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Grace Bible Church
Pastor Teacher
Robert R. McLaughlin
Tree of Life
Weekly Review
The threefold purpose of the pastor is found in EPH 4:12, for the purpose of equipping the saints, for the production of Christian service, for the edification of the body of Christ.

We have now completed the introduction and JOH 15:1 where our LORD said; “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser.”

We have noted that the LORD is called the “True Vine” because the word true refers to HIS character and nature or HIS Divine essence and that is why He is called the GOD of Truth; DEU 32:4. There will always be believers who either respond to our LORD’s plan or react to it.
Respond – the positive attitude of the spiritual adult believer.
Reaction – the negative volition of the loser believer.

We also noted that many believers need to learn about the snowball effects of human good, sin and evil, where the problem is not really the sin that was committed but the problem is the effects of the sin after it was committed. This is why David wrote PSA 32:1 {A Psalm} of David} How blessed [happy] is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered! Note here that transgression is forgiven, and sin is covered!

PSA 32:2-5, How blessed [or happy] is the person man to whom the LORD does not impute iniquity and in whose spirit there is no deceit! When I kept silent {about my sin}, my body wasted away. Through my groaning all day long. For day and night Thy hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was drained away {as} with the fever heat of summer. Selah. I acknowledged my sin to Thee, And my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And Thou didst forgive the guilt of my sin. Selah.

Notice that even in the OT, Grace is still the issue and rebound is as simple as naming and citing your sins or acknowledging them; 1JO 1:9; JER 3:13. We all know 1JO 1:9 and what it says, and what it means to every believer especially in the Church-age.

Let’s look at JOH 15:2 in some detail but, we must begin with these principles in JER 3:6 which states; “Then the LORD said to me in the days of Josiah the king, Have you seen what faithless Israel did? She went up on every high hill and under every green tree, and she was a harlot there.”

There are two geographical divisions that split the Jews in half, they were known as the Northern Kingdom against the Southern kingdom.

JER 3:7-12, the LORD says, “And I thought, 'After she has done all these things, she will return to Me'; but she did not return, and her treacherous sister Judah saw it. And I saw that for all the adulteries of faithless Israel, I had sent her away and given her a writ of divorce, yet her treacherous sister Judah did not fear; but she went and was a harlot also.

And it came about because of the lightness of her harlotry, that she polluted the land and committed adultery with stones and trees. And yet in spite of all this her treacherous sister Judah did not return to Me with all her heart, but rather in deception,” declares the LORD.

And the LORD said to me, “Faithless Israel has proved herself more righteous than treacherous Judah. Go, and proclaim these words toward the north and say, 'Return, faithless Israel,' declares the LORD; 'I will not look upon you in anger. For I am gracious,' declares the LORD; 'I will not be angry forever.”

Next, we have the 1JO 1:9 passage in the OT in JER 3:13, “Only acknowledge your iniquity, That you have transgressed against the LORD your GOD And have scattered your favors to the strangers under every green tree, And you have not obeyed My voice,” declares the LORD.

In verse 13, two important words “Only Acknowledge” Then once you do that, the LORD says in JER 3:14-19, “Return, O faithless sons, declares the LORD; For I am a master to you, And I will take you one from a city and two from a family, And I will bring you to Zion. Then I will give you shepherds after My own heart, who will feed you on knowledge and understanding.

And it shall be in those days when you are multiplied and increased in the land, declares the LORD, they shall say no more, 'The ark of the covenant of the LORD.' And it shall not come to mind, nor shall they remember it, nor shall they miss {it,} nor shall it be made again.

At that time they shall call Jerusalem 'The Throne of the LORD,' and all the nations will be gathered to it, to Jerusalem, for the name of the LORD; nor shall they walk anymore after the stubbornness of their evil heart. In those days the house of Judah will walk with the house of Israel, and they will come together from the land of the north to the land that I gave your fathers as an inheritance.

Then I said, 'How I would set you among My sons, and give you a pleasant land, The most beautiful inheritance of the nations!' And I said, 'You shall call Me, My Father, and not turn away from following Me. Surely, as a woman treacherously departs from her lover, so you have dealt treacherously with Me, O house of Israel, declares the LORD.”

