PART 2 THE CHURCH OF GOD OR CHURCH OF MAN

Self-ImprovementSpirituality

  • Author James Rondinone
  • Published May 7, 2022
  • Word count 1,746

PART 2 THE CHURCH OF GOD OR CHURCH OF MAN

1

WHAT’S THE NUMBER ONE THING THAT WE SHOULD INITIALLY BE LOOKING FOR WHEN SEARCHING FOR A PASTOR?             

We’re going to begin by looking at Scriptures that are from the book of Acts, the Epistles, and the book of Revelation that will assist us in unveiling the qualifications, duties, and what the teaching content of the messages of a pastor-teacher should be comprised of. You might ask, why aren’t you not using the Old Testament and the four Gospels Scriptures? This is simply because the revelation about the specifics of the leadership of the New Testament church wasn’t unveiled in any of those books.

I think we’d agree that most of the Old Testament Scriptures pertain to the theocratic nation of Israel that operated under obedience to the God-given institution of the Mosaic Law and its prescribed priesthood. While the four Gospels do unveil in a limited way Scriptures that talk about a new kingdom that was forthcoming, a power source that would reside within by means of the indwelling of one of the members of the Trinity, and a new attitude that focuses on the renewal of the thoughts of an individual, however, the specific office of pastor wasn’t mentioned until the revelation of such was disclosed to some of the apostles and disciples, proclaimed by them, and recorded in the writings of the New Testament canon. So, sit back, read, and enjoy what is about to be presented.

By the way, there’s one more important thing to be aware of. This study is going to present a lot of information about the office of a pastor. If you try to use all of it at one time as an aide in either assisting you in finding a pastor or in critiquing the pastor of the church that you’re currently attending or have yet to attend, you’ll probably become overwhelmed. So, what I recommend is to try and pick out just a few ideas from each chapter and use these to make a determination as to whether those in leadership pass what I’ll call the Bible rating.

 

Where should we begin?

Let’s start by looking at what I consider the number one thing that should be clearly evident to us when searching for a pastor.

John 3:5 Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

From this verse, we can deduce this question.

Is the pastor born-again? Another way of asking this is, has the pastor received the indwelling Holy Spirit?

This is by far the most important qualification of a pastor. In other words, was there an acknowledgment at a point of time when the pastor acknowledged themselves as a sinner to God the Father along with expressing a desire to turn from them and make a profession of belief in Jesus Christ, the Messiah/Savior, as to who He is and what He has accomplished? This is otherwise known as responding to the gospel of Christ.

What should this gospel convey to a listener?

The gospel of Christ is the good news that Jesus Christ, the God-man, who as one of the members of the Trinity, pre-existed time, left heaven, was born of a virgin, lived a sinless life obeying the directives of another member of the Trinity, this being God the Father, died on a cross paying the debt for the sins of all mankind along with providing forgiveness for them thus satisfying the justice of God, rose again after three days never to die again, was witnessed on earth by over five hundred people in His glorified body, and ascended into heaven. Belief in this Jesus is one of the conditions for a person receiving the indwelling Holy Spirit. If a person has received the Holy Spirit, then they’re born again (born anew).

The other condition is repenting of one’s sins.

Acts 17:30 And the times of this ignorance God winked at; but now commandeth all men every where to repent:

The word repent means to change one’s views, designs, and practices or to turn from one’s evil ways to God the Father, which precedes belief in His Son. When an unbeliever repents and believes, they’ll receive into their life (body) the person of the Holy Spirit.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we are bound to give thanks alway to God for you, brethren beloved of the Lord, because God hath from the beginning chosen you to salvation through sanctification of the Spirit and belief of the truth:

This verse supports the conjecture that it’s the belief of the truth (belief of the gospel of Christ, which includes repentance) that causes an unbeliever to receive and thus be sanctified by the Spirit. This begs the question.

How do you know if the pastor is born-again or born anew of the Spirit?

Just ask. Pastor, would you mind answering this question? Are you born-again? If the response was, I repented of my sins to God the Father and believed in His Son; God come in the flesh, deity (possesses the divine attributes of sovereignty, righteousness, justice, love, eternal life, omniscience, omnipotence, omnipresence, immutability, and veracity), then Hallelujah.

