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Scroll down to find Lesson 5 notes.
The 5 Gifts of Jesus:
Lesson 1: APOSTLES
Pastor Robert begins by telling us that the gifts of Jesus are not to be confused with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes, people study the two together. He states that this series is not intended to minimize the Holy Spirit at all, as we believe in the gifts of the Holy Spirit, the person of the Holy Spirit, and the work of the Holy Spirit. In this series however, Pastor Robert says that we will focus on the gifts of Jesus and why He gave them to us. He says that many people do not know that Jesus gave gifts to humanity (mankind).
Pastor Robert this series came about because one of his high school friends, that he and Debbie have reconnected with, wrote an email to five friends asking honestly and with a good spirit, why he needed a pastor. He said that he had been trying to read the bible, and pray. He said his wife, as well as friends continually speak into his life, so he wondered why he needed a pastor.
The gifts of Jesus are found in Ephesians 4:8-12.
8 Therefore He says: “When He ascended on high,
He led captivity captive,
And gave gifts to men.” 9 (Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also [a]first descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.) 11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [b]edifying of the body of Christ,
He, Himself refers to Jesus in verse 11.
As a saint, (a believer in Christ), Pastor Robert says that he does the work of the ministry, but as a pastor, he equips us to do the work of the ministry.
For example if we ask Pastor Robert to talk to a friend of ours who is going through marriage difficulties, then yes, he can talk to our friend because he has had some experience with marriage counseling,
but we can also be equipped so we can talk to our friend.
Another example would be if we asked Pastor Robert to talk to our friends about receiving Jesus as their Savior. He said he can, but he would rather equip us to lead people to Christ.
All 5 of these gifts are to equip the saints (the believers) for the work of the ministry.
Pastor Robert asked his friend if he listened to any of his messages. His friend said he and his wife listened nearly every week to Pastor Robert’s messages online. Pastor Robert then asked him if any of his messages had helped him. His friend said yes, they had helped him tremendously. Pastor Robert said that was because he is “an equipper.” He continued by explaining that he has been gifted by (called by) God. He says we all have gifts from God but we have to develop skills in order for our gifts to help others. Pastor Robert says that has developed his skill to help us. He told his friend that is one reason why he needed a pastor. Pastors equip people for the work of the ministry.
We need leaders, not lords, because we already have a Lord. We need Pastor Robert to be our leader, but not our lord.
We don’t need him to boss around and tell us what to do, but we do need Pastor Robert to lead us to learn how to hear the Holy Spirit, and to make Godly decisions on our own.
The title of this message is Apostles.
How do apostles help us?
The first thing we need to know is that there are more than 12 apostles.
It’s a common misunderstanding in the church there are only the 12 apostles.
Many people believe that the apostles were sent by Jesus. Pastor Robert points out that the only problem with that is that one of the apostles betrayed Jesus. That made only 11, but many say that Paul took Judas’ place because he was sent by Jesus.
Pastor Robert says that we will talk about Paul because he was an apostle.
Pastor Robert shows us where the apostles first came from in Luke 9:1-2.
Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.
He sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick.
Notice the word “called.” There is a difference between being called and being sent.
The word sent is the verb for apostle. This verb means send.
This is the verb for the noun apostle.
Verse 10, refers to the apostles, the “sent ones.”
In the Greek, apostle means a person sent with a message.
10 And the apostles, when they had returned, told Him all that they had done. Then He took them and went aside privately into a deserted place
belonging to the city called Bethsaida.
It appears there are 12 apostles, but in Luke 10:1, the Jesus appoints 70 more apostles (sent ones).
After these things the Lord appointed [a]seventy others also, and sent them two by two before His face into every city and place where He Himself was about to go.
Pastor Robert’s question to us is if we are “sent ones?”
Are there some people that God
would like to
send us to minister to?
Pastor Robert says that is why we want to learn about apostles.
A few years ago, Pastor Robert took some business leaders to Israel. He told them they were apostles in the business world.
In other words, God had sent them to the business world.
Everyone of us is a “sent one.”
We might be sent to educators because that is our field, or to medical workers, or to construction workers, or to engineers.
For certain, we all are sent to our neighborhood.
An apostle is a person sent by Jesus with a message which is evident in the Great Commission where Jesus is sending us all off.
There was even a process
with God’s own Son.
photo by Annabel P on Pixabay
For 30 years, Jesus didn’t do a miracle.
What was God doing?
The bible says that Jesus was learning obedience as a human during that time.
Obviously, He was fully divine and fully human.
There is a process between being called and being sent.
Pastor Robert says everyone has a call on their life by God.
A call doesn’t matter to Pastor Robert.
He wants to know if we have been sent!
Have we gone through the process
to have the authority to function in our call?
Pastor Robert states that the process develops us to fulfill the responsibility of the call.
The call is the what, the where, and to whom.
The send is the authority and the anointing to minister in that area.
Here are a couple of examples…
Abraham was called to be the “father of many nations” at age 75,
but he wasn’t sent until age 100.
Isaac wasn’t born until Abraham was 100.
By the way, the temptation between the call and the send is to produce the call in the flesh. At age 86, he and Sarah figured out how to produce the call in the flesh.
Moses was called to be a deliverer to Israel at birth but he wasn’t sent until he was 80 years old. At 40, he decided to produce the call in the flesh. He was so arrogant that he decided he could deliver Israel one Egyptian at a time. Then God told him that he was not ready so he sent Moses to a desert to herd sheep for 40 years. When God showed up and told him it was time to deliver Egypt, Moses told God that he couldn’t talk. When Moses said that he couldn’t do it, then God said that he was ready. This was because at 40, he thought he could do it on his own, but at 80 he would know that it was God delivering Egypt through him.
A look at the preeminent apostle of the New Testament - Paul
A third of the time the word apostle is used in the New Testament, it is referring to Paul.
There is no doubt that he was an apostle in just one verse.
Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God
Pastor Robert shows us when Paul was called and when he was sent.
In Acts 9:15 is when Paul got saved and when he was called.
This is what Annianas told Paul when he laid hands on him.
(The call: the what, the where, and the whom)
There are 3 things that we need to develop in our lives in order to be able to fulfill the call that is on our lives. In other words, to get to where the Holy Spirit can send us.
We are looking at the life of Saul, called Paul right after he got saved.
Saul at Jerusalem
26 And when Saul had come to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples; but they were all afraid of him, and did not believe that he was a disciple. 27 But Barnabas took him and brought him to the apostles. And he declared to them how he had seen the Lord on the road, and that He had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus. 28 So he was with them at Jerusalem, coming in and going out.
Barnabas brought Paul to the apostles (the sent ones- also know as the people who equip others to be sent).
How long was Paul with them coming in and going out, building relationship?
In other words, how long did it take for the Preeminent Apostle of the New Testament to go from his calling to being sent?
It’s a process that God takes us through and it doesn’t mean that we don’t minister to others during the process because we are all saints and we all minister to people.
