Reformed Baptist Fellowship

Owen Quotes on the Duty of Pastors

In Reformed Baptist Fellowship on July 28, 2011 at 7:50 am
Gleanings from chapter five: “The especial duty of pastors of churches” in John Owen’s The True Nature of a Gospel Church and Its GovernmentCollected Works, Vol. 16 (pp. 74-96):
The first and principal duty of a pastor is to feed the flock by diligent preaching of the word (p. 74).
But a man preacheth that sermon only well unto others which preacheth itself in his own soul (p. 76).
If the word do not dwell with power in us, it will not pass with power from us. And no man lives in a more woeful condition than those who really believe not themselves what they persuade others to believe continually (p. 76).
To preach the word, therefore, and not to follow it with constant and fervent prayer for its success, is to disbelieve its use, neglect its end, and to cast away the seed of the gospel at random (p. 78).
Men cannot preserve that for others which they are ignorant of themselves. Truth may be lost by weakness as well as by wickedness (p. 82).
Vain curiosity, boldness in conjectures, and readiness to vent their own conceits, have caused no small trouble and damage unto the church (p. 82).
Men may and do oftentimes prejudice, yea, betray the truth, by the weakness of their pleas for it (p. 82).
The ordinary means of conversion is left unto the church, and its duty it is to attend unto; yea, one of the principal ends of the institution and preservation of churches is the conversion of souls, and when there are no more to be converted, there shall be no more church on the earth (p. 83).
Jeffrey T. Riddle, Pastor
Christ Reformed Baptist Church
Charlottesville, Virginia
  1. Much of this post deals with the man in himself and before God. Additionally, the gospel can be greatly hindered by the practical outworking of the pastors life before the people. Although I always tried respect the preaching regardless of the frail vehicle that delivered it, but eventually it became difficult to listen to a man try to apply the Word to my life whose own life didn’t reflect that truth.

    “…no man [pastor] must ever be satisfied with an external nod of respect because he bears the title ‘pastor’. Rather, he must strive to win his people’s confidence and respect for greater influence and effectiveness in his ministry with them.” A.N. Martin’s Theology of Preaching by Brian Borgman ~pps 96-99

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