vérité de l'Évangile. C’est une perspective suffisamment grave de savoir que les chrétiens se tiendront devant le tribunal de Christ où les actes accomplis dans le corps seront évalués pour déterminer s’ils étaient bons ou mauvais. Mais c’est une perspective bien pire de savoir que les incroyants devront se tenir devant le Grand Trône Blanc de Dieu. Ce sera une terreur abjecte. Pas étonnant que Paul dise, connaissant la crainte du Seigneur, nous cherchons à convaincre les hommes. Cela est une motivation sérieuse pour notre ministère de prédication de l'Évangile.

Néanmoins, Paul ne cherche pas à se justifier lui-même et ses activités du ministère car il dit : « Dieu nous connaît, et j’espère que dans vos consciences vous nous connaissez aussi » (11b). Dieu connaît la véritable motivation de Paul pour le ministère, de sorte qu'il n'a pas besoin de justifier ce qu'il fait et pourquoi il le fait. Et, il espère que sa motivation pour le ministère est également bien connue dans les consciences des Corinthiens. Il espère que son œuvre parmi eux les convaincra dans leur conscience de la validité et de la pureté de son appel, car ils considèrent la vie et le ministère de Paul à la lumière de toutes les accusations portées contre lui par les faux enseignants.

«Nous ne nous recommandons pas de nouveau nous-mêmes auprès de vous (voir 3:1); mais nous vous donnons occasion de vous glorifier à notre sujet, afin que vous puissiez répondre à ceux qui tirent gloire de ce qui est dans les apparences et non dans le cœur. » (12). Paul ne cherche pas à les convaincre de sa crédibilité, mais plutôt de leur donner l'occasion de le défendre et de se féliciter à son sujet. Il ne veut pas seulement les convaincre dans leur conscience quant à son authenticité en tant que ministre de l'Évangile, mais il veut aussi qu'ils parlent de sa part contre ceux qui sont son exact opposé – c'est-à-dire «ceux qui tirent gloire de ce qui est dans les apparences et non dans le cœur». C'est la définition par excellence des faux enseignants - des hypocrites qui semblent bons à l'extérieur mais qui sont corrompus dans leur être profond; ils se soucient plus de spectacles, d'argent et de pouvoir que de «convaincre les hommes » ou de nourrir le peuple de Dieu.

C'est exactement le contraire de Paul qui a compté toutes ces choses comme de la boue (l’argent, le pouvoir, l’héritage, la position religieuse, etc.) pour l'excellence de la connaissance du Christ (voir Phil. 3:1-11). « Je me glorifierai donc bien plus volontiers de mes faiblesses, afin que la puissance de Christ repose sur moi. » (2 Cor. 12:9). Paul se glorifiait dans la croix (Galates 6:14). Il n'a pas essayé d'impressionner les autres avec des discours intellectuels ronflants, mais il est venu à eux dans la crainte et la faiblesse (2 Cor. 5:1-5). Ainsi, le véritable serviteur de Dieu glorifie Christ dans son cœur et non dans les apparences. Ses valeurs sont spirituelles et internes - pas matérielles et externes.

Conclusion: «En effet (parce que), si je suis hors de sens, c’est pour Dieu ; si je suis de bon sens, c’est pour vous.» (13). Paul dit: «Si je suis ne suis pas sain d’esprit comme mes accusateurs le disent (Actes 26:24; 2 Cor 11:1,16; 12:11) - c'est à dire un extrémiste religieux qui prend des risques et des épreuves qu'une personne saine d'esprit n’accepterait pas – c’est pour servir Dieu. Mais si je suis sain d'esprit, je l'utilise pour votre bénéfice dans la prédication de l'Evangile». Puissions-nous aussi utiliser toutes les capacités et les opportunités que Dieu nous donne pour son service. Que la perspective de rendre des comptes à Dieu nous motive à servir Dieu avec le pur motif de faire du bien aux autres.

4ème Partie: Plans De Predication

Jean 8:1-11 / Le Dialogue De Jésus Avec Les Pharisiens

Pour la version audio anglaise de ces messages, cliquez sur ces liens : Link 1 - Jean. 8:1-5; Link 2 - Jean 8:6-7; Link 3 - Jean 8:8-11

Titre: L'hypocrisie confrontée

Point n°1: Les accusateurs défient Jésus (8:3-6a)

1. La femme est amenée (3)

2. Jésus est interpellé (4-5)

Point n°2: Jésus discrédite les accusateurs (8:6b-9a)

1. Jésus ignore leur demande (6b, 8)

2. Jésus révèle sa sagesse divine (7)

3. Jésus touche leur conscience (9a)

Point n°3: Jésus s’occupe de la femme accusée (8:9b-11)

1. Jésus s’occupe d’elle de façon personnelle (9b-10a)

2. Jésus s’occupe d’elle de façon protective (10b-11a)

3. Jésus s’occupe d’elle de façon pastorale (11b)

Related Topics: Pastors

Jurnalul Electronic Al Păstorilor, Rom Ed 10, Ediția de Iarnă 2014

Ediția de Iarnă 2014

Produs de ...

