The Portrait of a Godly Pastor Part 1

Pastor Mike will be speaking on The Portrait of a Godly Pastor Part 1. He will be reading out of 2nd Corinthians 1:15-24.

Why would Paul take time to do that? Because he did not want the gospel to be discredited so he helps his readers to know the legitimacy of his ministry and then lays out the model or the picture or portrait of a godly pastor.

So let’s jump into the Bible and begin to understand that passage more as we learn together. If you have your Bible this morning I want you to join me in 2 Corinthians. We’re continuing our study in this great letter that the Apostle has written to the church at Corinth.

2 Corinthians is part of a chain of correspondence that the Apostle had with the church at Corinth and he is dealing with different events that are taking place within the church family and it is an intensely personal letter that we are reading as we are going through this letter to the church.

Paul is unveiling his heart. He is unveiling his emotions to the church. Somewhere between A .D. 49 and A .D. 51, the apostle was establishing this church in the city of Corinth. He was assisted by two individuals who were helping him to plant this church, Silvanus and Timothy.

And in their dealing with the church at Corinth, the apostle Paul receives information from the elders of the church about questions, and that resulted in 1 Corinthians chapter 1. Paul sends, in his journeys, Timothy back to the city of Corinth with the letter.

1 Corinthians. When Timothy arrives he finds the church in crisis mode. He finds that there are factions. He finds that there is an effort within the church to discredit the apostle and his ministry.

The apostle was a prime target of Satan’s attacks. He was dealing with self -appointed teachers who sought to discredit the apostle before the church. And so there was actually another letter that God did not preserve, which would technically be the 2 Corinthians letter.

It was a letter that was sent and it was harsh. It was very forward and very matter -of -fact. It was dealing with the problems. The apostle now is writing a third letter, which would be preserved by God the Holy Spirit.

It would be made available to the church in the world, the remnant of those who believe in Christ. And in this, as we look and pick up in verse 15, we are going to see the portrait of a godly pastor.

We are going to look at the apostle Paul and his response as he is making the case to the Corinthians why they should not be so upset with him, how they need to be alert, that they need to be watchful for the traps of Satan, using sometimes people that may be misguided or have misunderstandings about the true doctrines of the faith to lead God’s people down a path that is far from him.

And as we look at Paul’s heart, we see the qualifications of a true minister. We see a man who is revealing to us what a true pastor should be. Now, you may wonder why and do we care, pastor? This is more for you.

You should work on this. We’re out here trying to do our thing, and I understand. And I think for many reasons why this message is applicable to our hearts, although it may not at the forefront seem pragmatic to us.

But I want us to remember, first of all, that as believers, there is a standard, there is a qualification, and that it is our responsibility to hold the pastors that serve at the Open Door Church, the pastors who serve in our community, and even…

as we run into other pastors through other means of media, that we understand that there should be a qualification for them, a portrait that is painted for them to live up to. Second of all is that unfortunately for some of you, God will call you to different places.

I was thinking the other day about how in the last two years, eight families have been relocated in our church because of different jobs and how they’ve gone to different cities, how important it is for you to know how to pick the right church.

And I know churches might have the right name, they might have the right facilities, and they might even have the style of music that you so dearly love and can’t live without. But really as the pulpit goes, so goes the church.

And if the pulpit is messed up and if the pulpit is off compass, if the pulpit is going in the wrong direction and proclaiming a message that is not consistent with the word of God, then the church will eventually be there.

And so you may read the doctrines of faith and be happy. You may go to the website and be ecstatic, but what you really need to do is make sure that the leadership is what God wants it to be. So as we go through this portrait of a godly pastor, I want you to take notes.

I want you to learn. For in all of us, there are many passages of scriptures here that are very much helpful to our own spiritual walk and you will find that as we go through this and there’ll be much that you will walk away with today to inspire you to love God and to love others and to perform good works.

throughout this week for Jesus Christ. The first qualification or portrait of a godly pastor is loyalty. Look at verse 15 and 16. Paul says in this text that in this confidence, I was minded to come unto you before, that you might have a second benefit, and to pass by you into Macedonia and to come again out of Macedonia unto you and of you to be brought on my way towards Judea.

If you have not been following with us since chapter one, you could be a little confused about these verses. And you say, pastor, what is he talking about and what’s that got to do with loyalty? And I want you to understand that the apostle is helping the leaders of the church understand why he had to have a change of plans.