Paul even did some preaching during that time.
Relationship is so important to our calling and to us being able to fulfill our calling.
For example when hiring people, or for getting volunteers for a business, a corporation or a church, we must look outside instead of raising an employee up within.
The first thing that is given to that person is a position and authority that goes with it.
With that position/authority comes responsibility.
We hope that person can fulfill that responsibility and we hope that we can trust them.
We hope that we can have time to develop a relationship with them but we probably won’t because we both will be too busy.
This is the way most people are hired.
The first thing to do is to develop a relationship with people.
As you develop the relationship with them, you learn to trust them, or not to trust them.
If you learn to trust them, you give them some responsibility.
If they fulfill that responsibility, then you give them a position.
With that position, God gives them authority, because authority comes from God.
Pastor Robert has known the pastors within his church between 20-40 years. He built relationships with all of them. They speak into his life and he speaks into theirs.
As iron sharpens iron,
So a man sharpens the countenance of his friend.
friend - someone he is in relationship with
countenance - is a deeper meaning than face - It means your character, your personality.
It means what is going on inside of you that makes your face look like it does.
For example, if your personhood is sad, then your face is sad.
If you personhood is excited, then your face is excited.
Your personhood is made up of the experiences that you have had so far in life.
For example, if you were bullied as a child and you haven’t been healed of that yet, (Jesus is the only one who can heal you of that), when you are given authority, you will be a bully.
But the people who can help you with it, are the people you are in relationship with.
As iron sharpens iron, we can speak into each other’s lives and help each other because of relationships we have together.
We can never fulfill the call of God on our lives and be sent unless we have relationship with some people that can help us.
Stewardship includes more areas than just money.
27 And in these days prophets came from Jerusalem to Antioch. 28 Then one of them, named Agabus, stood up and showed by the Spirit that there was going to be a great famine throughout all the world, which also happened in the days of Claudius Caesar. 29 Then the disciples, each according to his ability, determined to send relief to the brethren dwelling in Judea. 30 This they also did, and sent it to the elders by the hands of Barnabas and Saul.
This was Barnabas’ and Saul’s first task given to them by the elders, the leadership of the church. They weren’t sent to go preach a city wide crusade. They were told to carry a bank bag from one city to another. Pastor Robert reminds us that if we can’t be faithful with little things, then we won’t be faithful with much. Paul and Barnabas were considered teachers at the time and not apostles.
Stewardship has to do with more than money, but money is one element of it.
Money is the easiest thing to steward.
3 assets that God gives us all to steward:
Wisdom about these 3 assets:
Money: As we get older, we get more money. Hopefully we make more in our 50’s than in our 20’s.
Time: Time is the same for everyone. We never get more time. As we get older, it seems that we have less time. Pastor Robert says people say they want to make more money so they can have more time with their family, but it actually works just the opposite, because they have more responsibility. We actually have to steward our time better, the more money we make. Usually the more money we make, the more we work. Everyone only has 24 hours a day no matter how rich or poor we are.
Energy: We have to learn to steward our energy and as we get older, we have less energy.
So we won’t the energy to do as much in our sixties as we did in our thirties and fourties’.
Energy - less
So we have to learn to adjust these assets.
Pastor Robert says that he personally has been pretty successful stewarding his money, but has struggled stewarding his time and his energy. He asks if there is any area of our lives that we are not stewarding well because if there is, it can affect our calling and our sending.
2 As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” 3 Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away. Preaching in Cyprus 4 So, being sent out by the Holy Spirit, they went down to Seleucia, and from there they sailed to Cyprus.
This is when Paul is actually sent.
The leadership laid hands on Paul and Barnabas and sent them
and the bible says
“so being sent by the Holy Spirit.”
The preeminent apostle was committed to the local church and to servant leadership. Because he was sent by the leadership of the church, the bible tells us that he was sent by the Holy Spirit.
Pastor Robert tell us that God wants to send us
somewhere He wants us to go
something He wants us to do
to minister to someone He wants us to help.
Pastor Robert says but will we develop some character qualities in our lives so that when we step into the call of God that we will have the character to support the sending or the anointing of God?
Pastor Robert tells about a guy who owns the leading internal hunting company. He said the Lord just spoke to him one day and told him to pray for this man. So Pastor Robert started praying for him. A few years later, Franklin Graham introduced Pastor Robert to this man. They started texting and calling. About a year ago, the man called Pastor Robert and told him that he and his wife had watched Pastor Robert on television that morning. He felt like he needed to ask for prayer and help because a month ago they had lost their 35 year old son to cancer. Immediately, Pastor Robert thought about a couple that had lost their grown son to cancer and that minister to other people now. Pastor Robert asked the man if he could introduce him to this couple. Pastor Robert says that you can’t imagine how many times this man has thanked him for introducing him to the couple because they have helped he and his wife more than anybody. Pastor Robert says that this is what he wants to tell us. He says that we may be going through somethings right now that are really difficult, but God could be using those things so that one day He can send you to help someone.
This is why we need apostles because
apostles equip us to be sent with a message.
Pastor Robert asks us to bow our heads and close our eyes and ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us personally.
He asks if we are really developing deep relationships through the church especially, through a small group, and strong believers who can help us.
We have talked out leadership and Pastor Robert hopes that none of us have been hurt by bad church leadership. If we have, he wants to see us healed so that we can trust and really belong to a church, and trust the leadership even though they are humans. He wants us to be able to trust that the Holy Spirit is going to lead that church to help us and to minister to us and to equip us to be sent. Pastor Robert says to let the Holy Spirit speak to us about whatever He wants to speak to us about.
Pastor Robert’s Prayer:
Lord, I want to thank you for the gifts of Jesus. Thank you for giving us these five gifts and I pray that as we look at these gifts over the next few weeks, that You will show us how You are trying to equip us so that we can minister to others.
In Jesus Name, Amen.
The 5 Gifts of Jesus:
Lesson 2: PROPHETS
Jesus gave these 5 gifts when He ascended.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [a]edifying of the body of Christ,
1. Prophets edify the saints.
Prophets build up the church.
They don't tear it down.
There's a whole lot of confusion and teaching in that some people are called to be a prophet and think they are called to tear down or rip up. They think they are called to blow in, blow up and blow out.
That is not true.
Prophets are called to build the church, edify.
But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.
1 Corinthians 14:3
Pastor Robert says he has had many people tell him that they have gotten a prophesy and they are very troubled about it.
He continues by telling us that some people say they are more like an Old Testament prophet. He replies telling then no, that they are more like what they think an Old Testament prophet was like. Pastor Robert directs us to Ezra 5:1-2
to learn about what the Old Testament prophets were doing.
Then the prophet Haggai and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophets, prophesied to the Jews who were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, who was over them. 2 So Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel and Jeshua the son of [a]Jozadak rose up and began to build the house of God which is in Jerusalem; and the prophets of God were with them, helping them.
photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Next Pastor Robert shows us an Old Testament scripture that some people have confusion about. Here the Lord is speaking to Jeremiah.
