INTRODUCTION: For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.’(Ephesians 2:10) God can use people with or without the nature ability and propel background. God can, and often chooses to, work with raw material. God prepares and empowers those He chooses to work so He does not need to call people into leadership who have the natural drive, training, or good models of leadership in their background. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God c chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. “(1 Corinthians 1:26-27). The disciples, who went on to be founding leaders of the church, were fishermen and tax-collectors by trade. They were not highly educated or from influential families. Some had strong, driven personalities but others did not.
Be careful not to limit God. Take him as his word when He says, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness ”(2 Coritians 12:9). God prepares those He calls. The disciples spent three years with Jesus to prepare them to be the early leaders of the church but even still, before they were to go out on their own, they had to wait for the Holy Spirit to come upon them in power. God uses life experiences to mold and shap leaders. God uses life experiences to develop perspectives and passions essential to capacity of leadership to which He calls.
Be careful not to short-circuit this preparation time due to impatience. God’s ways and timing are best. God equips those He calls . God will use the way He designed people and their spiritual gifting to steer them into what type of leader they should be\:
What are the characteristics of Bible-based Christian leaders?
- Intimacy with Christ (Mark 6:35)an
- Spirit – Driven and Passionate (Mark 1:35-39; Luke 4: 3; 5:32)
- Servant-Leaders(Matt 20:26-28).
- Character and integrity (1 Timoty 3:8-12 and Titus 1:5-9)
- Risk-Takers(Mark 14:36)
- Team-Worker(Acts 1:1-8)
- Commited to making Disciples)(Matt. 28:19-20)
A bible – based Chritian leader in marked by a servant attitude, transparent integrity, godly charcter, and faithful biblical teaching.
- A Bible-Based Chritian leader is marked by a servant attitude.
Paul’s servant attitude favors this entire message, but he mentions specically that he was “serving the lord”(20:19). The word “serving” is verb related to the noun “bond-servant”or slave. Paul often referred to himself as a bond-servant of Jesus Christ(Rom. 1:1; Gal. 1:10; Col. 1:7; 4:7; Titus 1:1). It was the way he viewed himself, and the way that every Christian should view himself. We should do all that we do to please Him. If we have a sphere of service, we received it from Him(Acts 20:24)
But there is a legitimate sense in which a bible-based Christian leader realizes that he will answer to God, and it keeps him from becoming a man-pleaser. As Paul said (Gal. 1:10), “For am I now seeking the favor of men, I would not be bond servan of Christ”(1Thess. 2:4). This sense of pleasing God rather than men allows a Bible-based Christian leader to confront sin when necessary, and to preach difficult truth when necessary.
When a man truly sees himself as a servant of Jesus Christ, he will take up the tower and basin as Jesus did (John 13:1-17), an serve others out of love. Lording it over others is the world’s way. Christ’s way is that the greatest among us should be the servant of all(Mark 10:42-45).
- A Bible-base Chritian leader is marked by transparent integrity.
Paul said, “You yourselves know, from the first day that I set foot in Asia, how I was with you the whole time” (Acts 20:18). He later mentions that he will with them “night and day for a period of three years ” (Acts 20:31). He was referring to spending a lot of time with these men, but I think that he was also referring to them, but then live differently when he was away from them. He had nothing to hide.
Integrity means that what you are private or at home is the same as what you are in public. Your life is a single fabric. This stems from the first quality, that you are aware that you are serving the Lord, who knows every thought and motive of the heart.
- A bible-based Christian leader is mark by godly character.
Many godly character qualities could be listed, such as the fruit of the spirit (Gal 5:22-23). But three qualities stand out here:
- GODLY CHARACTER INCLUDES HUMILITY.
You have probably heard it said that as soon as you think that you’ve attained humility, you’ve lost it. But that is not true. Paul here mentions his own humility. Jesus described Himself as gentle and humble in heart (Matt. 11:29). Moses described himself as the most humble man on the earth (Num. 12:13)! So apparently, you can know when you are humble without being proud of it. What does it mean to be humble?
In a nutshell, bi lical humility is a conscious awareness of your utter dependence on Jesus Christ. We see it in Paul when he explains, Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God” (2 Cor. 3:5). We see it when he says, “We have this treasure in earten vessels, so that the the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves” (2 Cor. 4:4). He confronts the pride of the Corinthians when he asks, “What did you have that you did not receive?” And if did receive it, why did you boast as if you had not received it? (1 Cor. 4:7). A humble person is continue aware that all that he is stems from God’s grace . His confidence is not in himself, but in the Lord, so that he is quick to give the glory to God in every situation.
But in the context of warning us about the deceitfulness of the heart, the bible strongly warns against self-cinfidence (Jer. 17:5-9). True, We can do all thing through Christ who strengthens us (Phil. 4:13). But there is huge difference between confidence in Christ and is quick to share his own weaknesses (2 Chron. 20:12; 2Cor. 12:5-10). That is the essence of biblical humility.
- GODLY CHARCTER INCLUDES LOVE, CONCERN. COMPASSION.
These qualities are behind the word “tears”(20:19). He again mention His tears in 20:31, in the context of admonishing these elders, especially with regard to false teaching. There are more tears, both on Paul’s and elders’ part, when they accompany Paul to the ship for their final goodbye (20:37). Paul’s tears showed how much he cared about these men, and the feelings were mutual. As the old saying goes, “People don’t care how much you know unless how much you care.”
Paul was moved to tears when he heared of Christians who were not walking obediently to Christ. He wrote to the Corinthians, “For out of much affliction and anguish of heart selftwrote to you with many tears, no so thatyou would be made sorrowful, but that you might know the love which I have especially for you”(2 Cor. 2:4). If you need to correct someone who has fallen into sin or serious error, make sure that the person senses your genuine love and concern.