Dr. Roger Pascoe, President,

The Institute for Biblical Preaching

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

www.tibp.ca

C:\Users\Roger\Documents\My Documents\Institute for Biblical Preaching\Forms, Binder Cover Page, Logo\IBP Logos\IBP Logo.jpg

“Îmbărbătând biserica în predicare și lidership biblic”

Part I: Pregătirea Predicii

“Alegerea textului și subiectului”

De: Dr. Roger Pascoe

Institutul Biblic de Predicare, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Una dintre întrebările care este adesea ridicată de către predicatori este "Cum se poate selecta textul din care urmează să îl predice ?" Cealaltă întrebare este "Când ar trebui să fie selectat textul din care urmează să se predice  - este bine în avans, doar câteva zile înainte de a predica, sau când te ridici să vorbești? "

Selecția de text este o parte foarte importantă de pregătire în predicare. În primul rând, permiteți-mi să subliniez două pericole care pot să apară:

1. Un text prea scurt - un singur verset sau o propoziție. Dacă textul este mai scurt decât unitatea de autor de gândire (pe care am putea să o numim, de obicei, un paragraf), trebuie să fie conștienți de contextul său imediat, în scopul de a înțelege în mod corespunzător și să predice sensul său. Acesta este pericolul de a predica dintr-un singur verset sau o propoziție - aveți  riscul de a interpreta greșit și aplicare suferă lipsa accentului special în text.

2. Un text prea lung. În cazul în care textul este prea lung va rula riscul de a da doar o imagine de ansamblu prin generalizarea unui text mare, fără a ține seama de urmarea fluxului de gândire.

Selectarea ideilor transmise cu putere din text te ajută să crezi ce se poate realiza prin predicare:

  1. Ce ar trebui să facă - cum se satisfac nevoile congregației dumneavoastră.
  2. Ce rol are Duhului Sfânt - în planificare texte predică și subiecte.
  3. Cum folosește Dumnezeu în mod suveran predica să slujească la situații pe care nu le cunoașteți și pe care nu le-ați planificat în a le predica.

În cele din urmă responsabilitatea noastră este de a predica ceea ce ne îndrumă Duhul Sfânt să predicăm, dar cum se face acest lucru în practică? Cum vă decideți ce să predicați? Care este textul corect? Care este ordinea, textul sau subiectul? Cum vă răspunde la o criză (de exemplu, în evenimentele lumii sau în biserică) care nu se potrivește cu seria de predici în prezent inspirația Duhului? Când vă decideți ce să predicați? Vă decideți în fiecare săptămână pentru duminica viitoare sau aveți de gând să faceți un calendar de predicare? În cazul în care aveți un calendar de predicare, pentru cât timp îl aveți?

Planuri De Predicare

Dezbaterea Cu Privire La Planurile De Predicare

Valoarea și corectitudinea planificării subiectelor de predică și a textelor în avans a fost îndelung dezbătută de-a lungul anilor. Întrebarea este "Cum poți planifica o serie de predici în avans, și în același timp să rămâneți ascultători față de șoapta Duhului Sfânt? Există un conflict între pre-planificarea unor serii de predici și îngăduirea Duhului Sfânt în a vă ghida cu privire la ceea ce veți predicați?”

Unii predicatori ar spune, "Da, există un conflict." Ei ar putea argumenta că seria de predici și textele nu ar trebui să  fie pre-planificate, și că predicatorul trebuie să caute zilnic și săptămânal călăuzirea Duhului Sfânt cu privire la textul de predică. Dacă această afirmație este adevărată, ar însemna că nu se poate planifica o predică sau o serie de predici dintr-o carte a Bibliei sau o anumită temă.

Aș spune: " Nu , nu există niciun conflict . " Cei care se opun pre-planificării  și seriilor de predici presupun că Duhul Sfânt îi va călăuzi de la o săptămână la alta  și nu de la o lună la alta , sau de la an la an. Dar nu există nici un motiv pentru care călăuzirea Duhului Sfânt este limitată la un anumit interval de timp - și anume că Duhul Sfânt te va duce călăuzi de la o săptămână la alta , în alegerea textului și nu pentru o perioadă mai lungă de timp în avans. Eu cred că Duhul Sfânt poate și influențează predicatorii direct pentru folosirea unui anumit text care să trateze o nevoie specială din această săptămână și că El îndrumă predicatorii la o carte anume din Biblie sau o temă din Biblie pentru o serie de predici pe o perioadă mai lungă de timp.

O serie de predici pre-planificate nu înseamnă că nu sunt sensibile la călăuzirea Duhului Sfânt, și nici nu înseamnă că nu vă puteți abate de la seria dvs. , în scopul de a aborda o anumită criză sau nevoie din biserica dvs. sau din lume. Din acest motiv , în cazul în care vă decideți să predicați o serie, aș recomanda să nu prezentați pasajele și titlurile de predici în avans, astfel încât să puteți avea posibilitatea de a schimba planurile dvs. de predicare în timp ce simțiți călăuzirea Duhului Sfânt.

