Lecture 3 – Dominant Dispositions

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4. A disposition of self-giving love

a. Christ

Jn. 10:11-12, Jn. 15-18
Eph. 5:25

b. Paul

1 Thess. 2:7-8, 1 Thess. 11-12
2 Cor. 12:14-15
Phil. 2:17
Col. 1:24

Richard Baxter, The Reformed Pastor, (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth Trust, 1968), pp. 117-118.


Gal. 5:22
2 Cor. 3:18


5. A disposition of principled zeal for the honor and glory of God

a. Christ

Jn. 2:13-17

William Hendricksen, New Testament Commentary Exposition of the Gospel According to John, (Grand Rapids: Baker, 1972), p. 122.

Jn. 12:27-28
Rev. 2-3

b. Paul

In his pastoral counsel, in his pastoral prayers, and in his spontaneous doxologies, it is evident that the great apostle was driven with passion for the glory of God

2 Cor. 11:28-29
1 Cor. 10:31
2 Cor. 8:19; 2 Cor. 9:13
Rom. 15:5-7
Phil. 1:9-11
Rom. 11:36; Rom. 16:27
1 Tim. 3:14-15 with Eph. 3:21


1) No one acquainted with the Scriptures would dispute that this principle of zeal for the honor and glory of God ought to dominate the disposition of the man of God whenever he preaches the word of God.

2) However, I am pressing for the dominance of this disposition in the manifold tasks of pastoral government, rule, and the other labors connected with overseeing the flock of God. This disposition must percolate through our hearts as we regulate and order the public worship of God, as we cultivate our gifts of public prayer, as we take the lead in matters of discipline in the church.

3) Furthermore, we must see the connections between 1 Tim. 3:14-15 and Eph. 3:21

James S. Cannon, Lectures on Pastoral Theology, (New York: Charles Scribner, 1853), pp. 56-57.


6. A disposition of principled diligence and dogged determination to do the will of God.

a. Christ

Lk. 2:41-50
Jn. 4:34
Jn. 9:4

b. Paul

Acts 20:20; Acts 20:24;  Acts 21:12-14
1 Thes. 2:17-18
Gal. 2:10


1) As our preaching is to be “in season and out of season,” that is, when it is convenient or inconvenient, etc., so it must be with all of the aspects of oversight and shepherding of the people of God.

Rom. 12:8
Prov. 24:30-34
Prov. 12:24
Prov. 27:23

2) As with natural parenting, “taking care of the church of God” is indeed a full time job in which many of the duties are not at all pleasant or convenient to perform. But perform them we must.

7. A disposition of relative indifference to the approval and praise of men.

Explanation and qualification

Acts 6:5
1 Cor 9:19-23
1 Cor. 10:32-33

a. Christ

Rev. 3:19
Mt. 16:21-23
Mt. 17:14-17
Jn. 4:27
Lk. 5:27-30

b. Paul

Gal. 1:10

John Brown, An Exposition of the Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Galatians, (New York: Robert Carter and Brothers, 1853), pp. 50-51.

1 Cor. 4:3-5
Gal. 2: 11-14

Richard C. H. Lenski, The Interpretation of St. Paul’s Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians and Philippians, (Minneapolis, MN: Augsburg Publishing House, 1961), pp. 99-100.


1) It is only the man who is freed from the shackles of seeking the praise of his fellow mortals who is freed to be used of God in the various aspects of shepherding, governing, and overseeing the people of God.

2) If we are to be such men, we must constantly soak our souls in the realities of the following texts.

Heb. 13:17b
1 Pet. 1:17
2 Tim. 4:1-5


8. A disposition of conscious dependence upon the grace and power of God for the ability to perform the manifold tasks.

a. Christ

In the incarnation our Lord voluntarily assumed real humanity which in its very nature placed Him in a posture of dependantness.

Jn. 5:19,  Jn. 5:30
Jn. 8:28
Jn. 12:49

The manifold instances of His eminent prayerfulness.

Lk. 3:21; Lk. 4:42; (compared with Mk. 1:35) Lk. 5:16;  Lk. 6:12;  Lk. 9:18;  Lk. 9:28-29;  Lk. 11:1;

Lk. 22:41; Lk. 23:34; Lk. 23:46.

b. Paul

2 Cor. 3:4-6
1 Cor. 15:10
Col. 1:28-29
2 Tim. 2:1



1. So then, my brethren, as you anticipate the task of oversight, shepherding, caring for, ruling and governing in God’s house, a dispositional complex which must become a part of the very fabric of your inner life has been set before you.

2. May God grant, by the continuous supply of the Spirit of Christ, we may all be increasingly characterized as men whose disposition is one of:

  • Assertive Servanthood
  • Meekness, with its attendants of Lowliness and Gentleness
  • Vulnerable Compassion
  • Self-Giving Love
  • Zeal for the Honor and Glory of God
  • Diligent and Dogged Determination to Do the Will of God
  • Relative Indifference to the Approval and Praise of Men
  • Conscious Dependence upon the grace and power of God to perform The Manifold Tasks

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