Grace Baptist Church of Danville
August 1, 2010
We know very little about the good pastor at Philippi, Epaphroditus; but he was the kind of pastor ever pastor ought to be. — He was God’s messenger to his people. When absent from them, he longed for them. His heart was made heavy by the fact that the people he dearly loved found out that he was sick
Š Conference Offering Today: Our 31st Annual Sovereign Grace Bible Conference is scheduled for September 3-5. Our scheduled speakers for the conference this year are: Pastors Rupert Rivenbark, Bruce Crabtree, Todd Nibert, Gene Harmon, Mike Walker, Linwood Campbell, Darvin Pruitt and Don Fortner.
Š Bro. Larry Criss is preaching today for Bible Baptist Church in Madisonville, Kentucky, where Bro. Maurice Montgomery is pastor.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Carol Brown-4th Nancy Harris-7th
God is Love — Don Fortner
(Tune: The Doxology — LM)
1. The King of king’s, who reigns above, the self-existent “God is love;”
His essence, attributes, and name, boundless, unchanging love proclaim.
2. The depth unfathom’d, height unknown, the breadth unmeasur’d, like His throne,
A length, no finite mind can reach, a love that angels cannot teach.
3. The love of God our tongues employ. — Here sinners find unending joy,
While through the Savior’s blood we prove this sacred truth, that “God is love!”
Elder, Pastor, Bishop — 1 Peter 5:1-4
There are three terms in the New Testament which are used for a pastor: “elder,” “pastor,” “bishop.” The title “elder” in verse 1, then in verse 2 from the Greek word translated “feed” we have the word shepherd (pastor;) and then the word translated “oversight” is the one from which “bishop comes. Some have said that “elder” refers to the man, “bishop” to the office, and “pastor” to the ministry. Paul’s words to the elders from the church at Ephesus bring out these 3 thoughts. — “Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood." — Pastor David Pledger
Faithful Men — 2 Timothy 2:2
There are but two offices in the New Testament church: elders and deacons.
The word “elders” refers to those who are the spiritual leaders and teachers of the congregation. The pastor of a church is the presiding elder, or overseer of the congregation. In a very large assembly there may be need of other elders. As God creates the need and raises up gifted men to meet that need, those elders who serve with the pastor must serve in submission to him, as his assistants in the ministry.
While it is evident that in the New Testament some of the churches had more than one elder, there is no requirement given in the Word of God that a local church must have, or even should have more than one. In the New Testament wherever more than one elder was found in a local church, it is evident that only one elder stood as the overseer and spiritual ruler of the congregation.
It is not possible for a church to have peace and harmony under the government of a board of elders, or a board of deacons. There can only be one captain on a ship. And there can only be one overseer in a congregation. The spiritual overseer of the church is God’s messenger in that congregation, the pastor. He is not a dictator, lording over God’s people. But a faithful pastor must rule the church of God. He rules the house of God just as a husband rules his household. He rules with love, tenderness and understanding. But he rules firmly for the glory of God and the welfare of God’s people (1 Timothy 3:5; Hebrews 13:7, 17).
Deacons are those men whose responsibility it is to take care of the physical, financial affairs of the congregation. They may or may not be gifted to teach the Word; but they are spiritual leaders by example, willing to serve their pastor and church for the glory of Christ. Deacons are to relieve their pastor of all mundane affairs, so that he can give himself exclusively to the ministry of the Word (Acts 6:2-4). The service of a deacon is most honorable and helpful. Faithful deacons take care of the church property, visit the sick, care for the needy and see to it that the needs of the pastor and his family are met. By relieving their pastor of all these cares, the deacons enable him to give his time and attention to study, prayer and the preaching of the gospel of Christ. There are few men so spiritually minded that they are willing to serve as faithful deacons for the gospel’s sake; but those who are, are blessings to God’s churches everywhere.
Pastors According to God’s Own Heart
A young congregation asked for me to assist them in understanding what a pastor is and what they should look for in a pastor. That is a subject that needs to be understood and appreciated by God’s churches everywhere and in every age.
The Lord God promised that he would give his church pastors according to his own heart. That means he will give his church pastors as he sees fit, and pastors who will serve the good of those people he so dearly loves. Those men God gives to his church as pastors, according to his own heart, “shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Here are three things that will characterize every God called, Spirit-anointed, heavenly-ordained pastor.
Every true pastor is a faithful man. Without question, if a man is called of God to the work of the gospel ministry, he will be faithful in the work. His life and conduct will reflect his steadfastness, commitment and faithfulness to Christ. He will faithfully seek the glory of God, study and prepare to preach the Word of God, seek the welfare of God’s people and preach the gospel of Christ. He will be faithful to Christ, to the Word, to the church and to his own conscience. No man should be set apart for the gospel until he has proved himself to be a faithful man (2 Timothy 2:2; 1 Corinthians 4:2).
Every true, faithful servant of God is also a fallible, sinful man. The apostles and prophets of old were themselves only frail, fallible, sinful men. They were infallible in the writing of Holy Scripture, as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. But they were not perfect men. Moses smote the rock in anger. Peter cursed and denied the Lord. All the apostles forsook Christ for a while. Paul and Barnabas had a terrible fight over John Mark. And you can be sure every pastor will have many faults. Those who want to find fault with any can easily do so.
Yet every true pastor is God’s ambassador, God’s servant, God’s messenger. He is to be loved, cared for, respected and obeyed as God’s representative in his church. Faithful pastors are described by God the Holy Ghost as “stars” in the right hand of our Lord Jesus Christ (Revelation 1:16). They are stars burning with the light they receive from him who is the Sun of Righteousness. Then the Lord Jesus explains that these men are the angels of God to his churches (Revelation 1:20). Each local church, blessed with a pastor according to God’s own heart, have in that man a guardian angel to watch over their souls, giving them God’s message from his Word in the power of his Spirit. Those men, whose task it is to serve as pastors in God’s church, know that they are altogether insufficient for the work to which they have been called. Yet, being called of God, each one understands that “our sufficiency is of God!” I often hear people say, “I do not follow any man.” If you follow God, you will follow that man who speaks for God. You will not err by following a faithful pastor. God commands you to do so!
August 1, 2010
Grace Baptist Church of Danville
2734 Old Stanford Road-Danville, Kentucky 40422-9438
Telephone (859) 236-8235 - E-Mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Donald S. Fortner, Pastor
Schedule of Regular Services
10:00 A.M. Bible Classes
10:30 A.M. Morning Worship Service
6:30 P.M. Evening Worship Service
7:30 P.M. Mid-Week Worship Service
Television Broadcasts in Danville
Channel 6 - Sunday Morning 8:00 A.M.
Channel 6 - Wednesday Evening 6:00 P.M.
Channel 6 - Friday Evening 7:00 P.M.
Listen to sermons at FreeGraceRadio.com