Charge at Ordination (a Template)

[Ordainee Name], we charge you today;

Hold to Jesus, to His Gospel, to His church; without superiority or arrogance, but with meekness and strength that can only come from the Holy Spirit; determine to know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified;

Keep Scripture close to your heart, always seeking God’s Words rather than your own—as Joshua stayed in the tent after Moses had left encouraging others to do the same—as Jesus would often say “how does it read to you”;

Bear with the people God has given you to shepherd; with patience, love and endurance; protect them with gentleness, and with the ferocity that caused David to grab the bear and the lion by the beard;

Trust in the same God that saved David; in patience wait for God to work out His plan; as David waited, everyone throughout Scripture had to wait; Wait for God to move and soften hearts, remembering that if God is willing to work with you, then He is willing to work with anyone; Wait for God to prove His leadership through you;

Listen to God’s direction, Jonah didn’t want to go to Nineveh but he went solely because God sent him;

Work hard at the work God has called you to; work with the people God has called you to; work with your spouse; like Priscilla and Aquila, let your names be together; work to be at peace with everyone; as Jesus said, make friends quickly on your way to court;

We charge you today to preach Jesus Christ and Him crucified, to shepherd God’s people where ever He calls, to be faithful to the work to which you are called—a calling we as God’s people affirm today


Notes on Preparing Sermons (for Pastoral Training)

  1. Read the passage through, and make your initial notes verse by verse:
    • insights
    • questions that arise in your mind
    • other passages that seem to have a bearing on things mentioned here
    • lessons and applications of this passage for us today
    • examples of the things brought up in this passage: from Scripture, from your reading, and/or from your own experience.
  2. Read commentaries on the passage (try to read at least 4), and make notes from their insights, continuing the process laid out above.
  3. Take a time of extended prayer, meditating on this piece of Scripture.
  4. On a new, single sheet of paper, write down what all the lessons you see in this passage. You will probably derive most of this list from your notes. It may be a long list but should fit on one sheet.
  5. On the other side of the paper, write down all the examples that you have thought of, again using the examples you have written down in your notes.
  6. Take another extended time for prayer and meditation, and then:
  7. Write down what you think are the 3 or 4 or 5 main propositions of this passage, lessons that you believe the Lord wants His people to hear today.
  8. Write down what you think is the single most important response you believe the Lord wants from us, and the main reason you see for this response.
  9. Figure out why people should be interested in this Scripture, or these issues, and write this down.
  10. Come up with some sort of way of introducing this reason for people to pay attention, and write out this as an introduction.
  11. Write a transition sentence or paragraph after this introduction, introducing the "thesis" (from Number 8 above), and mark this paragraph "Transition" or "T".
  12. Write your thesis out, and underline it.
  13. Write down the first main point, and then develop why you think it is true or right or important, with evidence from the text itself. Use examples, other references, and/or other things as necessary.
  14. Write down what you think ought to be the next main point (whether it comes in order in the text or not; it probably will come next in the text, but not necessarily), and develop this main point as in Number 13.
  15. Continue with the other main points from Number 7 above, developing them in the same way.
  16. Leave a space on your paper, and mark the following as your "Conclusion".
  17. For your conclusion, restate your thesis, from Number 8 above. Then briefly recapitulate each of the main points in one sentence. Then write one final sentence to conclude the entire sermon.
  18. Later on you can try other forms with not only the conclusion, but other parts of the sermon, but for now, stick to this pattern carefully.
  19. All the places in your sermon where you call for a response to the Lord, mark this "Application". All the examples you use, mark "Example". Highlight or underline your main points.
  20. Turn this in next week for comments and corrections; then expect to preach the sermon (in the small group) starting the following week.



Pastoral Training Notes Sample: Galatians

Preliminary Issues

  1. Return outlines of Pentateuch with comments.
  2. Get report on passages selected for preaching.
  3. Review on leading small groups:
    • Reading a commentary, to cover possible issues.
    • Studying and praying to determine major issue, and important secondary issues.
    • Giving the group opportunities to share their insights, with encouragement.
    • Allowing the study to take a different direction, if needed.

