About Me

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I am the Pastor/Teacher of Rivers of Joy Baptist Church in Minford, Ohio since August 2008.  I am married to Charity since June 14, 1969.  I have four grown children.   Having served in the local church for over forty years as Pastor/Teacher, Asso., Youth Pastor, Minister of Education, Building Upkeep, Camp Director, Sunday School Teacher, etc. Also I have worked in the public place for as many years as I have preached. Charity and her sister are co owner of Union Mills Conf. (Bakery) in West Portsmouth Ohio

How can a Christian Make God-honoring Decisions
When asking the pastor how he thought I would be able to work in the church, the general answer is often answered, "We will have to see how the Lord works this out." You ask yourself, "How does the Lord work out His will for the church?" How are we to comprehend how the Lord is working His will in the life of believers in the church? The number of times I have taught "how to know the Lord’s will for First Baptist Church and in the life of each member in the church." I would often say, "If the Scripture gives us clear instruction for our life, or the purpose of the church, we are not to debate it, but to discover a way to obey it." The question was asked, "Who gives direction for the purpose of the church?"

The purpose of the pastors is to preach and teach the Word of God. He is given to the church by Christ (1)"for the perfecting of the saints, (2) for the work of the ministry (3) for the edifying of the body of Christ." Scripture gives instructions that elders and deacons. "Look you out among you seven men of honest report, and filled with the Holy Spirit." And the Scriptures give direction as to how each individual believer is to work in the church.

Scripture says, "But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased Him." Which is to say, every believer in the local body is placed there by the Lord.. So how does Scripture teach the believer to serve the local church? Scripture teaches that we are all brought into the church for the work of the ministry, and given gifts to perform the will of God for the church. "Forasmuch as ye zealous of ‘spiritual gifts,’ seek that ye may excel to the edifying of the church."

Scriptures teaches "that there should be no schism in the body." Which I took to mean that there should be foundational biblical principles that guide the direction the church takes. "That the members should have the same care one for another." Simply we are all members of one body and should care for all member in the body. "We are all in the body of Christ, but we are also members in particular."

Scripture teaches that the Holy Spirit guides us in this matter of knowing the purpose for which the Lord has saved us, and has us in the local body. As a pastor/teacher I was to teach the Book God wrote as He had it written so that each member would know how to discern God’s purposes.

Thus Scripture teaches that the Elders are to be led by the Holy Spirit as they read and study the Scripture to lead and feed the members of the Church. God works out His will for the church body by the Holy Spirit, working in the life of every member which He has given to the church for life and power.

Some pastors/elders want to be the Holy Spirit. They believe the Holy Spirit leads them to tell the members what the Spirit wants them to do. Others believe the Holy Spirit will direct the members to a ministry which will use their spiritual gifts.

One of the members came to John MacArthur and said, "Pastor, I believe we should have a tape ministry." John said, "Do you believe the Lord is leading you in this area?" and he said, "yes". John said, "you now have a ministry."
Christians are to make God-honoring decisions. To make good decisions we need to exercise biblical wisdom. As I have explained in the teaching of Proverbs, wisdom comes from a diligent study of the Word of God. James tells us "those who lack wisdom are to "ask of God, who gives to all men generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him."

  • The direction the Holy Spirit will give the Christian member concerning the use of his spiritual gift comes by (1) gathering necessary information (2) considering all the options carefully (3) seeking godly counsel and (4) then choosing the option that is most sensible. As Proverbs 2 tells us, (1) to apply our hearts to understanding (2) incline our ears unto wisdom (3) fear the Lord (4) find the knowledge of God. (5) have discretion.
  • All the above process will presuppose that each member will be submitted to Christ and filled with the Spirit. Otherwise you won’t be able to make biblical decisions. Remember this--sin blinds your ability to understand and apply God’s Word to your life.

  • We should also remember if we have a vital relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and we are walking in the Spirit, as opposed to walking in the flesh, then we are free to make decisions so long as they don’t violate God’s revealed (moral) will.
  • Drafted by Charles E. Whisnant 06 05 07 Proof Checked by Charity.