Sunt de acord cu Martin Lloyd - Jones, care a spus: "După ce am stabilit că noi suntem supuși Duhului, și că trebuie vigilenți pentru a ne asigura că într-adevăr suntem supuși Lui, eu susțin că El poate să ne conducă la un moment dat să predicăm pe texte neobișnuite și într-un alt moment pentru a predica o serie de predici " (Predicare și predicatori, 188-189).

Cele mai importante principii cu privire la selecția de text sunt:

  1. trebuie să fiți sensibili la călăuzirea Duhului.
  2. libertatea Duhului să vă călăuzească să predicați dintr-un text diferit de cel pe care l-ați pregătit pentru a fi folosit mai târziu.
  3. textele selectate pentru a fi predicate și temele să fie alese prin rugăciune, fiind sensibil la călăuzirea Duhului Sfânt .

Dintr-un punct de vedere practic , aș spune că predicarea cere la fel de multă planificare așa cum solicită un timp de studiu pentru a fi la fel de eficientă pentru Dumnezeu. Din moment ce nu ne gândim în a aborda orice alte sarcini organizatorice fără o planificare, cu cât mai mult ar trebui să ne planificăm propovăduirea noastră. De ce ar trebui să ne apropiem de o slujbă atât de importantă ca predicarea și să gândim că putem să facem aceasta fără o planificare în prealabil?

Un predicator care predică fără o planificare se face vinovat de:

  1. faptul că nu ia în serios sarcina sa de propovăduire.
  2. de faptul că nu servește bine congregației sale.
  3. faptul că se apropie de ea la întâmplare.
  4. producerea confuziei în congregația sa, care nu va ști de la o săptămână la alta, ceea ce el are de gând să predice.
  5. faptul că nu a învățat poporul în mod sistematic.

A Vantajele Planurilor De Predică

Sunt prezentate 4 avantaje și motive pentru a adopta planurile de predicare:

1. Planificarea va ajuta la menținerea unei predicări echilibrate și intenționate. Acesta va fi echilibrată în predicarea prioritățile biblice și vă va ajuta să nu insistați pe temele dvs. obișnuite sau pe cele cunoscute. Predicarea va fi intenționată în sensul că predicile tale vor acoperi întregul domeniu de aplicare a Scripturii, va expune oamenii tăi la adevărul biblic care le va consolida cunoștințele lor Scripturale, relația lor cu Dumnezeu, și maturitatea lor spirituală.

2 . Planificarea va ajuta eficiența în pregătirea predicii.

  1. veți ști unde aveți de gând în avans să ajungeți și nu trebuie să-ți petreci timp gândindu-te de unde o să predici în fiecare săptămână.
  2. va trebui doar să se pregătească contextul o dată pentru întreaga serie.
  3. veți obține o perspectivă mai mare și materiale mai multe pentru a predica, deoarece predicarea se concentrează pe o anumită serie.

3 . Planificarea va ajuta la îndeplinirea nevoilor de slujire. Când aveți de gând să pregătiți serii de predici în avans, puteți lua în considerare pe termen lung și pe termen scurt predicarea și nevoile spirituale ale bisericii .

4 . Planificare va ajuta să se evalueze progresul lucrării. Fie că sunteți într-o  biserică, para-biserică sau misiune, va avea un etalon pentru a vă măsura și veți fi în măsură să spuneți dacă ați proclamat  întregul adevăr scriptural într-un mod corect și echilibrat – gândindu-vă de exemplu, că i-ați dăruit congregației dvs. hrană spirituală echilibrată și nutritivă; și că predicarea dvs este centrată pe Hristos și că nu ați fost neglijent.

Partea a-II-a. Leadership: Being A Godly Role Model

“Practicarea timpului devoțional”

By: Dr. Roger Pascoe

The Institute for Biblical Preaching

Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

Așa cum am văzut câteva probleme de predicare și organizare a predicilor, fiind un model după voia lui Dumnezeu se extinde la fiecare aspect al vieții noastre. Ne-am uitat la "sfințenia dumneavoastră personală" și modul în care aceasta influențează capacitatea și eficacitatea noastră ca om după voia lui Dumnezeu. Sfințenia nu poate fi menținută sau urmărită fără practici spirituale disciplinate corespunzătoare în viața ta. Disciplinele spirituale sunt vitale pentru noi, pentru a deveni mai mult ca Hristos - pentru propria noastră relație cu Dumnezeu, pentru creșterea spirituală personală, pentru puritatea personală, pentru puterea spirituală personală și vitalitate.

Caracterul evlavios provine de la petrecerea timpului cu Dumnezeu . Discipolii petreceau timp cu liderul lor ( Marcu 3:13-14) . Caracterul nostru trebuie să fie o expresie a caracterului lui Hristos (Galateni 4:19) și conduita noastră este trebuie să fie o expresie a comportamentului lui Hristos. Modul în care trăim , ceea ce facem, trebuie să reflecte modul în care Hristos a trăit și cine este El. Putem reflecta doar caracterul lui Hristos și să ne testăm, dacă Îl cunoaștem într-un mod profund, mai intim. Și noi îl putem cunoaște doar dacă petrecem timp singuri cu El.

