Monthly Archives: March 2007

Two Painful Lessons on Accountability

This week, I will be addressing pastoral (and congregational for that matter) accountability from 1 Timothy 5:17-25.

Today I read a great blog by Mark Dever related to my topic. I encourage you to read it and take note of these two lessons learned by an experienced pastor.

Also, it looks like 9 Marks is beginning a blog soon…



Accountability in the Local Church

Most people view accountability as a good thing. At least, we all know that it should be a major part of any organization. The church is no different. God has purposely built accountability into the life of the local church for protection of the people and the Gospel. But what about the pastors of a local church? Are pastors included in this accountable relationship, or are they in a “sin safe zone” that does not demand the constant interaction and care of the congregation?

This week at Redeemer we will be thinking about Loving Your Shepherds, from 1 Timothy 5:17-25. Apparently, the church at Ephesus was not perfect. There was a need to discern between frivolous charges against the elders and real sin that needed attention. The manner in which elders should be paid, respected and disciplined is discussed in this text. There were major problems afoot, and Timothy is being instructed on how to deal with the reality of ministering in a fallen world.

Do you have a healthy idea of accountability or do you get the feeling that people are “watching you” like a policeman trolling behind your car on the freeway? “What does he want? Am I doing something wrong? I wish he would just leave me alone?”. God’s idea of accountability is not like that. The church is called to love one another, but that does not mean “showing partiality” to our friends or pretending that real problems do not exist. Join us Sunday as e ask God to draw near to us and nourish us on His Word.
Police Car

Gospel Ministry: Meeting Needs

The gift of relationships may be the greatest gift, apart from the atoning work of Christ, that God has bestowed upon human beings. Relationships are such a vital part of our lives. We cultivate, pursue, disconnect, and enjoy relationships of many kinds every day. Most importantly we have been given an opportunity for a relationship with the Creator God, through the reconciling, sin bearing work of Christ on the cross.

Although relationships are vital, they can be problematic. Think about all the relationships that are represented by one family. Take a husband for instance: He is a son, husband, supervisor at work, friend, counselor, grandfather, father, and baseball coach. Now, think about the role of a pastor. Timothy was young and inexperienced. He was given the task of shepherding men who were older than he was (and in severe doctrinal error by the way), women who were older (some taking advantage of the church’s resources), men his own age and younger women (some of whom were pursuing sensual lusts). Can you feel Timothy’s stomach hurting like I can?

This week at Redeemer, we will listen it to Paul’s counsel to his son in the faith as we consider Gospel Ministry: Meeting Needs, from 1 Timothy 5:1-16. The major need cropping up in Ephesus involved the ministry to the widows. Apparently some widows were taking advantage of the church, and even pursuing “sensual desires” in disregard for Christ and “following Satan.” Paul warns Timothy how to lovingly shepherd these women, without causing confusion and dilution of the Gospel message.

Is your life centered on meeting the needs of others? What about those in your family? Are you seeking to make the Gospel clear to them? Paul reminds Timothy that the church is a family—composed of brothers, sisters, fathers and mothers. Do you love and relate to your church family with the same sincere, unconditional affection as your natural one? Join us this week as we ask God to allow our joy in Him to overflow and meet the needs of others.

Blessing God for His Unconditional Love,

You Are Invited to A Seder Meal!

What is a Seder?: A Celebration of the Exodus from Egypt; A Passover like what Jesus ate on the night He was betrayed.

Who Is Hosting This Meal?: Baptist Church of the Redeemer. The Seder will be led by Dr. Jim Hamilton

Where Will It Be?: Fort Bend Baptist Academy’s Elementary School Cafeteria

When Is It?: Saturday, April 7, 2007, 6:00 pm (The night before Resurrection Day)

What About Children?: Bring them! There are parts built in specifically for them to participate in and enjoy!

How Much Does It Cost?: 10$ per adult / $5 children under 12 / children under 6 free / $35 family maximum

Click Here for more information!


Pursuing Godly Success

How should we judge success? There seems to be two basic standards: one is visual, the other is more spiritual. One standard of success suggests that visible results are the key measurement in evaluating progress. Some say that success might not come overnight, but it should at least be on the radar for next month.

What about the biblical standard for success? This week at Redeemer we will reflect on Pursuing Godly Success from 1 Timothy 4:6-16. What makes a pastor successful? What makes a church successful? Do large numbers, multiple programs, endless activities and countless committees translate into biblical success? What about the growth of the pastor? What about the relationship between the pastor’s life and his doctrine? What is really at stake? What role does spiritual discipline play in a healthy church?

Where is your focus? Do you spend time planning out your spiritual journey the same way that you plan out your exercise routine or your career path? How do your evaluate a church? What does it mean to “give attention to the public reading of Scripture, to teaching and exhortation?” I encourage you to join us this week as we seek to be “absorbed in these things” for God’s glory and our salvation.

May God Bring Clarity of the Gospel to Our Churches!

What Is It That Upholds The Truth?

What are the true marks of a Christian? Many of us would quickly say: “a changed life.” There must be a true change is someone’s life for Christ to truly be present. But what does that change look like? Nice language? A certain non-abrasive personality? What about people who never watch TV or listen to secular music? Are these true signs of conversion or a disguise meant to portray a hollow godliness?

Is it not easier to give things up that we can live without in order to conceal the dark truth? Paul understood man’s natural bent toward deception. In the Ephesian church this showed up as Asceticism—the denial of specific practices—specifically marriage and certain foods. In other words, the false teachers were instructing people to completely deny themselves of the things of this world in order to display true holiness. Have you seen the modern day version of this? It’s called legalism. What is the cure? What is the danger?

Join us this Sunday at Redeemer as we consider The Church’s Conduct and Confession, from 1 Timothy 3:14-4:5. Paul simply directs his hearers to the truth by highlighting the high calling of the local church. The church is the “pillar and support of the truth.” Ironically, the very thing that, in many cases, has caused this problem is the cure. The church should not be propagating legalism. It should be actively killing it! How do we see this take shape?

I’m Praying for a Massive Return to the Gospel from texts like this!

Latest Sermon: The Good Elders

My sermon over 1 Timothy 3:1-7, Biblical Leadership: The Good Elders is now available here.

May God prosper His Word!