The Lord names six things in this scripture.
Four of them are negative.
Pastor Robert says that he used to make an incorrect theological statement. He used to say according to this verse, that 2/3's of a prophet's ministry is negative and 1/3 is positive. What he did not understand at that time was the context of the verse.
The Lord told Jeremiah that He had set him over kingdoms.
The Bible talks about two kingdoms, the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light. What the Lord told Jeremiah was that He called him to tear down , to throw down, to pull down, and to destroy the kingdom of darkness,
and to build and to plant the kingdom of light.
Pastor Robert remarks that God has never called prophets to tear down the body of Christ, or to tear down people.
Pastor Robert clarifies by saying that sometimes God uses prophets and all of us to speak correction. Even friends speak correction. It is healing to us. Yes, they can speak correction, but they don't come to discourage us. They must come to encourage us.
Years ago, Pastor Robert felt like there was someone that the enemy was trying to use, even though this person was a really good guy. He felt like the enemy had gotten in. He talked to Pastor Jack about it. Pastor Jack told Pastor Robert that he could be gracious with the person, but not to be gracious with the spirit. What Pastor Robert realized that he meant was to remember that this was a person that Jesus died for, that Jesus loves, that is a son of God, and that he had to be gracious when he talked with him, but when he got on his knees, he was not to be gracious with that spirit. He was to rebuke that spirit, and take authority over that spirit, and tear down the kingdom of darkness,
while he was to build up the kingdom of God.
photo by Jack Sharp on Unsplash
Pastor Robert tells us that when we see a friend, or our spouse being attacked by a spirit
We must build up and encourage the person.
Pastor Robert says that his wife Debbie has done that for him for many, many years.
She would see Pastor Robert under attack and encourage him by telling him that he was a great man of God, that he did great things, that God used him, but when Debbie got on her knees she took authority over that demonic spirit that was coming against her husband and her family.
2. Prophets equip the saints.
Remember that Jesus gave gifts to all of us (to mankind) apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers for the equipping of the saints, for the work of the ministry.
So the gifts equip the saints, but if Pastor Robert asked us what prophets do, most of us would answer that they prophesy.
Pastor Robert clarifies that all saints prophesy.
He states that he will show us a verse that says that all can prophesy.
He continues by stating that prophets don't prophesy as prophets. They prophesy as saints. As prophets according to Ephesians 4, they equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
When you prophesy, the main thing you do is encourage people.
So prophets equip us to hear God, and to encourage people with a word from the Lord.
It's not on the same level as the Bible, obviously, but many, many times we say something to someone and then they reply by saying that we have no idea how much that they needed to hear those words.
Another example maybe that we feel like sending someone a card and putting a scripture in it. As a result, they call us, or write us, or text us and say that that was the exact scripture they had read in their quiet time that morning.
That is prophesying!
Now Judas and Silas, themselves being prophets also, exhorted and strengthened the brethren with many words.
This verse does not say that the prophets tore down and weakened the brethren.
It says that they built up and strengthened them.
This is all through scripture.
photo by Jessica Tan on Unsplash
Beware of people who say that they are prophets but they tear down the people!
Beware of fortune tellers.
These are men and women who say they are prophets but they really want to tell the future.
Remember that prophets equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
Pastor Robert continues by saying that there are times when God tells us about something about the future. Yes, God does do that sometimes, but mainly He comes to encourage and remember that the prophets' main job is to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
Pastor Robert says that he has been around church, ministry, and leadership a long time. He says there are some prophets that every January give us a word about what is going to happen that year. He continues by stating that he has been around long enough to know that they are going to say that something big is going to happen in the spring and something big is going to happen in the fall. He says something big happens every spring and something big happens every fall, and then these prophets take the credit for it. They say that is their prophesy. Imagine how many prophets said when Covid hit, that they were telling leaders (church pastors) of large congregations that God gave them a word about this. But those same prophets said that the Lord told them that Covid was going to pass over by Passover (Easter). Well, it didn't pass over by Passover, so then the same prophets said that what they meant was that it was going to begin to pass over by Passover, but that it will be in our rearview mirror by Pentecost. Remember Passover to Pentecost is 50 days. Well, it still wasn't gone by Pentecost 2020. It is just now starting to get a little more in the rearview mirror and we still have a long way to go, but we have come a long way.
photo by Tim Mossholder on Unsplash
Pastor Robert is just cautioning us to beware that just because they say that they are prophets, that doesn't mean that they can tell the future, or that God gives them insight.
Here's a scripture about people who want to tell the future.
9 “When you come into the land which the Lord your God is giving you, you shall not learn to follow the [a]abominations of those nations. 10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass[b] through the fire, or one who practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For all who do these things are [c]an abomination to the Lord, and because of these abominations the Lord your God drives them out from before you. 13 You shall be [d]blameless before the Lord your God. 14 For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the Lord your God has not [e]appointed such for you.
Pastor Robert sums up these people in the above scripture by calling them "spooky people."
Soothsayers are fortune tellers.
God has not appointed these type of people for us!
Verse 15 tells us of the type of people that God has appointed for us.
“The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your midst, from your brethren. Him you shall hear,
Notice that Prophet and Him are both capitalized.
This is a New Testament reference to Jesus.
Anytime it is referencing Jesus or God it should be capitalized.
Acts 3:22 is the New Testament reference.
For Moses truly said to the fathers, ‘The Lord your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from your brethren. Him you shall hear in all things, whatever He says to you.
Here's another prophet in the New Testament named Joses.
And [a]Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of [b]Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,
Remember Paul and Barnabas were the first missionary team.
The apostles were really saying that if encouragement had a son, it would be Barnabas.
From scripture and study, we know that Paul was an apostle
and Barnabas was a New Testament prophet.
They called him "son of encouragement," not "son of discouragement and bad news."
Pastor Robert says that sometimes he gets words for people and so do we. He said that he told a server a word from God at a restaurant one time.
He says that he will tell us what to do to hear from God to encourage people,
( to get a word for them).
photo by Gene Brutty on Splash
He said that he kept getting a strong word from God for this server and so he told the server that he had to tell her something. He told her that the Lord had told him that He wanted to encourage her. He said the Lord said that she was in a battle for her son's safety, and that He was going to win the battle for her son, so he will be safe.
3. How can I be a prophet?
Pastor Robert is not talking about a prophet in terms of one who equips others, but instead one who encourages others.
Prophets equip us to encourage.
Apostles equip us to be sent with a message.
Prophets equip us to be able to learn to hear God and speak God's word to encourage others.
photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash
Pastor Robert says that it is very simple to learn do this.
photo by Chetan Koite on Unsplash
Pastor Robert says that we have equipping classes. We have small groups to be discipled, because we need to be discipled to grow in God's word. We learn to prophesy. We don't start out as being the best prophets or the best encouragers. We learn and grow in it.
photo by Amir Seilsepour on Unsplash
Pastor Robert remarks that some of the prophesies were kind of humorous.
