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A Prayer by our Pastor
“Come, Holy Spirit, Come”
Our Father, we praise and honor you as the Almighty God, the maker of heaven and earth. We worship you as the Father of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Thank you for blessing us with every heavenly blessing in Jesus. We confess that we have grown cold and lazy in our love for you. We confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed against you. We have neglected your Word and your work putting our own lives before you. We need help! We need forgiveness!   Forgive us for Christ sake. Send down in fresh power and presence your Holy Spirit. We need to be revived. We need to be empowered. We need to be purified. We need to be unified. We need to see Jesus more clearly. Thank you for your Holy Spirit, because He does all those things in us. Thank you, Holy Spirit. Come to us and fill us afresh. 

In Jesus Name,
AMEN


Praying for your Pastor
Today our text in Titus deals with the role of pastors (elders, overseers) in the local church. As I have been reading this passage I have felt the burden and the blessing of being called to be an under-shepherd in Jesus’ flock. It is an impossible task without the daily grace of God. I recognize how far I fall short of being all that I need to be and doing all that needs to be done. I represent the Lord to you by bringing you His Word. I represent you to the Lord by praying to Him on your behalf. I see the heart of my ministry being summed up in Acts 6:4in which the Apostles say, “But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word."  I hope and pray that by God’s mercy I will grow in this simple commitment of sticking to the basics and that our church and community will be blessed as a result. Well, how can you help me? There are several ways you can help, but the greatest is to pray for me. The Apostle Paul says in Romans 15:30, “I appeal to you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to strive together with me in your prayers to God on my behalf…” I other words pray for me. Pray specifically. Pray regularly. Pray earnestly. Pray cooperatively. Pray that God will strengthen me in my weaknesses and humble me in my strengths. Pray for my personal relationship with the Lord. Pray for my growth in grace and knowledge. Pray for my family life, especially my role as a husband. Pray for my wife. Pray for my health. Pray for my relationship with all members of the church. Pray for increased fruit of the Spirit in my life. Pray that I would not fall into sin. Pray that I would persevere as your pastor for as long as God wants. Pray that I would love and lead you better. Pray that I would have greater compassion for the lost. Pray that I would not make shipwreck of my life and ministry. Pray that I would preach Christ without compromise all the days of my life. Pray that I would preach Christ with increasing passion and clarity in the power of the Holy Spirit. Pray that I would be faithful unto death. I plead with you to pray for me. It is the greatest gift you could ever give me. In the words of 2 Corinthians 1:11, “You also must help us by prayer, so that many will give thanks on our behalf for the blessing granted us through the prayers of many.”
Thank You for Praying for Me,
Pastor David




Transformed by Truth
 
Scripture Text: Titus 2:15
Sermon Title: The Authority Crisis in Today’s Church
 
Who Should Be In Control of the Church?  Jesus Christ
Ephesians 5:23  For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior.
How Does Christ rule His Church? Through His Word
Pastor/Teachers, Elders, Overseers are under a divine mandate to communicate Christ’s rule in Christ’s Church
 
1.)        What we are to Declare: God’s Word
Pastors have been given authority in the Church but it stands on and flows from one place alone: His faithful and accurate understanding and teaching of God’s Word
It’s not personal authority, It’s not positional authority, It’s not educational authority…
It is only commissioned authority based on faithful execution of the commander in chief’s word
       Titus 2:15 Declare these things; exhort and rebuke with all authority. Let no one disregard you.
NLT Titus 2:15 You must teach these things and encourage your people to do them, correcting them when necessary. You have the authority to do this, so don't let anyone ignore you or disregard what you say.
These Things= Specifically the “sound doctrine” of this letter and the teaching of all of Scripture in general
       John 7:16-18  So Jesus answered them, "My teaching is not mine, but his who sent me. 17 If anyone's will is to do God's will, he will know whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own authority. 18 The one who speaks on his own authority seeks his own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and in him there is no falsehood.
       2 Timothy 4:2 preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.
       John 8:31-32   So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."1 Thessalonians 2:13  And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
 
2.) How We are To Declare It: Authoritatively
Pastors must declare these things with authority keeping in mind the burden of the passage and the situation of the people
Not Suggestively, Timidly, Doubtfully, Meanly, Destructively, NO: Rather- Authoritatively
 
Thus Says The Lord…
Mark 1:22 And they were astonished at his teaching, for he taught them as one who had authority, and not as the scribes.
Laleo (Declare)= speak, talk, say; preach, proclaim; tell; be able to speak; address, sound (of thunder)
“Pastors have no personal spiritual authority at all. They speak authoritatively only when they speak the Word of God accurately.” Titus, McArthur, 128
1 Peter 4:10-11 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God's varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies- in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen
 
Two Tones of Declaration: 
Exhorting: to encourage, strengthen, comfort, beseech, urge, to ask for earnestly
parakalei, press with much earnestness. Ministers must not be cold and lifeless in delivering heavenly doctrine and precepts, as if they were indifferent things or of little concern; but they must urge them with earnestness suitable to their nature and importance (Matthew Henry)
Rebuking: Convict, expose, chide, to chasten, to discipline, to shame, to bring to light, correct
Authority: Mandate, Command, with every possible form of authority
Matthew 15:6  So for the sake of your tradition you have made void the word of God.