We have examined the calling and character of a true minster. The third and final area that we will consider is champion. For who or what cause are you championing? What do I mean by this? The definition of “champion” can mean one who competes and wins. But it also means,a person who fights or argues for a cause or on behalf of someone else.”

All too often men in ministry are self seeking; exalting in all of their accomplishments rather than the victory of another. Any time you hear the pronoun “I” too many times in a sermon, beware. We are to proclaim the accomplishments of another – the person and work of the Lord Jesus Christ.

Listen to the Apostle Paul, “But may it never be that I would boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.” Gal. 6:14 Let all those who preach God’s Word examine themselves. If you detect any carnal, self-seeking motives, repent immediately before God. May the Lord purify His church for His own glory.

Today we have multitudes of self-seeking ‘ministers’ who build their ministries around themselves rather than under Jesus Christ, the true Head of the church. Eph. 1:22And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church”  

In many cases, these men subconsciously make themselves out to be the cornerstone of their churches (empires) instead of Jesus Christ. Eph. 2:20 “Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone.”

It is nothing less than the sin of pride that causes these men to exalt in themselves rather than the God they profess to serve. Pride is an abomination:

Isa. 57:15 “I dwell on a high and holy place, And also with the contrite and lowly of spirit.

Proverbs 29:23 A man’s pride will bring him low, But a humble spirit will obtain honor.

Jonathan Edwards was one of the greatest thinkers America ever produced. He said “Pride is the worst viper that is in the heart” and “the greatest disturber of the soul’s peace and sweet communion with Christ.” Edwards ranked pride as “the most hidden, secret and deceitful of all lusts.”  

In conclusion, the marks of a true minister are first that they are called of God; second, that their character meets the biblical qualifications, and lastly, that they champion (exalt and glorify) not themselves, but the God they profess to serve. Yea indeed, may we say with the hymn writer of old:

“Stand up, stand up for Jesus, Ye soldiers of the cross;

Lift high his royal banner, It must not suffer loss:

From victory unto victory, His army shall he lead,

Till every foe is vanquished, And Christ is Lord indeed.” (Duffield)

May the Lord purify the church for his abounding glory!

Soli Deo Gloria

 

Curt Arend has been a minister of the Gospel for 16 years. He planted Grace Bible Church San Diego (a Reformed Baptist church) 10 years ago and continues to serve as pastor there. A slave of Christ for over 25 years, married for 20 to his beloved wife, and they have five children. Curt is passionate about preaching the Gospel, pastoral theology, leadership training around the world, and everything Spurgeon.
Soli Deo Gloria!

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