Pastor Robert says that he was ministering to a church one time
and he was there to learn to prophesy.
The older prophets were teaching him. They had all prophesied about this young lady but they told Pastor Robert that he got a word for her to share it.
Pastor Robert was a very young man at the time. He kept getting a word for her, but was scared to share it. When she was getting up and about to walk away, Pastor Robert stood up and told her that she did have a good testimony! He couldn't stop. The words just came out of him. The lady stopped and turned around. Pastor Robert continued by telling her that she had been raised by very Godly parents. That she was raised in the church. That she gave her life to the Lord at an early age, but she thought that because she have never gotten drunk and have never done drugs that she don't have a good testimony. He told her that she did have a good testimony and she was called to be a missionary. The whole church them stood up and started applauding. Pastor Robert found out later that she was the pastor's daughter. He was glad that he said that she had Godly parents. She had stood in front of the congregation and asked that God say one thing to her. She said that she didn't feel like she had a good testimony. She was raised by Godly parents, and she got saved when she was young. She said she had never done drugs or gotten drunk so she didn't feel like she had a good testimony, but she felt like she was called to be a missionary.
Pastor Robert says we can all learn and we can all encourage people because Jesus gave these 5 gifts when He ascended to equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
photo by Pedro Lima on Unsplash
It could be that He is saying for us to make ourselves available to be equipped and to learn so we can do the work of the ministry, and so we can encourage others.
Pastor Robert's Prayer:
Lord, I want to tell you thank you for these gifts of Jesus, the ones You, Yourself gave as You ascended. Lord, I ask that you make us all open and available to be equipped to do the work of the ministry.
In Jesus Name,
THE GIFTS OF JESUS
Lesson 3: EVANGELISTS
photo by Nina Mercado on Unsplash
Pastor Robert says that he has had people tell him that the reason that they haven't really studied about the gifts that Jesus gave is that they are not one of these people (apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, or teacher). They say these gifts don't really concern them. He says the problem with this is that Jesus gave these gifts to mankind (humanity). He didn't give these gifts to apostles. The apostles, themselves, are gifts and He gave them to us.
We need to know that these gifts concern us because when Jesus ascended He only gave five gifts and He gave these for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry. Jesus, Himself, gave this gifts to you and I.
photo by Russ Ward on Unsplash
Pastor Robert encourages us to go back and watch if we have missed any of the first two sessions. We have to realize we do have an enemy and we might have missed an important word from God based on what we are going through currently in our lives. That lesson we missed might have been the one that Satan told us that we were too busy to watch.
11 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [a]edifying of the body of Christ,
1. What is an evangelist?
We probably think of Billy Graham when we think of an evangelist. He was one of the greatest evangelists ever, but what does an evangelist do?
Where did the word come from?
Good News is what the word gospel comes from.
Gospel means good news.
Pastor Robert goes into the Greek to show how close the words gospel and good news are.
The Greek word for gospel is Euangelion.
Notice that right in the middle of the word Euangelion is the word angel.
An angel is a messenger.
Euangelion means a messenger with good news.
The Greek word for evangelist is Euangelist.
This where we get our word evangelist.
What is the difference?
Euangelist is referring to the person who has the good news.
Evangelist is a person who delivers the good news, or who announces the good news.
Pastor Robert points out that all of us who have met Christ, carry the good news!
He says we all now know the good news.
The problem is getting us to announce it to someone.
Pastor Robert tells us not to be like the postal worker who carries the letters all day and never delivers them!
A whole bunch of Christians are that way!
We have a message from God that God sent His son to die for people so they don't have to work their way to heaven.
We carry that message with us and don't announce it to anyone!
Years ago, Pastor Robert couldn't get an appointment with his regular hair dresser for a hair cut, so another girl cut his hair. It was January 31st. The reason that he remembers that is for some reason at the first of the new year he doesn't really make new year's resolutions. Instead he asks the Lord for goals for the new year. One of the goals he set was to lead someone to Christ once a month personally, not through the pulpit. So it was January 31st and he was thinking that he probably wasn't going to make this goal.
About half way through the haircut, she asked Pastor Robert if he was a pastor. He said he was and then she said that he would be very proud of her then because one of her new year's resolutions was to go to church every week and she had been every week since the first of the year. Pastor Robert told her that he was very proud of her. Then he said he did what he is going to share with us because an evangelist equips people to be able to deliver the message. So today, he wants to equip us to deliver the message of Jesus.
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First he started with his own story. He told her that he went to church many years before he actually got saved. She replied by telling Pastor Robert that she had heard that expression "getting saved" but she really didn't understand it.
Apostles equip us to be sent with the message.
Prophets equip us to deliver a message of encouragement.
Evangelists equip us to deliver the message of Christ and what He did on the cross.
2. What is my message?
Pastor Robert will tell us what our specific message is.
The gospel itself according to 1 Corinthians 15 is the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ.
Pastor Robert says but there is a prelude to the gospel and it is our message.
He says our message is simply our story.
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The devil tells everyone the same thing. Pastor Robert says not to think that we are alone in this because the devil tells everyone that we don't have a good story.
Pastor Robert says that there is a word in Christianity that gets us all mixed up and scares us when we hear this word. It is called witnessing.
Pastor Robert wants to take the fear out of that word.
He says that witnessing is not something that you do. A witness is someone that we are.
Jesus said that we shall be His witnesses when the Holy Spirit comes upon us.
By the way, he says that we are talking about the Holy Spirit
and the gifts that Jesus give us.
The gifts of Jesus equip us
the gifts of the Holy Spirit empower us.
We are empowered to witness by the Holy Spirit, but we are a witness.
Pastor Robert says the question is whether or not we do it. Do we deliver the message?
He says some Christians take the 5th and he is asking us not to do that anymore.
He urges us to just tell our story.
He says a lot of people say that they don't know how to work their story in.
He says it is a very simple thing to do because people will ask us
about out story if
we just do one thing.
That is to ask them their story first and then just out of politeness they will ask what our story is.
The disciples of the John the Baptist were witnesses also.
Jesus answered and said to them, “Go and tell John the things you have seen and heard: that the blind see, the lame walk, the lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, thedead are raised, the poor have the gospel preached to them.
The disciples of Jesus were witnesses.
In Acts 4 they told the disciples to stop talking about Jesus.
This is what the disciples said in verse 20:
For we cannot but speak the things which we have seen and heard.”
Paul was the greatest apostle the ever lived.
In Acts 22:15 Paul is telling us what Ananias had said to him. This is eight years before his death and 25 years after becoming a believer. Paul is standing before a crowd at Jerusalem.
For you will be His witness to all men of what you have seen and heard.
The five years before he dies, he is before Felix and Agrippa and shares his testimony. Paul was caught up to third heaven and says some of things that he saw he can't tell us because they are "too weighty" for us. We can't even understand some of things that he did tell us. Yet, as he was standing before these unbelievers he went back and told his story.
