Pastor Bill Schneider’s Installation Service
Faith Baptist Fellowship Church
Lake Ariel, Pennsylvania
January 26, 2014
Metaphors for Ministry: A Charge to the Pastor
1 Corinthians 3:5-17
Note: The audio file linked here is for the entire Installation Service from the Faith Baptist Fellowship Church site at http://faithbaptistfellowshipch.com/index.php/component/content/article?id=51 [accessed 15 FEB 2014]. Pastor Nate Osborne's "Charge to the Congregation" is also included.
Possibilities for a charge to a pastor:
From the Old Testament:
1 Kings 8; 2 Chronicles 6 - King Solomon’s Dedication Prayer for the Temple
From the Gospels:
John 21:15-19 - Christ’s command to Peter to feed His sheep
Acts 20 - Paul’s parting sermon to the Ephesian elders
From the Epistles:
Paul’s Pastoral Epistles - many portions!
Pastoral Pictures: “Metaphors for Ministry”
The Divine Pattern in Christ: The “Pastor of pastors”
The Son of God is the Good Shepherd (Psalm 23: John 10).
The Son of God is the original Gardener (Genesis 2:8).
The Son of God is the triumphant Warrior (Psalm 24; Revelation 19).
The Son of God is the great Architect (Hebrews 3:1-6; 11:10).
The Son of God exercises Himself showing Himself strong on our behalf (2 Chronicles 16:9; Psalm 89).
The Son of God doesn’t just catch fish, but men, sometimes with great fish (Jonah 1:17), and other times coins with his fish (Matthew 17:27).
The Son of God is the Everlasting Father in more than just the physical sense as the Creator of all, but of a spiritual family birthed and nurtured by His Spirit (Isaiah 9:6).
The Pastor Patterned After Christ: A “Man of Many Hats”
The Christian undershepherd is a sheep in the flock of the Good Shepherd.
The Christian builder is part of the building the Great Architect is constructing.
The Christian sower has been planted, and watered and caused to grow by the Divine Gardener.
The Christian fisherman is also a fish who has been caught in the Master Fisherman’s net.
The spiritual parent has also been born spiritually, and matured from a spiritual child as one of the adopted children in the family of the Everlasting Father.
The Christian soldier is a victor who has been liberated warring on in battles of a war already won by the Captain of the hosts of heaven (Joshua 5:14-15).
The Christian athlete runs in a race his Forerunner has run before him and won (Hebrews 6:20; 12:1-3).
There are times in the Scriptures when we find these metaphors “mixed”. God, in His Word, supernaturally inspired the human authors at times to move naturally from one metaphor into another to develop the intended truths.
1 Corinthians 3:5-17 is one such passage in Scripture, that we might refer to as presenting “Mixed Metaphors for Ministry”. There are two metaphors or patterns for ministry intentionally developed here with connections between them that provide answers to the following questions:
1. Who are you as a pastor? Who are you?
2. What are you doing as a pastor? What are you doing?
3. Why are you doing it that way as a pastor? Why are you doing it that way?
1. The First Metaphor: The Farmer and the Three Phases of Farming (3:5-8)
5 Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers by whom ye believed, even as the Lord gave to every man?
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
What God Does
Who then is Paul
and who is Apollos
by whom ye believed
even as the Lord gave to every man?
I have planted
but God gave the increase
So then neither is he that planteth
neither he that watereth
but God that giveth the increase
Now he that planteth
and he that watereth
and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour
This passage was written due to a very negative situation that existed with sinful factions in the early Church. It was as if certain groups were campaigning with slogans like, “I’m with Jack!” and “I’m with Bill!”, and “I’m with whoever!” Let us turn it around for our profit even where that may not be the issue here and now. Not that such factionalism and party spirit is not an issue in our day, but let’s just stand the passage on its head as it were, for what it tells us positively about those who are in a similar position as Peter and Paul and Apollos were in those early days.
