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The term 'Man of God'

Submitted: 2/8/2010
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Question: It is quite common in some churches to refer to the Pastor as the Man of God. Paul used this term in reference to Timothy. However, Paul used the term to encourage Timothy to live right and to study the Word of God rather than to tell the saints that they must obey the 'man of God.' This is not to say we should not obey leaders, even if we are in a church with a sole Pastor. In a shurch of plural elders, how do we understand the term man of God? Are we saying because of the indwelling of the Holy Spirit and because we are saved we should all live lives befitting a man of God? And that the term man of God is not reserved for elders but all saints? Also, can we conclude that the New Testament does not show that the term man of God should be used as constant reference to a sole Pastor? Perhaps some sole Pastors see the term man of God in reference to Timothy as a sole pastoral leader even if the Bible does not directly say. I did watch an apostolic webcast where an interpretation or prophesy was given. And it was said something like 'do as the man of God says' in reference to a message preached by an apostolic pastor. I would be grateful for any points you would like to make.

Answer: The term 'man of God' is used with reference to Moses, David, various prophets, and, as you say, Tiomothy. It simply means a man who is walking with God, or as is said of David, a man after God's own heart. It is not a term that should be used interchangably with the title 'pastor.' Some pastors may be men of God, but some may not. We believe that any believer can be a man of God, not just those serving in a leadership role. The term implies a deep level of devotion, something more than being a child of God or a son of God, which all born-again believers can be called by virtue of their new birth experience.