Tuesday, March 29, 2016

What Should a Pastor Do? (Part 1)

"preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction." -2 Timothy 4:2

In 2 Timothy 5:1-5, Paul gives Timothy a weighty charge. It is critical for Pastors and Churches to understand the biblical expectations for pastors. Being on the same page with expectations prevents much heartache. As Paul pens the words to his son in the ministry, Paul prepares for the end of his life. Soon the time will come when Timothy will not be able to send a letter to Paul asking for instruction. Paul gives a charge that will last timothy for a lifetime. The charge Paul gives Timothy gives an excellent charge to present day ministers as well. Here are five of the nine commands Paul gives Timothy in order that he might be a faithful Minister of the gospel:

  • Preach the Word – Literally it means to herald. It is a very public aspect to this command given by Paul. This imperative carries the weight of the passage. Pastors are to clearly instruct what the word means and how it applies to the listeners’ lives. Sermons must have a human and divine connection. Preaching should look past the preacher to the message of God.
  • Be ready in season and out of season – This command is straightforward, carrying with it a command to give God’s Word when it is desired, and when it is not desired.
  • Reprove – Literally means expose or convict. Used several other times in the Word of God, it carries the idea of convincing someone of his or her sin. Other examples include Titus 1:13, Titus 2:15, Hebrews 12:5, and Revelation 3:19.
  • Rebuke - means censure or prevent an action or bring an action to an end. Reprove and rebuke appear very similar at first reading. However, a closer review of these two imperatives reveals that "reproving or correcting" is a charge to speak to those who are in error or doing wrong and an attempt to convince them to that; "rebuking" is a charge to tell those doing wrong to stop. The same for rebuke is used in Matthew 8:26 when Jesus "rebuked" the winds and the sea, and they become perfectly calm immediately. 
  • Exhort – means be encouraging in your speech not irritably zealous, nor without proper comprehension, but rather “with great patience and instruction.”

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