The Role of the Pastor-Teacher


This morning, we’re going to look at a new segment in this series on basic Bible doctrine.

Before we do, let’s review briefly what we have covered thus far. First of all, we have reviewed the doctrine of reconciliation which was a declaration of the removal of the wall which separated man from God.

This wall consisted of several specific blocks, several specific problems that stand between God and man. And Jesus Christ removed each one of them permanently. If you don’t have this straight in your mind, you don’t understand about this wall of separation and how it has been removed, I strongly suggest to you that you get ahold of the tapes on this particular phase and listen to them carefully.

The only thing between God and man now is the Lord Jesus Christ. And this wall has been permanently removed because God, in grace, has solved the problem for us.

Then we look at the technique for restoration to fellowship, based on 1 John 1:9. We found that the old sin nature comes into the Christian life, fully operational, and it produces two things: it produces sins, and it produces human good- both of which God has rejected.

Whenever we do sin as a Christian, we break our temporal fellowship with God, we do not lose our salvation, but we lose our communication with God: our prayer is useless, our reading of the Bible is useless, our service is useless-it’s all human good, and it’s all burned up at the judgment seat of Jesus Christ. We are out of fellowship.

Confession, naming of the sin, restores us to our relationship of fellowship in time, and matches us up again to our fellowship in eternity that we permanently have.

All of this is based on our union with Jesus Christ. Because we are united to Christ, God can forgive us our sins on the basis of naming them, because He has already paid, through His Son, for that sin.

Then we learned about neutralizing confessed sin, based on Philippians 3:13, “forgetting the things that are behind”. We have found that forgiven sins are forgotten sins with God.

But we have also found that a Christian may confess a sin and yet react to it in such a way that by remembering it, he sets up a chain of mental attitude sins and he falls into series sinning-one sin leads to another. He may become bitter over the discipline that he’s receiving for that sin, or bitter towards somebody who is involved in that sin. He may have some guilt association. He may be thinking that something that’s happening now in his life is the result of something that God is punishing him for because of something he did years ago that’s already confessed. And of course that can never be true. It may be that he falls into judging. It may be that he thinks he should get up and publicly confess his sin. He may fall into blaming others. He may want to discuss his sins with others; he may produce, as a result of this, a false love. All of these are the reaction of confessing sin, but not forgetting. Series sinning is one sin leading to another.

And we also learned that this frustrates the grace of God, as per Hebrews 12:15. We are responsible, we’re told, to avoid series sinning in our own life. Nobody else can do this for you.

And we’ve also found that our mental attitude sins, which sprout from the dead sin we’ve already confessed, has a way of contaminating other Christians. And it results in their being defiled by our series of sins.

The goal of the Christian life and what we have done thus far is the groundwork.

First, we try to tell you how God has saved you, and we try to explain to you on the basis of the doctrines of the Word of God how that salvation is a permanent structure, which God has provided. Even the people who are, at this moment, in the torments of hell are there with their sins completely paid for. God will never judge you in the future for sins; the people who are lost, when they stand at the great white throne of judgment, God opens the books of their works- these books will not record their evil works, because those have been removed and forgotten. But they will record their good works, which they have instead offered to God in place of the divine good work of Jesus Christ on the cross.

We’ve explained to who how the sin nature can cause you to sin and does hinder your progress in the spiritual life. The goal of the spiritual life is personal spiritual maturity, and this is what we’re going to go into more deeply in the next few Sundays.

Two Churches

You are very, very fortunate in the providence of God to have been brought to this particular service, because we’re going to touch on the surface of what makes this key difference between one church and the next church-two churches are standing, one next to another, on opposite corners on the same street, and they’re worlds different. Two churches that preach the same identical Word of God. Two churches that have identical doctrinal statements.

And yet the difference between the two: one place where Christians are put downwind of themselves and so they see themselves as they are, and they get the drift of where they really are. And the other, who puts Christians upwind of themselves, so they’re continually disillusioned as to how they really stand in the eyes of God.

There’s one personality in the local church who’s responsible for one or the other. The goal of the Christian life is personal spiritual maturity. In Ephesians 4:14-15, we read that we henceforth, are no more children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, the slight of men, and cunning craftiness, by which they lie in wait to deceive. But speaking the truth in love may grow up into Him, in all things who is the head, who he is in Christ.