Noi vorbim despre "a face" devoțiunile noastre. Într- un sens, noi nu ar trebui să "facem" devoțiuni - mai degrabă, ar trebui să trăim într-o stare constantă de devotament, astfel că "a face" devoțiuni nu devine pur și simplu un act mecanic sau datorie, ci o plăcere.

1 Timotei 4:7 ne învață "să ne disciplinăm cu scopul de a  fi evlavioși." Discipline spirituale sunt mijloacele prin care creșterea spirituală este dezvoltat în noi prin (1) citirea, memorarea și meditarea asupra Cuvântului, (2) rugăciunea, (3) închinarea, (4), evanghelizarea, (5) și slujirea.

Este extrem de important să punem deoparte un anumit timp și un anumit loc pentru avea un timp liniștit cu Dumnezeu - o rutină zilnică pentru a citi, medita, și rugăciune. Pentru majoritatea dintre noi, aceasta este o practică dificilă, deoarece atât de multe alte lucruri care par, în mod constant, a fi mai importante, concurează pentru timpul și atenția noastră. Consider că dacă primul lucru pe care îl fac în fiecare zi nu este să-mi petrec un timp liniștit cu Domnul, șansele ca eu să mai am acel timp mai târziu în acea zi se diminuează cu trecerea acesteia. Acest lucru este probabil adevărat și în cazul dvs.

Dacă sunteți ca majoritatea creștinilor, probabil că ați aflat că rugăciunea zilnică este o practică grea și consistentă. Satana nu vrea să ne luăm angajamentul de a petrece un timp liniștit în fiecare zi, în special pentru rugăciune. Deci, permiteți-mi să evidențiez ceea ce cred că sunt componentele de bază ale unei perioade de liniște zilnică cu Domnul. S-ar putea ca acestea să varieze puțin pentru a se potrivi propriei dvs. practici, dar acestea sunt principalele elemente.

Meditația Personală

1. Așteaptă-L în liniște pe Dumnezeu - în singurătate. Acest lucru este adevărat în cazul în care vom ajunge să - L cunoaștem pe Dumnezeu. Psalmul 46:10 spune: "Opriți-vă și știți că Eu sunt Dumnezeu." În acele momente când Dumnezeu ne obligă să așteptăm (în special în întuneric, în vremuri grele ale vieții noastre), eu cred că vom afla mai multe despre Dumnezeu și despre noi înșine decât ne-am făcut timp în vremurile bune. Avem nevoie de liniște, feriți de rutina și graba vieții, cu scopul de a ne întâlni cu Dumnezeu. Ai nevoie de un loc unde să poți să te  închizi - departe, și ai nevoie de un timp pe care să îl programezi în acest scop.

2. Ascultă cu atenție de Dumnezeu - în tăcere. Vorbește cât mai puțin posibil lasă-L pe Dumnezeu să vorbească prin Cuvântul Său. Fii sensibil la Duhul Sfânt că El influențează mintea , inima, conștiința.

3. Meditează citind din Scriptură. Fă-ți timp în fiecare zi pentru a citi, medita, și a te ruga cu ajutorul Scripturii. Meditația orientală, necesită golirea minții, dar meditația creștină necesită umplerea minții cu gândurile lui Dumnezeu, așa cum le-a revelat în Cuvântul Său .

Acest lucru nu este un mod de a studia Scriptura. Acest lucru nu pregătește o predică sau o lecție de Școală Duminicală - care se concentrează pe modul în care aveți de gând să-l explicați și să o aplicați la alții. Dar aceasta este o altă formă de lectură care se concentrează pe viața voastră spirituală și de aplicare personală. Acesta este momentul în care Scriptura vă vorbește vouă, atunci când Dumnezeu hrănește inima și sufletul vostru în Cuvânt, atunci când devii saturat în Cuvânt, astfel încât să te solicite să îl lauzi pe El, să-L înțelegi mai bine, să-L iubești mai mult.

Citirea zilnică a Scripturii a fost unul dintre ingredientele pe care le-a dat George Mueller pentru o viață puternică. El știa adevărul că "omul nu va trăi numai cu pâine, ci cu orice cuvânt care iese din gura lui Dumnezeu." (Matei 4:4).

Citește Scripturea în mod sistematic, cu scop și consecvență. Încercați să citiți din diferite părți ale Bibliei: Proverbe sau din Psalmi, de la un VT carte și dintr-o carte din NT. Cred că prin ceea ce ai citit după ce ai citit, întreabă-te pentru a stimula răspunsul tău:

