Questions #09 – This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday evening, January 10, 2010.
It was just so funny. I laughed and nudged the man next to me as we both nodded in agreement about the truth being spoken. A man was talking about why people go into the counseling profession. He talked about the “make up” of those who choose to go into psychology and psychiatry and everything he said had the ring of truth about it. They have problems themselves and this is a way of getting help without having to admit they have a problem. They have hang ups and they assume everyone else does too. I found it all very funny and obviously true – these people have real problems. Then he said, “Keep laughing because I’m about to tell you why you are a preacher.” It wasn’t funny anymore. Now he’s gone too far. “You like standing in front of everyone in your elevated position looking down on those poor sinners. You get a chance to rail against the sins that plague you but it’s someone else’s problem.” I was getting a little uncomfortable. The guy next to me was no longer smiling. Neither of us nudged the other we both just looked at the floor. It does seem a bit arrogant doesn’t it? I mean to stand and say, “Thus saith the Lord.” It takes a lot of nerve to speak for the Almighty!
There is a sense in which I’m very uncomfortable doing what I do. I am painfully aware of my black heart and my sinful mind. So I certainly understand those who wonder if we really need preachers. Do we really need teachers to tell us what this book says? Are those who say, “I’ve got my Bible and the Holy Spirit – that’s all I need” right? Are they on to something? I’m convinced we do need teachers and I believe both Scripture and history bears that out.
A Foundational Text
Listen to the apostle Paul in his words to the church at Corinth: And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. 1 Corinthians 12:28
A Note of Caution
- Acts 17:11
- James 3:1
- 1 Timothy 3:6
A Sobering Text
Hear the words of Paul from an often misunderstood and misapplied text. 1 Corinthians 3:9-15:
For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building. According to the grace of God given to me, like a skilled master builder I laid a foundation, and someone else is building upon it. Let each one take care how he builds upon it. For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw—each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
Hear Paul again – 1 Corinthians 3:6 – I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth.
Or Isaiah 55:11 – so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
What Does It All Mean?
Yes we need teachers that is why God has given them to the church.
What is your responsibility?
- To listen with a discerning ear and search these Scripture for truth.
- To pray for those who are your teachers.
- That God would open their eyes, minds, hearts to the truth
- That they be faithful to the Scripture
- Pray that God will continue to call and raise up teachers even from your own children.
It also means we need each other. We are a team.