Evaluating God’s Thinking

Now it’s frustrating not to be able to evaluate some idea, to evaluate it accurately, or to evaluate some advice that people give you because you don’t have enough information. And we’re always confronted in life with the frustration of people giving us advice, people giving us their opinion, and you don’t know whether it’s good advice or good opinion because you don’t have enough information.

Now, the same thing is true in the Christian life. You have no idea until you have come to a point of certain spiritual maturity, you can’t sit in the church and know that you’re being conned by maybe a sincere, well-meaning preacher, but who is disoriented or uninformed of the Word of God, or incapable of explaining it, or whether you’re really getting God’s thinking on the matter. You may spend your whole life as a result of having been sincerely conned by some sincere preacher because you didn’t have enough information like the Bereans of old who took the Word of God and searched the scriptures and see whether these things are so.

Now what this basic doctrine series is trying to do is to put you in a position where you can sit in any church, in any study group, in any teaching group, and you can know whether what you’re hearing things with the basic principles of truth or not.

Now this requires the filling of God, the Holy Spirit to be able to receive divine information. And it requires the functioning of a pastor-teacher in the local church.

Christ’s Spiritual Death

My God, my God-two expressions because He was addressing God the Father and God the Holy Spirit, and He was saying, “why have you separated Yourself from Me?” It was in this moment of agony, of separation from God that Jesus Christ died spiritually.

The Bible says that the wages of sin is death, and that means that it is spiritual death. He, in that moment, as per 2 Corinthians 5:21, took our place as our substitute, paid the price of spiritual death. 2 Corinthians 5:21: “For He hath made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him.”

So, what took place upon the cross, first of all, is that Jesus Christ died for you spiritually. Now when the sin-bearing was pleaded to the satisfaction of God’s justice, what the justice of God demanded for our sins, then Jesus Christ said “it is finished.” And in the Greek language, this is in what we call the perfect tense, which means it is finished and it continues forever in that condition.

The wall has been permanently removed; there is no more problem with the old sin nature; there is no more problem with our being in Adam; there is no more problem with our being enslaved in the slave market of sin; there is no more problem that we are born spiritually dead; there is no more problem that we are short of the holiness of God, His justice, and His righteousness.

Now this act of divine good permanently removed the wall, and you notice that Jesus Christ changed in His address from “my God, my God” to “my Father… Father, into Thine hands, I commit my spirit. It is finished” Because having paid with spiritual death for our sins, and separated in that moment in His humanity from the Father, God was satisfied. And now the Son was restored to fellowship within His relationship to the Heavenly Father.

The Relationship of Spiritual Death and Physical Death

Now the fact of spiritual death is evidenced by physical death, just as it was with Adam. You see, if the wages of sin had been physical death, Adam would have dropped dead on the spot, just like that. But it was not.

When God says “you eat of that fruit and you rebel against Me and disobey, you will die spiritually” is what He meant. And spiritual death deteriorates the functioning of the body so that results in death. But Adam immediately died spiritually, and in time, the effects of spiritual death were evidenced by his physical death.

The shed blood of Jesus Christ indicates that a perfect life was given in spiritual death for our guilty lives. The physical sufferings of Jesus Christ reflected the spiritual agony of being separated in spiritual death from the Father and from the Holy Spirit. And since the Lord’s work is finished, He died physically.

This is what happens to you and me as believers; you are immortal as a believer until God is through with you in His plan for your life. And when He is through with you, then He takes your life. And so when Christ had performed His mission, His spiritual death signified by His physical death, His work was finished and the Lord took His life. Christ is dead; He hangs on the cross.

Jesus’ Death on the Cross

What happened? Well the body is in the grave, the spirit has gone to be with the Father, and His soul is in the place called Hades. Now we’re just going to briefly review it, we won’t put the diagram up for you again.

Three Compartments of Hades

But the place Hades, or Sheol, as it’s called in the Old Testament, has three compartments in the Old Testament era.

It was the place of the saved, that was called Paradise, which means “the garden of the king”, which comes from a Persian word. The Jews referred to it as Abraham’s bosom.