  • Există o poruncă de care aveți nevoie pentru a asculta?
  • Există legături cu alte pasaje din Scriptură care nu au fost observate mai înainte?
  • Există o lecție de care aveți nevoie pentru a o învăța?
  • Există o nouă învățătură care aveți nevoie a crede sau de a adopta?
  • Există o binecuvântare pentru a vă bucura?
  • Există o practică, atitudine, sau o relație pe care trebuie să o schimbați?
  • Există o binecuvântare pentru tine pe care să o îmbrățișezi?
  • Există o încurajare pentru tine care să-ți îmbărbăteze inima?
  • Există o eroare pe care aveți nevoie de a o evita ? Este foarte reconfortant să știi că, dacă am pășit în necunoștință într-o direcție greșită sau am făcut o decizie neînțeleaptă, Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu poate să îmi dezvăluie acest lucru.  Este ușor de a vedea greșelile altora, dar mult mai greu este de a vedea greșelile noastre. Acest lucru se poate realiza când privim în Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu care devine pentru noi ca o oglindă (Iacov 1:23-25​​).
  • Există un exemplu pentru tine să îl urmezi? Există ceva ce te motivează astfel încât să poți exclama: "Vreau să fiu mai mult ca acesta!"
  • Există o slujbă pe care trebuie să o efectuezi? Este Cuvântul lui Dumnezeu care te cheamă să acționezi? Ești neglijent cu ceva în casa ta, locul de muncă sau în viața personală? Dacă este așa, vei dori să ști ce este astfel încât să poți lucra la aspectul acesta.
  • Există o promisiune care vă poate garanta ceva? Pe măsură ce studiezi Biblia, veți vedea pe Domnul angajându-se la anumite lucruri sau acționând într-un anumit mod. Când ajungi la acele promisiuni, conștientizezi:"Da , Doamne! Tu ești așa si ai promis că vei fi la fel în tot timpul vieții mele și mă încred în Tine. Credința ta va fi astfel consolidată în timp ce înveți și îți reamintești promisiunile lui Dumnezeu.
  • Există un păcat ce trebuie să mărturisești? Dacă citiți Biblia mult, aceasta arată căile voastre. O promisiune care mă ajută cu acest lucru este, "Dacă ne mărturisim păcatele, El este credincios și drept ca să ne ierte păcatele și să ne curățească de orice nelegiuire." (1 Ioan . 1:09).

Cuvintele să "rămână în voi" (Ioan 15:7). Din lectura dvs., rugați-vă ca gândurile voastre să se ducă înapoi la Dumnezeu în adorare, mărturisire, mulțumire, mijlocire, și implorare. Memorează Scriptura așa cum ai citit. "Strâng Cuvântul Tău în inima mea ca să nu păcătuiesc împotriva Ta" (Ps. 119:11).

Cuvintele să producă rod în tine. Împărtășește ceea ce ai învățat la timpul potrivit cu alții.

Ascultă de Cuvântul pe care l-ai citit. Pe parcursul zilei, pune în practică ceea ce ați citit în acea dimineață.

4. Studiu profund - al cărților devoționale. Am descoperit că, cărțile devoționale pot fi foarte utile, hrănitoare în stimularea inimi mele față de Dumnezeu. Aceste tipuri de cărți se amestecă pentru o relație mai profundă cu Dumnezeu. Acestea pot genera o cunoaștere mai profundă a Lui.

Rugăciunea personală

1. Pocăind-vă dintr-o inimă zdrobită înaintea lui Dumnezeu, a soției dvs. sau a unui coleg de slujire pastorală.

2. Conversând intim - în rugăciune. Viața ta de rugăciune este fundamentală pentru putere și vitalitate spirituală. Este obligatoriu pentru o viață ca cea de slujitor  plină de sens. Și totuși, aceasta este una dintre cele mai dificile practici în care să fi consecvent și este una dintre cele mai mari lipsuri în viața de lideri creștini.

Celor mai mulți dintre noi le este greu să fie disciplinați în rugăciune. Există atât de multe alte lucruri pe care le-ar face mai degrabă. Martin Luther sa ruga mult, atunci când a fost împovărat cu taxe suplimentare el a spus: ”Muncă, muncă de la începutul anului până la sfârșitul anului. De fapt, am atât de mult de făcut  încât voi petrece primele trei ore în rugăciune." Când Isus a fost foarte ocupat și preocupat, El a petrecut nopți întregi în rugăciune (Luca 6:12).

Rugăciunea este canalul prin care am conversa prezența lui Dumnezeu. Nu-l putem cunoaște fără vorbă cu el, nu putem vorbi de bine despre El public pentru alții, dacă nu-l preamărim noi în privat. Disciplinează -te pentru a te ruga. Ajunge cu obiceiul. Încerca întotdeauna să combini lectura cu Scriptura și rugăciune.

Rugați-vă în mod intenționat - de exemplu, la o anumită oră în fiecare zi. Primul lucru de dimineața este de obicei cel mai bine înainte de a te absorbi cu alte lucruri. Nu poți fi puternic în rugăciune publică, dacă nu sunt săvârșite rugăciuni regulate, intenționate, private.

Rugați-vă neîncetat - adică pe tot parcursul zilei (1 Tesaloniceni 5:17). Rugați-vă de fiecare dată când ceva sau cineva vine în minte - în mașină sau în timp ce sunteți pe jos. Rugați-vă cu voce tare sau în tăcere.

