Shepherds’ Conference 2020
General Session 4
Preaching is to be measured by biblical truth, not pulpit style.
2 Timothy 2:15
A worthy workman
Many pastors and churches suffer from a ministerial identity crisis.
Many are confused as to what the church is to be and do.
What is the bottom line of Christian ministry?
2 Timothy 2:15 tells us.
Guard against false teaching that will lead to ungodliness.
Paul calls Timothy to practice careful, pastoral oversight.
He is to watch the church to protect against dangerous teaching.
But in 2 Timothy 2:15, the passage is not about watching the congregation.
It is a call for pastors to watch themselves.
Watch your own motives and conduct and doctrine.
Paul wants Timothy to watch himself.
Work to please God in everything you do.
The bottom line of Christian ministry is to please God in everything you do.
3 Requirements of God-pleasing ministry
God-pleasing ministry requires personal earnestness
Present yourself as one approved…
Study to show thyself approved…
Diligence in ministry requires study.
The word means to make haste, be diligent, make every effort.
Quote: Doing your best is more important than being the best.
Paul is not calling Timothy to be in competition with other preachers.
You are to give God your best.
Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else, give God your best.
Why be earnest?
Romans 12:1 calls us to present our bodies as living sacrifices.
We want to present others complete in Christ.
We want to have ourselves presented to God as one approved.
Every act of ministry should be done as an act of worship.
If your ministry is going to be pleasing to God, there will be times when you have to go through the fire.
You will have to go through the fire to be reminded that it is not about you.
God-pleasing ministry requires ministerial excellence.
This has nothing to do with size, style, or sensationalism.
It has to do with being a worker who has no need to be ashamed.
Ministry is hard work.
You are to be a worker, a laborer.
You cannot please God if you suffer from ministerial sloth.
The man of God should be known for hard work.
We want to present people to God.
Verse 29 says that Paul toil to this end.
If you want some nice, leisurely life, you need to go do something else. Ministry is hard work.
Ministry is holy work.
Paul actually motivates Timothy with shame.
Paul uses the word shame in many places.
It would be worth it to study Paul’s understanding of shame.
Here, Paul says to Timothy that he wants to be a worker who has no need to be ashamed.
Not ashamed before God.
You can be a smashing success before men and a complete failure before God.
God sees all that we are and all that we do.
We need to live in light of the fact that our lives are clear before the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:10 says that we will all appear before the judgment seat of Christ.
God-pleasing ministry requires faithful exposition.
…rightly handling the word of truth…
The term means to cut it straight.
The primary, definitive, and central function of the Christian pastor is to preach the word.
We do not have editorial authority over the content of the message.
We preach in season and out of season.
Our times despartely need faithful men who will preach the word in season and out of season.
Preach the word, not personal opinion, motivational talks, self-help advice, political perspective, trendy theology, health and wealth blasphemy, pop psychology.
You must rightly divide the word of truth to preach faithfully.
The word of God is sharp. Handle with care.
Cut it straight.
Tell the truth.
Stand your ground.
Don’t sell out.
Give God your best.