The above photo has nothing to do with this post, but is one of the first photos we have taken in Edinburgh and we wanted to share it. I hope you enjoy it. You see the sun setting on the Castle.
“You shall not steal." - Exodus 20:15
Today marks the three year anniversary of my ordination. One of the vows that I took was in answer to this question:
Do you promise to be zealous and faithful in maintaining the truths of the Gospel and the purity and peace and unity of the Church, whatever persecution or opposition may arise unto you on that account?
I had never thought about this in the context of the eighth commandment until just recently. Obviously, the eighth commandment is about unlawfully taking of someone else's property. However, it was Watson's short commentary on the commandments that helped me to make the connection between the eighth commandment and my ordination vows. You see, Watson makes the point that we must take care not to steal a person's soul. That is, we are to take care not to lead someone off into heresy.
Obviously, this is the call of every Christian, but this call is placed on pastors and elders even more acutely. Paul talking to the young pastor Timothy tells him:
Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers. - 1 Tim 4:16
Paul is saying that by both Timothy's life and his doctrine he will guard the souls of those placed in his care. It is an eye toward this truth that Watson says that the eighth commandment calls us not to steal a person's soul. That is not to lead someone away into heresy.
As I think upon three years of ordained Gospel ministry, I am struck once again by the weight of the call put upon my shoulders and those of my fellow elders. There is a call to guard, as our very own, the souls of those in our care. We are to keep close watch on ourselves and our doctrine. This is a burden, but it is not something that we bear alone. We have brothers to walk with us. Ultimately, we know that we are not the chief shepherd, but we are to look to the chief shepherd and trust his leading.
I pray the Lord give me another year of faithfulness to him and to his truths. That I may guard them zealously and in doing so, guard the souls of those in my care.
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