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Being Called to the Ministry

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This sermon was preached by Pastor Wagner at the Ecclesiastical Law Center Conference in Union City, IN.

Being Called to the Ministry

I. The calling, training, and ordination of a minister.
1. How do you know if you're called to the ministry?
2. The standard answers:
A. I just feel/felt God calling me.
B. God told me.
C. I have always wanted to be a preacher.
D. My mom/dad/grandma told me that they knew from the time I was a boy that I was going to be a preacher.
3. A desire to be a pastor is a good thing (1Ti 3:1), but the desire alone is not sufficient to make a man called of God.
A. There are many who desire to be teachers of the law who know not what they are talking about (1Ti 1:7).
B. Korah desired to have the office of the priesthood which was not his to have (Num 16:1-4, 8-10).
4. It should be a relief to a man wondering if God has called him to the ministry that he need not guess, but that he will be told that God has called him.
A. God instructs his ordained ministers to ordain elders (Tit 1:5).
B. Those ministers are to find faithful men to whom God has given the ability to teach, and commit the preaching of the gospel to them (2Ti 2:2).
i. Commit - To give to some one to take care of, keep, or deal with; to give in charge or trust, entrust, consign to (a person, his care, judgement, etc.).
ii. The duty of preaching the gospel is committed from a pastor to another able man.
a. The gospel was committed to Paul (1Ti 1:11).
b. Paul then committed it to Timothy (1Ti 6:20)
c. Timothy was to then commit it to other faithful men (2Ti 2:2).
C. Those ordained/appointed ministers are to ordain/appoint able men (Tit 1:5).
i. Ordain - II. To appoint, decree, destine, order. 10. trans. To appoint (a person, etc.) to a charge, duty, or office.
ii. Appoint - II. To determine authoritatively, prescribe, decree, ordain. 7. trans. To determine authoritatively, prescribe, fix (a time, later a place) for any act.
iii. Ordaining and appointing are the same thing (Tit 1:5; 1Ti 2:7 c/w 2Ti 1:11).
iv. The office of the pastor/elder/bishop is conferred by ordination/appointment by one ordained minister to another faithful man.
a. Jesus was appointed by God (Heb 3:2).
b. Jesus then ordained Paul (1Ti 2:7).
c. Paul then ordained Timothy (1Ti 4:14 c/w 2Ti 1:6) and Titus (Tit 1:5).
d. Timothy and Titus were then to ordain others (Tit 1:5; 2Ti 2:2) who would be able to do likewise (2Ti 2:2).
D. It is ministers, not seminaries or Bible colleges, to whom God has given this charge and responsibility.
E. Ministers are to find men who meet the qualifications that God has given for the ministry (1Ti 3:2-7; Tit 1:6-9).
i. These instructions are given to ministers, not those who want to be, or think that they should be ministers.
ii. A potential minister would do well to try to live up to these qualifications, but it is his pastor who is to look for men under his oversight that meet these qualifications.
F. One of the qualifications is that the man must be apt to teach (1Ti 3:2; 2Ti 2:24).
G. The man whom the Lord has given the ability to teach must first be proved (as a potential deacon must be likewise) before he is ordained to the office (1Ti 3:2,8,10).
i. He must serve in the gospel with his pastor as a son with the father (Phi 2:22).
ii. This is the proof of a potential minister.
iii. Proof - (from Prove v.) 1. a. That which makes good or proves a statement; evidence sufficient (or contributing) to establish a fact or produce belief in the certainty of something. †to make proof: to have weight as evidence (obs.).
H. Finally, once a man has been proven, God will call that man to preach to people who desire him by having them call him to preach to them (Act 16:9-10).
i. A call to a ministry is the call to the ministry.
ii. If God calls a man to preach to a church, He has called him to be a preacher.
iii. In order to answer a call to a ministry, one must be called by God to the ministry.
iv. By this, a potential minister can assuredly gather that the Lord has called him to preach the gospel.
v. If you wonder if you have been called to the ministry, check your mail box, email, voicemail, texts, Facebook, etc. If there is no letter or message there, then you haven't been called yet.
vi. Once God has called a man to a ministry, his pastor lays his hands on him and ordains him and sends him off (Act 13:2-3).
5. So how do I know that I have been called by God to the ministry?
A. My pastor, who is an ordained minister, saw me as a man who met the qualifications for the ministry stated in the word of God.
B. My pastor saw that God had given me the aptitude to teach, which is a key condition given by the word of God to be a minister.
C. I was proved by my pastor by serving with him in the gospel as a son with the father, according to the word of God, preaching in our church and others of like-faith.
D. The Minneapolis Church also recognized these qualities in me and desired to have me be their minister and, in similar manner to the man in Macedonia, called me to preach the gospel unto them.
E. It is for these reasons, which are in perfect accord with the word of God, that I have assuredly gathered that the Lord has called me to be a preacher of the gospel.
F. Because I know that I have been called of God, I also feel that I have been called of God and I desire the office of a bishop, which is a good thing (1Ti 3:1).
II. Lessons learned
1. Let no man despise thy youth (1Ti 4:12).
A. This applies to the minister who is a young man.
B. This also applies to the minister who is young in the ministry.
C. Age doesn't necessarily equate to wisdom (Job 32:4-11; Ecc 4:13).
D. A young pastor must study to show himself approved unto God (2Ti 2:15).
i. Meditating and studying the scriptures will make a young man wiser than his enemies, teachers, and ancients (Psa 119:97-100).
ii. A young pastor who diligently studies the word of God will not have to tell people to not despise his youth, his understanding will speak for itself (1Ti 4:15).
E. A young pastor must first not despise his own youth.
F. If the pastor doesn't despise his youth, neither will anyone else.
2. Take the oversight.
A. The Holy Ghost makes a man an overseer (Act 20:28).
B. God has given the pastor the rule over the church (Heb 13:7,17).
C. The pastor therefore needs to take the oversight from day one, not ask or wait for it (1Pe 5:2).
i. If you ask for it, they might not give it to you.
ii. If you wait for it, you will be waiting a long time.
iii. Once he has it, the pastor must be careful to never give it to others who have no claim to it like deacons, older church members, boards, trustees, etc.
D. A pastor must be the elder and overseer who has the authority in the church.
E. A pastor must also be himself, not an actor or a pretender.
F. Therefore a pastor must first recognize that he has the office and view himself as the authority figure in his own estimation.
G. When a pastor knows in himself that he has the oversight, then by being himself, he is being the pastor.
H. When the pastor views himself as the overseer of the church, the church will likewise view him as such.
3. Preach the word, in season and out of season (2Ti 4:2).
A. Season - 15. in season. a. At the right and proper time, opportunely. 16. out of season. a. Unseasonably, inopportunely; 17. in season and out of season: at all times, without regard to what is considered opportune.
B. Don't consider whether it seems to be an opportune time to preach on a topic which needs preached on, just preach it.
C. Don't observe the wind or the clouds, just sow the seed and let the results up to God (Ecc 11:4-6).
D. Don't be afraid of their faces (Jer 1:8,17; Eze 3:9).
E. God will give you the courage to wax valiant in fight, not necessarily before the fight (Heb 11:34).
F. Give them boldly what they need to hear and don't be surprised when it turns out better than you imagined it would.

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