From Paul’s letter to the believers at Ephesus we read,
- “He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things. And He gave some as . . . pastors and teachers.” (Ephesians 4:10-11 – NASB)
The “He” here is of course Jesus. This portion of Scripture tells us that “He” has “descended” and that “He” has “ascended.” Without getting into the specifics of this “descended” and “ascended,” let me just say I am of the mind that it speaks to His coming and His going.
“He” came to carry out the work that was necessary to pay the price for the penalty due our sin, to die and give His life a ransom for the lost. He also came to reveal the Father, to reveal God to us. And then, His work completed, He rose up from the grave, and all that “He” had taught and all that “He” had done was affirmed, the stamp of approval placed upon who He is and what He had done.
“He” told us in chapters 14-16 of the gospel of John that it was necessary that Him to go, for then “He” would send the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth,” and the Spirit would take up residence in those who believed on Him. And the Holy Spirit would empower believers to be witnesses for Him, and also, to be enabled to serve Him. Some of those who would be saved the Lord “gave as . . . pastors and teachers.”
I am of the mind that it is this position given by the Lord that all too often is thought to be something it really is not. The “pastor and teacher” is not a program director, or an entertainer, or some charismatic personality. No, he is just this, a “pastor” and a “teacher,” and oh how important it is that he know what he is and what he is supposed to do and do it as the Master has designed.
The word “pastor” speaks of “a shepherd” (Strong) and “teacher” of “an instructor” (Strong). This man of God is to be “a shepherd” and “instructor” to the flock of Christ, the body of Christ, the church. And he is given by Christ . . . .
- “for the equipping of the saints
- for the work of service
- to the building up of the body of Christ”
The “pastor and teacher . . . shepherds” the flock of God as an “instructor” of the Word of God that he might “equip” them for “the work of service” resulting in “the building up of the body of Christ.
This is what the “pastors and teachers” are to be about. It is a very responsible position and one that, in this day of pomp and ceremony and the great desire to be entertained, must be kept within a proper biblical perspective.
Have a good day . . . and seek not a man that can entertain you but one who can shepherd and instruct you in the Word of God that you might be equipped for the work of service to the building up of the body.
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