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Sunday, October 29, 2017 am                                        NT Church 2017 - Index

 

THE NEW TESTAMENT CHURCH 2017 (31)
Leaders In the Church (11)
The Preacher/Evangelist (3)

     We are seeking to conclude our study of leaders in the church as described in the Bible.   We have discussed elders, deacons and are currently addressing the preacher/evangelist.  We have talked about the qualities an evangelist should have, and in our last lesson we addressed his responsibility to preach the word.   They are summarized in 2 Timothy 2:1-4 where Paul told him to preach the word in season and out of season. Today we want to talk about him being an example and some other observations. 

 I.                     Be an example to the believers – 1 Timothy 4:12, 16

a.       He is a Christian first – he needs to live an exemplary life.  He does what he is able to do. 
He visits and encourages the brethren because he can.  He may have more flexibility in this, so he can do more of it.

b.       Let no one despise your youth (1 Timothy 4:12) – do not act so as to provoke ungodly attitudes from others.  Paul here addresses the youth of Timothy.  He says that he should not act so that people turn against him because of his youth (with arrogance, etc.). 
We could apply this to anyone.  Don’t let one despise your experience (by being arrogant and bullying them). 

c.        Be an example

                                                   i.      In word – this could mean several things:

1.       The word of God you preach, or what you say.  The Greek word here is “logos” which indicates communicating with understanding.   It is more than just uttering sounds.  He treats the Bible as the word of God. 

2.       Your everyday conversation. Whatever you say needs to be the way a Christian would speak. 

3.       OR it could mean that what you say you will do, you do (cf. Matthew 5: 37, Your ‘yes’ means ‘yes.’).  Your word means something to others.

                                                 ii.      In Conduct – this describes one’s manner of life (KJV – conversation).   Your behavior is commensurate with what you preach and profess to be.
How often in scripture did Jesus rebuke the hypocrisy of the leaders? 
If we want the respect of our audience, we need to LIVE the life we preach. 
In vs. 16 Paul will say, “Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.  Continue in them…”

                                                iii.      In love – This love (agape) is the motivation behind all that we do.  Its importance is emphasized throughout scripture and in every relationship.  Cf.  Matthew 22:39, Romans 13:9, etc.  1 Corinthians 16:14, “Let all that you do be done with love.”
Our attitude toward others needs to be manifested in our work – our message and its application.  
We need to show those we are preaching to that we genuinely care about them.

                                                iv.      In spirit – (Lacking in some versions) –

1.       Could be referencing the controlling of our passions.  We are zealous for good works (Titus 2:14, Galatians 4:18 – it is good to be zealous in a good thing always)

2.       Perhaps it is descriptive of our overall demeanor and attitude (cf. John 4:24).  We need a good attitude.  We need to show patience, trust, kindness, etc. as we deal with brethren.

                                                  v.      In faith – trusting God and His word.  We know how important faith is as Christians (Hebrews 11:6, 10:22 – the full assurance of faith, 2 Peter 1:5, etc.) You genuinely believe what you are preaching and teaching.  Your life is a demonstration of what it means to walk by faith and not by sight (Romans 1:16-17, 2 Corinthians 5:7).

                                                vi.      In purity – not defiled.  This is a timely reminder for all Christians.  We need to be living ABOVE the standards of the world. 

1.       We need purity of heart (Matthew 5:8),

2.       To flee “youthful lusts” (2 Timothy 2:22),

3.       To live purified lives “as He is pure” (1 John 3:3)

Sadly today, we see so much scandal among leaders, including religious leaders at time.  If a preacher is to have respect for his message, his life will be pure and free from the pollutions of this world.  He needs to live “above reproach” (cf. Colossians 1:22).
Example:  Outside of his family, a preacher should never be alone and in private with a woman.  Please don’t put him in that circumstance!

