“Whatever “call” a man may pretend to have, if he has not been called to holiness, he certainly has not been called to the ministry” Spurgeon letters p. 9
“Our own hearts are deceitful so that truth lies not on the surface but must be drawn up from the deepest well.” Spurgeon lettersp.9
I have never been more convinced of the lofty calling of pastors. And indeed it must be a calling. For a pastor must have so many of certain qualities, and certain temperaments that for the incredible combination to be present in any one man, it must be truly grace from the hand of God.
First, any minister of the Lord must be saved. This requirement alone places the man in the most blessed of all positions. No man should call forth another into a land he has not been himself.
Second, the man must be godly for he must be a light to his congregation. He must exemplify holiness and righteousness in his public and personal life. There are many who know of the Lord’s salvation and yet hold on to their old ways. If they are indeed saved, they shall escape the flames of hell if only by an inch. But a minister of the Lord must have a life that has been through and through transformed by the grace and mercy of His Holiness.
No minister will be perfect in his personal holiness and therefore he must be humble before the Lord. His desire to be holy will only be completed by his humbling of himself before the Almighty Lord, declaring his righteousness the work of the Lord Himself. This attribute is vital. For any minister who works for his own glory has no place in the kingdom. His very understanding of the Gospel is false and leads to death. For it is by grace he has been saved. The works that Lord prepared for His followers are to be done in humility.
There are many more requirements upon those chosen for the work of ministry, but to list them would be a task far too great for this blog. These primary qualifications are more than enough to show the seriousness of the calling to ministry. It must not be taken lightly but indeed tested and proved to be the true calling in one’s life. There is no amount of prestige, power, or honor that a man should pursue in the title of minister outside of the true calling of the Lord to that blessed position.