The place of the unsaved was called Torments, which means fire. It was a place of temporary fire in contrast to permanent fire, which the unsaved are placed in the Lake of Fire. Paradise and Torments were separated by a great gulf.

Then there was a third section of Hades, called Tartarus, which was used as a prison for demonic angels who had intermarried with humans in Noah’s day, as per 2 Peter 2:4, Genesis 6:1-7, and Jude 6. Hades is the Greek name for this place of the dead, Sheol is the Hebrew name.

The Spirit, Soul, and Body of Christ

Now on the third day, the spirit of Jesus Christ which was with the Father, returned from the Father and the soul returned from Hades. The soul, which is His mentality, His will, and His emotions-the soul returned from Hades. Psalms 16:10a tells you about that, and His body returned from the grave. Psalms 16:10b tells you about that.

And all three reunited so that Jesus Christ in His humanity walked through the stone entrance of the grave. Later, the angel came along and he rolled that stone away so you could look in and see that He was gone.

For 40 days Jesus Christ moved about this earth, teaching His disciples. He was giving them truth relevant to the new church age-doctrine in the line of the age which was to come.

Jesus as the Target of Satan’s Attack

And with the ascension of Jesus Christ, a phase of conflict with Satan came to an end. Because beginning in Genesis 3:15, where God promised Adam and Eve after they had sinned that He would provide a solution for the sin: “and I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and thy seed and her seed. He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”. Satan was to wound the Savior. But in return, Satan was to receive a mortal head would, which would permanently break his hold and his claim to sinful humanity.

Now when the God-Man, Jesus Christ, ascended to heaven, he ceased being the target of Satan’s panic attack. From Genesis 3:15, throughout all the ages, before the ascension, Jesus Christ was the object of Satan’s attack, through various lines of humanity: first through Abel, then through the Seth line, then through Abraham, then David. At the point of his virgin birth, Jesus Christ personally became the target of Satan’s attack.

Satan’s Method Attacks

See, this was the point of the Genesis 6 incident, where demonic beings took human lives and intermarried with them. The point was to try to produce a hybrid race, so that you couldn’t have a pure human being to come and die for the sins of the world. He had to be, as a kinsman redeemer, he had to be just like us, pure humanity.

And it was a brilliant move by Satan, and it almost worked. For all we know, there may have been nothing at the end but Noah and his family who were pure humanity down here before the flood, and the hybrids wiped out in the destruction of the flood.

But after Christ was born of this virgin birth, He personally became that attack. And you know that under Herod, he immediately sought to kill the Christ child. Later, in the wilderness temptation, he thought to break Him down by tempting Him to sin. He even tried to kill Jesus Christ on various occasions during His ministry. While Christ hung on the cross, Satan went so far as to goad Him to come off the cross, shouting up at Him, “if You are the Christ, come off the cross and prove Yourself, and we’ll believe You!” And if He had, salvation would’ve been frustrated.

Christ’s Triumph in Death

So, in all the while, in that promise of Genesis 3:15, Jesus Christ was the point of attack, But with the death on the cross and the ascension to heaven, that phase of Satan’s campaign and attack against God closed. And the result was a tremendous victory for the person of Jesus Christ. Colossians 2:14-15: “blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross, and having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a show of them openly, triumphing over them in it.”

Now Jesus Christ is in heaven. He sits there as the God-Man, as open to the fact that someday you and I will sit there. When He came into heaven, the Father said to His Son to sit at His right hand until He had made all the world His footstool. Matthew 22:44: “the Lord said unto my Lord, sit Thou on my right hand, and I will make Thine enemies Thy footstool.”

The New Object of Satanic Attack

So, Jesus Christ has been removed from the scene of the attack. Now guess who has been substituted for the object of satanic attack in this age of the church? Instead of Jesus Christ, it is now you, the individual believer.

And this is a very horrifying fact. And I doubt that there are many Christians in many churches you could walk into and ask this specific question, and they would really grasp it in the entirety of the hellish forces that have been directed against the Son of God that have now switched their objective to the individual believer. For a Christian to stand up and look at himself in the mirror in the morning and to know that all of Satan’s aim is directed against him personally. And that ought to scare you half out of your wits, just the very thought of it. Because it is a frightful position in which to be.

