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Intro: We have gathered ourselves together for a solemn, holy occasion.  We have met here today to set aside a special young man to ordain him into the Gospel ministry.  What we do here today continues a great tradition that began two thousand years ago with our Lord’s Apostles.  We have gathered around and laid our hands on a Christian brother, a man called of God to carry His Word to a lost and dying generation. In doing so, we have publicly acknowledging our own confidence in Brother _____; in his calling into the ministry and in his ability to carry out that ministry, with the help of the Holy Ghost.  It is an honor to be involved in this service!

      As I said, this is not some new thing that we are doing.  In our text, Paul is writing to a young preacher named Timothy.  A young man upon whom Paul had himself placed his own hands, as he ordained Timothy to preach the Gospel, 1 Tim. 4:14. As Paul writes to Timothy, Paul knows that his time on this earth is short.  Before he leaves this world, he wants Timothy to have a good understanding of what his calling and ministry are all about.  Therefore, Paul takes pen in hand and writes the verses we have as our text today. In essence, Paul issues A Clear Message To A Called Man.

      That is the truth I would like to magnify for a few minutes today.  Allow me to share some of the aspects of the preacher’s call and ministry as they are presented in this passage. I want to preach around the subject: A Clear Message To A Called Man.


  I.  v. 1-2a               THE PREACHER’S MANDATE

A.  v. 2a  He Is To Be A Man Of The Word – Preach the Word – Preach = “To herald” Refers to a king’s messenger to the people. He was to sound out the king’s word with a voice that was loud and clear. The message was to be heard and heeded.  The messenger was to be respected and unhindered. He was not an ambassador with whom one might negotiate.  He was a messenger that must be heard!

            “The Word” refers to the whole counsel of the Bible, Acts. 20:27. The preacher’s mandate is to be a man of the Word.  Not of human philosophy and psychology; not of human wisdom and education; but of the unsearchable riches of Christ.  The message is to be the Word of God alone!

            This will require much study, 2 Tim. 2:15.  In fact, the preacher’s life is to be a lifetime of commitment to the study of the Word of God.  The family needs to understand this and support the man of God in his efforts to grow in the Word!

            Nothing will take the place of the preaching of the Word of God! Nothing! Not a puppet, not a pony, not a play, nothing will ever replace preaching! It is the means God has chosen to save the world, 1 Cor. 1:21. After 20 plus years of preaching I can testify to that!

B.  v. 2a  He Is To Be A Master Of The Winds – Be instant – The word “instant” has the idea of “being present, or being ready.”  The idea here is that there will be times when preaching is easy and times when it is heard.  There will be times when it is fun and times when it is shear drudgery.  There will be times when you can’t wait to get up there and preach and there will be times when just the thought of preaching will make you feel sick.  There will be times when the people are listening and when they are turning a deaf ear to the message.  Regardless of how the wind may be blowing at a particular time, the preacher is to stand forth and preach the Word of God.  Be ready, be in your place and preach!  No excuses, no whining, just a heart that is ready when the preaching moment presents itself.

C.  v. 1  He Is To Be Mindful Of The Witnesses – Charge before God – Timothy is reminded that God and Jesus are observing the ministry of the preacher.  He is also reminded that one day the preacher will give account to the Lord Jesus for the ministry he has performed, 2 Cor. 5:10; Rom. 14:12.  The preacher is to preach with this knowledge in view at all time!  The preacher is not accountable to some Deacon Board for his preaching.  He is not accountable to the person in the pew either.  The preacher must never preach to tickle ears or to please men.  But, he is to preach the Word of God just as it is written.  He is to cut it straight and let it fall where it may.  He does not give account to man, but he will give an account to Jesus.  That ought to make us approach the pulpit with trembling on the one hand and a determination to sound out the King’s message accurately and clearly on the other.


 II.  v. 2b-4                 THE PREACHER’S MESSAGE

A.  It Must Be A Convicting Message – Reprove – This is a word that refers to preaching that brings conviction. This has in mind preaching that corrects the errors of men’s beliefs and practices.  This kind of preaching holds the bright light of the Word against the blackness of sin, thus exposing it for what it is! Genuine biblical preaching exposes evil and brings conviction on sinners.  The true preacher will expose sin as he carefully preaches the Word of God. 

B.  It Must Be A Confronting Message – Rebuke – While a “reproof” exposes the sinfulness of sin; a “rebuke” exposes the sinfulness of the sinner.  This is the personal side of preaching.  Sin must be confronted before sinners will be convicted!  God will use your preaching to confront sinners, if you preach the “whole counsel of God.”  Our preaching must warn the sinner of the dangers of his sin.

