The Authority of The Pastor–1
by Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered October 8, 2006
Titus 2:15 "These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
Respect and authority are nearly obsolete words in our culture. When you put the two together – respect for authority, you are looking at a principle that is nearly extinct in our culture. Few women show respect to their husbands as their God given authority over them. The thought of a woman actually obeying her husband is often mocked in our culture. Children obeying their parents authority is nearly gone. Even in many Christian homes, children manipulate and connive until they get their own ways. However, these are topics for another day. Our specific focus today in this realm is respect for the authority of the Pastor.
Respect for the Pastor, Bible preaching pastors, is at an all time low among Christians. Instead of having a respect for preachers who preach the doctrines and truths of the Word faithfully, many people ignore them, marginalize them, make fun of them and pick and choose what they want will obey. They want preachers who will tell them what they want to hear. They want preachers who will preach "warm and fuzzy" messages. The do NOT want preachers who call sin, Sin! Paul warned a young preacher about this in 2 Timothy 4:1-5 "I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; 2 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine. 3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; 4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. 5 But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry."
It is tragic that Christians think that the fare that a faithful preacher preaches is a smorgus board and they can pick and choose what what pleases them and ignore the rest. They do not view the pastor as having any authority. There are likely people here this morning who think and behave that way.
Let me ask you this question. When a preacher preaches the clear Word of God, what are people supposed to do? They are to obey him and submit to him!
Now, some are probably thinking, "how dare you say that!" What gives you the right to say that? I can tell you this; that’s exactly what the Word of God says. Turn to Hebrews 13:17 -- "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." The context is clearly referring to the Pastor (v. 7). Albert Barnes says, "The reference here is to their religious teachers, and not to civil rulers."
The Greek word translated obey is peiyesye piethesthe (pi’-thes-tha) which means to listen to, obey, yield to, comply with. The word submit is upeikete hupeikete (hoop-i-ket-a) to resist no longer, but to give way.
The old commentators Jamison, Fausette & Brown put it this way: "Obey" means "not only obey in cases where no sacrifice of self is required, and where you are persuaded they are right but ‘submit yourselves’ as a matter of dutiful yielding, when your judgment and natural will incline you in an opposite direction." Having said that, it is important that I tell you what Albert Barnes has to add -"The obligation to obedience does not, of course, extend to anything which is wrong in itself, or which would be a violation of conscience." I would add to that, anything that is violation of Bible teaching or Bible doctrine.
What Hebrews 13:17 says is foreign to many Christians today! Is it foreign to your? I pray it is not. But beloved, I take being an under-shepherd seriously. I am charged to "watch for your souls." I preach The Book because the Word says we need to obey what’s in The Book. We all need to order our lives by it. And what gets me the most, are people who pay absolutely no attention to it. They come here Sunday after Sunday and then go out of here Monday through Saturday and live carnal, worldly lives! Then, I lose them. Not to another church, but to the world. So many times I have felt like Paul who lost a friend and a co-worker "Demas hath forsaken me, having loved this present world, and is departed unto Thessalonica…" 2 Timothy 4:10. Beloved, when that happens, that grieves me! There are so many who have departed from this fellowship because they are in love with the world when they should be in love with the Lord. And while I seldom talk of it, the inspired words of Hebrews 13:17 puts into words my how I feel -- "Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you." The old Baptist preacher of the 1700 says it well.
As I understand it, the implications of this verse is that I will give account to God for what I have taught to you, how I have ministered to you and how you live what I taught. I will give this account either at the Bema Seat if you are a believer or will be called to testify against you at the Great White Throne of Judgment if you are unsaved! Hebrews 10:30-31 comes into focus much more when you consider it in conjunction with Hebrews 13:17 "For we know him that hath said, Vengeance belongeth unto me, I will recompense, saith the Lord. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. 31 It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God."
God does not take it lightly when people ignore the authority of, or rebuke or undermine the ministry of a Pastor who is living for the Lord and preaching His Word. This is clear from the following verses –
1 Timothy 5:1 "Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;"
Psalms 105:15 "…Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm."
What if God brought judgment like he did in Elisha’s day when someone harassed and mocked a Bible preaching prophet? Would they blame the preacher? Turn to 2 Kings 2:23-25 "And he went up from thence unto Bethel: and as he was going up by the way, there came forth little children out of the city, and mocked him, and said unto him, Go up, thou bald head; go up, thou bald head. 24 And he turned back, and looked on them, and cursed them in the name of the LORD. And there came forth two she bears out of the wood, and tare forty and two children of them. 25 And he went from thence to mount Carmel, and from thence he returned to Samaria."
This brings me to the end of my introduction of
this message, "The Authority of The Pastor" and our
text Titus 2:15 "These things speak,
and exhort, and rebuke with all authority. Let no man despise thee."
A pastor has the God given authority to "speak" (preach), "exhort
and rebuke." His authority is an authority that no person may think
himself above obeying.