Lesson 12 -Elements of Biblical Call: Fitness pt 8- External Confirmation

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C. An adequate external confirmation of fitness for the work of the pastoral office

1. Principal axiom

While sober self-assessment of our desires, graces, and gifts is a personal responsibility which no man can righteously evade, an external confirmation of that assessment by a cross-section of spiritually minded people is essential to a valid call to the pastoral office.

2. Proof of this axiom

a. Necessity of a prayerful, sober self-assessment

Romans 12:3
1 Peter 4:10-11
1 Jn. 2:27
1 Tim. 3:1-7
Titus 1:5-9

b. Self-assessment alone neither safe nor biblical

1) The assumed context of self-assessment in the life and ministry of the church.

Robert J. Breckinridge, “The Christian Pastor, One of Christ’s Ascension Gifts,” The Southern Presbyterian Review 35.3 (July 1884), pp. 470-472.

2) It is clear from the Scriptures that earned credibility by a cross-section of spiritually minded people is crucial.

2 Tim. 2:2
Acts 16:1-3
Acts 15:37ff
Prov. 18:1
Prov. 11:14; 15:22; and 24:6

C. F. Keil and F. Delitzsch, Commentary on the Old Testament, vol. 6 (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans Publishing Company, 1984), pp. 1-2 (comments on Proverbs ch. 18).

John Owen, The Church and the Bible, vol. 16 of The Works of John Owen (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1967), pp. 73-74.

Edmund P. Clowney, Called to the Ministry (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Co., 1964), pp. 84, 85, 86, 87, 88.

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