Stand Firm in the Lord

May 2, 2021 Pastor: Michael Foster Series: Philippians

Scripture: Philippians 3:17–4:1

"As a father goes, so goes the household.
The loving presence of a father results in a more orderly and fruitful life for all under his care. His absence, whether by distance or abdication, results in disorder and chaos.
Now, what is true in our natural households is also true in the household of faith. The problem with the American church is ultimately a problem of pastoral examples.
Think of the qualifications for elders in 1 Tim 3, Titus 1, and 1 Peter 5. They heavily focus on character. These are men who have self control and they manage their own household well. Not perfectly but it a mature and godly way.
Apart for these characteristics, the main skill identified is “able to teach.” It’s an important one but it is one requirement among many. And yet it is what we prize most in “pastors.”
Why? Because the modern church has reduced pastors to preachers. To speakers. To influencers from a distance. To mere instructors.
Preaching is something a pastor does like nursing is something a mother does. Mothers are more than a mere nursemaid and pastors are more than preachers.
In 1 Cor 4:14-16, Paul says, “I do not write these things to make you ashamed, but to admonish you as my beloved children. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. For I became your father in Christ Jesus through the gospel. I urge you, then, be imitators of me.”
Elders are a type of spiritual father in the church. They are to be an example of mature Christianity. There is to be pattern of life in them for you follow, imitate, and be inspired by.
And the church has been fatherless for far too long. People need to know their elders and elders need to know there people."

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