Requirements for a preacher:
You want to become a preacher, church leader or an effective believer? Read Philippians 2:25. Here Paul lists three requirements: You have to be a brother, fellow worker and fellow soldier.
This was explained to the staff of Mukhanyo Theological College at the year opening ceremony on 16 January by Rev Steven Curry, pastor of a Reformed Baptist Church in North Ireland, visiting South Africa.
As a brother Epaphroditus was longing to serve, although he was near to death. He wanted to be close to the family of God, closer than to his own family.
As a fellow worker he was fully committed and nearly worked himself to death. We know God needs labourers, not supervisors (cf Proverbs 10:4). A preacher should study to explain God’s Word to his congregation in digestible form, illustrate and apply. It requires hard work.
As a fellow soldier he was courageous, bold, totally committed, risking his life (see verse 30).
Why are so many communists, Muslims, Jehovah Witnesses, etc. so hard working and committed, sacrificing themselves day and night, but so few Christians? While God has given us his truth, his Word. Christ has sacrificed Himself for us. We should be far more committed, bold and strong, be there where the battle rages, fight in the cause of the truth, because the Gospel is the only answer.
Ask not what the church can do for you, but what you can do for God’s church!
Run with endurance the right race:
Rev Curry’s second lecture was on Hebrews 12:1-3: Watched by a great and encouraging crowd, spectators and witnesses, we as Christians must run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the perfecter of our faith, enduring hostility from sinners. We may not grow weary or fainthearted.
We have to throw off everything that hinders, as well as all our sin to be able to run the race as God expects us to run. Decide for yourself what hinders you. Your ambition? Your lusts? Seeking material goods? Such hindrances in themselves are not necessarily bad, but they can be hindrances if they cause you to lose your focus on what God expects of you – to run the race, to hold fast to the hope set before you (cf Hebrew 6:18).
At the cross, Jesus was motivated by looking beyond the cross – heaven. Let’s make sure that this is also your motivation!
As Mukhanyo staff, students and visitors that attended the opening ceremony, we were greatly encouraged to work hard, live holy and serve the Lord with humility and vigor.
Message 1: Lessons from the Life of Epaphroditus
Message 2: Lessons from Hebrews 12