Now the church age was begun with this switch in strategy. And Satan and his demons, during the 10 days, between the ascension of Jesus Christ and the coming of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost-Satan and his forces in this 10 day period realized all was lost in reference to attack against Christ; He was now placed above and beyond the angelic host, and beyond their access. So, that now a new phase in the operation of the attack against God need be instituted.

The decision was made to attack the individual believer. Ephesians 1 tells you, in effect, about this new direction of attack.

The Baptism of Believers

So, Satan re-gathered his forces, and a new dispensation began. On the Pentecost, for the first time in human history, all believers were baptized into the body of Christ.

The baptism of the Holy Spirit unites an individual believer with the Lord Jesus Christ. This is not an emotion, it is not an experience-has no emotions, no ecstatics. It happens at the point of salvation for every believer, and he is permanently united to Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 12:13). In John 14:20 the Lord said “ye in Me, and I in you”.

Now this union with Jesus Christ is very important for us to understand, and we’ve gone over this now; this is positional truth, we’re not going to repeat this. You see, this is what I mean when I tell you that when you come into the Christian life as a brand-new believer, you are really a babe. You are really so far adrift that you can’t even sit in a church service, for the first place you’ll have trouble concentrating. For you to sit here and concentrate for 45 minutes and study the Word of God really takes some development. And furthermore, it takes some orientation to some basic lines of scriptural truth and thinking. Then, the thing begins to fit together, and more and more you’ve developed a frame of reference.

The whole area of positional truth now, you see, comes into place here as a strategic answer to why you are able to meet Satan’s attack. And why you are united to Christ- because of the baptism of the Holy Spirit.

The Christian’s Union with Christ

Now, this union is important, or there would be no hope for us as the new target of Satan’s attack. So, the doctrine of the ascension (19:23) is the key to everything in the Christian’s experience. It explains the distinctiveness of this church’s dispensation. It explains why a pastor teacher is the necessary key to this dispensation. It explains why we have a universal priesthood now instead of a specialized priesthood, a Levitical priesthood. It explains why the Holy Spirit indwells every Christian permanently, why he needs the Holy Spirit.

Now the arrival of the Holy Spirit was delayed until the Son was glorified, but once He was in heaven, the Spirit of God came, and this new age began. And with it came the attacks upon the individual believer.

God’s Dispensations

Now there are some people who object to the idea of God dealing in dispensations. There’s some people who don’t like the idea that God deals in different ages and different ways with people.

Salvation is always the same, but He deals with people in different ways; you and I are not confronted with the same life circumstances that Adam and Eve were. We don’t walk around concerned about eating from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. We have a total different household situation which we live.

But it’s interesting how many pastors object to dispensationalists who don’t see the inconsistency of their own position, by the very fact that they are pastors. Do you know that there were no pastors in the Old Testament? A pastor is not a prophet, a pastor is not a Levitical priest; a pastor is a unique gift of the church alone. And anybody who is a pastor of a congregation is a dispensationalist, whether he likes it or not.

And there’s a lot of re-thinking going on about the business of being a dispensationalist. That’s a fad, and when you rethink a thing it usually means going with the tide, and that tide is usually one of ignorance.

The Role of the Believer as a Priest

Now the believer has a role to play today under a very adverse set of circumstances, you see-the fact that he has become Satan’s direct objective. Now the believer’s role is that he is an ambassador for Jesus Christ-2 Corinthians 5:14-21 tells you about that. He presents Jesus Christ as an ambassador. And he represents himself as a priest.

Nobody represents you before God. If you’re in the habit of running to your pastor because you think he has some kind of access and representation of you before God, you’re sadly mistaken.

That pastor should have long since taught you how to be your own priest and how to handle your own problems and how to handle your own questions and how to handle your own difficulties so that you can go and confront yourself to God directly and find the answers. Because the Word of God is filled with promises and doctrines, all of which cover every exigency of your life. Nothing left outside of the plan of God for you. And so you are a priest. As 1 Peter 2:5 tells us, representing yourself.

Now every Christian has written instructions in the completed scriptures, which we have been given. 2 Timothy 3:16-17 tells about the prophet of these scriptures for living our lives.
Every Christian is now indwelt with Jesus Christ, and is in permanent union with Him. This is the positional truth of John 14:20. Every Christian is indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and is commanded to follow a supernatural way of life, Romans 8:9.