Rugați-vă metodic prin utilizarea unui jurnal de rugăciune sau o listă de elemente de rugăciune. Jurnalul meu de rugăciune este defalcat după cum urmează:

  1. versete de Rugăciune - versurile care măresc pe Dumnezeu; pasaje de rugăciune. Rugați-vă prin versuri speciale, care sunt semnificative pentru voi. Rugați-vă cu Scriptura către Dumnezeu.
  2. rugăciuni permanente pentru a se ruga în fiecare zi - pentru familie, misiuni, oameni speciali, etc.
  3. rugăciunile temporare - probleme, situații care vin și pleacă.
  4. rugăciuni zilnice -  Am atribui un subiect de rugăciune diferit de fiecare zi:
  • Duminica - duminică la slujbele bisericii și pastorii pe care îi cunosc, mântuirea pentru diferite persoane si rude.
  • Luni - misiuni și misionari.
  • Marți - Ziua Recunoștinței, răspunsuri la rugăciune, încurajare, guvernul și autoritățile noastre, grupul nostru de studiu biblic.
  • Miercuri – slujirea
  • Joi - propria mea lucrare de slujire, susținătorii mei, angajamentele lucrării viitoare.
  • Vineri - familii, relațiile de căsătorie, persoanele cu probleme de sănătate.
  • Sâmbătă – adolescenți, tineri, cupluri căsătorite și familiile tinere care au fost o parte importantă din viața noastră.

Rugați-vă reciproc - adică cu un partener. Rugați-vă împreună cu soția sau cu un coleg sau un prieten.

Rugați-vă în mod responsabil. Rugați-vă ca și cum tu ești cel responsabil, dar știind că Dumnezeu este singurul care o poate face. Lupta în rugăciune (Col. 4:12;. Efeseni 1, 16). Intervine în numele altor persoane (de exemplu, roagă-te pentru directorul de biserica ta). Ruga înaintea lui Dumnezeu pentru nevoi. Adoră pe Dumnezeu pentru cine este El. Rugați-vă în energia și puterea Duhului Sfânt (Efeseni 6:18).

Rugați-vă cu atenție. Dumnezeu ascultă. Lasă-l să vorbescă cu tine prin Duhul Sfânt (Rom. 8:26-27).

Partea a-III-a. Gânduri Devoționale

“Slujirea vaselor de lut, Partea a-2-a: Motivarea Slujirii” (2 Cor. 5:10-13)

De: Dr. Roger Pascoe

Institutul pentru Predicare Biblică, Cambridge, Ontario, Canada

În 2 Corinteni 4 și 5, apostolul Pavel subliniază trei motivații pentru misiune:

  1. motivația de transformare viitoare (4:16 - 5:09)
  2. motivația de responsabilitate față de Dumnezeu (5:10-13)
  3. motivația dragostei lui Hristos (5:14-17).

Am discutat despre motivația de transformare viitoare în toamna 2013 ediție a acestui jurnal. Acum ne vom uita la cea de a doua motivație pentru lucrarea: MOTIVAREA -  responsabilitate față de Dumnezeu (5:10-13). Aici Paul are două surse de motivație:

1. Responsabilitatea credincioșilor la scaunul de judecată al lui Hristos (5:10)

Motivația de transformare a noastră viitoare ne amintește de responsabilitatea noastră față de conformare și luarea chipului lui Hristos chiar de pe acest pământ, "pentru" (9), motivația noastră de a fi  plăcuți pentru El este că "trebuie să ne înfățișăm înaintea hotărârii scaunului al lui Hristos, pentru ca fiecare să-și primească lucrurile făcute în trup în conformitate cu ceea ce a făcut, fie bun sau rău " (05:10). Noi suntem responsabili de modul în care trăim. Prezenta speranță de a fi cu Domnul, ar trebui să sporească dorința noastră de a îi mulțumi acum și conștientizarea noastră a viitorului scaun de judecată al lui Hristos.

Creștinii se confruntă cu o zi de contabilitate. În ziua aceea, tot ceea ce am făcut aici va fi expus. "Toate lucrurile sunt goale și descoperite înaintea ochilor Aceluia înaintea căruia trebuie să dăm socoteală " (Evrei 4:13). Această perspectivă de responsabilitate în viitor ar trebui să ne motiveze pentru o viață sfântă, astfel încât acțiunile noastre exterioare să fie în concordanță cu gândurile noastre interioare și credințele noastre. Noi nu suntem scutiți de la standardul și controlul legii morale a lui Dumnezeu. Am fost justificați (Fapte 13:39; Romani 8:1) și curățați, iar acum suntem responsabili să-L slăvim pe Dumnezeu în trupurile noastre (1 Corinteni 6:20). Prin urmare, Dumnezeu evaluează tot ceea ce am făcut aici, pe pământ, fie bun sau rău.

Un comentator spune, aceasta este o "evaluare de valoare" nu o "declarație de iad", pentru ca Hristos a atribuit sau de a refuzat recompense. Acest lucru nu are nimic de-a face cu condamnarea, dar tot ceea ce se face se face cu laudă. Fiecare creștin nu este responsabil pentru a câștiga mântuirea (pentru că nu se poate), dar pentru a construi pe acest fundament care este pus, și care este Isus Hristos (1 Corinteni 3:10-15). Fundația noastră este absolut sigură: dacă suntem credincioși adevărați nu ne putem pierde mântuirea noastră. Dar noi suntem răspunzători față de Dumnezeu pentru ceea ce am construit pe această temelie - fie că este vorba "de aur, argint, pietre prețioase", sau fiecare credincios va sta în fața scaunului de judecată al lui Hristos,  nu pentru a determina mântuirea. "Nu Condamnare”, ci pentru a primi fie recompense pentru faptele făcute ca Hristos sau de a fi ars aceste lucruri care nu au fost făcute ca Hristos - adică lucruri rele. Pentru că "credința fără fapte este moartă" (Iacov 2:26) și faptele noastre vor fi expuse pentru ceea ce sunt cu adevărat. Abia acum, în această viață avem posibilitatea să-L slăvim pe Dumnezeu prin cuvânt și faptă, în corpurile noastre, care sunt rele (1 Corinteni 6:20).