Galatians Overview

Introduction on date, authorship, occasion, and themes. Remarks on Hauptbriefe. Luther's commentary and Wesley's reading of Luther's commentary.

Chapters 1 Notes

  1. Introduction verses (Gal 1:1-5): apostleship and Paul's sense of calling.
  2. Theme of the book (Gal 1:6) and the main issue: their turning from the Gospel, to "no gospel."
    • The reason this was happening: the Judaizers.
    • Questions: Who were the Judaizers, and what had they done? Timing, dating (of letter). Judaizers' reasoning.
  3. Paul's assertion and the heart of his argument (Gal 1:8,9)
  4. The charge that the Judaizers were making and Paul's answer to it (Gal 1:10 and on).
    • Charge: that Paul was preaching as hi did because he was currying favor, presumably with his converts.
    • Paul's Answer: What he was preaching was not making life easier for him but more difficult.
    • Charge: Paul had been trying to preach the gospel he learned from the apostles in Jerusalem, but he had gotten it wrong; he just didn't understand correctly.
    • Paul's Answer: He had not been commissioned by the apostles in Jerusalem; he hardly knew them. However, they had been supportive of what he was trying to do and recognized his calling. (He had been called and given his Gospel by Christ himself.) The revelation to Paul consisted totally in his encounter with Christ on the road to Damascus, transforming what he already knew of the Old Testament, because of his new awareness that Jesus really was alive.
  5. Time sequences of Chapter 1 (and 2): to show that he could not have derived his message from the apostles in Jerusalem, that he was independent of them
    • Also: gives us information that helps us understand the sequence of events in Acts (trips to Jerusalem): (a) 3 years after his conversion, and (b) 14 years after his conversion. Note: neither of these could possibly coincide with the Jerusalem council visit in Acts 15. (Why not? Because that council dealt precisely with the issues discussed in Galatians, and it is not conceivable he would not have mentioned that council in this letter, if it already happened. It must have happened after this letter was written.)
  6. Note (secondary) issues: Paul chosen by God before birth (Gal 1:15). Compare to: Psalm 139 and Jeremiah 1:5.

Chapter 2 Notes

  1. Answers to additional possible charges (Galatians 2:1 and on).
    • Charge: even Peter agreed with the Judaizers (and therefore Paul was wrong)
    • Paul's Answer: Peter was wrong; Paul had corrected him; and Peter had accepted the correction.
    • Charge: Paul had Timothy (who came from their area) circumcised, showing that he knew law-keeping was essential for salvation.
    • Paul's Answer: He had not had Titus circumcised, even though he had taken Titus to Jerusalem. Nobody had demanded it; Titus was a Gentile. (Note: The reason Timothy was circumcised by Paul was that: (a) Timothy was part Jewish, (b) nobody demanded it (and Paul was willing to do what was helpful although not demanded), and (c) it was helpful in that it made Timothy to be a Jew, rather than neither Jew nor Gentile.)
  2. Time sequence: Paul was converted in Damascus then spent 3 years in Arabia; back to Damascus; then to Jerusalem; then to Syria and Cilicia (meaning: Tarsus again) for a total of 14 years. Then, Barnabas travels to Tarsus to fetch him and bring him to Antioch; then to Jerusalem with Barnabas (in line with a prophecy or revelation, at the end of Acts 11). Compare Gal 2:1 with events at the end of Acts 11. Note the appearance of Judaizers in Antioch, although they had already been active in complaining about Peter in Acts 11.
  3. Gal 2:5: "We did not give in to them for a moment, so that the gospel might remain with you." Question: What was the importance of this? What would have been lost if he had not taken this stand?
  4. Gal 2:6: His denigration of those who "seemed to be important," apparently including Peter. Question: Why this stance? Note the division of labor: Peter to Jews, Paul to Gentiles. Note also the charge (in "higher criticism") that there was a long-term dispute, which the Book of Acts was written to paper over. Does this support that charge? If not, how not?
  5. Gal 2:9: James, Peter, and John: Which James was this (James the brother of John, or James the brother of Jesus)? Why? Compare to Acts 11 and 12. Note also: "the right hand of fellowship." Where else is this found? Note also: "remember the poor."
  6. The confrontation with Peter (Gal 2:11 and on) and the underlying issues:
    • We are saved not by keeping the law, and rather, Peter was living like Gentiles.
    • But under pressure, Peter was giving in, to the demands that Gentiles keep the law.
    • Key verses (Gal 2:16): "Justified not by keeping the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ." And that they (the Jewish disciples) have put their faith in Christ to be justified.
  7. Another possible charge: that justification by faith leads to antinomianism (disregarding the demands of the law and giving total license)
    • Our sin cannot be blamed on the Gospel. If we sin, we are guilty.
    • But Christ does not promote sin.
    • Rather we have died to the law, so we can live for God. "Crucified with Christ," "Christ lives in me." Now, dedicated to Jesus, because of His sacrifice for me.
  8. But righteousness could never be obtained by the law. If it could be, Christ died in vain. Meaning, if there were any other way, the cross would not have happened. But the fact that Christ did die on the cross means that no other way will ever work to make us righteous.

