Ministerial Requirement Not Covetous
Ministerial Requirement Not Covetous
By David Cox
We must understand that a minister that is covetous is disqualified from the ministry. He should step down voluntarily, or his church should retire him, or if they won’t, then his people should leave him.
Acts 20:33 I have coveted no man’s silver, or gold, or apparel.
Paul’s practice was to no use the ministry to enrich himself from the brethren’s goods. Paul obviously received donations from them, Phil. 4:15, but he let them give what they wanted to give, and he did not maneuver to get as much or expensive things from them.
2Cor 12:14 Behold, the third time I am ready to come to you; and I will not be burdensome to you: for I seek not yours, but you: for the children ought not to lay up for the parents, but the parents for the children.
Paul’s priority in his mindset was the spiritual nature of those he ministered to. He wanted their benefit, and he wanted to invest spiritually in their lives.
1Thess 2:5For neither at any time used we flattering words, as ye know, nor a cloke of covetousness; God is witness:
Ministers at times use their preaching as a disguise for getting things of physical value, an earthly value from those they minister to. Paul did not do this.
1Tim 3:3Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
Paul lays down a requirement for those in the ministry that they are not to be greedy of filthy lucre. Greedy does not mean you do not receive payment or donations from the congregation, but it does mean that there is no pressure nor desires for abundant financial benefit.
Isa 56:10His watchmen are blind: they are all ignorant, they are all dumb dogs, they cannot bark; sleeping, lying down, loving to slumber. Isa 56:11 Yea, they are greedy dogs which can never have enough, and they are shepherds that cannot understand: they all look to their own way, every one for his gain, from his quarter.
In God’s lament on the pastors of Israel includes a lament that these watchmen have become greedy dogs. They want more than what they should receive. They have an attitude that they can never get enough. Their priorities are only personal, and the benefit and wellbeing of the work of God is very low on their scale of priorities.
One of the main issues that separates Christians from non-Christians is their view of eternity. As a Christian, I understand sin. Sin has entered the world, and therefore everything in creation just about has been contaminated by sin, and God will one day burn the entire earth up and remake it. That fact makes me realize that only the spiritual that will go with me to heaven is really important and valuable to me. I witness, pray, worship, praise etc. because these things have eternal values and cash, property, earthly valuables, etc. have no eternal worth.
Money is either paper, metal, or electronic representing physical paper money. All of this will be burnt up. Property in the form of cars and other physical tangible things will be burnt up. Real estate will be rearranged by fire so that what you have a claim to in this world right now, you will not be able to claim anything in the future earth on the basis of what you purchase and own now.
At death, you will lose everything you physically own right now.
1Ti 6:5 Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 1Ti 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. 1Ti 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 1Ti 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1Ti 6:9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 1Ti 6:10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
God demands that all of his ministers (especially) and all of his children live their lives reflecting this eternal divine fact. When a preacher sets his eyes on the temporal, earthly values, he is confessing that he doesn’t hold very tightly to the eternal fact that everything will be lost at death or at some future time when God re-establishes the earth.
The only good minister of God is the man who lives out “actually” through his life this principle of God. He has a “loose” grip on the things of this world, and they really don’t mean so much to him. He lives hoping for the next world, and his labors and energy and hope lies in what he can invest now for eternity.
“It influences church legislation. It speaks out when the minister is considering a call to a new field. It gives direction as to the choice of sermon themes and throws a blanket of distrust over all benevolent deeds.