Now, as we continue to go forward in the spiritual life, there are so many negative attitudes or problems that come our way in the spiritual realm so that our LORD had to assign some of the elect angels to protect us from the fallen angels, the carnal believers, the unbelievers. We know them as our guardian angels in HEB1:14. Now, I don’t normally read a whole chapter in the Bible, but for the sake of clarity on a particular subject, there are some great passages and principles that can really serve the purpose.

HEB 1:1-2:1, GOD, after He spoke long ago to the fathers in the prophets in many portions and in many ways, in these last days has spoken to us in {His} Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature and upholds all things by the word of His power. When He had made purification of sins, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; having become as much better than the angels, as He has inherited a more excellent name than they.

For to which of the angels did He ever say, “Thou art My Son, Today I have begotten Thee”? And again, “I will be a Father to Him, and He shall be a Son to Me.” And when He again brings the first‑born into the world, He says, “And let all the angels of GOD worship Him.” And of the angels He says, “Who makes His angels winds, And His ministers a flame of fire.”

But of the Son {He says}, “Thy throne, O GOD, is forever and ever, And the righteous scepter is the scepter of His kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness and hated lawlessness; Therefore GOD, Thy GOD, hath anointed Thee with the oil of gladness above Thy companions.”

And, “Thou, LORD, in the beginning didst lay the foundation of the earth, And the heavens are the works of Thy hands; They will perish, but Thou remainest; And they all will become old as a garment, And as a mantle Thou wilt roll them up; As a garment they will also be changed. But Thou art the same, And Thy years will not come to an end. But to which of the angels has He ever said, “Sit at My right hand, Until I make Thine enemies a footstool for Thy feet. Are they not all ministering spirits, sent out to render service for the sake of those who will inherit salvation? For this reason we must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away {from it.}

Here is a great doctrinal passage for any believer who desires certain victories and great blessings, no matter what the charge.

If we are not living the spiritual life, then there is really no reason for us to remain on this earth unless GOD has plans for us, which He does says EPH 2:10, For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

There are so many different reasons for our existence which gives us the proper motivation that is needed to endure - and not quit. Remember He and only He gave us certain examples that revealed that He was for us as our LORD; ROM 8:31-35.

ROM 8:31-35, What then shall we say to these things? If GOD {is} for us, who {is} against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against GOD's elect? GOD is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of GOD, who also intercedes for us.

My point is that no matter what type of trials or tribulations or disasters that come our way, the LORD has already provided the solution to that problem in eternity past. Always remember who you are! You are not just an ordinary person, you are a believer who is a member of Royalty, THE GREATEST Royalty that ever existed. You are a member of the Royal Family of GOD. All of you, including me, and therefore all of us, have been made to be a part of a kingdom as kings and more than likely I don’t see a problem with calling the ladies queens as they are identified as a part of the King of kings and LORD of LORDs.

Therefore, look at REV 1:4-8, John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace, from Him who is and who was and who is to come; and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne; and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the first‑born of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To Him who loves us, and released us from our sins by His blood, and He has made us {to be} a kingdom, priests to His GOD and Father; to Him {be} the glory and the dominion forever and ever. Amen. Behold, He is coming with the clouds, and every eye will see Him, even those who pierced Him; and all the tribes of the earth will mourn over Him. Even so. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the LORD GOD, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”

And, we are not only kings, but our LORD has also made us Royal Priest; 1PE 2:5, 2:9.

1PE 2:4-5, And coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected by men, but choice and precious in the sight of GOD, you also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to GOD through Jesus Christ.

Skip down a few verses in 1PE 2:9-10, But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for GOD's own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of Him who has called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; for you once were not a people, but now you are the people of GOD; you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

Now, before we go on I want you to remember that all human relationships have flaws within the relationship because of the presence of the Old Sin Nature (OSN). The OSN is constantly at war with the new man, or the new spiritual seed.

GAL 5:17, For the flesh sets its desire against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are in opposition to one another, so that you may not do the things that you please.