That he had originally intended to stop by and visit the church at Corinth because it was in crisis mode. and that he was not only going to make one visit, but he was going to make two visits, but unfortunately his plans changed, and the false teachers used that to try to attack the apostle Paul.

It is certainly true that each of us should plan our days carefully as possible, and yet we do not even know what a day may bring forth in our life. When you look back to 1 Corinthians chapter 16 verse 5 and 7, note the plans that the apostle had written to the church.

If you just kind of look back, you should be close to 1 Corinthians where you’re at. Go to chapter 16 of 1 Corinthians. I want you to see these set of verses because it’ll bring context to verse 15 and 16 to you.

As Paul is closing out his first letter to the Corinthians, he says, Now I will come unto you when I shall pass through Macedonia, for I do pass through Macedonia, and it may be that I will abide yes and winter with you, that you may bring me on my journey whithersoever I go, for I will not see you now by the way, but I trust to tarry a while with you if the Lord permits, if the Lord permits.

Paul told the Corinthians what he planned on doing. He wanted to visit them, but you know how many of us know that life is uncertain. And every time that you and I express plans to people that we need to make sure that if the Lord permits, that we throw that phrase in that God willing, if it’s the Lord’s plan, if it is what he permits.

You see, there is a difference between a promise and a plan. Sometimes as believers, we can’t distinguish between the promises and the plans. And what Paul has given them is not a promise in the sense I guarantee this but what he is saying that these are my plans if this is what God wants Paul was thinking out ahead.

He was strategic. He was the master builder The Bible says and means he was just simply strategic in his thinking. He was always looking to the future What would be his next steps? What would be his schedule?

What would be his itinerary and he would know what the future is some of us. We’re not even sure what we’re gonna do Today a man. We’re shocked that we even showed up the church. I Always tell people I already know I already know what jacket suits I already know what shirts I’m wearing tomorrow Everything’s already laid out for the next seven days for Pastor Mike.

That’s just the way I think I like to plan ahead I hate not having a plan every day I come in and I look at my plan and I look at my plan for the week and for the month and for The quarter and all of you are all worried about what’s gonna happen tomorrow and I’m thinking how are we gonna get Easter pulled together?

around here And so we’re always looking to the future, but as we look to the future, we do it as if the Lord permits. I mean, who knows? Pastor Mike may already be promoted out of here tomorrow, amen?

You don’t have to be sad. You don’t have to be happy, church. But the Lord does change our plans. And this is what happened to Paul. Paul changed his plans because of the fact that God had different plans.

And as a result of him changing his plans, he was being accused of inconsistency. And so he replies to them to help them see that he was planning on this, but God had a change. And so we come back to verse 15.

Let’s read it in context. In this confidence, I was minded to come unto you before, that you might have a second benefit and to pass by you in Macedonia. And to come out again to Macedonia unto you and you to be brought on my way towards Judea.

So this is his plans. The Bible tells us a man’s heart plans his ways. But the Lord directs his steps. I’m reminded of the great missionary, David Livingston, who wanted to be a missionary to China. But God set him to the continent of Africa where he worked and he died, opening that great continent to mission work.

He never went to the place where he personally wanted to go, but he served willingly, unreservedly, fruitfully for where God put him. He had a vision in his heart for China, but God wanted him elsewhere.

And so he was flexible to the will of God. So as Paul is sharing these plans and explaining to them how he is to be flexible to God’s schedule and God’s plans, and that though he may have plans and he may have intended to do this, God has the authority, God has the right to come in and say, I’m changing the plans, I’m sending you a different direction, I’m sending you on a detour or a different way, and I want you to go in this way.

Paul is telling them that the only reason that he had planned to come was that he really did care about the church and he was loyal to the church and that he was wanting to come and he wanted to visit them and so he says in verse 15, this confidence, what confidence?

This confidence. He had confidence in the people. What did he have confidence in the people about? Look at verse 14, that you have always acknowledged us in part that we are your rejoicing. Paul had the confidence that the people of God would be understanding.

Because they had always acknowledged as Paul and his team being a significant part that God had used in their life To bring them to true salvation That his heart was genuine his heart was loyal to the people his heart was loyal to what God Wanted and that he would only do what is best for?

the church It was Paul’s confidence in the love of the people because they rejoiced in Paul They rejoiced and were grateful for Paul coming and bringing the gospel to them he was confident that they would understand and That even though his plans had changed it would not change their feelings towards him He is appealing to their hearts and He is reminding them that he is a loyal pastor.