Then Agrippa told Paul that he was almost persuading him to become a Christian.
Pastor Robert points out that it wasn't doctrine that persuaded Agrippa,
it was Paul's story.
"Do you understand that no one can argue
with your story?" asks Pastor Robert.
Sixty years after the resurrection, John was the only living disciple left and the gnostics were arguing and saying that they had other revelation. They said the revelation that the disciples had had wasn't true. That's the reason John wrote 1 John to the church at Ephesus.
Here is what he said in 1 John 1:1-3
That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life— 2 the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us— 3 that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ.
1 John 1:1-3
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By the way, if we share something that we personally did not see, and personally did not hear, it is called hearsay and it is inadmissible evidence. There are a whole lot of Christians talking about a lot of stuff. The one thing that they can not dismiss is our testimony because it happened to us.
We are not trying to shove religion down anyone's throat.
We must understand that.
We have a natural gag reflex.
When someone tries to shove something down our throats, we naturally gag.
Pastor Robert says that we don't really have to talk about religion.
It's just our story.
Pastor Robert tells about his friend who is a pastor now, but was involved in drugs in his teenage years. A guy, who had gotten saved, was witnessing to Pastor Robert's friend when he was a teenager. Pastor Robert's friend kept thinking that he was too bad to get saved. He thought that couldn't change and come to God. Pastor Robert says he was believing all the lies that Satan tells us.
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He got saved with his head in the oven!
photo by Rod Long on Unsplash
He pulled his head out of the oven.
A guy came over a few hours later to do drugs with Pastor Robert's friend. His friend told the guy that he didn't want to do drugs anymore. He said that he didn't even desire drugs anymore. He told the guy that he got saved. He said that God changed him. The guy then said that he wanted to get saved too. The friend told the guy to put his head in the oven and watch what happens.
That's the only way he knew how to get saved!
The guy started saying that the oven was hot and crying out to God that he needed to be saved.
It wasn't theology that saved him. Instead it was Pastor Robert's friend's story.
3. Stick to your story.
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There are false systemized sets of beliefs of God. That's why the Bible tells us that true and undefiled religion is to care for widows and orphans.
Pastor Robert continues to warn us that it is systemized. Don't get into it. They have a whole system worked out about their belief. Do not argue about it. Stick with your story.
Pastor Robert says he will show us next a few verses from the funniest chapter of the Bible.
It's about a guy who gets healed who sticks with his story.
And His disciples asked Him, saying, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?”
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Pastor Robert says to think about how sad that question is.
So Jesus basically tells them that it is neither this man or his parents' fault.
He says that is not the point, but God will get glory out of this anyway.
When He had said these things, He spat on the ground and made clay with the saliva; and He anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay. 7 And He said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which is translated, Sent). So he went and washed, and came back seeing.
Pastor Robert points out how simple this blind man's story is, but notice all the confusion and arguing that starts. He says to notice the word "said" specifically in the following verses. Notice how the blind man sticks to his story.
8 Therefore the neighbors and those who previously had seen that he was [b]blind said, “Is not this he who sat and begged?” 9 Some said, “This is he.” Others said, [c]“He is like him.” He said, “I am he.” 10 Therefore they said to him, “How were your eyes opened?” 11 He answered and said, “A Man called Jesus made clay and anointed my eyes and said to me, ‘Go to [d]the pool of Siloam and wash.’ So I went and washed, and I received sight.” 12 Then they said to him, “Where is He?” He said, “I do not know.” The Pharisees Excommunicate the Healed Man 13 They brought him who formerly was blind to the Pharisees. 14 Now it was a Sabbath when Jesus made the clay and opened his eyes. 15 Then the Pharisees also asked him again how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put clay on my eyes, and I washed, and I see.” 16 Therefore some of the Pharisees said, “This Man is not from God, because He does not [e]keep the Sabbath.”
Pharisees - the religious people
Pastor Roberts says his healing happening on the Sabbath really didn't fit into their belief system either.
Division - Pastor Robert calls this a "denomination" among them.
Pastor Robert says that he is not saying anything critical about denominations but we might not know that the word denomination means to divide.
Look how divided the body of Christ is now and their was a division among them.
Another denomination started.
17 They said to the blind man again, “What do you say about Him because He opened your eyes?” He said, “He is a prophet.” 18 But the Jews did not believe concerning him, that he had been blind and received his sight, until they called the parents of him who had received his sight. 19 And they asked them, saying, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” 20 His parents answered them and said, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; 21 but by what means he now sees we do not know, or who opened his eyes we do not know. He is of age; ask him. He will speak for himself.”
Pastor Robert says that the only way they knew to identify a man or woman of God was to call them a prophet or prophetess.
Bottom line is that the Pharisees didn't want to ask the blind man, because they didn't like his answer.
The reason that they did not like his answer was because his answer was that he met Jesus and he was different now.
Pastor Robert says that no one can argue with us about that fact!
He says that they can argue with us about the dinosaurs, or if they have to be baptized or not, or being christened, but they can't argue with us about that we were "goofed up" and we are not as "goofed up" anymore after meeting Jesus.
24 So they again called the man who was blind, and said to him, “Give God the glory! We know that this Man is a sinner.” 25 He answered and said, “Whether He is a sinner or notI do not know. One thing I know: that though I was blind, now I see.”
Pastor Robert reminds us that evangelists equip us and the Holy Spirit enables us. He says for us to watch the enabling of the Holy Spirit in verse 25. He says this is called the "word of wisdom," because the Pharisees can't answer the question.
The scripture goes on though....
26 Then they said to him again, “What did He do to you? How did He open your eyes?” 27 He answered them, “I told you already, and you did not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become His disciples?”
Pastor Robert says verse 27 is the enablement of the Holy Spirit!
Pastor Robert says they told the man he was born in sin. They basically were saying that he didn't even go to seminary and how did he think that he was going to teach them.
Then they kicked him out of the synagogue. Pastor Robert says to watch what happens if you get kicked out of the synagogue because you believed in Jesus.
35 Jesus heard that they had cast him out; and when He had found him, He said to him, “Do you believe in the Son of [a]God?” 36 He answered and said, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?” 37 And Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him and it is He who is talking with you.” 38 Then he said, “Lord, I believe!” And he worshiped Him.
Pastor Robert urges us to stick to our story. The Holy Spirit will enable us. The gifts of Jesus will equip us. Evangelists equip us how to tell us our story, but also how to talk about some of those questions that might come up.
Pastor Robert reminds us that we believe in all the gifts of the Holy Spirit. One of the gifts is the word of knowledge. The word of knowledge enables us to know something about someone without even ever meeting them.
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Pastor Robert describes a time when he and his wife Debbie were at a restaurant and a couple came in. The husband was huge. He was obviously a body builder. As soon as he walked in Pastor Robert instantly knew something. Debbie even said to Robert that she knew he had gotten a word. So they prayed right away for the man to receive the word Pastor Robert had gotten for him.
