He Gives Us Shepherds
Pastors are a gift from God to God’s people for the good of God’s people, the church.
In a prophecy that continues to be fulfilled today, the prophet Jeremiah speaks of God’s provision of shepherds to His people. We see what it means personally and corporately to receive a pastor. God gives shepherds to the church for the purpose of witnessing Jesus Christ’s sovereign rule, nurturing care, and saving power.
Point 1: We are Witnessing the Sovereign Rule of Jesus Christ
Although a pastor may bear many responsibilities, his primary, God-given purpose is to preach the word—to feed people with knowledge and understanding (v. 15). The Great Shepherd Jesus exercises His sovereign rule over us by providing an undershepherd to lay down his life for the congregation.
Point 2: We are Witnessing the Nurturing, Cherishing Care of Jesus Christ
God provides shepherds “after his own heart” ( v. 15). In the gospel of Matthew, Jesus saw the crowds and had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd (Mt. 9:36). We are brought laborers for the harvest (Mt. 9:38) in the form of pastors who point us to Christ and provide us a comforting, stabilizing presence.
Point 3: We are Witnessing the Saving Power of Jesus Christ
God causes fruitfulness for his people upon His provision of shepherds (v. 16). In fact, they will not even yearn for the ark of the covenant (v. 16), for they have the heart of the Lord in His shepherds. Rather than wandering aimlessly to follow our own evil hearts (v. 17), we experience the saving, redeeming, purifying power of Christ through the ministry of our pastors. Additionally, God fosters unity among His people by providing us shepherds (v. 18). Christ is head of the church; Christ loves the church; and Christ is building, saving, and redeeming the church through the provision of pastors (Eph. 4:8-16).
With the installation of Bill Fisher as a pastor of Sovereign Grace Church Pasadena, we rejoice in God’s gift to us. By God’s grace, he will care, nurture, lead, and guard the congregation as he guards the mysteries of God’s gospel. He and the other pastors will work together for the peace and prosperity of Sovereign Grace Church Pasadena, so that we may proclaim the gospel of Jesus Christ inside and outside the church and expand our influence.
AFFIRMATIONS OF ORDINATION:
The 10 Individual Affirmations & 4 Congregational Affirmations
- Do you promise to shepherd the flock of God not under compulsion but willingly, not for shameful gain but eagerly, not domineering over those in your charge but being an example to the flock? (1 Pet. 5:1-4)
- Do you promise to faithfully guard the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made you an overseer, and do you promise to protect that flock from false teaching, division, and dissension? (Acts 20:28-31)
- Do you promise to care for the flock of God, not as a hireling, but as an under shepherd of the Great Shepherd, caring for his sheep as the precious ones for whom he died? (Ezek. 34)
- Do you, in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus and this congregation, promise to preach the Word in season and out of season, and do you promise to reprove, rebuke, and exhort with complete patience, enduring suffering, while remaining sober-minded in all of your preaching and teaching, and will you do the work of an evangelist among those whom God has given you charge? (2 Tim. 4:1-5)
- Do you declare sincerely before God that you believe all the articles and points of doctrine contained in the Sovereign Grace Statement of Faith fully agree with the Scriptures? Do you own that Statement as the statement and confession of your faith? And do you promise to teach and defend these doctrines in public and private?
- Do you promise further that if in the future you come to have reservations about any of these doctrines, you will share these reservations with your eldership and the Regional Assembly of Elders? PART TWO – Local Church Polity Section 9 – The Ordination of Elders 42
- Do you promise to keep a close watch on yourself and to walk humbly before others, to be self-suspicious of your own motives, to invite criticism from others, and to make yourself accountable to those whom God has put in your life?
- Do you submit without exception to the explicitly mandated practices of the Sovereign Grace Book of Church Order, affirming that that form of government is a wise and suitable application of Scriptural principles?
- Do you promise to walk in a manner worthy of the gospel and to show yourself in all respects, in action and in speech, to be a model of good works, integrity, and dignity so that neither the church, nor our Savior Jesus Christ, nor the gospel may be brought into reproach? (Titus 2:7- 8)
- Do you promise to continually seek the gifts of the Spirit that you might serve God's people, not in the energy of the flesh, but in the power of the Holy Spirit and to carry out your ministry without fear of man?
The candidate having answered in the affirmative, the presiding elder will ask the church the following, expecting an affirmative reply:
- Do you, the members of Sovereign Grace Church of Pasadena, receive Bill Fisher as your pastor?
- Do you promise to receive the word of truth from him with meekness and love and to submit to him in the due biblical exercise of his leadership?
- Do you promise to supply him with whatever material support he may need to fulfill his ministry among you?
- Do you promise to encourage him in his labors and to assist his ministry and leadership for your spiritual edification, the evangelization of the lost, and the promotion of God’s glory?