He is a loyal servant of God Who understands the needs of this church and would put his own needs on the backburner for the sake of the church For Paul would go on to mention in verse 15 a second benefit the word benefit is favor or grace in the Greek language and Paul is saying that I only want God’s favor on you I only want to do what will benefit and bring about God’s grace on the church His travel plans were not the result of his selfish motives as he was being characterized by but rather his genuine loyalty to the church and not only his genuine loyalty to the church in the sense That he had great affection for these people because he had personally led them to Christ But that he desired that they would spiritually grow and experience the sustaining grace of God and favor of God in their life.

Paul is showing his loyalty to the church. He is showing his loyalty to the people of God. And I want to say to you that you and I have to always be careful that we don’t find ourselves caught up in gossip and looking for ulterior motives in God’s servants and being called away from what we know to be true in the heart and the mind of God’s servants.

But we also must remember that as we are looking for a servant, a pastor, as we are looking to submit ourselves unto the teaching and the preaching of a gospel preacher that we want someone who is not looking out for their preferences or their desires.

but rather someone who is loyal to the church and is willing to put their own desires and their own preferences and their own schedule on the back burner for the benefit of the church. There are too many charlatans out there that are not building the church, but they are building their own little kingdom.

But they are using the church, they are using God’s people to accomplish what they want. And we must be alert to this and recognize that what we strive for as servants, as leaders in the church, no matter what capacity you serve in a teaching, Bible study leader, an elder, a deacon, serving as a pastor, a staff member, that our desire is for the church to spiritually grow, that it is our desire that the church would benefit.

Does it mean that there are times we have to sacrifice? Are there times that we have to give up things? Are there times that our preferences would be on the back burner? Now, I don’t wanna upset you, church.

But I think about, you know, that everything in the church in my time serving here 15 years hasn’t always been what I thought would be good. But if the leadership felt like it was good, then I was willing to say my preferences are not more important than the needs of the church.

And that’s what I’m trying to say, that’s what you’re looking for. And as servants, this is what we strive for. And that we are willing to look out for the best interest of the church. The second portrait of a godly pastor is honesty.

We look at verse 17 and 18 as Paul is opening his heart to us. He says, when I therefore was the… us minded? Did I use lightness? Meaning he’s saying to us, did I plan my schedule lightly? When I was putting all this together and trying to organize my itinerary, was it something that I took very lightly?

Or the things that I purpose, do I purpose according to the flesh? Am I doing it selfishly? That with me, there should be yes, yes, and no, no. Meaning that with me that I would say yes, but really mean no, or I would say no, and really mean yes.

Was I duplicit in how I operated among you? Was I someone who always said one thing but did another? He says in verse 18, but as God is true, our word towards you was not yes and no. Our word to you was not yes and no.

His detractors said that Paul is a man who says one thing and he does another. He is motivated by self -interest. The apostle surely understood the words of Jesus in Matthew 5, verse 37. When Jesus taught us, let your yes be yes and your no be no, and for whatever is more than this, it is from the evil one.

Jesus taught us that we are to be people of integrity, that we should be willing to fulfill what we have promised, we should be people who say what we mean and mean what we say, and that we should not strive to confuse people.

The best way I can kind of help illustrate this is how many times have you listened to a politician say a lot of words and say nothing, amen? And that you couldn’t even understand what they said and that they never even really answered the question and they skirted around it several different times and it was more confusing and their yes was no and their no was yes and there was just no true authenticity of coming out and being honest.

And yet God calls us to be an honest people. He calls his servants to be honest. Paul is saying I did not take on this lightly, I did not just start throwing my plans together and just hoping things turned out to the best, but he was strategic, he was honest, his intentions were real, he recognized the church being in crisis, he saw the need for the church to have him there to try to straighten out the mess, to be able to confront those who were trying to discredit him, he cared deeply about the church and Paul is saying I’m an honest man, you know me, you know my integrity, you know how I operated among you, I did not double speak, I did not say one thing and do another and this is the heart of those who serve God is that our yes should be yes and our no should be no and in contrast what Paul is saying is that his yes was no and his no was yes meaning that this is the way he.

was betrayed, but he says that’s not true. I’m not like that, but he was very honest. Now the third portrait of a godly pastor is reliability. So I want to teach some great principles here in this great characteristic because there’s a lot for us to be enriched by in our spiritual walk.

