What is pastoral ministry really about, at its core? The four-fold directive that the Apostle Paul gave to Timothy provides a clear perspective: always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, and fulfill your ministry. In this message, Alistair Begg explores these timeless imperatives and encourages Christian ministers to persevere in preaching the Gospel even in the middle of a challenging culture.
What do people look for in a preacher? The Apostle Paul warned young pastor Timothy about those who seek teaching that is only what they want to hear, rather than biblical truth. In this message, Alistair Begg emphasizes the importance of preaching the Bible in the life of a healthy local church. God’s purposes for us will be accomplished only when we submit our hearts to the faithful teaching of scriptural truth.
Paul commanded Timothy, his protégé, to hold to the Bible alone in his ministry, relying on its power to do God’s work. In this message, Alistair Begg expresses the same concern and provides some examples of what can happen when church leaders lack this commitment to the truth of Scripture. When we truly believe the Bible, its teachings impact both our beliefs and our behavior – how we think and what we do.
Every generation of Christians deals with false teachers – people who wear a mask of godliness to hide a sinful motive – and the church Timothy led was no different. The Apostle Paul instructed this young pastor to protect the women in his flock because they were often targeted by these men. In this message, Alistair Begg reminds us that God is sovereign over all these situations and will protect His Church from harm.
At the start of the third chapter of his second letter to Timothy, Paul warned this young pastor about difficulties he could expect from the surrounding culture. Alistair Begg helps us see that these same difficulties have faced every generation of believers, and explains how the world’s “solution” to the underlying problem is itself part of the problem. Only in Christ do we find the real answer: loving God above all.
Pastors face constant pressure to swerve from the clear truths of the Gospel and to pursue the approval of others. Alistair Begg encourages pastors to steer a different course for ministry by living and serving for the approval of God. Although discouragements may abound, pastors and their congregations can be encouraged that God is working out His good purposes as we strive for purity in doctrine and lifestyle.
When the truth of the Gospel is threatened by those who have crept into the Church, contending for the faith is essential. As Alistair Begg reminds us, though, contending for truth is only one part of the pastor's charge to care for his congregation. As we contend for the faith, we must also keep watch over ourselves and show mercy to one another, understanding that God's power preserves His people moment by moment.
Series: The Pastor's Study, Volume 6
As they do in all human institutions, disagreements and conflicts sometimes arise in the local church. When that happens, how should church leaders respond? In Titus 3:9-11, Paul teaches that the voice of the shepherd must be both gentle and loud: gentle to comfort the wounded and frightened, and loud to warn of danger when necessary.
Series: Get It Right, Volume 2
Why is it so important that elders be men who know, teach, and live the truth? Titus 1:10-16 explains that it is a matter of spiritual life and death. Elders must be able to teach the truth so that the people under their care know sound doctrine and are able to distinguish counterfeits in their midst.
Series: Get It Right, Volume 1
Moving into the second chapter of Titus, it is helpful to focus first on what Paul says directly to this younger pastor, in verses 1, 7-8, and 15. The apostle's messsage is clear and consistent: teach sound doctrine - with dignity and integrity, with good works and godly character, and with the authority given by God himself.
Series: Get It Right, Volume 1