We live in a culture which promotes freedom from accountability, regulations, rules etc. But in Christianity, the church cannot be sustained without certain organisational structure. The Lord has instituted His church with certain structure, operated through pastors, elders and deacons to counsel, guide, correct, rebuke and restore the congregation or an individual towards righteousness. This function is often referred to as Church Discipline. It is one of those essential marks of a healthy church. In this passage, we learn the nature of Church Discipline and why Christians need it.
The office of a Prophet in the Old Testament was to primarily bring the message of God to His people. Sometimes the message would come in the form of a rebuke (a warning to bring judgement if people refuse to repent of their sins), or an encouragement to persevere because God promises to be with them to deliver from oppression. Either ways, there is an element of prediction about the future. So, does the gift of prophecy still exists today in the same form? or God’s message has been completed with the 66 books of the Bible and therefore we don’t need this gift? Listen to the sermon to find out.
When the Apostle Paul writes down the character qualities of an elder in 1 Timothy, he lists out many virtues that display Christ-like character. And for the leaders in the church, there are some mandatory character qualities that Paul suggests cannot be compromised. In this 2nd part of learning about elder qualities, we learn how ability to teach, being hospitable and not being consumed by alcohol marks out a faithful, stable and a mature leader in the church.
A person’s wage is often calculated based on how valuable and resourceful the labor is. But when it comes to pastoral ministry, not much attention has been given to the pastor’s labor. This passage gives adequate reasons on why we should be supporting the laborers of the gospel who honor Christ and serve His sheep faithfully.
Pastors in the Bible are mainly called to feed God’s sheep i.e His children. In other words, they’re called to be the stewards of God’s household. But how does our culture and our society define the office of a Pastor? Do they have balanced view of Pastors? In this passage, we learn how we can avoid from Idolizing a Pastor and also to prevent ourselves from undermining the calling of a Pastor.
In our Indian culture, to correct a leader or provide a constructive feedback to a Pastor in the church is considered offensive, and sadly many leaders in our churches are allowed to hold an unquestionable authority. In other words, people often treat Pastors like God. In this passage, the apostle Paul reminds us to not idolize pastors, leaders and deacons of the church because they cannot give life or growth to anybody, only God can!