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Ministry As Seen In Scripture

          Every Christian is a minister, serving the Lord, according to the ability which God has given him/her. Peter wrote, “If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to Whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen” (I Peter 4:11). God does not expect more from us than we are able to perform; however He does call for the best that we can offer. When Jesus told the story of the talents He stated, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey” (Matthew 25:14-15). When the man returned and reckoned with the servants he blessed those who had wisely used the talents and cast out the unprofitable servant, (Matthew 25:19-30). Jesus then stated that this same judgment would be used when He returned on the Day of Judgment and reckoned with mankind (Matthew 25:31-46).

            Paul described Christian, spiritual, ministry in several ways in the book of II Corinthians. He described the ministry as a ministration of glory. Paul wrote, “But if the ministration of death, written and engraven in stones, was glorious, so that the children of Israel could not stedfastly behold the face of Moses for the glory of his countenance; which glory was to be done away: How shall not the ministration of the spirit be rather glorious? For if the ministration of condemnation be glory, much more doth the ministration of righteousness exceed in glory. For even that which was made glorious had no glory in this respect, by reason of the glory that excelleth. For if that which is done away was glorious, much more that which remaineth is glorious” (II Corinthians 3:7-11). Paul stated that the glory of the new covenant is greater in glory than the old covenant because of the hope and liberty, freedom from sin and death, which it brings (II Corinthians 3:12-18).

            Paul described the work of ministry as honest and tried. He wrote, “Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, Who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (II Corinthians 4:1-7). God’s people are to remember the sacrifice of the Lord and to glory in the fact that they have been enabled to serve Him acceptably. Paul appreciated all God had provided in Christ and gladly became a servant for “Jesus’ sake” (II Corinthians 4:5, 7). All Christians are to defend the truth at all times (Jude 1:3). Timothy was warned that men would not always accept the truth, yet, he was to preach it at all times (II Timothy 4:1-3). Paul told him to make full proof of his ministry. He was told, “But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry” (II Timothy 4:5).

            If one follows anything more or less than what God has authorized it will cost him the home in heaven which Jesus has prepared for those who do His will (Matthew 7:21-23). Paul was shocked at how soon false doctrine had been allowed to come into the church at Galatia.  He wrote, “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from Him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel: Which is not another; but there be some that trouble you, and would pervert the gospel of Christ. But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed” (Galatians 1:6-8). He warned them that to embrace false doctrine would make the death of Christ ineffective in their lives. He stated, “Behold, I Paul say unto you, that if ye be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing. For I testify again to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole law. Christ is become of no effect unto you, whosoever of you are justified by the law; ye are fallen from grace. For we through the Spirit wait for the hope of righteousness by faith. For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love” (Galatians 5:2-6).

            Jesus taught the necessity of keeping faith pure. He stated, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me.

But in vain they do worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men” (Matthew 15:8-9)

            How do you look at the work of ministry that has been given to all Christians? More importantly, how does God view the service which you/we offer to Him?

 

                                                                                                                        - - PER