SAVED TO SERVE
1 Peter 5:4-11
by Cooper Abrams
3. Any pastor who preaches on the following two topics will probably be misunderstood and open himself to criticism. But if he does not preach them he is being disobedient to the Lord who has called him to preach the "whole counsel of God."
The two subjects are 1. Tithing and 2. Submission.
Can God's messenger afford to be silent about the sin that surrounds them? Can he be true to his calling and not preach the whole council of the Word of God and be discerning of truth and error?
B. Submission to Elders. V5
2. However, this instruction to younger refers to age. It means in recognition of an older person's maturity and experience. Note the verse does not say "younger men or women" it says just younger. Literally word "younger" means "new" as a new person, or fresh person.
3. It is contrary to a man's human nature to be submissive to anyone. It is a matter of pride that no one wants to be told what to do.
The world says if we submit to anyone else we are inferior. It says we are less than they are and that it is belittling to follow someone else.
4. Yet, the bible tells us not to be conformed to the world or his erroneous ideas! Romans 12:2, says that we are to be transformed, by the renewing of our minds, that we might prove that is good, acceptable and perfect will of God. Christians have for too long accepted the world's philosophies instead of living my God's principles. God says to reject the sinful world's false ideas.
6. However, the Bible teaches quite differently. You can tell the spiritual maturity of a Christian by how he thinks about this matter.
The Bible says God is not a respecter of persons. "For there is no respect of persons with God." Romans 2:11 He does not see that any one is greater than anyone else and that includes man, woman, boss or anyone else.
The mature Christian understand this truth and this effects his actions and relationship to others. The boss will not be overbearing of those he supervises or abuse them with his position, nor will the worker be resentful of his boss because he directs his work.
God says in Colossians 3:17, 23-24, "And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him. . . And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men, Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ."
7. The pastor is no greater than any member or any member greater than the pastor in his responsibility to the Lord.
No deacon (appointed servant) , trustee, teacher or church officers is greater or lesser in God's eye than anyone else. Each of us has a responsibility to God and to each other. We each have job to do and no job is more important than any other job.
Please note that this does not mean that a church does should not honor, respect and follow their pastor. God clearly instructs the members of a local church to give double honor the man of God and obey him in the Lord.
Hebrews 13:17 "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you."
A church is an organization constituted by God. The assembly is His because, He founded it and He organized it and died for it (Eph. 5:25). The congregation, which is a local assembly of believers, is not an organization formed by man.
The New Testament is God's Word, and He instructed His disciples how he was to form the church. He appointed the leaders and gave us the pattern with which we believers are to set up and carry out His Church.
In the church, preaching is as important as teaching. The other offices are a necessary and important as any other. All, together are as a unit and as a team appointed to carry out the work of the Lord.
2. If you learn to follow well, you will in time become a good leader. Leaders are matured and trained followers. A good follower came become a good leader.
3. The word "submit" means to "subordinate; reflexively, to obey: be under obedience (obedient), put under, subdue unto, (be, make) subject (to, unto), be (put) in subjection (to, under), submit self unto."
2. The mature person sees the vision of the task that needs to be done and he sees the need for teamwork.
3. You know another word for submission? It is "cooperation." It is a sharing of each other's burdens in unity to see God's work done.
4. The mature believer sees himself as the vital part of the team he in truth is. He does not consider or think of himself as inferior. WHY NOT. Because he is a child of God, not a child of the world!
2. God resisteth the proud. When a man refuses to submit to others, he enters the realm of the unsaved, the realm of the carnal nature. It is sinful pride that refused to be submissive to anything unless forced to!
3. How many people hurt others feelings or get hurt because someone refuses to in love submit himself to a brother or sister in the Lord.
How many times do people insist on having their way and running rough shod over others to accomplish it.
2. In Matt. 5:5, Jesus said "Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth."
The are not offended when told to follow the leader that God provides. They are willing to follow or lead, what ever God ask of them to see God's will accomplished.
2. What is the answer? "I am no one, Christ is all and I am seeking to serve Him where He put me! I am only a sinner just like everyone else! "A sinner to whom God gave the privilege and responsibility to lead."
3. Dear friends to follow the leaders of the local church and to submit to one to the other....is to be submissive to Christ Himself!
4. Much that destroys the work of God is that which comes from folks wanting recognition. They criticize others and think that elevates them.
ILLUS: In a church I pastored before I was their pastor they appointed a "board of deacons." By the way, there is no "board of deacons" in God's word and there is no office of a deacon. Deacons are appointed servants to particular menial tasks within an local church. They do not rule over the congregation the pastor or anyone else. Their appointment is to serve the congregation and meets its needs. This church I pastors had a group of men false called deacon who ruled the congregation. The head deacon, came to me and in no uncertain terms told me if I wanted anything done or wanted to bring something to the church I must first bring it to him and if he thought it was worthwhile he would bring it to the deacons of the church. As you can imagine, as a pastor called by God to live by the word of God, from that day forward he and I had a serious problem. Twenty years later the church still exists and has had nothing but trouble. Folks God does not bless those that disobey Him. These men used their unbiblical position to lord over the congregation and the pastor. They considered themselves superior to everyone else and took great pride in being "a deacon."