Here we have, simply put, Paul the planter, Willy (Apollos’ nickname) the waterer, and God the grower.
3:5 - Planting and watering = ministry. Those who plant and water serve God.
3:5-6 - Belief = increase. God gives faith.
3:7 - Planter and Waterer = nothing. God is everything.
3:8 - Planter and Waterer = one (same). God gives rewards equitably.
“What harvest would have sprung up from the labour of the two workers without the life which God alone could give?”
Who are you as a pastor?
2. The Shift of Metaphors: The Second Metaphor Introduced (3:9)
Now the Metaphor Shifts!
If you pay close attention you may notice that there are direct correlations or parallels between these two metaphors that may help us to understand how the great Apostle uses them to make his point and to develop his argument to the Corinthians on the issues at hand.
“His language bears a strong resemblance to Jer 1:10 which has both farm and construction language as metaphors for Jeremiah’s prophetic preaching:
See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms
to uproot and to tear down,
to destroy and overthrow,
to build and to plant.”
3. The Second Metaphor: The First Two Phases of Building (3:10-11)
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
11 For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.
This Building Has Only One Foundation!
Here we see the pastor as Bob the Builder!
On the one hand:
Christ is the Builder - And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. (Mt. 16:18)
cp. Heb. 3:1-6 - 1 Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus; 2 Who was faithful to him that appointed him, as also Moses was faithful in all his house. 3 For this man was counted worthy of more glory than Moses, inasmuch as he who hath builded the house hath more honour than the house. 4 For every house is builded by some man; but he that built all things is God. 5 And Moses verily was faithful in all his house, as a servant, for a testimony of those things which were to be spoken after; 6 But Christ as a son over his own house; whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm unto the end.
Abraham “…looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (Heb. 11:10)
cp. 1 Pet. 2:5 - Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
On the other hand:
we are labourers together with God (3:9) in his husbandry, and even so we are builders together with God in His building.
“The building is building the building!” Is this what we are confronted with here?
Build for the Master and with the Great Architect.
“Here appears Paul’s first imperative of the letter (apart from the Jeremiah quote in 1:31). But each one should be careful how he builds.”
Christ is the Builder, and He is also the Foundation.
The Foundation is a Person.
This is true of every local church, and of the Church universal.
The building must be consistent with the Foundation.
Build on the Rock - Mt. 7:24-26 -
24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock:
25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.
26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand:
27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.
All else is sand that will bring the building down.
The wise man in the parable has a great deal in common with Paul the wise masterbuilder!
That which is founded on Christ will never come down come what may!
What are you doing as a pastor?
4. The Second Metaphor: The Third Phase of Building (3:12-15)
I mentioned previously in passing something about the parallels between the phases of the metaphors. There are correlations between the various stages and roles found in each.
The First Metaphor: Agriculture
The Second Metaphor: Building Construction
Phase 1: Planting (or Sowing)
Phase 1: Laying the Foundation
Phase 2: Watering (or Nurturing)
Phase 2: Building on the Foundation
Phase 3: Increasing (or Growing)
Phase 3: Judging (or Purifying)
You may reflect on similar parallels to both in John 15 with another closely related metaphor, that of the Vine and the branches, the fruit produced by the vital branches and the burning of the branches with no life of the Vine in them!
The Final Inspection of this building is by Fire.
This is a precious building! It must be built with precious materials!
13 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
The “work” is people! Do you think that God cares about gold and silver, or precious stones as opposed to wood, hay and stubble? Do you really recognize a metaphor when you see one? Is that what this is about? No! What will be burned is people! What will be preserved is people. People are God’s precious and valued “building materials”! People are what God rejects and burns when they reject His Son and go into eternity as unrepentant sinners unwashed in the blood of the Lamb. This is about people! It is all about what God the great Builder is doing through people, with people and to people!
This building is not just constructed according to San Francisco building codes to be earthquake proof so that it can endure shaking.
