by Thomas Watson
“Be wise as serpents—and harmless as doves.” Matthew 10:16
The Apostle says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration,” 2 Timothy 3:16. God’s Word is compared to a lamp for its enlightening quality, Psalm 119:105, and to refined silver for its enriching quality, Psalm 12:6. Among other parts of Sacred Writ, this text is not the least: “Be wise as serpents—and harmless as doves.” This is the speech of our blessed Savior. His lips were a tree of life which fed many. His works were miracles. His words were oracles—and deserve to be engraved upon our hearts as with the point of a diamond. This is a golden sentence, “Be wise as serpents—and harmless as doves.” Our Lord Jesus, in this chapter:
first, gives His Apostles their commission;
second, He foretells their danger;
third, He gives them several instructions.
I. Christ gives His Apostles their COMMISSION. Before they went abroad to preach, Christ ordained them, verse 5, “These twelve, Jesus sent forth.” Those who exercise in the ministerial function must have a lawful call. Hebrews 5:4, “No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God.” Christ gave not only the Apostles and Prophets a call to their office (who wereextraordinary ministers)—but even pastors and teachers, (who are ordinary ministers) Ephesians 4:11.
QUESTION. But if one has gifts, is this not sufficient to the ministerial office? Continue reading