Christ and the Law

Now the Mosaic Law has been completely set aside as a way of life for the Christian. It was a system of morality and a picture of Jesus Christ. Now the law was fulfilled by Jesus Christ; His perfect character fulfilled the demands of the morality of the law. He Himself, through His death, fulfilled all the pictures of the Christology of the law.

In Romans 8:2 and 4 tells us the amazing thing that God the Holy Spirit produces something in the Christian that the law never could. Romans 8:2-4. “For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”
The law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus is being indwelled by God, the Holy Spirit; the law of sin and death is the old sin nature control. For what the law could not do, that it was made through the flesh, God sending His own Son, in the likeness of sinful flesh-not that He was sinful flesh. He looked like a human being, but He didn’t have a sin nature, and for sin condemned sin, judged sin in flesh.

The Pastor Teacher and the Supernatural Way of Life

Pastor teacher is given to the congregation, therefore, to explain to that congregation the supernatural way of life to which they have been called to live, and to tell them the means by which they can execute the supernatural way of life. Ephesians 5:1-2 says “be therefore followers, or imitators, of God, as dear children. And walk in love as Christ also hath loved us.”

Do you love other people the way Jesus Christ loved you? God is asking you to love just the way He loves; that’s the supernatural way of life-“and hath given Himself for us in offering, a sacrifice to God for sweet-smelling savor.”

So, now, if you have a pastor teacher who’s titillating your emotions and giving you inspirational sermons and hop, skipping, and jumping around the Bible with a little text here and a little text there, and who gets up every Sunday morning and gives you some gung-ho inspirational, emotional talk to go out and do something for God so that you jump up and grab the flag and go storming out of the place to do something for God, and then stop and say “uh, where are we going? What are we supposed to do?” You are being conned, if that’s your situation.

What the Ministry Requires

It takes a man of insight and a man of courage to be in the ministry today, and not go along with the gimmicks, and not go along with the professional profile of the professional minister, and to stand against his propaganda and his success stories and to stay with the Word-and to stay with the business and the job of pastor teacher, which we are going to look at in considerable detail Sunday morning. And if you want to know and be clear once and for all what the local church is all about, don’t miss next Sunday morning.

This is build-up to the most neglected truth, just about, in the local church functioning in our day. It was General Douglas MacArthur who, when referring to his experience as a soldier-I think he was speaking to a class at West Point when he said for him, it had always been the army, and the army, and the army. And for those that are called into the pastor teaching ministry: to paraphrase that expression-for them it is always the Word, and the Word, and the Word.

Now you may have all kinds of ideas, what you think that you’ve picked up, up and down the streets of Christendom, as to what a pastor teacher is all about, what he should be doing. You may have been carried away with the idea the pastor should be occupied with human dynamics, a lot of educational gimmickry and devices, rather than the power of God, through the Word of God, in the lives of people.

But I summarize it for you that if you cannot sit in church and you cannot honestly say that the thrusts of the ministry towards you is the Word, and the Word, and the Word-then you are out of phase with the divine arrangement for the local church.
And if you have to say to yourself, you can’t remember last Sunday morning’s sermon, let alone last month’s sermon-not that you don’t remember in detail, but that you can’t say “I’ve gotten this much information from this sermon; I know this I know this I know”-then somebody is conning you. Because if the Word of God is being given, and you are functioning under the grace system receiving it, your life is coordinating with the mind of God.

The Pastor’s Role

So, the work of the ministry is a thing that concerns us. What is the pastor’s role? Alright, we go to Ephesians 4, beginning in verse 8: what is the role of the pastor-teacher? “Wherefore he said, when he ascended up on high, He lead captivity captive and gave gifts unto men.”

Now the background of the pastor teacher’s work and calling, prior to the ascension of Jesus Christ, he had been the lower parts of the earth. That’s what it means here in verse 8 when it says “when he ascended up on high, he ascended from Hades to heaven, and when He did, we’re told that He gave gifts unto men. And this, in that context, refers to spiritually gifted men: men who have been given, for spiritually types of men that we’re going to look at, who have been given for the functioning of the local church.

