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Charge to a Pastor

1 Corinthians 1:17 “For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.”

1. Preach Christ. He is what the Bible is all about, and he is what you, and your congregation, need. Find Christ in the text, for he is there. Draw out his beauty before their eyes. Preach the perfect righteousness of Christ that is freely given to all through faith in the gospel. There is no other hope. Many still try to offer God their own righteousness, but they are just filthy rags. Preach the atonement. Preach the precious blood of Christ that was shed for sinners. Preach the intercession of Christ. He prays for us. And his prayers are answered.

2. Avoid controversy, rabbit trails and personal hobby horses. Your people don’t care how you ride, or how you hunt, or how smart you are. Some things are to be avoided - like, “words of eloquent wisdom”. Speak plain, speak Christ, speak gospel. When controversy is unavoidable, weep over false teaching and doctrine and the damage it caused while you stand on the truth of the Word.

3. Preach to the heart and the conscience. You enter through the head, but that is only the entryway. Reach the heart, stir the conscience. Be passionate. If you cannot be passionate about Christ and his gracious salvation leave the ministry and go dig ditches.

4. Aim to help your people and your community with unpleasant truth. Aim to have them seek and see the beauty of God in the face of Christ, and know their desperate need of him, rather than to have them like you. You are called to speak truth to the world, to call all men back to the truth as it is in Jesus. You are to command all men everywhere to repent and believe the gospel.

5. There is power in the gospel. Believe it, and your people will see it too. It is your greatest weapon; some could say that is your only weapon. Wield it well. You are just the messenger, but Jesus is the message.

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