Verse 19 and 20, but as God is true, our word towards you was not yes and no. For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us, even by me and Silvanus and Timothy, was not yes and no, but in him, meaning Christ, in Christ was yes.

For all the promises of God, in him, in Christ, are yes and in Christ, amen, unto the glory of God by us. Paul is… letting them know that his team was very reliable. And they were reliable because of God’s character.

They were reliable because if you could trust God, then you could trust them because they preached a God who fulfilled his promises. They reminded the leaders at the church that the greatest fulfillment of all the promises of God were found in Jesus Christ.

Look at verse 20, for all the promises of God in Christ are what church? They are yes, they are amen unto the glory of God. This is why I tell you church all the time that you got to get one of those Bible promise books and you’ve got to pull those promises out every day in your life.

And you’ve got to know and understand that God has a promise for you every day that the Bible is full of these promises and that you are called to not only identify them but claim them, stand upon them, believe them and pray them and look to them as your strength as the promises of God in Jesus Christ are yes.

So what God does not say is that I promise you one thing but I deliver another. Now you and I may feel like God doesn’t answer our prayers like we want him. Hello, amen. And I love how there’s this song out there, it’s been written many, many years ago by Garth Brooks and it says that God has many unanswered prayers but they are his best.

And sometimes we need to remember that all that we want is not all that God wants. And also we have to remember that not only as we pray that God is not subservient to us to do it like we want it to be done or to do it in the timetable that we want it to be done.

I just wonder if we pray to God we pray to a sovereign God that we revere, that we lift up, that we praise a God who we submit to, a God who we believe is in charge and in control, and then we get upset because he doesn’t do or answer the prayers or the promises in the time that we want them done.

You know that as I was raising my children that there were many times that they wanted to run out into the street, they wanted to ride their bikes in the street, but Terry and I would say no, no. Some of the best answered prayers you get are no.

They are no, this is not what God wants for you because it’s a destructive past, but also we must remember that when God answers our prayers, sometimes he said the timing’s not right. God is gonna fulfill that in your life, but the timing is not right.

But God’s timing is better than your timing. How many of you believe that? And you might think that you’re ready for this blessing, you’re ready for this promise to be fulfilled in your life, but God says, you know what?

The reason I can’t fulfill that promise in your life is because you are not spiritually ready to receive what I have for you. I mean, imagine this, if there was a family that wanted to give their 16 -year -old son a brand new Corvette.

How many of you think a 16 -year -old is ready for a nice brand new Corvette? But we all know they’re not ready for it, right? And you’re not ready for all the promises, you know why? Because you’re not spiritually there.

You’re not spiritually there. On my heart, I always wanted to pastor, and since the time I was 16 years old, I surrendered to God and I was ready to roll. And after first year of Bible college, I was like, who needs this stuff?

I need to get out there and pastor, but thank God. That God said, no Mike, calm down, relax. You need to finish up. I am not gonna set you loose on these people and destroy my church. The Corinthian church was a church that was in crisis.

There was so much conflict, so much division, so much worldliness that had infiltrated the church. But what made it worse is that Satan was attacking, and he was attacking the man of God, the apostle Paul.

And so Paul lays out those characteristics that we have been learning about today. And one of the things that I hope that as you and I are studying the word of God, that God will bless you with discernment.

We live in uncertain times, and many people are not sure of who is a pastor that they can listen to. Well, we wanna go back to the word of God. We wanna see those qualifications, and then those individuals and ministries that match up to those qualifications.

are the ones that are truly sent by the Lord and they are the ones that we should learn from. All the other voices we should push out, no matter how dynamic they are, no matter how big they are, no matter how powerful they are, these are only charlatans who desire to mislead us.

So I hope that as you’re learning this that you are growing and developing that. Now we encourage you to check out our website at hopeworthhaving .com. That’s hopeworthhaving .com. Learn about our ministries, find out what God is doing.

We receive regular input from people who are being blessed by Hope Worth Having. We want to hear from you and if you have a message you’d like to leave us, then go to hopeworthhaving .com, go to the contact button, leave your message and let us know what a blessing Hope Worth Having is and let us know what radio station you are listening on so we can make sure we’re effective as we broadcast for the gospel of Jesus Christ.

This is Pastor Mike Sanders reminding you that in Christ there is hope, worth having.

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