C.  It Must Be A Comforting Message – Exhort - To call to one’s side - When we preach, we are to thunder against sin, but we are also to encourage and comfort the people of God.  We do this not by our intellect, or by our eloquent words of wisdom; rather, we do it by simply taking the Word for God and pointing His people to a Biblical solution to their problems.  Then, we aid them as they implement God’s plan into their lives. Never forget, when you stand before a congregation there are people listening who are broken and in need of a word from the Lord.

D.  It Must Be A Compassionate Message – Longsuffering – This word has the idea of “patience, endurance.” As the preacher carries out his God-given ministry to confront sin, challenge the saints and comfort the hurting; he must always keep in mind that he is still one of them.  He is to walk with the people with the heart of a brother in Christ. We must not become angry or exasperated with the people of God, even though they do not respond to our preaching as we think they should, Ill. Verses 3-4.  We are to love them like the Lord loves them, “charity suffereth long, and is kind” 1 Cor. 13:4.  In other words, keep reproving, rebuking and exhorting, even when they don’t respond as you think they should.  Keep leading them through the green pasture and beside the still waters of the Word of God.

E.  It Must Be A Confirming Message – Doctrine – Paul returns to where he began: the Word of God.  Here is where everything rises or falls.  We are to preach this Word and we are to instruct people in the doctrines of this book.  Your opinions, your beliefs, your thoughts are irrelevant! What matters is what “thus saith the Lord!” The Bible is our sole authority!  It tells people how to live and how to grow.  It teaches them how they are to respond to the reproofs and the rebukes of preaching.  It must never be compromised, but it must be proclaimed in power and heart-rending authority!  When it is, the Holy Spirit will take it and use it to illuminate the minds of people.  He will draw men to Himself the preaching of the trust of the Word of God!


III. v. 5                       THE PREACHER’S MINISTRY

A.  It Must Be A Ministry Of Sobriety – Watch – This word means “to abstain from wine; to be sober.”  It is a call for the man of God “to be alert.”  Walk through life with your eyes open.  What is the preacher to watch for?  He is to watch for the wolves that would destroy the flock, Acts 20:28-30.  He is to watch for the wicked one who would destroy his ministry, 1 Pet. 5:8.  Many men have failed to watch and they have seen their ministries destroyed from within by sin and from without by invading wolves.  Watch, preacher watch!

B.  It Must Be A Ministry Of Steadfastness – Endure – Serving God is not the easiest life in the world.  The enemies of the soul, the world, the flesh and the devil, are all striving to destroy you.  Add to that the fact that God often uses hardship to train us, (Ill. Elijah – 1 Kings 17), and you will soon discover that “hardship” is part and parcel of the ministry!  The afflictions of life help us to comfort others when they are afflicted.  (Ill. Job 2:8 – It often takes someone that has been broken to minister to another who is broken.) So, don’t be surprised and fall out when the trials of life come your way!  It has been said that “those God would use greatly, He first hurts deeply.”  I have found that to be true!

C.  It Must Be A Ministry Of Sharing – Evangelize – While the Lord has not called you to a ministry of full-time evangelism; He has called you to evangelize.  The idea here is that pointing men to Jesus is at the heart of all we do.  The goal of every part of our ministry and the goal of every sermon should be to point men to the Lord Jesus Christ!  Whether you are in the pulpit or out, you are to be striving to bring people to the Master.

D.  It Must Be A Ministry Of Stability – Make Full Proof – This word means “to being in a full measure.”  It was used of a ship moving across the sea with its sails set, catching every ounce of the available breeze!  The preacher is to set his sails, catch the wind of God and allow Him to use you to your fullest capacity.  At the end of the way, be sure you “bring in a full measure.”  This attitude is depicted by Caleb in Joshua 14:8, 9, 14 where the Bible says “he wholly followed the Lord his God.”  The word “Wholly” means “to set ones sails and catch all the available wind.”

      Let nothing hold you back, but go with God!  This will mean living the right kind of life.  It will mean fulfilling the requirements of 1 Tim. 3:1-7, 11.  It will mean that you need to be a man of God in the church, at home and in the public arena. It will mean having the right kind of wife and home life, (Speak to the wife). Do it right and you will be able to say what Paul said in 2 Tim. 4:6-8.


Conc: Read again 2 Tim. 4:1-3, 5. I challenge you to remember this charge and I pray that you will be blessed with a long, fruitful ministry for the glory of God!

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