The carnal mind thinks that if it criticizes an other it is asserting that it is better than the one being taken to task. At the root of most criticism is the desire to harm, to hurt or bring down the other person. The carnal mind thinks that elevates itself. What a pity.
5. I Peter 4:1, it says we are to have the same mind as Christ. Even as He suffered for man that He might serve man by making the way of salvation, so God says we are also to have the same mind.
2. The one submitted to God will obey God.
1. Peter quoted Prov., 3:34 to emphasize God's attitude toward the proud and toward the humble.
"Surely He scorns the scornful, but gives grace to the humble." Proverbs 3:34
James 4:6 says, "But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble." The word "resisteth" means to be opposed, God has set himself against the proud and the arrogant, but gives Grace (favor) to the humble.
The outward bent to pride in the life of a professing Christian is a indicator of a deeper spiritual problem. God says He is not in fellowship with those who live a life of pride. In fact He says He rejects them.
2. The person who is submissive to God will spring forward to serve every chance they get.
ILLUS: I knew of an incident in which a pastor was attending a youth meeting at his church. Two rows away a young boy who had eaten too many hot dogs became sick and threw up. People moved to get away, but no one attempted to clean up the mess. The youth workers and members of the church just sat there waiting for someone else to move. The pastor watched curiously and then left his seat, got paper towels from the rest room and cleaned the mess up. That's the way we all should be. Ready to do what ever is presented to us to do. Whether it is to clean up a mess that is repulsive or to stand in the light of public attention as a preacher or leader. Both are equally important.
2. He seeks to undo and confuse the work of the Lord.
3. He will tempt you with pride and feeling of inferiority.
4. He will convince you that others are taking advantage of you if you enthusiastically do you job.
5. One of my favorite verses is 1 Corinthians 16:13-14, "Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity."
2. I was once talking with a Godly lady and in the conversation I made mentioned of some contention that had come up in the church. She said, "Pastor, I don't know anything about it, I don't gossip! It made me ashamed that I had mentioned it and oh, if that was the attitude and practice of everyone.
The gossip must have a hearer. Without an audience there is no gossip. Most times if someone is upset about something, if they would go to the person who upset them and explain and ask for an explanation the matter would be solved. Yet, people sometimes feel they need support, so the carry tale to others.
God says if someone offends you then go to them and get the matter straight. It never helps to spread the thing all around.
Consider this situation: Suppose you misunderstood the actions or statement of someone else. They did something innocently and you simply misunderstood. You go to them and ask them about it. They explain and you understand and the matter is settled.
However, suppose instead you go to other people and express you ill feeling and tell everyone about it and express how you are offended. Then in time you come to understand what was really done or meant. The matter is settled and you understand what happened. Do you see the problem? How then do you go and correct the misunderstanding with those you went and gossiped too. How do you go and correct the matter with all those they went too. Do you go to everyone and correct the problem. Answer. Most times no. The person is slandered and the harm is done and never corrected.
ILLUS: Once gossip to spread it is almost impossible to silence even after years.
Abraham Lincoln's coffin was opened twice. The first occasion was in 1887, twenty-two long years after his assassination. Why? You may be surprised to know it was not to determine if he had died of a bullet fired from John Wilkes Booth's derringer. Then why? Because a rumor was sweeping the country that his coffin was empty. A select group of witnesses observed that the rumor was totally false, then watched as the casket was resealed with lead.
The second time, fourteen years later, the martyred man's withered body was viewed again - this time by even more witnesses. Why again? For the same grim purpose! Rumors of the same nature had again implanted doubts in the public's mind. The pressure mounted to such proportions, that the same ghoulish, grotesque ceremony had to be carried out. In spite of the strong protests of Lincoln's son Robert, the body was exposed a second time. Officials felt the rumors should be laid to rest along with the Civil War president. Finally - the corpse was permanently embedded in a crypt at Springfield.
2. If we are seeking to bring glory to the Lord, then we will be examining all we do to make sure that whatever it is it honors the Lord.
3. Casey Stengel said: "It's easy to get good players. Getting' em to play together, that's the hard part." What's true in baseball is also true in the ministry of the local church.
4. I believe deep down most folks understand the these truths. They know the need to be cooperative one with the other. Yet, we all at times fail. Maybe not deliberately, but we fail.
5. What would help us is when we are hurt, when we disagree, when we feel hurt....take it to the Lord, for God cares. It is hard to harbor evil feelings toward someone in the presence of Christ.
6. When the gossip begins to unload on you. Ask them straight forth, "Have you been to the person who offended you?" Have you tried to settle the matter with them?
IF they persist and offend the gossip will...then say, "You are talking to the wrong person, go the them."
7. When there is a job to be done volunteer and get it done. Look for opportunities to help the church and others. God will bless you as your bless the church and we will see souls saved, lives changed and God's will done.