"The Role of the Preacher"
We have seen God's role for men, women, elders, and deacons; and now we examine God's role for the preacher. It is time for me to "practice what I preach."
The Role of the Preacher
(1 Tim. 4:6-10)
A. We live in a physically fit talking society. By that I mean we really talk and sell physical fitness. You can turn on the TV at almost any hour of the day and find somewhere someone selling some type of pill, machine, or technique to make you more spiritually fit.
B. You can have abs of steel if you buy our product, but order today and you will get more. We will send you this diet program by Elvis Presley used in his later years. And if you are one of the first 100 callers we will send you this free video on how to buy more of our junk at double the price you might pay in the store! Call today – your body needs it and you know it.
C. Now truthfully, while we may tease the infomercials, Paul tells Timothy there is value in taking care of your body. This body that we have been given is our way of making the power and glory of God known to the world around us. It is important and should be treated as such. We should consider our bodies as the living house of God. But our body is dying. Our bodies were not made to last forever, but made for a purpose of housing our spirit until that spirit is called to judgment.
D. While taking care of our body is good, taking care of our soul is better. While we watch what we eat and drink, watching what we fill our mind and heart with is more important.
I. The Role of the Preacher
A. Every person here as a responsibility to keep in step with Spirit. Every person here will stand before God on Judgement Day and give an account for what we have done in this body. There is no way out of that accounting. I can’t blame my lack of spiritual growth on other people and expect God to simply say, “Oh, I understand.” The fact you have a bible makes you accountable beyond most people.
B. But there is a burden placed upon people in God’s family to help others in that family. The biggest burden to speak and teach truth is placed upon the preacher. After Paul instructs Timothy about leaders in the church he calls upon Timothy to look at himself.
C. Reread verse 6. I am called upon to preach to this congregation each week. I preach most Sunday mornings and evenings, I teach most Sunday mornings and Wednesday evenings. That is a big part of my role within this church. The calling is for me to teach the very oracles of God. To share with you through sermons, classes, or simply time spent together talking, truths that inspire you and me to live lives that filled with the glory of God.
D. To that end I have to discern the difference between doctrine and myths. I have to exercise my spiritual life like people do their physical lives. Because I want you and me to live together eternally.
E. Paul tells Timothy, “Don’t get caught up in gossip; instead get caught up in godliness which has real value. The trustworthy saying I want you to remember, Timothy, is that our hope is in the living God.”
A. As Paul said in verse 6, we see the same idea again in verse 11, “command and teach these things.” Paul now speaks directly to Timothy and puts forth a list for him to work on. But what I want you to see is that while this list given to Timothy has application to preachers in general, it also is something he was to command and teach all the people in the congregation.
B. The passion from Paul to Timothy is strong. He sees in this young man the temptation to be intimidated because of his age. He knows the struggle Timothy will face with this false teaching that has an appearance of holiness. Listen to what Paul says (read verses 12-16).
C. Timothy, me, and indirectly you, are to set an example to all the believers. The most difficult aspect of being your preacher is practicing what I preach.
D. Sometimes I feel like I live a lie. Sometimes I feel so unworthy to stand before you and teach things that I am personally not living. But Paul is not telling Timothy that he must be perfect in order to preach, he telling Timothy that as a spiritual leader, he needs to learn to practice what he preaches so that people see the gospel message, not just hear it. Paul calls upon Timothy to “immerse” himself in these areas. The best way for me to grow is to realize that everything I say and do, every place I go is a representation of God to someone. Look again at verses 15-16.
E. The Christian life is a progress, it is forward momentum. It is every trying and always straining forward. I am not going to quit teaching simply because of my imperfection, instead, I am going to face my sin and work at overcoming it. When you see me working, trying, repenting, growing, helping, serving, teaching, failing and getting back up and starting all over again, it shows that both of us can find salvation in the grace of Jesus Christ.
A. One of the greatest leaders during WWII was Sir Winston Churchill, the Prime Minister of Britain. But what you may not know is that in his early childhood Churchill had a speech impediment. His life had many ups and down, yet his speeches are still quoted today. What made this man so great? I believe part of it is that Churchill didn’t let is early weakness become his final word on how to live his life.
B. Instead, at the age of 62, he rose to the occasion to serve his country as Prime Minister through some of the most difficult times in modern history.
C. Zig Ziglar said, “Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly until you learn to do it well.” George Patton, “Success is how high you bounce when you hit bottom.” Live your life so that all may see your progress. Persist in living for the glory of God and by doing so you will save both yourself and others. Advice to me as your preacher, and you as a fellow Christian whose light shines in the darkness of this present world.