So Pastor Robert walked over there and told them that he didn't want to disturb them but just had a question for the man. He asked the man if he had ever worked out. Of course, the man laughed. It broke the ice. Pastor continued by telling him that he knew it sounded strange, but he felt like the Lord spoke something to him that he was supposed to share with them. Pastor Robert said the couple looked at each other like a Mac truck had just hit them. They said they said they couldn't believe it. The man reached over and took his wife's hand. Pastor Robert asked if they minded if he shared the word with them. They asked him if he would please sit down and share it with them because they were talking about somethings concerning this. So Pastor Robert shared with them that he had seen a vision when they walked in the restaurant. He said he saw a vision of little boy who was sitting in his grandmother's lap. The man put his head down as Pastor Robert continued. He said the grandmother had a Bible in her lap also and she told the boy about Samson. She told the boy that if he would give his life to God, that God would make him as strong as Samson.
photo by Samuel Girven on Unsplash
Pastor Robert found out later that the man was a former Mr. Universe. Pastor Robert continued by telling the man that he had given his life to God right there when he was sitting in his grandmother's lap. The man looked back up at Pastor Robert. Pastor Robert continued by saying to the man that the Lord told him to tell him that He has kept up His end of the deal, but the man hadn't keep up his end. Pastor Robert jokes by saying that you better know you hear God before you tell Mr. Universe something like that!
The man started weeping and his wife started crying. He told Pastor Robert that he was raised by his mom. She was a single mom, so his grandmother kept him a lot as he was growing up. He said one day that was walking home and some boys threw rocks at him. One of the rocks hit him in the head and his head started bleeding. When he got home, his grandmother took care of him. She got her Bible and read the story of Samson to him. She told him that if he would live for God, that God would make me as strong as Samson. He said he made a commitment to God that day. He said he told his wife that story for the first time today on the way to the restaurant. Pastor Robert led them both back to the Lord that day at that table.
Pastor Robert asks us if we know why we need these gifts from Jesus.
He states because they equip us for the work of the ministry and then the Holy Spirit enables us.
Pastor Robert asks us to bow our heads, close our eyes, and ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us through this message. He says that we are never too young or too old be a witness or to deliver the message. He says we all carry the message. We have the message. Pastor Robert just asks us to deliver it when we feel prompted to deliver it.
Pastor Robert's Prayer...
Lord, I want to tell you thank you, thank you, thank you Jesus that when you ascended you gave these gifts to us to equip us to be able to carry and to deliver the message. And then you gave us the Holy Spirit to enable and empower us. All of us, every campus, and on online right now, we make a commitment to be your vessels with your message.
In Jesus Name. Amen.
THE GIFTS OF JESUS
Lesson 4: PASTORS
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [a]edifying of the body of Christ,
Why do we need pastors?
Some people have this question because they have been spiritually abused by some pastors in the past.
Pastor Robert says in this message we will talk about what a pastor is
what a pastor is not.
1. What is a pastor?
Ephesians 4, in most versions of the Bible, is the only place the word pastor is used in the New Testament. This is where it is translated as pastor. Yet, in the Greek, this word is in the New Testament 18 times. How is it translated the rest of the time? It is translated as shepherds. The word pastor means shepherd. Pastor Robert will show us a few places in the New and Old Testaments where this word is found.
Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but [a]willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being [b]lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
1 Peter 5:2-4
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Overseers are those who look after you and care for you.
Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church [a]of God which He purchased with His own blood.
And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not [a]prevail against it.
Pastor Robert says he always tells pastors not to refer to the church they are pastoring as their church, or to the members as their people because the Chief Shepherd is coming back. Pastors are to steward the people that the Lord has entrusted to them as shepherds, pastors, and overseers, but the people do not belong to them.
2. Bad Pastors
For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you,
not sparing the flock.
Jesus tells us in John 10:11.
We can substitute the word pastor for shepherd because it means the same thing.
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a [a]hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.
Pastor Robert paraphrases: "and sees the wolf coming and sends his resume out and goes to another church."
The hireling flees but a pastor called by God will lay his life down for the sheep.
photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash
Pastor Robert says we will never know all the battles he has fought for the flock due to the devil trying to come in and trying to get Gateway Church off track over the years.
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of My pasture!” says the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord God of Israel against the shepherds who feed My people: “You have scattered My flock, driven them away, and not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for the evil of your doings,” says the Lord. 3 “But I will gather the remnant of My flock out of all countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4 I will set up shepherds over them who will feed them; and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, nor shall they be lacking,” says the Lord.
And the word of the Lord came to me, saying, 2 “Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God to the shepherds: “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who feed themselves! Should not the shepherds feed the flocks? 3 You eat the fat and clothe yourselves with the wool; you slaughter the fatlings, but you do not feed the flock.
The Lord is not talking about the actual shepherds who care for actual sheep.
He says His people are the sheep of His pasture.
He is talking about pastors here.
Pastor Robert shows us ways some pastors scatter people that we may have never thought of.
Pastor Robert points out that according to scripture, we are part of the body of Christ.
One of the biggest ways pastors scatter the flock is by cutting off parts of the body that they disagree with. They will actually preach against churches who see things differently than they do.
It's time for the body of Christ to come together!
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photo by Mike Walter on Unsplash
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Pastor Robert tells about a time when he and Debbie went on a cruise. There were about 300 members of the Red Hat Society on board. He states that he has nothing against members of the Red Hat Society. They were wonderful people, but like every group there are a few people who are difficult.
When she said that statement, Pastor Robert thought that he had met a whole bunch of pastors like her. They think that they are the king or the queen instead of Jesus being the king. He says the King is coming back and some of the pastors are going to answer for what they have done to His sheep!
3. Good Pastors
Pastor Robert says that obviously that Jesus is the best shepherd, so let's look at some scripture.
Remember pastor and shepherd are the same Greek word.
Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and [a]Overseer of your souls.
1 Peter 2:25
Pastor Robert says to teach them means to feed them.
Shepherds want to feed people the word of God.
The scripture below is Moses' prayer to God when he was looking for a successor.
Then Moses spoke to the Lord, saying: 16 “Let the Lord, the God of the spirits of all flesh, set a man over the congregation, 17 who may go out before them and go in before them, who may lead them out and bring them in, that the congregation of the Lord may not be like sheep which have no shepherd.”
He also chose David His servant,
And took him from the sheepfolds;
71 From following the ewes that had young He brought him,
To shepherd Jacob His people,
And Israel His inheritance.
72 So he shepherded them according to the integrity of his heart,
And guided them by the skillfulness of his hands.
Pastor Robert says this is what a senior pastor does. He says a senior pastor because most churches now have many pastors on staff and this is what the lead pastor does.
"The senior pastor sets and protects the vision and the values of the church," says Pastor Robert.
The elders govern the church, but the pastor leads the church.
He says Gateway Church is an elder governed, a senior pastor lead,
and a staff and a volunteer run church.
