"This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work. A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous; One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity; (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?) NOT A NOVICE, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil. Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil."(I Tim.3:1-7)
"My brethren, be not many masters, knowing that we shall receive the greater condemnation." (James 3:1)
It is amazing the chaos that ensues when we do not follow or when we seek to change God's way in giving His church, His people sound teachers of His glorious Gospel concerning Christ and His righteousness alone as the ONLY HOPE AND CAUSE of salvation for God's elect. Don't you find it incredible that when the Lord was pleased to call Moses to lead his people, he didn't immediately send him into the fray, but carried him away to teach him for 40 years before he sent him as His spokesman! Christ kept His disciples under His express teaching for over 3 years. Peter had 3 plus years of instruction under the Word of Christ before he preached the Gospel message on Pentecost. Saul of Tarsus was sent to the desert for 3 years teaching by the Word Himself before he was sent to fulfill God's work as His minister to the Gentile! Paul kept Timothy under his tutelage for years. Yet men today hear the message, and immediately seek to become teachers and leaders of men!!! There is a reason in the military they don't immediately make young soldiers the commanders and leaders of the armed forces - they have not learned by experience and therefore are prone to make mistakes that cost their troops dearly!! As in nature, so in the spiritual!
Don't get me wrong: I do not and will not despise one's age physically if they are "taught of God". I myself, when the Lord was pleased to reveal His Son to me and in me, was kept under faithful Gospel preachers for many years in the beginning as I preached God's Gospel. But for God's grace who gave those men wisdom through experience, I would have made many more mistakes in my handling the word of God and those placed under my care as their pastor. I would encourage and God commands all God's redeemed, both the mature and the newborn babes in Christ to "try the spirits" - "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but TRY THE SPIRITS WHETHER THEY ARE OF GOD: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world."(I John 4:1-3) But the Scripture is quite clear on this matter: God calls from among His church MEN who have been taught of God, who have by experience and time "grown in grace and knowledge of the truth" to lead, guide, encourage, exhort, and even reprove His people in their "walk of faith" - "I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling; One Lord, one faith, one baptism, One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; But SPEAKING THE TRUTH IN LOVE, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love."(Eph.4:1-16)
Richard Warmack has been the Pastor of Grace Baptist Church in Ruston, Louisiana since it's establishment in October of 1987. The message he has faithfully and...