I still struggle with anger, lustful thoughts, foul language, & laziness with regards to studying God's word. Should I serve in ministry? What would be an acceptable role? I do repent and demonstrate self control at most times, but when I'm at work, home, or get frustrated, I lose control a little. When I see a beautiful woman I "admire" her but I do not think of sex with her. I use curse words often in normal speach as well as explicit expressions. I drink beer causally and I ensure I do not drink to excess. I was asked by an Elder to aspire to be an elder or deacon. He knows me well but I don't think he knows my thoughts and how bad my mouth can be. I've read Titus and Timothy regarding the qualifications and I do not see how I qualify. But the Elder insists we all fall short from time to time but it is the love relationship that we seek that makes us rightiourighteous in Gods sight.
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One must meet all the qualifications of 1 Timothy 3:2-7. It is the church's duty to keep all unworthy men out of the office of ruling or teaching elder. I would suggest you take your time and agree to training. During the training you will get an understanding of what it really means to be an elder. No elder is blameless before God but we need to be blameless in the eye's of the people we lead. So, this means some changes will need to be made in certain areas of life. For the Christian these things should be happening anyway, over time of course. Being blameless does not mean you must be sinless because no person is. It does mean that as an elder you are irreproachable. Nobody should be able to lay a charge against you regarding your lifestyle. I have been in the same situation as you because of daily sin and have been in training for about two years. I asked that the process take time because being an elder is serious business. One of our two elders had died and I suggested I was interested. My church agreed and elected me as an elder but in our church you must train and then possibly be ordained in the office if you pass an examination by other elders in presbytery. Daily sins are common to all people but an elder must maintain his name in an upright manner. I have grown but still have to fight the flesh. This of course is not always easy. My desire is to be sinless but that is not possible in this life. I have to focus my trust on God because in my own power I could not and I believe no man could be an elder without Him doing His perfect work in us. John Calvin said, an elder "ought not to be marked by any disgrace that would detract from his authority There will certainly not be found a man who is free from every fault, but it is one thing to be burdened with ordinary faults that do not hurt a man’s reputation, because the most excellent men share them, but quite another to have a name that is held in infamy and besmirched by some scandalous disgrace. Thus, in order that the bishops may not lack authority, he gives charge that those who are chosen should be of good and honorable reputation, and free of any extraordinary fault. Also, he is not merely directing Timothy as to the sort of men he should choose but he is reminding all who aspire to the office that they should carefully examine their own life” (Commentary on 1 Timothy 3.2). Being an elder is difficult yet rewarding work. Don't let sin keep you from working as an elder but also be sure to understand the actions of an elder are not only scrutinized by men but by God. Elders are held to account in a strict way by God. You are leading the spiritual lives of His children. Don't run from the godly work in front of you but embrace it in order to be changed. Even if you are not confirmed as an elder in the end; the growth in your own life will be worth it. May God bless you!
The question is: Should I serve in church leadership if I still wrestle with serious sin? Yes! There isn't any one of us as believer's that don't wrestle with serious sin every day of our lives. Notice what Paul says: Romans 7:18-25; 8:1-4: FOR I KNOW THAT IN ME (that is, in my flesh,) DWELLS NO GOOD THING: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do. NOW IF I DO WHAT I WOULD NOT, IT IS NO MORE I THAT DO IT, BUT SIN THAT DWELLS IN ME. I FIND THEN A LAW, THAT, WHEN I WOULD DO GOOD, EVIL IS PRESENT WITH ME [SIN IS PRESENT IN ME]. For I delight in the law of God after the inward man: But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus the anointed one our lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in the anointed one Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in the anointed one Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, GOD sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, CONDEMNED SIN IN THE FLESH: THAT THE RIGHTEOUSNESS OF THE LAW MIGHT BE FULFILLED IN US, WHO WALK NOT AFTER THE FLESH, BUT AFTER THE SPIRIT. So you can serve in a leadership position in the Assembly of the living God even if you are wrestling with serious sin because all of us who are in the lord Jesus are all in the same boat. Indwelling sin is in all of us, but if we walk according to the spirit of our God and our Father and His beloved son we can go about serving in a position of leadership in the called-out Assembly of God. Otherwise no one would be able to serve as leaders! Notice what Paul says: Philippians 3:8-14: Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of the anointed one Jesus my lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win the anointed one, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of the anointed one, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; if by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead. Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus. Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in the anointed one Jesus. For all of us who wrestle with serious sin every day of our lives we can still be leaders and a light to others if we follow this advice that Jesus has given us through his sent one Paul. Walk in the spirit and press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling that our God and Father has given to us in His anointed one Jesus and we will be enabled to do good work in his name! Hallil Yah - Praise Yehovah.
