The Lord’s Message
through Pastor Julius Aquino October 4, 2015
Intro: The first leader that we know of in the Bible is Moses. Compared to Abraham who was called by God to build a nation, Moses was to deliver the nation the descendants of Abraham from slavery in Egypt after four hundred years. Why Moses? While the Israelites were slaves in Egypt they were exploding in numbers and Pharaoh was threatened that the men will be more than the men of Egypt so he had all the boys born to be killed. There was no abortion at that time so the midwives were instructed to kill the baby if it was a boy but they defied Pharaoh’s orders. When Moses was born the mother saw something in the boy. “When she saw that he was a fine child she hid him for three months.” Ex. 2:2
I trust we have read and familiar with this account. What the Lord wants us to see is this boy was special and God kept him from being killed. Fast forward, when he was eighty years old, after forty years of tending sheep, God appeared to him in a burning bush then spoke to him audibly and here’s what God said, The Lord said, “I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hands of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey – the home of the Canaanites… So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of
Egypt. ” Ex. 3: 7-8, 10
But how did Moses respond? Did he say yes right away? He gave excuses that he is so and so, and what if… but did God gave up and said okay, if you are not willing to go, I’ll find someone else? No! God did not give up on Moses because he was His chosen one to deliver His people from bondage. But who was behind Moses to accomplish what he did? God said to him, “I will be with you.” Then who took Moses’ place to lead God’s people and be appointed by God? Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel. “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to our forefathers to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged…Now Joshua son of Nun was filled with the spirit of wisdom because Moses has laid his hands on him. So the Israelites listened to him and did what the Lord had commanded Moses.” Deut. 31:7-8; 34:9
Now fast forward to the New Testament as is written from the book of Hebrews. “Therefore, holy brothers, who share in the heavenly calling, fix your thoughts on Jesus, the apostle and high priest whom we confess. He was faithful to the one who appointed him, just as Moses was faithful in all God’s house. Jesus has been found worthy of greater honor than Moses, just as the builder of the house has greater honor than the house itself. For every house is built by someone, but God is the builder of everything. Moses was faithful as a servant in all God’s house, testifying to what would be said in the future. But Christ is faithful as a son over God’s house. And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and hope whom we boast.” Heb. 3:1-6
What is common between Christ and Moses? Both were faithful. Faithfulness is the main character of a leader. But here’s the difference in their faithfulness. Christ was faithful to the one who appointed him. Christ is faithful as a son while Moses was faithful as a servant to take care of God’s house only and those were the Israelites numbering more than two million people that were delivered by God from Egypt until he died. Christ is faithful to this day till He returns to take the house, that is the church that He purchased by His blood. Christ said this to Peter, “I will build my church and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.” Then he warned his disciples not to tell anyone that he is the Christ. Matt. 16:18b. [in the ESV version it is Hades is “hell”]
Why were they not to tell that Jesus was the Christ? Because at that time, Jesus was still alive and the gospel was not yet fulfilled? Jesus had to die, buried and be raised on the third day. But was Peter faithful to His Lord after Jesus was arrested to be identified with Jesus? He denied Him three times. Then after Jesus was raised from the dead Jesus restored and gave Peter three commands, “Feed my lambs, take care of my sheep and feed my sheep.” Was Peter faithful after that? Yes, he was. He suffered and endured persecution and later was also crucified for his Lord because he was faithful by the Spirit who was now in him producing faithfulness.
What about the one appointed by God to plant churches as a missionary? We know about Paul who was faithful to his religion of Judaism that he even persecuted Christian which in effect he was persecuting Jesus who was in them. And by the grace of God was saved and appointed him into his service. Here’s his testimony to a young pastor he mentored for the ministry Timothy, “I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. Even though I was once a blasphemer and a persecutor and a violent man, I was shown mercy because I acted in ignorance and unbelief. The grace of the Lord was poured out on me abundantly along with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.” 1 Tim. 1:12-14
God then used Paul to write most of the letters in the New Testament addressing churches how they are to carry out God’s purpose in building Christ’s churches. When did God think of saving and calling Paul to this assignment as a missionary and church planter to the Gentiles? Here’s what the Holy Spirit revealed to him. “But when God, who set me apart from birth and called me by his grace, was pleased to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man, nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.” Gal. 1:14-17
I believe that the Holy Spirit led him to Arabia to be on one on one with Jesus for three years. He got all his knowledge of Christ, His purpose and His will for the churches he will plant and grow in the Lord. Paul then wrote in his letters who and how God appoints leaders or pastors for His churches. The title of this message is.
“God Chooses the Pastors for His Church[es]”
“But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.” (What does “he ascended” means except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions. He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens in order to fill the whole universe.) It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and be mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” Eph. 4:10-13
The grace Paul mentions here is the grace given to everyone Christ appoints to do certain tasks. The gift refers to spiritual gifts not eternal life. So we see what Paul said that it is Christ who appoints and gives the grace to enable the person to do what he called them to do. Who chose and called the apostles? Christ did. Are there apostles today, no more because the last one was the apostle Paul? The equivalent of the apostles today, are the missionaries sent out to plant churches as Paul did. Who were called to be prophets? Paul was one who prophesied about the rapture foretelling the future events and wrote in the Scriptures. Prophets today are those who declare and explain what was prophesied both from the Old and the New Testaments. Those gifted with evangelism are those who are enabled to evangelize to huge crowds with the gospel, like Peter, Paul and today Billy Graham, etc. Then when God gather His elect together and combine them to form a church, Christ calls and appoints a pastor to lead His flock. A pastor is a teacher as well given the grace of God to enable them to do the task. It is Christ who appoints who will pastor His church and not man who chooses to be the pastor of the church of Jesus Christ. So when we were about to draw the lot whom Christ will appoint who should have decided that? And the Lord Jesus Christ did it in a dramatic way by exposing the heart of the other candidate who was not willing to submit to God’s will to be chosen but set his own condition if he is not chosen he will leave. We were in awe at how the Sovereign Lord revealed His will. So God has spoken through the rejection by one not to submit to God’s will.
So now Christ the head of His church has a new pastor as a replacement after he sends the current pastor to a new assignment. We have already taken in the past the qualification of those who are called and willing to be given the gift to lead God’s flock. Here’s Paul’s exhortation to young Timothy. “This is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance (and for this we labor and strive), that we have put our hope in the Savior of all men, and especially those who believe. Command and teach these things. Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” 1 Tim. 4:9-12
In addition to this Paul charged young Timothy this, “But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” 1 Tim. 6:11-12
Timothy was to flee from the love of money which is the root of all kinds of evil.
Then there is also a charge for the church concerning the leaders especially the pastors appointed by Christ to serve His church starting with these commands. “Keep on loving each other as brothers.” Heb. 13:1 “Remember your leaders, who spoke the word of God to you. Consider the outcome of their way of life and imitate their faith. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Heb. 13:7-8
This means Christ headship over His church remains the same from the past till the present and future and this is because Christ our God will never change. Lastly, “Obey your leaders and submit to their authority. They keep watch over you as men who must give an account. Obey them so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that would be of no advantage to you.” Heb. 13:17
And lastly, I believe and you have witnessed and affirmed that brother Joe Salcedo in now the Pastor who will take over when I leave. I now echo what Paul admonished Timothy and other pastors he has mentored. “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard… Now I commit you to God and to the word of his grace which can build you up and give you an inheritance among those who are sanctified.” Acts 20:28- 31a, 32
Today we will accept and affirm God’s appointment of Pastor Joe as your pastor.