Acest lucru cu siguranță ar trebui să fie o motivație mare pentru lucrarea noastră - responsabilitatea credincioșilor la scaunul de judecată al lui Hristos.

2 . Responsabilitatea necredincioșilor la Marele Tron Alb ( 5:11-12 )

"De aceea" (în lumina scaunului de judecată al lui Hristos, înainte căruia toți credincioșii vor sta. Această motivație de responsabilitate față de Dumnezeu în viitor motivează pe Pavel să facă lucrarea lui de a convinge oameni (necredincioși) la adevărul Evangheliei. Perspectiva pentru credincioșii din fața scaunului de judecată al lui Hristos, unde faptele noastre făcute în trup vor fi evaluate pentru a stabili dacă acestea au fost bune sau rele este suficient de gravă. Dar cât de grav este pentru cei necredincioși să stea înaintea lui Dumnezeu în judecata finală de la Marele Tron Alb? Va fi teroare cumplită. Nu este de mirare că Pavel spune, cunoscând frica de Domnul am convinge pe oameni. Care este o motivație serioasă pentru lucrarea noastră de predicare a Evangheliei.

Dumnezeu cunoaște motivația reală a lui Pavel pentru slujire, așa că nu are nevoie de a  justifica ceea ce face și de ce o face. El speră că motivația lui pentru slujire este la fel de bine cunoscută  în (corintenilor ) conștiințele lor de asemenea. El speră că lucrarea lui printre ei îi va convinge în conștiința lor de validitatea și puritatea chemării sale, pe care o consideră viața și lucrarea sa în lumina tuturor acuzațiilor aduse împotriva lui de către apostoli mincinoși.

El nu încearcă să -i convingă de încredere lui peste tot din nou , ci mai degrabă pentru a le da o oportunitate de a veni în apărarea sa și să se laude de fapt cu ei. El nu vrea doar să îi convingă în conștiința lor de autenticitate lui ca slujitor al Evangheliei, ci mai degrabă că ei vor vorbi de fapt, pentru el împotriva celor care sunt exact opusul lui însuși adică cei care "se laudă în aparență și nu în inimă".  Aceasta este definiția în esența a lucrătorilor  falși - ipocriți care arata bine la exterior, dar în adâncul ființei lor sunt corupți, care au grija mai multe de spectacol, bani și putere decât o fac pentru a "convinge oamenii" sau păstorii poporul lui Dumnezeu.

Acest lucru este exact opusul lui Pavel, care a considerat toate aceste lucruri de gunoi (bani, putere, patrimoniu,  neam religios, etc), pentru nivelul de excelență al cunoașterii lui Hristos (Filipeni 3:1-11). "Mă voi lăuda în slăbiciunile mele pentru ca puterea lui Hristos să rămână în mine" (2 Corinteni 12:9). Pavel se lăuda cu crucea (Galateni 6:14). El nu a încercat să impresioneze pe alții cu discursul intelectual pompos, dar el a venit la ei în teamă și slăbiciune (2 Corinteni 5:1-5). Astfel , lucrătorul autentic dă laudă lui Hristos în inimă și nu în aparență. Valorile sale sunt spirituale și interne, nu materiale și externe.

Concluzie: Putem folosi, de asemenea,  toate abilitățile și oportunitățile lui Dumnezeu care le oferă pentru serviciul Său. Fie ca responsabilitatea noastră viitoare a lui Dumnezeu să ne motiveze pentru a sluji lui Dumnezeu din motivul pur în urma căruia  beneficiază ceilalți.

Partea a-IV-a. Schițe De Predici

Ioan 8:1-11, Dialogul Domnului Isus cu fariseii

(Ioan. 8:1-5; Ioan. 8:6-7; Ioan. 8:8-11)

Pentru varianta in engleză a acestor predici, dați click pe aceste linkuri: Link 1 - Jn. 8:1-5; Link 2 - Jn. 8:6-7; Link 3 - Jn. 8:8-11

SUBIECT: Confruntarea cu Ipocrizia

Punctul 1: Acuzatorii îl sfidează pe Isus (8:03-6a)

1. Prezentarea femeii (3)

2. Confruntarea cu Isus (4-5)

Punctul 2: Isus discreditează acuzatorii (8:06 b-9a)

1. Isus refuză cererea lor (6b, 8)

2. Isus revelează înțelepciunea divină (7)

3. Isus ajunge la conștiința lor (9a)

Punctul 3: Isus vorbește cu femeia acuzată (8:09 b-11)

1. Isus se ocupă de ea personal (9b-10a)

2. Isus acționează în mod protector (10b-11a)

3. Isus se ocupă de ea pastoral (11b)

Related Topics: Pastors

Thanks for the M̶e̶m̶o̶r̶i̶e̶s̶ Reminders

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A year ago on February 20th, my father, Howard G. “Prof” Hendricks, died. Two years after finishing sixty years of teaching at Dallas Theological Seminary, he said his goodbyes to the family, then rolled over and went into a deep sleep. A little more than two days later, he quit breathing on earth and began breathing whatever resurrected bodies breathe in the House of the Lord.