d.       He needs to love and deal with all sorts of people – We have emphasized our need to love our neighbor (Matthew 22:39, James 2:8, Romans 13:9, etc.), and Jesus helped define who our neighbor is in Luke 10:29-37 in the parable of the good Samaritan. 
There is no specific verse that points out who a preacher deals with, because he will deal with all sorts of people in varying circumstances.  He is going to deal with brethren (some good and some ungodly), the strong and the weak, the stubborn, other preachers, elders, friends and enemies alike, etc.  He will deal with unbelievers who he needs to try and convince.  He will deal with the straying brethren whom he will try to steer back on the right course.   He will be dealing with the lost, some who have serious struggles and problems, and those who are disrespectful to God and His cause.  He will deal with delicate souls that are searching.
He needs to be able to talk to a large audience, a small gathering or an individual, with the attitude that such is not a waste of his time.  And not only when he “feels like it”.
IN TIME, with experience, he will do better at managing whatever audience he has. 
The point here is you CANNOT be a preacher and isolate yourself from the world.  It is not healthy for a preacher to do nothing but study all the time and NOT interact with his brethren or others in the world.   That is NOT what we see in preachers in the Bible.

 II.                   Other thoughts on preachers

a.       He must study the word – 2 Timothy 2:15. How does a preacher gain his knowledge?  A good part of his life is devoted to studying and learning God’s word.  Give attention to reading – 1 Tim. 4:13, 15-16; cf. Deut. 17:18-19, Joshua 1:8.

b.       He realizes he is accountable – James 3:1, Matthew 12:36, (cf. 2 Peter 2:1-3) – every idle word men may speak…

c.        Scriptures also address supporting the preacher
1 Corinthians 9:4-14, esp. 12-14ff,
Philippians 4:15-16 – Paul was supported by the brethren in Philippi to do his work.  (cf. 2 Corinthians 11:8-9)
Galatians 6:6, Let him who is taught the word share in all good things with him who teaches.
Often elders are also preachers of the gospel – such are worthy of “double honor” which includes being supported - 2 Timothy 6:17-18 (BTW, this text is not limited to preachers also serving as elders. 
NOTE: This is an unpleasant topic for preachers to address because it seems self serving, but the scriptures do address it and people should understand what scripture teaches about it.
However, a preacher, when living as he should, will not make the amount he receives the primary goal behind where he goes and what he does.  Sometimes, preachers “made tents” Cf. Acts 18:2-3.

 III.                  Fight the good fight of faith – 1 Timothy 6:12

a.       Finally, the preacher is a soldier in the Lord’s army.  He has put on the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18).  And he is in the front of the army.

b.       He leads the fight against Satan and his minions; He fights for purity in the church; He fights for true unity (Ephesians 4:1-3); He fights against false teachers to expose them – Ephesians 5:11, 1 Timothy 1:3-4; He fights against worldliness and its influences not only in his life, but in the life of his brethren; He fights for the mind striving to bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ (2 Corinthians 10:4-6).

 IV.                 The preacher and the prophet

a.       There is a comparison to be made between the preacher and the prophets of the Old Testament.

b.       Consider the following (from another source):

                                                   i.      They were men of deep conviction – they had a message that needed to be proclaimed and people that needed to hear it.

                                                 ii.      They did not “beat around the bush” to proclaim that message (cf. Nathan with David – 2 Samuel 12:7)

                                                iii.      They did not fear being rejected or the reactions of men.

                                                iv.      They did not go along with the crowd.  Most specifically resisted the majority.

                                                  v.      They were willing to suffer and even die for God’s cause – note 1 Timothy 3:12, while applying to all is in this letter written to young Timothy as a preacher.

                                                vi.      They were often grieved – at the rejection to truth around them.

                                              vii.      They challenged false prophets and corrupt leaders

                                             viii.      They addressed immorality and ungodly behavior.

                                                ix.      They warned of coming judgment and called for repentance (cf. Acts 17:30-31)

                                                  x.      At times they became discouraged, but they did not quit.

 So much more could be said about the work of a preacher.  In summary, he preaches all of God’s word, and he lives what he preaches. 

In 1 Timothy 4:16 Paul summarized what his goal is, Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you.  And that will make all that he does worth it!

If we are to be the church God wants us to be, we need to demand that preaching fit this mold.  Think about it.