A second and chief reason why sound doctrine is important for ministers is that, as McCheyne once said, the most important thing that a minister can give to his people is his own holiness. We pastors can only lead our people as far as we ourselves have gone with God. We see this in the Apostle Paul, who wrote, “That which l *first* received from the Lord, I then delivered to you…” We also see it in the twelve disciples, who had become *like* Jesus as a result of being *with* Jesus, taking upon themselves his easy yoke and light burden of grace, learning from him, and through this finding rest for their souls. Then, and only then, were they prepared to carry his grace and truth to the world, plant and pastor churches, and do many good works in his name.
There is also a ripple effect when truth and theology get into us to such a degree that it catches fire in us. As Spurgeon famously said of the Puritan, John Bunyan, “If you cut him, he’d bleed Scripture!” And when we bleed Scripture, that is, when our demeanors show that we into the truth because the truth has gotten so into us, it has a way of becoming infectious and contagious. For us and for the people that we lead, the virtues of the Kingdom—of love and the fruit of the Spirit—are caught and not achieved.
As was the case with Bunyan as well as Spurgeon, may our skeletons be covered with muscle that gives life not only to our bodies, but also our souls.
This article originally appeared here and is used by permission.