That the man of God may be perfect…..

Posted on August 20, 2011


II Timothy 3:17 That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.

“Oh how rare are the pastors who speak with a tender heart and have a theological backbone of steel.

I dream of such pastors. I would like to be one someday. A pastor whose might in the truth is matched by his meekness. Whose theological acumen is matched by his manifest contrition. Whose heights of intellect are matched by his depths of humility. Yes, and the other way around! A pastor whose relational warmth is matched by his rigor of study, whose bent toward mercy is matched by the vigilance of his biblical discernment, and whose sense of humor is exceeded by the seriousness of his calling.

I dream of great defenders of true doctrine who are mainly known for the delight they have in God and the joy in God that they bring to the people of God — who enter controversy, when necessary, not because they love ideas and arguments, but because they love Christ and the church.”

It is not original material but it is challenging material. John Piper said it. I saw it on Jonathan Pearson’s blog, which can be seen here.

I believe it. It made me sit and think…

It made me consider who I am…

He said it as a preacher. There is much application for preachers and pastors, but there is application for all of God’s people.

It is far to easy to become entirely one-sided in a an individuals. By this I mean. “WHO ARE YOU?” We look around at others (which is problem number one) And probably half the people that we know we would say. “They are weak christians, no backbone, allow sin to go unchallenged, no fervency for Christ.” What about the other half of the people we know? “They are hard to get along with, they never think that they are wrong, they have no mercy, they have no compassion, they have no love, they are harsh.”

And then we look inward. And proudly surmise that we are the perfect balance between the two extremes. I say, for most people, NOT SO. Everyone probably tends in one direction or another. And everyone needs more balance in their life. Some need to toughen up, and take a stand. Some need to remember that we serve a God of mercy.

Either extreme is just that…an extreme. We should have a desire for balance in our lives. What about you?? You probably know which “extreme” you tend toward.

Don’t get me wrong, there are pros and cons for each of the extremes I have briefly outlined. We ought to be seeking to cultivate the pros from each. I read the words of Piper and is this not essentially what he is saying??? Don’t we truly have a responsiblity to do so???

We see it in the example of Christ. A couple of examples come to my mind.

Christ would be merciful and compassionate….

John 4:5-29 – Then cometh he to a city of Samaria, which is called Sychar, near to the parcel of ground that Jacob gave to his son Joseph. Now Jacob’s well was there. Jesus therefore, being wearied with [his] journey, sat thus on the well: [and] it was about the sixth hour. There cometh a woman of Samaria to draw water: Jesus saith unto her, Give me to drink. (For his disciples were gone away unto the city to buy meat.) Then saith the woman of Samaria unto him, How is it that thou, being a Jew, askest drink of me, which am a woman of Samaria? for the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans. Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water. The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water? Art thou greater than our father Jacob, which gave us the well, and drank thereof himself, and his children, and his cattle? Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The woman saith unto him, Sir, give me this water, that I thirst not, neither come hither to draw. Jesus saith unto her, Go, call thy husband, and come hither. The woman answered and said, I have no husband. Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: For thou hast had five husbands; and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that saidst thou truly. The woman saith unto him, Sir, I perceive that thou art a prophet. Our fathers worshipped in this mountain; and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where men ought to worship. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father. Ye worship ye know not what: we know what we worship: for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God [is] a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship [him] in spirit and in truth. The woman saith unto him, I know that Messias cometh, which is called Christ: when he is come, he will tell us all things. Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am [he]. And upon this came his disciples, and marvelled that he talked with the woman: yet no man said, What seekest thou? or, Why talkest thou with her? The woman then left her waterpot, and went her way into the city, and saith to the men, Come, see a man, which told me all things that ever I did: is not this the Christ?

When I read this story I see the story of Christ going out of his way (see verse 4) for ONE person. And not just any person….a WOMAN. And not just any woman….a SAMARITAN. I believer we see a side of Jesus that reflects that of Luke 19:10 – For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost. I looked, and found on multiple occasions the Gospels said this of Christ. “moved with compassion.”
To follow the savior we must at least on occasion we must be moved to compassion.

Christ would take a stand…

Matthew 21:12,13 – And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.

Whatever our level of compassion. We must never that the God of compassion saw it necessary to take a whip on occasion (see the Gospel of Johns account of story) to show his zeal for the right. I could exhaust us all with example of his interaction with the scribes and pharisees. He didn’t mince words with those that deserved it.

All I am saying is…BE PERFECT. I’m not saying it is easy, I am saying you ought to strive towards it.