His job is to lead. He sets the vision and takes it to the elders and they confirm it and adjust it. He must set and protect the vision and values of the church. This is why we can go in a church and feel right at home pretty quickly. It's because the vision and values have been set and we agree with them. They line up. Pastor Robert says they don't cut off with people who have different vision or values. Humility and servanthood are two of the core values at Gateway Church. When we go there, we will sense these values.
Now Pastor Robert says he will calm our hearts about something.
He says that the church has been talking about that they are going to make a generational change in the future. He says he is sixty now, and he doesn't know if we know this, but God is a generational God. He identifies Himself that way. God states that He is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He is the God of the younger people, the older people and the people who are middle aged.
Here is the problem that Pastor Robert sees with some pastors. Abraham needs to pass it to Isaac and Isaac needs to pass to Jacob, but some pastors hold it so long that they end up not passing it to the Isaac generation, but to the Jacob generation.
Pastor Robert continues to say that he is going to calm our hearts. He says that he and the elders are long range planning people. That is one of the reasons that Gateway Church is as large as it is. They planned for things they have now ten to fifteen years ago. They are long range planners. They know a transition is coming up in the future so they are already planning for it. Pastor Robert has stated that they have to go after the next generation and that he is going to make a generational handoff at some point. Some people have asked how long before this happens. He says he just wants to be honest. The reason is because we like him. He says he is just joking. He says it is because we like the vision and the values of Gateway Church. He says that when many churches make that generational change, the vision and the values change and people don't like that.
Pastor Robert says when he does make this change there will be no new vision or values. He promises that. He is looking at this change happening in three to five years and the leaders are looking at him actually staying in the pulpit for a longer season. So most of the church won't even really see the difference. He says that part of his responsibility is to lead and to feed. He says that he needs someone that can lead the church, because the church is thinking that they need to have a lot more Gateway Churches. They have 9 to 10 churches in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, but they are thinking of expanding to other states and other countries. They need a young leader with energy. He says this is the whole reason that God gives children before he gives us grandchildren. We have the energy for kids at an earlier age. Pastor Robert says some friends of theirs have 3 new grandchildren. They kept them for a week and they almost died! They slept for two days after the grandchildren left.
Pastor Robert just wants to calm our hearts. The person that God appoints will already have the vision and the values of Gateway Church.
One last illustration on good pastor and bad pastors...
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Pastor Robert says he met this car salesman one time and bought a car from him. He was just one of the salesman. He didn't own the dealership. Pastor Robert felt like the Lord told him to develop a friendship with him so he could share Christ with him. Over time, the salesman told Pastor Robert that he was not like any pastor he had ever known and he met it as a compliment. Pastor Robert told him that he was not like any car salesman that he had ever met. He told him that he meant
that as a compliment too. After about 3 months, he opened up and told Pastor Robert that when he was a little boy he was spiritually abused by a pastor and he had never been back to church since then. Pastor Robert told this guy that he was so sorry. Pastor Robert asked him if there were any bad car salesman. He answered by telling him he could tell Pastor Robert a lot of stories and then he stopped and he started crying right there sitting at the table. Pastor Robert told him that just like there were a lot of bad car salesman that there were a lot of bad pastors. He said the pastor that did that to him was a bad pastor, but that is not the way God is. He told him that God loved him and cared about him. A few weeks later, he gave his life to Christ!
Jesus gave apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. He gave us pastors to love us, feed us, and care for our souls.
Pastor Robert asks us to bow our heads, close our eyes, and to ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us through this message. Pastor Robert says that he just has to do this because many of us have been spiritually abused by a bad pastor. He wants to tell us that he is so sorry. He asking us though to not let that interfere with our relationship with God because Jesus is the good shepherd, the good pastor. He gave us pastors not to abuse us, but to equip us for the ministry, to love us, to care for us and to feed us.
Pastor Robert's Prayer....
Lord, I just pray that you would heal our hearts. For those of us who have been under some abusive leaders, will You heal our hearts? Lord, we want to tell you thank you for this gift, even though we have seen some abuse it. We tell you thank you for those who lead us, feed us, and care for our souls.
In Jesus Name. Amen.
THE GIFTS OF JESUS
Lesson 5: TEACHERS
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the [a]edifying of the body of Christ,
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Pastor Robert says that sometimes teachers can be misunderstood so he is going to explain to us how teachers function and how God wired teachers. He is going to use as his example the greatest teacher who ever lived. That was obviously Jesus. He says he doesn't know if we have thought about it, but huge crowds, especially for that time, came to listen to Jesus' teachings. When Jesus fed the 5,000, that was 5,000 men.
Really he fed more like 25,000 families which included those men, the women, and children. Huge crowds would follow Jesus into deserted places where there was no food to hear him teach. That was what a good teacher he was.
When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and thesemighty works?
And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
Pastor Robert shows us more funny scripture verses like he did before in John 9.
The Pharisees heard the crowd murmuring these things concerning Him, and the Pharisees and the chief priests sent officers to take Him.
officers - police officers
Then the officers came to the chief priests and Pharisees, who said to them, “Why have you not brought Him?” 46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!”
1. Teachers love students.
Pastor Robert read this scripture below last week, but he will read it to us again and we focus on the area of teaching.
And Jesus, when He came out, saw a great multitude and was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep not having a shepherd. So He began to teach them many things.
Then Jesus, looking at him, loved him, and said to him, “One thing you lack: Go your way, sell whatever you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, take up the cross, and follow Me.”
The reason Jesus wanted to teach the rich young ruler what was standing between he and God, was that He loved him.
photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash
Jesus never taught relationship nonsense, which is what the Pharisees taught.
He taught practical truth.
photo by Brett Jordan on Unsplash
He taught that we can't serve God and money. What He was teaching was that you will be happy if you are not greedy because God wired us to be generous.
Pastor Robert paraphrases saying that Jesus taught that we didn't come from a "one cell gob of goop". We were created in the image of God, but we have been marred by sin. What we need is not to do better, but what we need is a Savior who can save us from our sins.
He taught on how to be married, how to raise children, how to be successful in business, and how to be successful in relationships.
Everything He taught was so practical.
Pastor Robert says that we remember certain teachers because of the love and compassion they showed us.
He shares that he and Debbie met in 6th grade. They didn't really know each other, or hang out together. Pastor Robert says it was because she was a "goody goody" and he was a "baddy, baddy". They did have the same 6th grade teacher though. His name was Mr. Bradley. They have this high school group of friends that they get together with once a year. Most of the them were in the same 6th grade and they all talk about that Mr. Bradley was their favorite teacher. Pastor Robert says that he can't remember one thing Mr. Bradley taught him though. He remembered thought that he loved his class because he knew that Mr. Bradley loved them and cared about them.