Nor is it merely designed to withstood tsunamis like those that struck Japan or Indonesia so that it may go through the deep waters.
This must be a “fireproof” building!
No perishable construction materials are authorized in this building!
No. This must be a “fireproof” building!
No perishable construction materials are authorized in this building!
Build to endure the fires of God’s judgment, and to pass through as precious stones.
Build according to His building code, and to pass His final inspection.
A converted membership is not enough. A truly regenerate membership is called for.
You must be born again or you will burn!
Do not add them to the “church” unless and until they come to Christ!
Do not pad the membership with “almost” Christians!
Insist on a visible connection to the foundation in every part of the building!
Never lose sight of where you have come from and what you are connected to!
The Church is not a mortuary!
The Church is not a “firetrap”!
Jude 20-23 - 20 But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, 21 Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. 22 And of some have compassion, making a difference: 23 And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.
The thought introduced in verses 12-15 leads directly to what Paul introduces next due to the connection to 1 Kings 5-6; 1 Chronicles 22 and 29; 2 Chronicles 3-4, and Malachi 3-4 in the Old Testament.
The next two verses should help us to understand why this fiery purification and final inspection is required. This next development by the Apostle Paul takes us beyond metaphors.
Why are you doing it that way as a pastor?
5. The Reason for the Third Phase of Building: This is no Metaphor!
This is not just any building!
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.
This is the the Temple of the Lord!
This is the dwelling place of the Spirit of God!
This is a holy place!
Build the Temple!
And build it God’s way because it is His Temple!
Consider for a moment a pair of questions asked by God through the Prophet Isaiah:
Is. 66:1 - Thus saith the LORD, The heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool: where is the house that ye build unto me? and where is the place of my rest?
This question from God to Isaiah and through him to Israel echoes down through the ages. It sounds forth from glory in our ears this day. These questions from the King of Glory on his throne in the heavenlies demands an answer. God’s questions here are not rhetorical, as if a negative answer would suffice to either or both. There is an answer, and the answer to both questions is the same.
cp. Zech. 6:12-13 - 12 And speak unto him, saying, Thus speaketh the LORD of hosts, saying, Behold the man whose name is The BRANCH; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the LORD: 13 Even he shall build the temple of the LORD; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne: and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.
The King of kings and Lord of Lords, the Priest of priests and Prophet of prophets, came centuries after this and announced in answer to His own question to Isaiah, and His own prophecy through Zechariah:, “I will build my Church!” And so He is. The Son of Man whose name is “The Branch” is building His Church as the Temple of the Holy Spirit of God.
cp. 1 Cor. 6:19 - What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?
cp. 2 Cor. 6:16 - And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
cp. Eph. 2:20-22 - 20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 21 In whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord: 22 In whom ye also are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit.
This is no metaphor! This is the antitype. The other in which the veil was rent, and which was destroyed is the shadow, the type. This is the reality. This is what God’s work since the Garden is all about!
This is the great vision, the wondrous reality, that calls us onward, that lifts our eyes heavenward, and that thrills us with our union with Christ the hope of glory, our Foundation!
Where there is no vision the people perish, and without this vision the pastor will wither in the work. With eyes, and minds and hearts filled with this glorious vision our God will be honored and glorified, and we will be both blessed and a blessing!
How is the Church the Temple?
What is the Temple?
The absolute spirituality of this dwelling place of God is unmistakable!
How is the Temple defiled?
Why does God take this so seriously?
The perfect holiness of the place of God’s rest is not an option!
In every context where elements of this reality are found these same notes are sounded.
God the builder is holy. His Building will be holy. It cannot be otherwise.
Christ’s cleansing of the Temple in Jerusalem during the days of His humiliation is set as a vivid example for how zeal for the Lord’s house behaves!
Why are you doing it that way as a pastor?
Remember who you are as a minister!
Remember what you are about in the ministry!
Remember why you must minister in God’s way!