Jesus Christ is head of the church. First gave one of these, which is that of the pastor teacher at the beginning of the church dispensation. Now the Holy Spirit sovereignly bestows at the point of salvation the gift of pastor teacher upon certain men; He never bestows it upon women. He always bestows it only upon men, and only upon certain men. So, if you have a lady who’s a pastor of a church, right away you know you’re out of the Word of God. And you know you are listening to someone who may know something about the Bible, but who does not have the authoritative position of pastor teacher.

How the Gift is Given

Now the pastor teacher is a gift which is given; nobody gets into the ministry by some dramatic surrender to preach. Every now and then, I hear about pastors asking people to raise their hands in the service and to some who will surrender to preach. And it’s kind of an insulting way of treating God and talking to God, like He’s put a gun to your head, and said “OK boy, you are going to open your mouth and start preaching? Or I’m going to pull the trigger.” And so you say, “OK. I surrender.” Or some public dedication: some dramatic, public move by which you enter full-time service.

This always makes a hot, jumping service when a professional preacher can get up and say, “I’ve got 6 young kids to come up and say they’re going to dedicate their lives to full time Christian service.”

See, every Christian is in full-time service. The moment you were saved, you were in the plan of God.

And it is the pastor teacher who was also gifted at the point of salvation with his special capacity for service. And it is a series of decisions-his gift is different because it requires a series of decisions to train the gift, to prepare the gift, and then to respond to the call in some specific church to which he is to lead a congregation.

Because God has a specific pastor for a specific church. When you find pastors who float around everywhere, 2 ½-3 years, which is the average in the United States, it is because they are not in the right church or they don’t have the pastor teacher gift.

You can’t orient yourself to your call as pastor teacher unless you understand what happened when Jesus Christ went to heaven and the individual Christian became the target of satanic attack. Satan’s attack has been countered with a provision from God, and the man is the pastor teacher.

The Structure of Spiritual Maturity

Now the provision is that God is to build your life, a structured spiritual maturity. We are going to spend several Sundays on this structure of spiritual maturity. A structure of spiritual maturity: and this is what the Christian life is all about. And if you do not have this structure, you cannot possibly meet Satan’s attacks.

I’m just going to abbreviate this morning: this structure, first of all, includes grace orientation. You know what it is to be oriented to grace. The last couple of tapes should’ve given you some information on that.

Another thing that you will have when you are a mature Christian is a relaxed mental attitude. That means that you will have no mental sins. The Geek word agape in its relationship as we showed you to the Latin language, is a mental esteem. It is a non-emotional word, there is no emotion in agape love. And it is a mind which is free of these mental attitude sins, no ill-will on any front-toward anybody, toward anything. And the result is a relaxed mental attitude.

Now we’re going to spend the whole service on what a relaxed mental attitude is. And there’s nothing so tremendous like a Christian who’s come to the maturity where he’s got a relaxed mind.

The Details of Life

It will also include a mastery of the details of life. The details of life are not the details of things that are not necessary; they’re necessities. But it’s your attitude toward them, it’s the fact that they are not the supreme thing in life.

And I’ll tell you this is one thing that aggravates and burdens a pastor’s heart, I’ve found in 20 years which I just completed, I think today in this church-this is what aggravates a pastor’s heart: the fact that parents can’t teach their children how to master the details of life. I have more high school kids that are in jobs that interfere with spiritual activity, and their parents don’t see that they are teaching their children a self-destructive role. They think that because they get a little grubby for a few dollars, that makes it a little easier for the family where they’ve already got several people working. So, they put their kids to working too, thinking it’s going to teach them something.

It teaches them something, all right. It teaches them the doctrine and the Word of God and service are not number one. And you have already violated a principle of the Word that says “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and these other things shall be added unto you.” And so there are the details of life to which we are enslaved, to which control, which drive us. This is one of the hardest things in life for the Christian to get spiritually mature on.

Love and Pseudo-Love

It will also include a capacity to love. That love will be toward God, opposite sex, friends. You cannot love unless you know Bible doctrine. Jesus says, “If you love Me, keep My commandments.” If you don’t know His commandments, you can’t love Him.

And this is an amazing thing, when a Christian is struck by the fact that I can’t even love the particular woman or particular man that God created for me for marriage-I can’t love that person until I know Bible doctrine. And so I go in with pseudo-love. And I go along with a half-baked imitation quality.

