Bro. Chad Johnson Pastor of Russellville Baptist Church
September 18, 2013
Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not: But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. II Corinthians 1-2 KJV
The Apostle Paul begins this chapter by saying that because of the mercy of God he did not faint in the ministry. To those preachers who are men pleasers and hirlings, they know not what it is like to feel faint in the ministry. To those preachers who stand and are not deceitful, fainting is always a battle we must fight. I want to look at four things in verse 2 that an honest preacher will strive to do.
To all God-called preachers who may read this, it is time you got honest with the people you pastor. To any church member who finds your pastor in violation of these things, get out and find you an honest preacher and church.
First, Paul says that they renounced the hidden things of dishonesty. All things that are dishonest are hidden because they cannot stand the light. Paul renounced those who were dishonest about the word of God.
Second, they were not walking in craftiness. The word craftiness means trickery. I have one particular so-called preacher in mind who literally tricks the people in the church to gain financially. He claims he has never asked for a pay raise, but drops hints in the members’ ears. Then they bring it up at church and say God told them to do it.
Thirdly, Paul said that he did not handle God’s word deceitfully. The word deceitfully comes from the Greek word doloo, which means to ensnare or adulterate. There are two basic ways a preacher can deceitfully handle the word of God. One way is to twist the scripture and misinterpret it. This type of preacher will continually harp on scriptures that deal with him being in authority and he will demand total loyalty. The pastor is to be in leadership, but he must never lord over God’s people. Life is too short to stay under an abusive pastor. Also, these men will twist scripture to fit their way of thinking.
The second way that men handle God’s word deceitfully is to neglect to preach certain subjects. Some examples are predestination and election, church discipline, church truth, holiness in our lives, modesty in our dress and the roles of men and women in the home - just to name a few.
Preachers who neglect to preach the whole counsel of God are deceitfully handling God’s word. Remember deceitfully means to ensnare or adulterate. The whorish woman in Proverbs 7 ensnared the young man wand committed adultery with him. Preachers who deceitfully handle God’s word are committing spiritual whoredom.
Lastly, our text says that Paul manifested the truth of God’s word. He was clear of every man’s conscience because he was honest in the sight of God. Remember preachers, God hears and knows our heart and motive. Amen.
Please join us for worship at Russellville Baptist Church, 223 North Main Street on Sundays at 11 a.m.