This is a sovereign work (3:5-8)!
This is a shared work (3:5-15)!
This is a spiritual work (3:16-17)!
You have the gift of God, the faith and the growth that He alone can give, and you can look forward to His reward (3:5-8)!
You have the grace of God, the same grace that Paul depended on to build with Christ (3:10-11)!
You have the Spirit of God (3:16-17) dwelling in the Church, and His enabling for this holy work!
Psalm 92:12-15 - 12 The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree: he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God. 14 They shall still bring forth fruit in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing; 15 To shew that the LORD is upright: he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Jude 24-25 - 24 Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy,25 To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.
Soli Deo Gloria,
John T. Jeffery
Pastor, Wayside Gospel Chapel
G. K. Beale, The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God, New Studies in Biblical Theology 17, series ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004).
J. Duncan M. Derrett, “Paul as Master-builder”, Evangelical Quarterly 69:2 (1997), pp. 129-137; PDF file on Biblical Studies at http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/1997-2_129.pdf [accessed 25 JAN 2014].
Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987).
Frédéric Louis Godet, Commentary on St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, 2 vols., trans. A. Cusin (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886),
John Proctor, “Fire In God’s House: Influence Of Malachi 3 In The NT”, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 36:1 (MAR 1993), pp. 9-14.
Gary Steven Shogren, First Corinthians: An Exegetical-Pastoral Commentary (self-published); PDF file on Open Our Eyes, Lord! at http://openoureyeslord.com/2012/05/21/free-commentary-on-1-corinthians-2/ [accessed 21 JAN 2014].
Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, in The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds. I. Howard Marshall and Donald A. Hagner (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000).
 On the Old Testament imagery of Israel as the vineyard cp. Ex. 15:17; Num. 24:5-6; Is. 5:1-7; 60:1-3; Jer. 2:21; Ezek. 36:9; and Amos 9:15.
 Frédéric Louis Godet, Commentary on St. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, 2 vols., trans. A. Cusin (Edinburgh: T. & T. Clark, 1886), I:175; cited by Anthony C. Thiselton, The First Epistle to the Corinthians: A Commentary on the Greek Text, in The New International Greek Testament Commentary, eds. I. Howard Marshall and Donald A. Hagner (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 2000), pg. 303.
 Gary Steven Shogren, First Corinthians: An Exegetical-Pastoral Commentary (self-published); PDF file on Open Our Eyes, Lord! at http://openoureyeslord.com/2012/05/21/free-commentary-on-1-corinthians-2/ [accessed 21 JAN 2014].
 On this see especially J. Duncan M. Derrett, “Paul as Master-builder”, Evangelical Quarterly 69:2 (1997), pp. 129-137; PDF file on Biblical Studies at http://www.biblicalstudies.org.uk/pdf/eq/1997-2_129.pdf [accessed 25 JAN 2014].
 On the chiastic structure in these two verses (A-B-B-A) see Thiselton, op. cit., pg. 307; and Gordon D. Fee, The First Epistle to the Corinthians, in The New International Commentary on the New Testament (Grand Rapids: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Co., 1987), pg. 137.
 Shogren, ibid.
 On this see especially G. K. Beale, The Temple and the Church's Mission: A Biblical Theology of the Dwelling Place of God, New Studies in Biblical Theology 17, series ed. D. A. Carson (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 2004), pp. 245-252. On the connection to Malachi 3 see John Proctor, “Fire In Gods House - Influence Of Malachi 3 In The NT”, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society 36:1( MAR 1993), pp. 9-14.
 The following chiastic structure is observed in these two verses: A-B-C-C1-B1-A1.
(A) you/Temple – (B) Spirit – (C) destroy – (C1) destroy – (B1) holy – (A1) you/(Temple, unexpressed).
(A) Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, which (temple) ye are. (A1)
(B) and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? for the temple of God is holy, (B1)
(C) If any man defile the temple of God him shall God destroy; (C1)