Ephesians 5:3 (NLT) 3 Let there be no sexual immorality, impurity, or greed among you. Such sins have no place among God’s people.
A. Ministers are to be examples of good conduct.
1 Peter 5:2-3 (NLT) 2 Care for the flock that God has entrusted to you. Watch over it willingly, not grudgingly—not for what you will get out of it, but because you are eager to serve God. 3 Don’t lord it over the people assigned to your care, but lead them by your own good example.
1 Timothy 4:12 (NLT) Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.
Titus 2:7 (NLT) 7 And you yourself must be an example to them by doing good works of every kind. Let everything you do reflect the integrity and seriousness of your teaching.
B. Ministers' conduct is the greatest proof of their sincerity or lack of sincerity. It is important to examine their lives for hypocrisy.
Matthew 7:15-16 (NLT) 15 “Beware of false prophets who come disguised as harmless sheep but are really vicious wolves. 16 You can identify them by their fruit, that is, by the way they act.
1 Timothy 4:1-2 (NLT) 4 Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. 2 These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.
C. Many times the bad fruit in these hypocritical preachers' lives will include sexual immorality. They will use their calling for personal gain and try to cover their duplicity with a message of hyper grace.
Jude 4: 4, 12 (NIV) 4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality...shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted—twice dead.
2 Peter 2:1-3, 10, 13-15, 19-21 (NLT) 1...there will be false teachers among you... 2 Many will follow their evil teaching and shameful immorality. And because of these teachers, the way of truth will be slandered.3 In their greed they will make up clever lies to get hold of your money. But God condemned them long ago, and their destruction will not be delayed...10 He is especially hard on those who follow their own twisted sexual desire, and who despise authority...13 Their destruction is their reward for the harm they have done. They love to indulge in evil pleasures... 14 They commit adultery with their eyes, and their desire for sin is never satisfied. They lure unstable people into sin, and they are well trained in greed. They live under God’s curse.15 They have wandered off the right road...With an appeal to twisted sexual desires, they lure back into sin those who have barely escaped from a lifestyle of deception. 19 They promise freedom, but they themselves are slaves of sin and corruption. For you are a slave to whatever controls you. 20 And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. 21 It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life.
D. It is required that anyone that will serve as a minister must remain faithful to his wife and maintain a good reputation.
1 Timothy 3:2 (NLT) 2 So an elder must be a man whose life is above reproach. He must be faithful to his wife. He must exercise self-control, live wisely, and have a good reputation.
Titus 1:6 (NLT) 6 An elder must live a blameless life. He must be faithful to his wife...
E. When caught in sin, ministers must be corrected as a public example.
1 Timothy 5:20-21 (NLT) 20 Those (elders/ministers) who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church; this will serve as a strong warning to others. 21 I solemnly command you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the highest angels to obey these instructions without taking sides or showing favoritism to anyone.
F. While God can forgive and save ministers that have fallen into sexual sins, their reputations will be tarnished. They have forsaken the moral position necessary to serve as a godly example and to earn the trust of the saints.
Proverbs 6:32-33 (NLT) 32 But the man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself. 33 He will be wounded and disgraced. His shame will never be erased.
G. The church should always attempt with love and humility to restore a fallen minister back into a proper relationship with Christ.
Galatians 6:1 (NLT) 6 Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.
James 5:19-20 (NLT)19 My dear brothers and sisters, if someone among you wanders away from the truth and is brought back, 20 you can be sure that whoever brings the sinner back from wandering will save that person from death and bring about the forgiveness of many sins