God expects His servants to call His people ever onwards and upwards toward full-orbed spiritual maturity. Do you believe and accept this fact?

Are you persuaded that your pastor’s concern for your spiritual maturity is a biblically legitimate one? It is vital that the whole church of Jesus Christ be united in this aim.

The healthy congregations one in which every saint is laboring together toward God’s purpose for His people. Do you live with the determined aim of perfection in Christ Jesus?

Peter calls every child of God to such a life, lived in the light of the coming day of judgment:

Since all these things are thus to be dissolved, what sort of people ought you to be in lives of holiness and godliness, waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set on fire and dissolved, and the heavenly bodies will melt as they burn!

But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. Therefore, beloved, since you are waiting for these, be diligent to be found by him without spot or blemish, and at peace. (2 Peter 3:11-14)

Do you sit under the sound of the Word of God and receive pastoral counsel with this awareness and disposition in your soul? You cannot coast to heaven, and you will not reach glory by standing still.

You must change, you must advance, and you will be greatly aided in doing so if you accept that your pastors are God’s servants to assist you toward Christian maturity, and not officious bystanders poking their nose into your business.

Do you accept that pastors and preachers are not only entitled but obligated before God to warn, instruct, reprove, correct, and urge all men with this end in view?

How, then, do you hear them? It will not always be pleasant and will certainly be, at times, painful to have the cancer of sin addressed and the cross of a crucified Christ pressed afresh into your tender soul.

There will, by God’s grace, be times when your soul is lifted up, when your heart within you, when glory seems near, Christ appears precious, the church most excellent, and all things worth bearing for the sake of the glory of God.

But, if you have a faithful minister, there may also be times when your face blanches, when your teeth clench, when your cheeks redden, when your stomach churns, when your heart falls, when your excuses rise, and when your defences go up.

There may be times when you’re tempted to go home and rail against your pastor for his barefaced cheek and blinding audacity. You may be tempted to hurl fire at the elders after the latest pastoral visit.

Pause, then, and consider: What is the truth of the matter? Are these men really throwing their weight around and abusing their authority? Or could it be that they are seeking to discharge the weighty responsibility of seeing you safely to glory?[1]

Rob Ventura and Jeremy Walker


End notes:

[1] Rob Ventura, Jeremy Walker, A Portrait of Paul: Identifying a True Minister of Christ [Grand Rapids: Reformation Heritage Books, 2010], 122, 123.

See also: