The Nature of the Church VII Ministers are to Feed


“Nature of the Church VII”

  1. It Belongs to God
  2. Purchased with His Blood
  3. Displays the Wisdom of God
  4. Is the Elect
  5. Are Glorious
  6. Clothed in Righteousness
  7. Forgiving
  8. Believers are Baptized


9. Ministers Are Commanded to Feed

A) Meaning of the word “feed”

  • Webster’s defines the word “feed” 1. To supply with food or nourishment.  2. To furnish with that which is necessary to growth, continuance, etc.
  •  You will find the word feed 81 times in your King James Version of the Bible.
    • PHYSICAL FOODGenesis 25:30… And Esau said to Jacob, Feed me, I pray thee, with that same red pottage; for I am faint: therefore was his name called Edom. (Esau asking to be physically fed some food)
      – Genesis 30:31…And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock:
      (Jacob is talking about feeding and keeping the sheep of Laban)
      Also note 1 Kings 17:4… And it shall be, that thou shalt drink of the brook; and I (God) have commanded the ravens to feed thee there. The raven was considered to be an unclean bird and yet God used it to feed His prophet. This verse teaches us to not complain about how or where you get your food from!
    • TALK/SPEECHProverbs 10:21…The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom. (In other words… Sound teaching benefits many. But fools starve themselves to death spiritually by their lack of wise teaching.
    • JUDGMENT –  Isaiah 49:26…And I will feed them that oppress thee with their own flesh; and they shall be drunken with their own blood, as with sweet wine: and all flesh shall know that I the LORD am thy Saviour and thy Redeemer, the mighty One of Jacob. Isaiah is preaching to God’s children about how He will bring Divine judgment upon Israel’s enemies.
  • JUDGMENT (Continued) –Jeremiah 9:15…Therefore thus saith the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel; Behold, I will feed them, even this people, with wormwood, and give them water of gall to drink. Wormwood has bitter leaves. God was going to make their food and water bitter as a form of judgment upon His people who have forsaken God’s Law.
  • SPIRITUAL FOODJeremiah 3:15… And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.
    Psalm 28:9 …Save thy people (God’s people), and bless thine inheritance: feed them also, and lift them up forever.

B) Pastors preach/teach doctrines

  • Some people do not understand the meaning of the word “doctrine.” It simply means that which is taught; principles taught or recommended.
  • There are false doctrines as well as true doctrines.
  • There are good and bad doctrines.
  • God warns pastors of teaching…FALSE DOCTRINES – Jeremiah 23:2…Therefore thus saith the LORD God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; (God is warning the pastors of false doctrines) Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the LORD. God says he “will visit” not meaning a welcomed visit but rather a visit of Divine judgment for causing people to leave the doctrines God had established and creating a hardship on God’s children by strict rule. Now look at what God’s judgment entails… 3) And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase. 4) And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the LORD. God basically is saying in verses 3, 4 that He will bring new shepherds in that will know how to follow God’s Law and commands for shepherding.  – These were false leaders who failed in their duty of taking care of god’s sheep. The leaders being the Kings (ch. 22) and other civil heads as well as the priests and prophets (vrs. 11). (NOTE: other chapters which condemn evil shepherds are Jer. 14, 27,28; and Isa. 28; Eze. 13, 34; and Mic. 3; Zech.11) 
    VERY SERIOUS BUSINESS is shepherding God’s sheep. It should never be taken lightly.
  • PAY ATTENTION TO HOW YOU FEED – Acts 20:28…Take heed (Pay close attention to what I am telling you) therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers,(Note that Paul is speaking to the elders/leaders/pastors of the church) to feed the church of God, which he (Jesus) hath purchased with his own blood.
    –  “Overseers”
    these are elders and pastors of the church. This word also takes on the meaning of caretaker and protector of God’s sheep that God Himself has given to you.
    – We are to be careful with God’s sheep because “…he (Jesus) hath purchased with his own blood.” Stop and think how you would feel if you sweat and labored hard over something you created and then have someone come along and abuse it or mistreat it and not take care of it.
    – Pastors often forget that God has given you people in the church for you to teach and train for God’s service and glory. Just as God has given children to a husband and wife to what? Proverbs 22:6…Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
    – I Peter 5:2…Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
    IMPORTANT ; The “flock/sheep” belong to God. Some people don not know how to take care of their own things/stuff and therefore will not take care of anyone else’s things/stuff. The same goes for shepherding.
    – Again, “taking the oversight” means to feed and protect.
    Christ commands leaders to FEED;
  • John 21:15…So when they had dined, Jesus saith to Simon Peter, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me more than these? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my lambs. 16) He saith to him again the second time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? He saith unto him, Yea, Lord; thou knowest that I love thee. He saith unto him, Feed my sheep. 17) He saith unto him the third time, Simon, son of Jonas, lovest thou me? Peter was grieved because he said unto him the third time, Lovest thou me? And he said unto him, Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee. Jesus saith unto him, Feed my sheep.

Paul gives elders the call to PROTECT;

  • Paul called the elders of the church together to warn them of how to “feed” in Acts 20:28…Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
  • Now Paul tells them “WHY” in verse 29…For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock. “wolves” are people who do not think about others, only themselves. grievous wolves” are worse! The word “grievous” means to cause suffering and distress.So basically, Paul is warning as I warn you men at SBBC, when I am gone (By God’s calling me to retire or move on or even graduate to heaven) there will deaf who will come in and try to  take over the church with their strong doctrines or beliefs to accommodate the worlds ways. To give in to false doctrines or teachings of a pastor/wolf is to bring distress and suffering upon yourself and the church.


  • Let us look at Peterin 1 Peter 5:
  • This is not a command but rather an exortation… 1) The elders which are among you I exhort,
  • He is addressing the elders/pastors…who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
  • First warning…2) Feed the flock of God which is among you,
  • Second warning…2b) taking the oversight thereof,
  • Third warning… 2c) not by constraint, do not preach or teach what you wish to get across to the sheep, but rather what God has led you to teach or preach to the sheep. Preach not by forcing.
  • Fourth warning…2d) but willingly; Be willing to preach, not lazy.
  • Fifth warning… 2e) not for filthy lucre, Do not preach or teach because you need the money. Scripture is very clear that churches are to pay the pastor well (I Cor. 9:7-14; I Tim. 5:17, 18)
  • Sixth warning… 2f) but of a ready mind; Happy doing what you are doing (cheerfully), preach out of your love for God and His people.
  • Seventh warning… 3) Neither as being lords over God’s heritage, Pastors are not to lead his sheep as a king leads his kingdom… demanding things, Forcing people to give of time, talents and money. Being a Pharisee and placing burdens on your people.
  • Eighth warning… 3b) but being ensamples to the flock.
  • Your reward for heeding (obeying this warning) 4) And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away. For a pastor to  “receive a crown of glory” he must be obedient to the warnings here given by Peter (from Christ).

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