If the response was, I hope I’m going to heaven because:

I believe in the Trinity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

I was sprinkled with water as a baby or immersed in water as an adult.

I obey the tenets of the faith that I’m a member of.

There are many avenues for someone to get to heaven.

Then it should become obvious that this leader hasn’t received the Holy Spirit.

Have you ever taken a test in school where you’re asked to answer many questions, but there’s one that has to be responded to in essay form that’s worth the majority of the points? Well, this is that one. Have you ever been given a box of chocolates, and when you opened the cover, each one had a slightly different appearance along with a unique ingredient inside that you couldn’t see? And you were afraid of picking the wrong one?

My favorite candy filling is soft caramel. I can think of a number of occasions at Christmas when I hoped that the sweet which I decided to choose was exactly what I wanted. And when it wasn’t, I couldn’t just spit it out in front of everyone. I’d quietly get up and go to the bathroom, discharge it out into the toilet, and flush it.

Finding the right pastor is kind of like this. There’s many of them that look good on the outside. They dress well. They speak well. They’re kind. But do they really have the key ingredient that we just talked about.

We’re off to a great start! In the next chapter, we’ll attempt to answer this question. Who calls and qualifies a born-again believer to the leadership office of pastor-teacher? But before we go there, I’ve got an article for you to read about how important it is to choose the right pastor as it would be in choosing the right kind of candy. Maybe this is an over-reach, but I think you’ll enjoy this.

This story mentions a movie that was called Forest Gump. I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of it or seen it? I did. In the movie, the main character, Forest, says “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”

HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT CHOCOLATE FROM THE GIFT BOX IN THE [BREAK ROOM]

Forrest Gump was wrong. [There’s] a way to know what you’re going to get in a box of chocolates — mostly.

[December] 13, 2016 

This time of year, at least in the US, the gift packages and treats come flying in (sometimes literally) from vendors and customers. People are saying “thank you” or “hey, how about sending some more business our way” — and they’re doing it the international language of business: food.

The most commonly used phrase in this language is the classic assorted box of chocolates. Sure, it’s a nice gesture. Most people enjoy chocolate candies. They don’t need to be cut, chilled, prepared, and [they’re] less likely to cause [guilt] due to their diminutive size.

But the box of chocolates comes with baggage — the anxiety of the unknown. We’ve all been there. You mosey on into the [break room] and see a surprise box of chocolates. You’re not an animal, so you’re going to indulge. But you can’t stand the thought of biting into the raspberry creme one, or worse, the monstrosity [that’s] the cherry cordial. You so badly want the chocolate or vanilla buttercream, the nougat, or the caramel one. But the thought of biting into the chocolate with the orange creme sends you into a bout of existential vertigo.

Fear not, friends, [I’ve] stumbled upon a very simple rule to help [you] navigate through the box of [chocolates]. If the candy is square and tall, [you’re] safe — it’s bound to be a [non-fruit-filled] candy. If it’s round, it will tend to be fruit [crème-filled]. Try it at your own risk.

Now, some boxes of chocolates come with guides — a printed paper that shows how the treats are laid out in the box, with their shapes, and tells you what’s in them. This is great, and if you encounter a box with a guide, you can safely dive in. But [it’s] not the common practice. The square/circle rule can help you to pick what you’re looking for in the absence of a guide.

I’m here to help, and I hope this principle has helped you. Let me know how it works for you this holiday season.2

Likewise, I’m here to help you in finding the right pastor to co-labor with. You’ll find something in the final section of this book that will provide you with the right spiritual ingredients so that you’ll know what to look for.                                             

Website: http://bit.ly/1RQnYJ8          

Endnotes

2Mike Sturm. “HOW TO PICK THE RIGHT CHOCOLATE FROM THE GIFT BOX IN THE [BREAK ROOM],” 7 January 2021

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My name is James Rondinone.

I grew up in Massachusetts and began my own spiritual journey early on in life.

I attended Bible college, having completed a two-year Christian Leadership course of study, and graduated as valedictorian (summa cum laude).

I’ve written and published a number of spiritual books on various biblical topics.

These books can be found online.

Amazon.com: https://amzn.to/2RB0Y7D Website: https://makingtheonerightchoice.com

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