Pastor Robert actually talked to Mr. Bradley in later years when he was speaking at a college where he and Debbie had attended. Mr. Bradley told Robert that he and his wife watch him preach on tv each week and that people had told him that Robert was the same Robert Morris that was in his 6th grade class. Mr. Bradley didn't believe them. Pastor Robert told him that he was actually right because the Robert Morris that was in his class died, and now Jesus lives through him!
2. Teachers challenge students.
Pastor Robert states that the reason teachers challenge us is because that is the way that we learn.
If we hear someone say today that "the Bible says, but I say," we might get upset.
Jesus did that however.
He wasn't contradicting the Bible. He was actually explaining the Bible to them.
The word but in the Greek is translated about 40% of the time as the Word and
for instance, "you have heard it say not to murder and I say to you if hate your brother, you have murdered him. "Here Jesus is explaining and clarifying the Bible to us.
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Teachers will ask us to compare verses many times. They challenge us.
Sometimes the guest speaker feels the resistance and in turn gets stronger. Then more resistance is built up. Pastor Robert will really begin to cry out to God when that happens.
He says however, some guest speakers who have more experience, will say something and feel the resistance and then back off a bit and slow down. This is because our understanding of scripture isn't always right. Sometimes we need to be challenged not on scripture, but on our understanding, because our understanding is exactly what is holding us in bondage.
Jesus used deductive reasoning and inductive reasoning. Pastor Robert says this is very important. There is member in Gateway church who is a church consultant. He made the statement that when Jesus was teaching sinners, He used deductive reasoning and when the Pharisees showed up, He used inductive reasoning.
Inductive reasoning comes from the word induce. Insight is a similar word to induce. Pastor Robert continues explaining the word induce by saying that he is trying to tear down our arguments so that we can come to the right conclusion. He realizes that we are so engrained in our beliefs, that if he doesn't show us how illogical our arguments are that we will never come to the right conclusion.
Jesus did this type of teaching.
Pastor Robert was reading in Matthew 22 and thought that it would be a great illustration when we started studying about the gift of teaching.
Pastor Robert points out that Jesus used inductive reasoning with the Pharisees in the verses below.
The Pharisees: Is It Lawful to Pay Taxes to Caesar?
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how they might entangle Him in His talk. 16 And they sent to Him their disciples with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that You are true, and teach the way of God in truth; nor do You care about anyone, for You do not [a]regard the person of men. 17 Tell us, therefore, what do You think? Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus [b]perceived their wickedness, and said, “Why do you test Me, you hypocrites? 19 Show Me the tax money.” So they brought Him a denarius. 20 And He said to them, “Whose image and inscription isthis?” 21 They said to Him, “Caesar’s.” And He said to them, “Render[c] therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that areGod’s.” 22 When they had heard these words, they marveled, and left Him and went their way.
The Sadducees: What About the Resurrection?
23 The same day the Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Him and asked Him, 24 saying: “Teacher, Moses said that if a man dies, having no children, his brother shall marry his wife and raise up offspring for his brother. 25 Now there were with us seven brothers. The first died after he had married, and having no offspring, left his wife to his brother. 26 Likewise the second also, and the third, even to the seventh. 27 Last of all the woman died also. 28 Therefore, in the resurrection, whose wife of the seven will she be? For they all had her.” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “You are[d]mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God. 30 For in the resurrection they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels [e]of God in heaven.31 But concerning the resurrection of the dead, have you not read what was spoken to you by God, saying, 32 ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? God is not the God of the dead, but of the living.” 33 And when the multitudes heard this, they were astonished at His teaching.
The Scribes: Which Is the First Commandment of All?
34 But when the Pharisees heard that He had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. 35 Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, 36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” 37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment.39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
Jesus: How Can David Call His Descendant Lord?
41 While the Pharisees were gathered together, Jesus asked them, 42 saying, “What do you think about the Christ? Whose Son is He?” They said to Him, “The Son of David.” 43 He said to them, “How then does David in the Spirit call Him ‘Lord,’ saying: 44 ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “Sit at My right hand,Till I make Your enemies Your footstool” ’? 45 If David then calls Him ‘Lord,’ how is He his Son?”46 And no one was able to answer Him a word, nor from that day on did anyone dare question Him anymore.
In verse 19, Jesus uses inductive reasoning.
The Sadducees didn't believe in life after death. They believed that we are simply meta-physical beings and that when we die, it is over. This is like a tree or plant in that when it dies, nothing lives on.
In verse 28, the Sadducees were trying to prove there is no life after death.
In verse 42, Jesus uses inductive reasoning again.
"In the spirit" means under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit because it is in scripture.
In review, Pastor Robert says that teachers love us and challenge us.
He continues by saying that there will be people who stand in this pulpit at Gateway Church, that he knows and he knows their character, who won't have his character or his style. They may be challenging to us, but he asks us not to resist. Instead he asks us to ask the Holy Spirit what He is trying to say to us through this message.
Teachers feed us nourishing meals like a restaurant does.
Preaching and teaching is about content and delivery.
Pastor Robert was asked by a young pastor how much time he spent preparing his content and how much time he spent preparing his delivery. He said most people would think that it would be about 90% to 10%. Pastor Robert says it actually 50/50 because if you have good content but you don't have good delivery, people don't get the message.
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By the way,
Then there are teachers who spend too time on content, and not on delivery and you fall asleep.
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Teachers inspire us. They spend time learning. Jesus was the best teacher. He was great at illustrations. He used humor. A lot of times we don't recognize His humor because we don't know the culture. Here's some examples. They said to Him one time that He cast out demons by the ruler of demons. Jesus asked them how they cast them out. That was funny because they didn't get them out. They didn't have the power to cast them out. Pastor Robert thinks the crowd laughed their heads off.
Jesus used illustrations. He painted pictures. He told stories.
Pastor Robert paraphrases two of Jesus' illustrations and one of His stories.
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Jesus told them to think about a camel. Now think about a needle. Now think about the eye of the needle. Now shove that camel through the eye of that needle. They said it was impossible. Jesus said yes, and it was impossible for them to get to heaven without God, but God made a way to make it possible.
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Jesus told a story about a father who had two sons. One of the sons asked for his inheritance, so the father actually gave both sons their inheritance. The son that asked for his inheritance flew to Vegas. (Pastor Robert is just modernizing the story) and he spent everything he had, all his inheritance, on hookers, gambling, drinking and drugs. Then he started getting food out of the dumpsters behind the casinos. He thought about his dad having employees eating better that he was then. He decided to go back and tell his dad that he was not worthy to be his son and to just let him work in the mail room for him. Before the son could finish his speech, the father stopped him and threw a party for him and gave him a new car. The brother that stayed at home wouldn't come into the party. This is what Jesus was saying. He said see those Pharisees over there? They can't even rejoice when one sinner repents, but you sinners need to know that the Father has been practicing His welcome home speech longer that you have been practicing your I'm sorry speech.
Pastor Robert reviews that teachers are gifts from Jesus. They love us, challenge us, and inspire us.
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Pastor Robert asks us to bow our heads, close our eyes, and ask the Holy Spirit what He is saying to us through this message.