Who Are The Pastors? Part I
by Pastor Tex Echols (CPM-CJCC, Ark.)
What is Yahweh’s Will for His teachers? How can we know who is a genuine preacher? We know God promises “I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding” (Jer. 3:15) but what is His MANDATE for those same pastors He raises?
The answers are given to us by the Apostle Paul;
1Ti 3:2-3; “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.”
The term “bishop” here means LEADER or pastor; this is why it’s the top office in Paul’s list. God’s Will is that His teachers must be BLAMELESS. That’s not to say the world will ONLY speak well of him, but it will generally speak well of him because; “When a man’s ways please Yahweh, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him” (Proverbs 16:7).
God’s pastors are wiser than serpents and exhibit good behavior at all times. Behavior, that is, within the eternal Law of Yahweh. They don’t pick random fights and are essentially peaceable men. Notice that Paul places great importance on “apt to teach” meaning a genuine pastor doesn’t violate the Law (through gossip or name-dropping) but rather is able to shed new light on scriptural truths? What good is calling yourself a pastor when you can’t teach nor preach? This is nothing special, it’s required of ALL men – preach in season and out of season!
Furthermore, they can have only ONE wife, which was God’s Will in the beginning (Mat. 19:8). In addition to having a single bride and being wise in sobriety, they must also have natural born children by their spouse;
1Ti 3:4-5; “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?).”
The measure of a man’s family begins with the parents which is why a pastor must have his children in SUBJECTION, or obedience. This is a precursor to handling the flock of God and if a man’s house is not in order he should cease preaching until it is. There are far too numerous scriptures regarding child rearing in the Bible, but ALL of them point towards raising them up in Christ so they won’t depart from Him in maturity. Praise Yahweh if you’ve raised FAITHFUL sons and daughters!
Tit 1:6-7; “If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre.”
Understand what’s being said here. Paul clearly says a pastor’s children must NOT be accused of rebellious acts. Pastors are held to a higher standard thus if their children are rebellious to the ways of Yahweh, their father can NEVER successfully tend to the flock of Yahweh. If a man commits a lewd act towards a child Jesus says there is special damnation (Matthew 18:6) but if the allegations made are untrue – he still CANNOT preach!
Notice also that God’s pastors are not self-serving? They do not seek to make a name for themselves nor defame others but seek to do ALL things for the advancement of the Kingdom. Pastors may get angry, but are not angry men. Pastors may sometimes drink (1Ti. 5:23) but are never drunks.
Naturally, Yahweh in His grace allows variations of these requirements, but overall – it’s the main goal.