Posted by: William | March 31, 2008

Eight: Sanctity & Blessing

Richard Baxter’s eighth and final point of introspection for ministers will most assuredly be a controversial one, but one that likely holds some measure of truth and is worth serious consideration from all men, not simply ministers. The point goes like this:

“The souls of your hearers and the success of your labours, do very much depend upon your self-examination.”

 

Can a person ever expect God to bless their work? Well, that’s probably questionable, I think so. But we can pretty confidently say that a truly unsanctified man can almost definitely not expect that God will bless his work. So the point stands, that if a minister of the Gospel truly wishes for success in his ministry, that is, sinners coming to know the Lord and saints growing up to maturity therein, he will certainly see his own sanctification among the highest priorities.

Although I do not want to place too much emphasis there so as to ascribe irrefutable truth to it, I have seen this principal play out in my own ministries. At times when I was personally walking closely with the Lord and undergoing his sanctifying work, I saw my ministry endeavors flourish and the people involved grow, while the inverse was also almost universally true.

I feel that while the universality of Baxter’s final statement may come under scrutiny, it certainly shouldn’t be put out entirely. It deserves heavy consideration.

Jesus, I pray again for the sanctification of your ministers. Jesus, I pray that you would put it on their hearts to seek and to seek out their sin. I pray that in you, it would be mortified, and so us in their congregations may also benefit from their walk with you. Jesus, I pray that you would also sanctify me, the rest of your church, for you glory God!

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Responses

  1. I would vote for all 8 being controversial. When I read this one I did not get Sanctity and Blessing. I understand that may be Baxter’s explanation of what he means along with your assessment of it. However, what I thought was “if you do not see your fallen broken, undeservedly redeemed self clearly, then those who are listening to you will not come to see themselves clearly either.”

    Then again, maybe this is the same thing stated differently. Thanks for walking through these 8 controversial (IMO) points.


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