- GODLY CHACTER INCLUDES STEADFASTNESS IN TRAILS
The Ephesians elders had seen Paul going through the trials that came upon him through the plot of the Jews(20:19). The book of Acts does not record any plots in Ephesus, although it does not reportseveral other such ploits of the Jews in other cities (9:23; 20:3; 23:12), and so it is not difficult to assume that the same thing had happened in Ehesus. The Ephesian elders had also seen Paul behavior when the Gentiles rioted against him. In all of these situations; they saw Paul, even though he despaired of Life itself, trust all the more in God (2 Cor. 1:8-10). He didn’t grow bitter and rage against God that He wasn’t being fair. He didn’t lash out at the Jesw in vengeance. He submitted to God’s mighty hand and Cast his cares upon Him(1 Pet. 5:6-7).
Thus, a Bible-based Christian leader is marked by servant attitude, by transparent integrity, and by godly character that includes humility, love, and steadfastness in trails. Finaly,
- A Bible-based Christian leader is marked by faithful biblical teaching, Verse 20& 21 reveal five aspects of faithful teaching:
A FAITHFUL BIBLICAL TEACHING REQUIRES NOT DOGING DIFFICULT TRUTH
“I did not shrink from declaring to you anything that was profitable.” This implies that some things that are profitable are difficult to receive, and thus difficult to teach. If Paul had been seeking to please men, he subjects. But because he sought to please God , and because he knew that these truths were profitable for spiritual growth and health, he plainly taught what God wanted him to teach.
What were some of these truth? I think that we can surmise a few of them by reading Ephesians , which he later wrote to this church. He goes on to talk about human depravity, that we were all dead in our trespasses and sins (2:1). Because of this, salvation is totally from God;s grace, not from our merit or works (2:5-9). He shows how the wall of separation between Jews and Gentiles is broken down in Christ (2:11-22). All of these doctrines level human pride and exalt the cross of Jesus Christ. Because they rob man of any basis for pride, people stumble over these truth,. But like health food, they are profitable for spiritual health, and so Paul taught them, and so should we.
B FAITHFUL BIBLICAL TEACHING REQUIRES PRATICAL APPLICATION THAT HELPS PEOPLE TO GROW IN THEIR FAITH
Paul taught what was profitable or helpful for spiritual growth and health, He warns Timothy about those who teach things that lead to mere speculation and fruitless discussion, rather furthering God’s provision which is by faith (1 Tim. 1:4-7). As he studies the Bible, a faithful Bible teacher always asks, “So what? What difference should this Scripture make in my life (First), and in the lives of those whom I teach? Sound application always comes out of sound interpretation of a biblical text in its context. You should be able to look at your Bible and say, “Yes, I see that this is what God wants me to do.”
C . FAITHFUL BIBLICAL TEACHING SHOULD TAKE PLACE IN BOTH FORMAL AND INFORMAL SETTINGS.
Paul taught these men publicly and from house to house. Paul taught these men in the school of Tyrannus, in the house church meetings, when they heard him heard him preach in the Jewish synagogues , and in their various homes as they shared meals or got together socially. Sometimes it was the entire group at once. At other times, he met individually with one man to help him understand some doctrine or work through a personal problem biblically. The informal times reveal that Paul always loved to talk about the things of God with these men, He was constantly interacting with them about Scripture because it was central in his life.
- FAITHFUL BIBLICAL TEACHING REFLECTS A SERIOUSNESS ABOUT ETENAL TRUTH
Paul “solemnly testified ” both to Jews and Greek about repentance and faith. The word pictures a person under oath in a courtroom, solemnly swearing to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. Paul realized that the eternal destiny of souls was at stake, and didn’t take his preaching assignment lightly. There is a place for some humor in the pulpit, but it is easy to abuse humor as to convey that we are not in dead earnest about etenal destiny of souls was at stake, and he didn’t take his preaching assignment lightly.
There is a place for some humor in the pulpit, but it is easy to abuse humour so as to convey that we are not in dead earnest about eternal issues. A faithful biblical teacher should convey the seriousness of the gospel
- FAITHFUL BIBLICAL TEACHING PROCLAIMS REPENTANCE AND FAITH AS THE
Repentance means turning from our sin toward God. It is impossible to turn toward the Holy Spirit and at the same time consciously holding to your sin. Repentance is the heart-felt cry, “O God, I have sinned against You, but I don’t want to live that way any longer have mercy on me , the sinner! ”
Faith is the hand that lays hold on God provision in Christ. Faith looks to Christ as the pardon for all my sins through His shed blood. Faith in the Lord Jesus means that I am not trusting in my own righteousness in any way, but only in Jesus as my meditator and advocate. Both faith and repentance are God’s gifts, not a matter of human merit (Acts 11:18; Eph. 2 :8-9).
And just as we begin the Christian life through repentance and faith, so we should go on living daily by repentance and faith (Col. 2:6). As we God’s Word shines into the dark areas of our lives, we turn from our sins and we trust in all that Christ is for us and in us. That is the Christian walk, repenting and believing, repenting and believing, Christ Himself is the object and sum of our faith.
Whether you are in an official leadership position or not, you should be growing in these four areas, Are you just living for yourself, or are you developing a servant’s attitude? Are you living a double life, or are you growing in godly integrity? What about your character? Are you growing in humility, in love concerning the others, and in steadfastness in trials? And, while you may not have the gifts of teaching, you should be growing in understanding and applying all of God’s Word to all of your life, and then sharing what you are learning with others.