Posted by: austend | Wednesday, December 24, 2008

The Duty of Ministers

In reading this morning, I came across this from Malachi 2.7:

For the lips of a priest should preserve knowledge of sacred things, and people should seek instruction from him because he is the messenger of the LORD who rules over all.

This is right in the middle of a passage condemning Israel’s priests for their failure to keep the Law and teach it to Israel.  As a result, they would suffer captivity.  I thought how remarkable an application this can make for modern day ministers also.  The modern day minister (pastor) has a similar job as the priest in the Old Testament.  Though everyone in the New Testament era now is a priest before God, the pastor has special, specific responsibilities to God that other so-called “lay people” do not have.  At any rate, the modern day minister still has the duty of preserving knowledge of sacred things.  His job is to keep the Faith and teach it to this generation and the next.  His job is to study the Bible and share it.  The ancient Faith is passed down from one generation to the next, and it is the pastor’s job to  specially facilitate this.  Likewise, in some way, he is the messenger of God still, in that he communicates God’s Word to others.  Through his teaching of the Scriptures, people are taught what God wants them to know.

This duty is one of great responsibility.  Those who minister must remember their charge.  They must contend for the Faith.  They must study it, know it, and teach it.  A smattering of knowledge is not enough.  The true minister must master his Christianity.  Likewise, he must remember that he is God’s spokesman.  Therefore, he must take great heed to what he says.  He must not speak for himself in the name of God.  And he must be faithful to tell the people all that God has said.  He must not hold any word back.  He must proclaim judgment; he must proclaim hope; he must condemn sin; he must proclaim salvation; he must proclaim the coming End.  He cannot choose his message.  God has given him the message he is to speak.  Those of you in the ministry, guard your holy calling.

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