(John 15:16) You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.
(Ephesians 2:10) For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
God has chosen us in Christ Jesus to be his workmanship and to do good works in Him which would bear fruit that would last. We don’t call ourselves into ministry, our pastors don’t call us into ministry and our parents don’t call us into ministry, but rather, we are called by God. As believers, we are ALL ministers — every single member of the body, from the least one to the greatest — and we all have a specific place or role in ministry.
WHAT IS A MINISTER?
A minister is just another word for servant, and Jesus said the greatest among us shall be the servant (Matthew 23:11), and if anyone wants to be first, he has to be the very last (Mark 9:35). Jesus was our example and in Mark 10:45 he said, “For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Therefore, we should all desire to be like Jesus– a servant-worker (minister) — if we want to be called great in the Kingdom of God. We should all desire to lay our lives down for our friends. There is no greater love than this (John 15:13).
WHAT IS MINISTRY?
We spoke about being called, or humbled to the place of a minister. Now here, in 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 Paul writes this concerning our role in ministry:
“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.”
He continues in 2 Corinthians 6:1-10:
“We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. For He says:
“In an acceptable time I have heard you,
And in the day of salvation I have helped you.”
Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.”
IN A NUTSHELL:
We have been given, by Christ, the ministry of reconciliation. We have been given a special assignment or responsibility, as ambassadors (or messengers for Christ), to reconcile people; to bring them into agreement or harmony; to win them over to friendliness; to cause them to accept something otherwise not desired; to provoke them to come into a relationship with God, who has made a way for their sins to be forgiven. Our job as ministers, is to be fishers of men (Matthew 4:19) and preach salvation to the lost so that they may become disciples of Christ and sons and daughters of God. As ministers, we will face much trials, tribulations and hardship, but we will be given the grace to complete the task.
The Spirit of Christ will give us all different gift(s), talent(s) or platform(s) — in accordance to our ability — to fulfill this “Great Commission” (Matthew 28:16-20).
(1 Corinthians 12:4-11) There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all. But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.
(Matthew 25:15) To one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away.
(1 Peter 4:11) “If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”
(Romans 12:6) In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.
As ministers in ministry, our gifts are never just for ourselves. They are for others in the body and for the lost. We are not to get prideful, boastful, arrogant or conceited with what has been placed in us. We are not to use our gifts for selfish gain or profit, for the recognition or praises of man or for vain glory. Neither are we to just sit on our gifts or bury them in the dirt. We are to be fruitful and multiply.
Romans 11:29 says that the gifts and calling of God are without repentance, they are irrevocable and cannot be withdrawn. So, you don’t have to be saved to have or use your gift. It was naturally placed inside of you since the beginning of time. And if you are saved, and are operating in your gift, you can choose to use it for yourself. But, as true ministers in ministry, our gifts are never just for ourselves. They are for others in the body and for the lost. We are not to get prideful, boastful, arrogant or conceited with what has been placed in us. We are not to use our gifts for selfish gain or profit, for the recognition or praises of man or for vain glory. Neither are we to just sit on our gifts or bury them in the dirt. We are to be fruitful and multiply. And also, let us not become jealous, envious or covet the gifts of another. This is no competition so do not compare gifts. All gifts are ministered for the same cause and purpose: solely for the glory of God.
(Philippians 2:1-11) Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.