All of us struggle with different things in our lives. When Jesus went to the cross He did it for all of our sins and before we were born. Your sin is not counted against you by God. However man will count it against you because they do not understand what Jesus did on the cross. As a leader it is important to understand that we influence people and the consequence to our actions affects relationships more than we would think. If you are having some problems in some areas then I may suggest getting a mentor you can trust and have them help you through it. You may also want to talk to your pastor about it. If you do not feel comfortable find someone you can trust, perhaps not in your own church would be best. We all must push through each day when it comes to reading our bible. I read my bible in the bathroom and at least get in a chapter a day. I don't do it out of legalism but out of wanting to see what Gods word says more than anything else. If I miss a day or week I don't feel condemned since I know god loves me no matter what I do. Let's look at this scripture; Luke 5:8-10 When Simon Peter saw this, he fell at Jesus' knees and said, "Go away from me, Lord; I am a sinful man!" 9 For he and all his companions were astonished at the catch of fish they had taken, 10 and so were James and John, the sons of Zebedee, Simon's partners. Then Jesus said to Simon, "Don't be afraid; from now on you will catch men." NIV Peter was saying the same thing you are and if you notice Jesus was not concerned with his issues and He is not now with yours. It is all about how your maturity or immaturity will affect the lives of the people in the congregation you serve. God builds His kingdom through revelation and relationship. So it is important to guard relationships. Which may entail us maturing a little and circumcising our flesh from doing what it wants to do. Another note; you are the righteousness of God in Christ, so stop worrying about all your sin and focus on your right standing in God. Just because you have some flaws does not mean that you have lost your right standing with God. As you focus on your right standing with God you will see that you will have less issues and begin to do more good. Those things we don't want to do we do. So, if we try not to sin we will sin, if we do good because we believe we are good then we will do good and sin less. Here is a thought; 1 John 3:7-9 7 Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. 8 He who does what is sinful is of the devil, because the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the devil's work. 9 No one who is born of God will continue to sin, because God's seed remains in him; he cannot go on sinning, because he has been born of God NIV My recommendation is to hold on to verse 9 and begin to do a word study on grace. You may also want to read more about grace here; http://amazingcharis.blogspot.com/
Its all about the question of how to deal with sin in the life of said believer, so that he can then be confident to not only be a particular servant, but also 1 Peter 3:15 “… ready always to give an answer to every man that asks you a reason of the hope that is in you…” So with that view, feel that it’s almost like asking, should I follow Christ if I still wrestle with serious sin. We are all commanded to “work out our own salvation with fear and trembling” Philippians 2:12 1 John 2:6, “He that say’s he ‘abides in him’ ought himself also to walk, even as He walked.”Sounds like Romans 8:1“There is therefore now no condemnation to them that are ‘in Christ’ who walk not after the flesh but after the Spirit.” Some will say, but “who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” is not in the original. Well, they are both talking about being ‘in Christ’. So, if the walk should be as (He walked) then, how did he walk? (in the Spirit)! Then a few sentences down he use’s the same phrase again with being ‘in righteousness’ as the point. Well isn’t Christ our righteousness. Same thing! God is not the author of confussion.1Corinthians 14:33 Then on down to verse 28, “And now little children, abide in him, that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming.” What is he referring to? Well, the Spirit! It is a small still voice telling us ‘walk this way’. The Spirit is gentile, and not forceful. That’s because we have choice. We are instructed not to “quench the Spirit,”1 Thess. 5:19. Notice, this is instruction for us who are saved, not the unbeliever. It also says verse 22, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” So, the notion that we automatically walk in the Spirit and not in the flesh, is not that cut and dry. There still is choice. Though we are a new creation with a new nature. 2 Corin. 5:17. We that are in Christ are in the Last Adam, or some say 2nd Adam. As he has now made the first Adam protégé, good! We are now like the original Adam before the fall being, in Christ, as Christ has fulfilled all! Romans 6, probably the greatest book in the whole bible, as it contains the greatest question of all. Verse 2,“How shall we that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?” This sets up the whole chapter! But the verse that quickly hits at an answer is verse 13, “Neither yield you your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin; but yield yourselves unto God…” Jesus warned, John 8:34, “Whosoever commits sin is the servant of sin.” So, “Romans 6:16, “Know you not, that to whom you ‘yield’ yourselves servants to obey, his servants you are to whom you obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” So, its,‘yield’ (Walk in the Spirit) and ‘neither yield’(not in the flesh). Its our choice. Remember Ananias and Sapphira, they chose to walk in the flesh and were judged! They could have done right, as the money was theirs to do as they pleased, but they chose to lie. They sure quenched the Spirit! How the Spirit surly must have wooed them, but they would not! Yes, it’s a yielding (to the Spirit), an abiding (in Christ) Its all this.. But thanks be to God, it comes round circle. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God”. Roman 8:14. Hallelujah! That’s confidence (at His appearance) and no condemnation (in this life)! Does any of this leave room for sin in our (the redeemed) life? How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein? We are justified Saints, not justified sinners. Why would Jesus suffer so, Being “delivered for our offenses…” Romans 4:25, and again, "For Christ also has once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust," 1 Peter 3:18. Suffering so just to have us live in sin? But thanks to God, 1 John 2:1 “My little children, these things write I unto you, that you sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous:”Praise God brothers!
I have already prayed for you and asked God to give you wisdom in your decision. Becoming a leader in the church takes a special commitment, calling and responsibility. I have been serving for many years in various leadership roles and really know that the way to find your answer is to seek God's counsel through prayer and patience. Know that we all die to sin daily and have been redeemed by the Lord Jesus Christ. We are lead by the Holy Spirit, who will lead you to the right decision for your calling. As the eBible Statement of Faith says "We believe that the Holy Spirit is a person who convicts the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment; and that He is the Supernatural Agent in regeneration, baptizing all believers into the body of Christ, indwelling and sealing them unto the day of redemption." Go to God in prayer, Trust the Holy Spirit to guide your life and wait on the answer before you respond based on your own thoughts and understanding. Proverbs 3:4-6 says "Then you will win favor and a good name in the sight of God and man. 5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight."
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