Sermon Prepared by James McCullen
Email Preach Him with Dr. Jim

A GOOD SHEPHERD INSTRUCTS
1 Peter 5:1-4

1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as {your} fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed, 2 shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight not under compulsion, but voluntarily, according to {the will of} God; and not for sordid gain, but with eagerness; 3 nor yet as lording it over those allotted to your charge, but proving to be examples to the flock. 4 And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. (NAS)
 

INTRODUCTION:
One of the real advantages of preaching through books of the bible verse by verse as we have been doing in I peter is you can't skip Anything. You preach everything. You preach on every kind of subject imaginable. Now today I've got some good news for most of you. I'm not preaching to you primarily. I am preaching primarily to me and secondarily to the staff. You see the sermon this morning is going to be by the pastor, about the pastor, and to the pastor yet you can apply the truth.

Let me ask the ladies a question. If your husband comes home today and says God is calling me to preach what will be your reaction? I think most of you would not immediately be happy. From past experiences I think your first thought would be I don't want to be a pastor's wife.

Let me ask all of us this question. Suppose your son comes home today and says God has called me to preach. What will be your reaction? Many of you will think oh no I don't want my son subject to the criticism I have seen preachers get.

The Elder or Pastor's life can be one of prominence, and joy and blessing. It can also be one of great pain. I am please that God called me to preach and be a pastor. I would not change the life I have had for some other occupation. But the demands and expectations by some on the minister can be frustrating.

Richard Cantrell, Noval's son and J. B. brother is married to the daughter of Dr. J. D. Gray, former pastor at First Baptist Church in New Orleans and former President of the Southern Baptist Convention.

I read this week of his collection of thoughts concerning the preacher.

"If the pastor is young, they say he lacks experience.

If his hair is gray, he's too old for the young people.

If he has five or six children, he has too many.

If he has no children, he's setting a bad example.

If he preaches from notes, he has canned sermons and is dry.

If his messages are extemporaneous, he's not deep enough.

If he's attentive to the poor people in the church, they claim he's playing to the grandstand.

If he pays attention to the wealthy, he's trying to be an aristocrat.

If he uses too many illustrations, he neglects the Bible.

If he doesn't use enough stories, he isn't clear.

If he condemns wrong, he's cranky.

If he doesn't preach against sin, they say he's a compromiser.

If he preaches the truth, he's offensive.

If he doesn't preach the truth, he's a hypocrite.

If he fails to please everybody, he's hurting the church and ought to leave.

If he does please everybody, he has no convictions.

If he drives an old car, he shames his congregation.

If he drives a new car, he's "setting his affection on earthly things."

If he preaches all the time, the people get tired of hearing one man.

If he invites guest preachers, he's shirking his responsibility.

If he receives a large salary, he's mercenary.

If he receives a small salary, well, that proves that he's not worth much,  anyway.

Moving Right Along.

The meaning of Exhortation:
To come along side of to encourage or instruct. To urge by strong advice or appeal. It is strong counsel.

The Meaning of Elders.
A term for the pastor. Where did eldership come from? What does the term, "elder," mean? It is the oldest religious office in the world. It has a long and important history. Moses appointed 70 elders to help shoulder the burden of leadership Num.11:16-30.

Notice that the term, "elder" is from the word, "presbyter," which is where the Presbyterian church got its name. The term, "elder," is found 63 times in the NAS New Testament. It is found 18 times in the Acts; 5 of those being in the 15th chapter. It was a unique group of mature, spiritual leaders who had the responsibility for the church. It usually meant men of mature age (gray hair, etc.). The term moved from a physical age to a spiritual maturity, often combining the older chronological in order and the spiritually older in the faith.

Elders in v 1, pastors or shepherds in v 2, bishops or overseer in v 2 , are all designations of the same offices, just as saints, believers and brethren are three designations for the same body of believers.
 
 

1.    The . . Exhortation of a Good Shepherd. v 1


1 Therefore, I exhort the elders among you, as {your} fellow elder and witness of the sufferings of Christ, and a partaker also of the glory that is to be revealed,

A.    It is an Exhortation from A ..Sympathetic Shepherd.1 a
            ". . . as {your} fellow elder . . . "

        1.    Simon knew the work of an Elder - Pastor.
 

B.    It is an Exhortation from A ..Suffering Shepherd.1 b
            ". . . and witness of the sufferings of Christ, . . . "

        1.    Simon was a witness because:
                a.    He saw Christ Suffer.
                b.    He was telling what he saw.
                c.    He experienced suffering for the Name of Christ.
 

C.    It is an Exhortation from A ..Saved Shepherd. 1 c
            ". . . and a partaker also. . ."
        1.    Simon knew the Lord, he partook of salvation.
 

Illustration
When I was a student at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth Texas the President preached a chapel message on the subject "you must be born again". I thought to my self how strange a text in a seminary chapel. The president gave an initiation and 2 people responded for salvation.

In California where I pastored and attended the Ministerial alliance I thought one man did not seem to know what it meant to be a saved person. He had a licence plate holder that said "Don't Follow Me I'm Lost". When I saw it I kind of laughed and he said now don't make something theological out of that, but I did. There was another minister of the same denomination in the group and he told me he had similar feeling about this man.

