Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Minister: Teacher or Delivery Man?
Another group wants a "Biblical" teacher. This sounds good. But the Pharisees were Biblical teachers and made people children of hell through their teachings. There have been lots of Biblical teachers who have taught all kinds of contradictory things. Some people say that they want someone who will "preach the word" or "preach the whole counsel of God" and what they mean is that they want someone who will provide a verse by verse commentary in his preaching. But to preach the Word according to the Scriptures is not to provide a verse by verse commentary on a text. Jesus is the Word. To preach the Word means to preach Jesus. The sermon should be tied to the text but it does not explain the text correctly if it does not preach Jesus. Jesus said that all of the Scriptures are about Him. If the minister does not preach Christ from the text he has not understood the text and is not a Christian minister. He may be serving as Jewish rabbi, but he is not serving as a Christian minister.
The pastor should be able to teach as Paul says in 2 Timothy. There is no excuse for a pastor who says that he is no theologian. If he is not a theologian he no business serving as a pastor. When somebody objects to something that the pastor is teaching and he says "I'm just an unlearned man." the proper response is "Why are you trying to pretend to be a pastor?" But the teaching is not the goal. The teaching is the means to the goal. Unfortunately the teaching is seen as the goal among many pastors and congregations.
The goal is to deliver Christ to people. The goal is to deliver the forgiveness of sins to people. In John 20, after the resurrection, Jesus absolved his disciples. Then he gave them the Holy Spirit and told them that they now had the power to forgive sins. The minister's job is to administer--not administer in the sense of manage but in sense of dispense. The minister's job is to dispense Jesus and the forgiveness of sins. The reason the minister is there is to give you Jesus in the Word and in baptism and in the Lord's Supper. The reason the minister is there is to give you the forgiveness of sins in the Word and in baptism and in the Lord's Supper.
He uses teaching to do this but teaching is not the goal. Teaching would be fine for a works-based religion where the goal is to teach people how to adhere to the moral tenets of the religion. But Christianity is no such religion. The pastor's job is to kill you and resurrect you through the power of the Word. The pastor's job is to tell you that you have not kept the law and that you are worthy of God's temporal and eternal punishment. The pastor's job is to tell you that Jesus kept the Law for you and to give you Jesus. The pastor's job is to tell you that your sins are forgiven and give you the forgiveness of sins.
Posted by Chuck Wiese at 9:47 PM