Then, there’s going to be an inner happiness-that inner happiness which is apart from circumstances. And this isn’t going around, gritting your teeth and telling yourself, “oh, I’m happy, I’m happy, I’m happy, and the Lord is so sweet!” This is going around and you are happy because you are stabilized, and you are oriented to the Word of God.

The Pastor Teacher’s Job

Now here’s a whole realm that’s coming up, and pastor teacher has been called to structure this into your life. And that’s a job. And that’s why he sounds off, that’s why he stands in the breach, that’s why he puts Christians downwind-so that in these respects, they get the drift of how they really are. So that they say: “here’s where my maturity level lies. So, he says, when he ascended up on high, he held captivity captive and gave gifts unto men. And what He gave is this pastor teacher.

Now he does his job in three ways. And you notice, it’s a pastor teacher, we’ll get to that a little later. It’s a combined job. You can’t be a pastor if you’re not a teacher.

Don’t get carried away with this talk about preaching. You know what preaching is? Preaching is explaining the Word, not shouting and telling you interesting stories. I could tell you a lot of funny stories. I can say things if I want to that would make you roll in the aisles, because you would think they’re so, so cute. And you would go home and say, “Boy, that was surely a jumpin’ service!” But you’d be ignorant of the Word of God.

A pastor teacher does his job in this way: first, he does it by exegesis. That’s a fancy word, and that means “interpreting”. That means he goes verse by verse through a book of the Bible, and he interprets it, and he tells you what God the Holy Spirit meant when He said it. And that’s verse by verse. Now sometimes he may go into a series and take certain topics and put them together, like what we’re doing now in this morning’s series. But you don’t learn the Bible until you sit down and you start a book of the Bible and the pastor teacher takes you through it verse by verse-and he explained to you on the basis of the original languages what it means and what it’s saying, what’s behind it.

He also does it-and here’s another good word: isagogically. That’ll gag you. Isagogically. Here’s what they used in seminary, I just wanted to show you that when you send money to seminary, you’re not wasting your money. Isagogically: What this means is that you take a scripture and you interpret it on the basis of what the conditions were under which these were written, what the background was at the times, what the historical situation was, what the people were facing, what their geography was, what their way of life was. And you interpret a scripture on the basis of the times.

And then he does something else: he summarizes doctrine. Every now and then, we say, “here’s the doctrine of human good in 12 points. One point, two…” And you can go home, and if you put out the effort and the trouble to think this through, there are people here right now that if I were to say, “alright, let’s summarize the doctrine of the old sin nature”-you couldn’t maybe go one, two, three, four, but you’d stop and think and write into your mind the clear and definitive concepts of this miserable thing that lives within you that is a destructive element in your life. And you’d be able to go right down the line, explaining the old sin nature. And when you can do that, you know how to function.

Now we’re going to have to show you what happens to what you know, and when you receive it in more detail as we go along here. This morning, we’re setting the basic groundwork.

What It Means

And so we now come to verse 9, “Now that He ascends, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?” What is it-is what does it mean? And the word “first” is not in the Greek, he say what does it mean? The lower parts of the earth refer to Sheol, or Hades. And verse 10 says, “He that descended is the same also that ascended up, far above all things that he might fill all things.”

Now I want to just mention 4 things about this word, fill. This is the point of the pastor teacher role. The word “fill:” The Greek word is “pleroo,” and it means first of all “to fill up a deficiency”. That’s point number one.

When you are born again, you come into the Christian life with a tremendous spiritual deficiency. And it is Jesus Christ who provided a means for filling up the deficiency. This was at the point of time when He provided a system for learning, by grace, and God is the active agent who performs this.

This word also means “to possess fully”. The believer is to be completely possessed by some information, and that is Bible doctrine. This Bible doctrine in this human spirit will control his life.

The word “pleroo” also means “to influence fully”-to develop a frame of reference, so that you have a guide for your life, a basis for learning more doctrine, a basis for the content of prayer, a basis for being accurate in witnessing, a basis for being able to discern a believer priest.

And finally, it also means “to fill up with a quality”. And that quality is divine good instead of the human good that the old sin nature cranks out.

Now, this is the introduction: the role of the pastor teacher.

Dr. John E. Danish, 1971

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