Robert McLaughlin Bible Ministries

Nehemiah. Part 19.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

1. He was a grace oriented believer.

TIT 2:11 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires and to live sensibly, righteously and godly in the present age,

2. Nehemiah understood the importance of delegated authority.

As a grace-oriented believer and one who functioned under the principle of the authority of spiritual leadership, Nehemiah used his authority by means of taking his orders and receiving his messages from what the word of God had to say.

1TI 5:17 Those pastor-teachers who have ruled well with the result that they keep ruling honorably, they must be considered worthy of double honor, most of all those who work hard to the point of exhaustion in the study of the word and the teaching of doctrine.

HEB 13:7 “Remember those who rule over you, who communicate the Word from God to you; carefully consider the issue of their way of life; imitate their doctrine.”

HEB 13:17 “Keep obeying those [pastors] who themselves are ruling over you, and submit to their authority, for they keep watch over your souls, as those who will render an account. Keep obeying them, in order that they may do this [accounting] with happiness and not with groaning, for this is unprofitable for you.”

1CO 16:15-16 Now I urge you, brethren (you know the household of Stephanas, that they were the first fruits of Achaia, and that they have devoted themselves for ministry to the saints), that you also be in subjection to such men and to everyone who helps in the work and labors.

2CO 10:8 For even if I should boast somewhat further about our authority, which the Lord gave for building you up and not for destroying you, I shall not be put to shame,

1TH 5:12 But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction,

As one in a position of spiritual leadership as Nehemiah was, the apostle Paul is saying, “Watch how I do it.”

He is a model for us of virtue.
He is a model for us of morality.
He is a model of victory and temptation.\
He is a model for us of worship.\
He is a model for us of service.
He is a model for us of patience and endurance and suffering.
He is a model of handling temper.
He is a model of handling possessions.
He is a model of handling relationships.

In so many ways, he shows us how living the spiritual life can be lived by fallen man, something TLJC could never show us because He was never fallen.

1CO 4:16 I exhort you therefore, be imitators of me.
1CO 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.

1TH 1:6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord, having received the word in much tribulation with the joy of the Holy Spirit,

He is the pattern for living the spiritual life.

He is the one who penned the mystery doctrine of the Church-age.

Just like Nehemiah, Paul is a constant pattern for me,
and he should be for you as I communicate to you his marvelous insight into the spiritual leadership involved in the spiritual life.

1CO 11:1 Be imitators of me, just as I also am of Christ.
EPH 5:1 Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children;
1TH 1:6 You also became imitators of us and of the Lord,

The goal of the Christian life is to be more and more like our Lord Jesus Christ.

In this very complex Christian culture in which we live where there are so many “viewpoints and so many theologies and so many seminars and so many formulas and so many exercises in Christian growth,” that sometimes we can totally cloud the real issues.

Spiritual living, the Christian life, is a process of pursuing Christ’s likeness.
That in simple terms is the direction of the whole matter of experiential sanctification.

To His disciples He said: “Come with me, walk with me, eat and sleep with me, that was their college course for three years.”

MAR 3:14 And He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him,
He said, “Follow Me.” And that particular command has not been replaced or improved upon.

MAT 4:19-20 He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” And they immediately left the nets, and followed Him.

LUK 9:59-60 And He said to another, “Follow Me.” But he said, “Permit me first to go and bury my father.” But He said to him, “Allow the dead to bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”

Our Lord said in verse 59, “Follow Me; and allow the spiritually dead to bury the physical dead.”

He said to a man who was hated by his own countrymen –
MAT 9:9 “Follow Me!” And he rose, and followed Him.

MAT 16:24 “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me.”
MAT 19:21 “If you wish to be complete, go and sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven; and come, follow Me.”
JOH 10:27 “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me;”
JOH 12:26 “If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there shall My servant also be; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.”

The whole matter of the Christian life and Christianity is this matter of following Christ to become more and more like Him.

The Apostle John said that if you belong to Christ, if you abide in Christ, then you ought to walk as Christ walked, 1JO 2:6.

GAL 4:19 My children, with whom I am again in labor until Christ is formed in you

But the most significant passage to us is the word of God the Father in Romans 8, which records for us that God the Father’s purpose in saving us was that we might be conformed to the image of His Son, ROM 8:29.

Leadership motivates people; management regulates people. As a spiritual leader who could handle a pressure situation, David’s actions motivated others because true leadership thrives and increases in time of pressure. Leadership motivates people; whereas management regulates people.

Leadership delegates authority while management abuses authority by failure to allow initiative in subordinates. Leadership delegates authority while management stands over a person and bullies.

Leadership cannot function without honor and integrity while management produces hypocrisy, inordinate ambition, and often dishonesty.

In the local church, the leadership of the Pastor is related to his faithful and consistent teaching of Bible doctrine.

This means that the pastor who discovers the principle of spiritual leadership as illustrated by Nehemiah recognizes the privacy of the royal priesthood of each believer and avoids counseling or dictatorial functions that create dependency on the pastor rather than on the message he teaches.

The spiritual leadership of the pastor-teacher is to direct the congregation to what the Bible teaches rather than to establish a dependency on himself or encourage creating a role-model out of himself or anyone else.

On the other hand, the pastor who functions as a manager of the spiritual life may or may not teach Bible doctrine, but he does seek to regulate and control his congregation.

Therefore, he creates a dependency on himself rather than a dependency on the word of God.

When a congregation is under the ministry of a manager of the spiritual life, they tend to react to dictatorship of that pastor or over-respond – and both are unhealthy.

Over-response creates a tendency to make a role-model out of the pastor.

The manager-pastor has a tendency to become the volition for his entire congregation rather than allowing the believer to make his own decisions.

Your real spiritual status quo is known only by you and the Lord.

This is why the Bible teaches in 1CO 11:28, 2CO 13:5, and GAL 6:4, examine yourself and your own work.

Other believers do not have the ability to appraise or to evaluate your spiritual status quo.

So the leadership-pastor seeks to protect the privacy of the congregation, while the manager-pastor seeks to invade the privacy of the congregation.

Privacy is that principle of freedom whereby an individual has the right to grow on his own level and in his own desired pace without the manipulation and observation of others.

MAT 18:15 And if your brother sins (against you) go and reprove him in private.

ROM 14:4 Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.

The pastor-leader delegates authority to others for the administration and service functions of the local church.

Management-pastors try to run everything and everyone.

By teaching the Word, the pastor-leader seeks to inculcate self-motivation from Bible doctrine.

Leadership-pastors teach virtue and integrity from Bible doctrine, while management-pastors teach legalism and hypocrisy from their own self-righteous arrogance.

Spiritual leadership emphasizes the importance of Bible doctrine; management-pastors emphasize the importance of Christian experience.

Leadership constantly teaches and trains; whereas management relies on a pleasing personality and making subordinates feel good.

PRO 24:6 “Because through the art of leadership you will execute warfare. Therefore, victory resides in the greatness of the one who commands.”

Leadership necessitates the establishment of authority, while management is the bureaucratic enforcement of regulation without ability or integrity.

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