Chapter 3 Notes

  1. They had believed this; the Gospel had been clearly presented to them. But now, they have been convinced to add something else: law-keeping.
    • They received the Spirit by faith; they should not try to improve things by law.
    • They began by the Spirit; they should not now try to improve things by human efforts.
    • They suffered for justification by faith; they should not now abandon that.
    • God showed his approval of their faith by miracles; they should not now abandon that.
  2. Abraham is an example of justification by faith (Genesis 15:6).
    • Therefore, those who have faith are his children, inheriting his blessing.
    • Even the promise to "all nations" proves that they would be blessed, as Abraham was, by faith.
    • Trying to keep the law only brings a curse, because nobody keeps it completely.
    • Even the Old Testament shows that the Just will live by faith (in Habakkuk, not very clearly, but here explained by Paul).
  3. We are freed from the curse of the law by Christ bearing that curse on our behalf. His purpose was that, being freed from this curse, we might receive the blessing promised to Abraham by faith. The promise: the Holy Spirit.
  4. The example of human covenants, not capable of having their terms altered by one party afterwards, to the disadvantage of one who relied on it. (Context: Gal 3:17)
  5. The promises were from the start intended to come to—and through—a "seed" of Abraham, meaning one person (this is somewhat foreign to us, but typical of Jewish reasoning at the time. Still works as illustration, although not proof).
  6. Then objection: "Why the Law?" Answer: As a pedagogue (a teacher/tutor) (Gal 3:19 and on).
    • But it cannot abrogate the promises given earlier.
    • Also, if it could have brought righteousness, nothing would have been needed. This proves law didn't work; faith supersedes law.
    • But its purpose is to teach us and prepare us for Christ and justification by faith.
  7. Now our status is sons of God—all of us, without distinction.

Chapter 4 Notes

  1. More explanations: minor children need a pedagogue (teacher/tutor). The gift of the Spirit, and our calling God "father" and being heir.
  2. Now, not to turn back to the weak and beggarly elements that earlier kept us in line.
  3. Personal note, referring to the time Paul was with them, apparently in recovery from sickness on his way up from the Mediterranean.
  4. Gal 4:17: The zeal of Judaizers is not for the good of the Galatian believers but to win followers for themselves. For that reason, they should be held in suspicion.
  5. The example of Hagar and Sarah:
    • Two sons of Abraham, one slave and the other free. One natural and the other as the result of the promise.
    • That we are descendants of either one or the other. We should choose to be sons of the free woman, by promise (meaning by faith).
    • Also the parallel between Jerusalem/Sinai and the Law.
    • The New Jerusalem and faith, foreshadowed by the wording of Isaiah 54, talking about a barren woman with children. Paul takes this to speak of Gentile children of God, who earlier were impossible to imagine.