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Exhortation to Ministers PDF Print E-mail
Written by Lee Hanks   

Advocate and Messenger, March, 1933

"In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, Sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you." (Titus 2:7-8)

Paul as a father in the ministry was writing Titus his own son in the common faith. Paul loved young preachers and knowing the weakness of the flesh most tenderly exhorted Titus how he should live for his good and the good of His Master's cause. It is useless to tell others how to live, if he does not keep under his own body, mortify the deeds of the flesh, and so live as to be a pattern in his ministerial life to the ones whom he teaches. The servant of God should be blameless, not self-willed. This will injure a minister to be self-willed-thinks he knows it all and will not listen to reason or the advice of others. He must not so act as to carry out his own designs, right or wrong when he knows it will divide the church. He had better be humble and not be too hasty in his actions, but weigh matters well, and most prayerfully to. Don't get in a hurry. Many have to retrace their steps by acting hastily. Jesus gave us a good pattern. There was a devil in the church and Jesus knew it, but just waited and Judas went out and hanged himself. The preacher must not be seen angry. A mad preacher is dangerous-his reason is dethroned. He wants to justify himself in all he does. If there is trouble in the church, the first thing for all to do is to get in a good humor, then the matter can be adjusted. The preacher should be a pattern of good works-works that God has ordained and such as are authorized by the Scriptures. He should live and teach all Scriptural works, but no more.

…In doctrine, he should speak such things which become sound doctrine. Be sure to contend earnestly for the faith (doctrine) once delivered to the saints. We should not neglect the sound, fundamental principles of grace, -- Predestination, Election, Special Redemption, Effectual Calling, Final Glorification in Heaven of all the redeemed. The Primitive Baptists are all the people that will contend for those principles, and I trust they will continue to teach Bible doctrine---free from extremes, prefixes or suffixes. If all of our preachers will preach the truth in love, we will have peace and unity in the church.

The preacher should possess gravity. He should reverence his profession-not be engaged in light, filthy conversation. He has the highest calling of any one on earth. Much is expected of him. He should be sincere in what he says or does, remembering that he is amenable to God for all of his acts. In preaching the doctrine or practice his teaching should be sound and in harmony with the Bible. And he must not decide that God has made him a regulator and he has to remodel the old church and correct the mistakes of the fathers even if it tears the church into atoms. This is a bad spirit. Beware of the spirit of Diotrephes, who loveth to have the preeminence among them, and receiveth us not. (III. John 9). He was an ambitious man, wanting to govern everything according to his will. He is ready to but up bars against good brethren, if they do not say and do everything according to his dictates. He will soon run his course. None should feel that they are standards for the household of faith. Preachers should not sow seeds of discord. If they have trouble let it stay there. Don't preach or talk about it. Let each section of the country manage their own discipline. Beware of jealousy. It is as cruel as the grave. There is room in the church for all of God's humble servants. We need all. Don't neglect your faithful old ministers who have hazarded their lives for the cause. Let us pray without ceasing. Let brotherly love continue.

Lee Hanks

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The Primitive or Old School Baptists cling to the doctrines and practices held by Baptist Churches throughout America at the close of the Revolutionary War. This site is dedicated to providing access to our rich heritage, with both historic and contemporary writings.