One of the main problems we face are the inner battles within us. This is even true when we rebound because even though we know that our sins have been forgiven, many of us still walk around filled with guilt and condemnation, why? Because most of GOD’s people do not understand what judging is all about. This is why there is another word that is usually overlooked and not even mentioned, and that is the word “rightly.”

In 1CO 11:28, the apostle Paul has been dealing with the fact that many of the Corinthian believers had been under warning discipline, intensive discipline, and some have even been killed under dying discipline because they did not discern the LORD’s body. Which, by the way, most believers I know, do not take the LORD’s supper in the right way. They have no idea how important it is for them to fulfill the only ritual left for us to fulfill which is to “keep on doing” it, it being a reference to the LORD’s supper.

1CO 11:28-32, But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of the bread and drink of the cup. For he who eats and drinks, eats and drinks judgment to himself, if he does not judge the body rightly. For this reason many among you are weak and sick, and a number sleep. But if we judged ourselves rightly, we should not be judged. But when we are judged, we are disciplined by the LORD in order that we may not be condemned along with the world.

Let’s continue with a Biblical chronology which always seems to stimulate those believers who have not left their first love but desire to know and understand their place in the plan of GOD.

Notice a passage I quote many times before, PSA 37:4-5, Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, and He will do it.

PSA 145:18-19, The LORD is near to all who call upon Him, To all who call upon Him in truth. He will fulfill the desire of those who fear Him; He will also hear their cry and will save them.

Therefore, before the LORD is about to leave His disciples for His time of prayer with His Father in the Garden of Gethsemane; GOD the Holy Spirit has been working overtime so that we can all say;

ROM 8:31-34, What then shall we say to these things? If GOD {is} for us, who {is} against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against GOD's elect? GOD is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of GOD, who also intercedes for us.

So, it all began in eternity past, billions and billions of years ago when GOD, that is GOD the Father, GOD the Son, or GOD the Holy Spirit decided to create billions of angels and billions and billions of humans.

To really understand this, I need to remind those of you that one of the main reasons that you were once excited about the Plan of GOD (PPOG) is because you were in love with HIM. GOD determined to create all mankind with a free will in order to resolve the prehistoric angelic conflict, and to bring many sons into glory. This is what the writer of the book of Hebrews says in HEB 2:9-10, But we do see Him who has been made for a little while lower than the angels, {namely,} Jesus, because of the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor, that by the grace of GOD He might taste death for everyone. For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.

Remember, I told you that there is a logical progression that develops right before our eyes so that our soul literally takes a picture of what we are going through and store them in our memory center.

Now, the Jews started to fall away from the LORD by missing what they called “Temple” which is equivalent to what we call “missing service in the local assembly in our day and age by refusing to gather together for the purpose of edification. Now, for the New Testament believer, there is a threefold purpose of the Pastor Teacher and the edification of the believer’s soul which is found in EPH 4:11-12, And He gave some {as} apostles, and some {as} prophets, and some as} evangelists, and some {as} pastor-teachers, (Why?) for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;

The three-fold ministry is now described:

For the purpose of equipping the saints.
For the production of Christian service.
For the edification of the body of Christ.”

  1. Notice in EPH 4:12 there is the equipping of the “saints” which refers to the royal family of GOD with emphasis on the baptism of the Spirit.
  2. Next we have the “equipping the saints” which refers to GOD's grace policy and provision for the execution of the PPOG.
  3. “Equipping” is the function of the pastor who, through teaching the mystery doctrine of the Church-age and is able to see people grow and become invisible heroes. This means once again that all believers are in full-time Christian service from the moment of their salvation. Christian service is the normal result of spiritual growth but never the means.
  4. Edification is the execution of the PPOG for the Church-age believer and the subsequent manufacture of invisible heroes, resulting in the glorification of GOD.

Notice that our LORD has given us everything we would ever need to use and to bring glory to our Savior. So, the threefold purpose of the pastor is found in EPH 4:12, “for the purpose of equipping the Saints, for the production of Christian service, for the edification of the body of Christ.”

And our LORD did all of this as EPH 4:13 says until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of GOD, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fulness of Christ.

EPH 4:14-16, As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves, and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all {aspects} into Him, who is the head, {even} Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by that which every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

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