D.    It is an Exhortation from A ..Sharing Shepherd. 1 d
            ". . . of the glory that is to be revealed, . . . "
 

ILLUSTRATION:
Christian psychiatrists Drs. Frank B. Minirth and Paul D. Meier insist that any patient of theirs who is a Christian must be honest and use language that expresses the reality of the situation. In their book Happiness is a Choice, the authors state, "... we cringe whenever patients use the word 'can't'. They say, for example, 'I just can't get along with my husband.' 'I can't give up the affair I'm having.' 'I can't stop overeating.' 'I can't love my wife'....
 

APPLICATION:

If an individual changes all his can't's to won't's, he stops avoiding the truth, quits deceiving himself, and starts living in reality."

Simon Exhorted like a good shepherd.
 
 

2.    The . . Exercising of a Good Shepherd. v 2 a


2     shepherd the flock of God among you, exercising oversight

A.    Exercising Oversight . . Distinctively.
        1.    Every Individual.
        2.    The Entire Congregation.
                a.    It Is God's Flock.
                b.    Not Jim McCullen's Church.
                c.    Not Your Church, it is the Lord's.
                d.    Seniority doesn't make it yours or mine.

B.    Exercising Oversight . . Doctrinally.

1 Tim 6:3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine, and does not agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, (NAS)

2 Tim 4:3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but {wanting} to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires; (NAS)

Titus 1:9 holding fast the faithful word which is in accordance with the teaching, that he may be able both to exhort in sound doctrine and to refute those who contradict. (NAS)

Pat Campbell a former J W, will be here in January.

ILLUSTRATION

It was a sheep -- not a lamb, that strayed away,
In the parable Jesus told: A grown-up sheep that had gone astray
From the ninety and nine in the fold.
Out in the meadows, out in the cold,
'Twas a sheep the good Shepherd sought.

Back to the flock and into the fold,
'Twas a sheep the good Shepherd brought.
And why for the sheep, should we earnestly long,
And so earnestly hope and pray?
Because there is danger, if they go wrong,
They will lead the young lambs away.
For the lambs follow the sheep, you know,
Wherever the sheep may stray;

If the sheep go wrong, it will not be long
Till the lambs are as wrong as they.
So with the sheep we earnestly plead, For the sake of the lambs today.
If the lambs are lost, what a terrible cost, Some sheep may have to pay!
 

APPLICATION:

Oversight is concern for the sheep. Simon exercised oversight of the flock.
 
 

3.    The . . Example of a Good Shepherd. v 2 b ­ 3


2 d , not by necessity, but willingly; not for base gain, but readily; 3 not as lording it over your possessions, but being models for the flock.

A.    The Example in Willingness. 2 b
        1.    Negative, "Not of necessity. . . not for base gain"
        2.    Positive, "But Willingly . . . but readily"

B.    Example in Attitude. 3
        1.    Negatively, "Not as Lording it over"
        2.    Positively, "Being models to the flock"

ILLUSTRATION:
Dr. Bryan pastored the Fifth Street Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, and if you go there today you will see a statue of this godly Presbyterian minister. One day, as he was on his way to

church, he saw a young man selling papers. He invited him to come to church with him, but the lad said he couldn't come until his papers were sold. Dr. Bryan said, "If I buy all your papers, will you come to church?" The boy said, "Yes, Sir."

Dr. Bryan bought the papers, and every Sunday he would come by, buy all the boy's papers and take him to church. It wasn't too long until the lad was converted. He continued to grow up, he finished high school, the church sponsored his college education, and then God called him into the ministry.

The years went by and Dr. Bryan went to heaven. The church where he had pastored was looking for another undershepherd and they agreed on a fine-looking young man as God's choice. To the amazement of the gathered congregation, they looked into the face of the grown-up little boy which Dr. Bryan had picked up off the street, led to Jesus, shepherded and encouraged to become a man of God. He followed in the steps of his pastor-example.

APPLICATION:

How is my example? I wish it were better but what if:

1.    Everyone gave in the same percentage of there regular income as I have
       through the years?

2.    Everyone witnessed as much as I have through the years?

3.    Everyone studied scripture as much as I have through the years?

4.    Everyone prayed as much as I have through the years?

Simon was an example, all pastors ought to be.
 
 

4.    The . . Earnings of a Good Shepherd. v 4


4 And when the chief shepherd is manifested ye shall receive the unfading crown of glory.
 

A.    The Giver of the Earnings. 4 a "the Chief Shepherd"

B.    The Guarantee of the Earnings. 4 b "ye shall receive"

C.    The Glory of the Earnings. 4 b "Unfading crown"
 

ILLUSTRATION:
In the 1988 Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea, Ben Johnson of Canada won the one-hundred-meter dash, setting a new Olympic record and a new world record. Our American contender, Carl Lewis, came in second, and most were shocked that he hadn't won the gold. After the race, the judges learned that Johnson had an illegal substance in his body. He ran the race illegally, so the judges took away his medal. Though he ran faster and made an unforgettable impression, he did not deserve the reward.

Though the world and even our fellow Christians may be impressed with and applaud our deeds, let's not forget that God is the final judge! He searches our hearts; He alone knows our motivation. And He will be the One to say, "This deserves a reward. Ah, but that does not."

APPLICATION:

There are earnings for all of us.

This crown is for a Good Shepherd. v 4