Needless to say, this past year has given me much opportunity to reflect on the whole notion of legacy—what someone leaves behind when they depart this earthly existence. Indeed, one of the most common things people have said to me this year is, “Your dad left such an incredible legacy!”

I can’t disagree with that. Sixty unbroken years of teaching. An estimated 13,000 students in his classes. Untold thousands, perhaps millions, of people impacted through his books, speaking engagements, radio broadcasts, visual media, and other means of communication. By any measure, he lived an extraordinary life.

But as I’ve pondered that legacy, along with its obvious implications for my own legacy, I’ve come to realize that a great deal of what I believed about leaving one’s mark on the world, and much of what is commonly taught on that subject, needs to be re-examined. It’s not that it’s outright wrong. It’s just shortsighted.

Let me explain. The matter of leaving a legacy is usually formulated as a question: Eventually youre going to die, and when you do, what will you leave behind?

There are countless ways in which people answer that question. Some leave buildings. Some leave books. Some leave a family. Some leave the gift of wonderful memories and stories. My Dad left his students, with the charge to go and reproduce themselves.

Others, sadly, leave nothing but wreckage and sorrow. Broken relationships. Ruined finances. The shame and waste of bad choices and errors in judgment. Perhaps the tragedy of having squandered enormous potential on silly, pointless pursuits. Maybe even the memory of an act so vile that all one has to do is say the person’s name and people shudder.

I suppose there’s a third category: some people won’t leave much at all. They’ll live their lives and then just. . .go away. There won’t be anything to outlive them, really. It will be as if they never existed.

Eventually you’re going to die, and when you do, what will you leave behind?

As I say, thats how the question of legacy gets posed most of the time. Its a great question.

Nonetheless, it’s the wrong question!

This World Is Not Home

My Dad recognized that. At the beginning of his memorial service (which Stonebriar Church was kind enough to videotape, and you can view it on YouTube), a delightful media remembrance of his life was shown that brought laughter, tears, and ultimately hope. It inspired hope because it ended with a clip of Dad’s own voice delivering one of his most memorable lines: “We are in the land of the dying, headed toward the land of the living.”

The bookend to that theme came toward the end of the service when a men’s quartet sang Dad’s favorite spiritual: “This world is not my home, I’m just a’passin’ through, my treasures are laid up, somewhere beyond the blue. The angels beckon me from heaven’s open door, and I can’t feel at home in this world anymore.”

If Dad understood nothing else, he recognized that this world was not his home. Oh, yes, with Shakespeare he fully appreciated that the world is indeed a stage. But for him, it was not the main stage. It was just the green room. He realized that the big show is in the life to come. Because that’s when the Star will make His appearance—and we with Him. That’s when what really matters will finally matter.

Dad understood truth that at the core of his being, and it affected everything about his life. Even his legacy. Though I never heard him phrase it this way, for him the question was not, What am I leaving behind? Rather, What am I leaving for?

That forward-looking perspective kind of turns the traditional notions of legacy on their head. It suggests that our lives ought not to be focused primarily on what we leave behind, but on how we are preparing—and how we are helping others prepare—to live permanently with the King and His people, in His kingdom.

In short, this world is not a museum. It’s a nursery. God is not asking us to leave memorials to ourselves. He’s asking us to grow up and get ready to live with Him, and to grow others up and get ready to live with Him.

My Dad is a great model of someone who invested his time on earth with that long-range view. He was not, as they say, so heavenly minded that he was no earthly good. No, he was very present. But it was a presence and focus informed by the fact that the King had called him to teach. So he taught.

So even though his investment was in the world, it was not of the world. His was an investment in the King’s business, which, in his particular calling, involved the teaching of men and women.

And so whatever we leave behind ought not to be merely a memory, which points to the past. No, our legacy ought to point to our future with the Father, Son, and Spirit, which the Westminster Shorter Catechism claims is the reason we were created in the first place.

Memories are good (as long as they are good memories). But reminders are better. My Dad’s legacy is a great reminder that this world is not our home—it’s our launching pad to go home. Which means everything we do here matters. But it matters only because it’s a baby step toward all that our Father has prepared for us when at last He hands us our inheritance, which is the eternal weight of His glory.

In that day, no one will ask, What did you leave behind? Only this: How much glory are you prepared to bear?

Related Topics: Christian Education, Christian Life, Comfort, Cultural Issues, Funerals, Glory, Leadership, Spiritual Formation, Spiritual Gifts, Spiritual Life, Worldview

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