To Those who Would be Ministers of God
So what is a minister anyways? There are a handful of places in the Bible that are directed toward those who would be ministers. But Who Are Ministers? Isn’t a minister someone who leads a church group or something along those lines? Don’t you need to go to school of some sort to become a minister?
Well, I do know that the Apostle Paul was extremely well versed and carried an education in the scriptures before meeting Christ on the road to Damascus. But what good did it do him, or what advantage did he have over the other Apostles? Paul’s ministry wasn’t based on any formal worldly education, but came straight from Jesus himself. But what about all of the rest of the Apostles? What degree did they hold, and by whom did they get their education to minister to anyone?
The answer to that would be that they were given their spiritual education by the same one that Paul later on received from, and that we should be receiving our spiritual education from. That is by the Word given by Jesus himself. They (before he rose) enjoyed the benefit of hearing the words come straight from his mouth, and later by the Holy Ghost. We learn by way of Jesus through the Holy Ghost and his Word preserved for us in the Bible. One day (and I believe it will be soon) we will hear his words straight from his mouth, just as the Apostles did.
What should those of us do who don’t hold a Church ministerial position, with passages of the Word that are directed toward ministers? Let’s take a look at the definition given about what a minister is in the first place.
The following definitions are brought to you by www.merriam-webster.com
2: a: one officiating or assisting the officiant in church worship
b: a clergyman especially of a Protestant communion
3: a: the superior of one of several religious orders —called also minister-general
b: the assistant to the rector or the bursar of a Jesuit house
4: a high officer of state entrusted with the management of a division of governmental activities
5: a: a diplomatic representative (as an ambassador) accredited to the court or seat of government of a foreign state
b : a diplomatic representative ranking below an ambassador
2 Corinthians 5:
20 Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God.
Definitions 2 – 4 are what we would commonly acknowledge when we think of what a minister is. A member of clergy or a governmental position. But the rest of the definition may be a bit less familiar to some. Its interesting that the first item on the list is an Agent.
An agent is one that acts or exerts power. Other definitions for the word Agent are:
3: a means or instrument by which a guiding intelligence achieves a result
4: one who is authorized to act for or in the place of another: as
a : a representative, emissary, or official of a government
b : one engaged in undercover activities (as espionage) : spy
c : a business representative (as of an athlete or entertainer)
13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? 14 Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
Agents of God upon the Earth
In one way or another, all of the Angels of the Lord are ministering spirits. I believe that the same holds true for every believer in Christ, being part of the Body, serving different functions. By virtue of your membership into the Body of Christ, you’ve become an ambassador of the Lord. An agent of Christ Jesus upon the earth. According to the Word, we are to be priming this planet and the people in it for the second coming of Christ.
2 Corinthians 6:
16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
Not only does the Father and Christ Jesus abide with us for our own personal relationship with him, but to also carry out his will through us. Obedience to the Father is key for us to be a usable vessel in his service.
We are all Ministers
The answer to the question, “Who Are Ministers?” is a simple one. We’re all ministers, whether or not we hold that position or title on paper. In my opinion, schooled ordination means just as much as a quick online minister license. The question is, what’s God’s will? This page was produced in tandem with the post 2 Corinthians 6 Commentary Part 2. In that post much of what it means to be a minister of the Lord is presented step by step.
Though we are one in Christ, we are all different, bringing different God given skills to the table in his service. The Father put these things in you in order to carry out what he wills for you to do. We’ve all got an assignment from the Lord. It’s best for us to stay close to him and find out what that assignment is.
Notice that in the above definitions that the word teacher is not used. Ministers should not be thought of as teachers. It is a part of the whole, but not for everyone. The Apostle Paul spoke on this:
1 Corinthians 12
27 Now ye are the body of Christ, and members in particular. 28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healing, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
29 Are all apostles? are all prophets? are all teachers? are all workers of miracles? 30 Have all the gifts of healing? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret? 31 But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.
What if you’re not sure where the Lord wants you to be, or what he wants you to do as a Minister of Christ? Paul also addresses this and the following verses include all of us in the Body of Christ, as a “more excellent way” than teaching, preaching, or working miracles, etc..
1 Corinthians 13
1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing.
Charity could be looked at as the floor built on top of the foundation which is Christ. Start there before you move forward, or while you’re waiting to find out what the King would have you (his agent/minister) do. Perhaps soon I’ll dedicate an entire page to charity,or a study on 1 Corinthians 13. I’d highly suggest you get very familiar with that chapter, as it’s so important to understand exactly what charity is.
Those of us who teach, be it in person or online, the Lord keeps a much closer eye on us. What comes out of our mouths (or across the keyboard) will greatly impact what someone may think about the Lord. Would you honestly wish to be held responsible for causing someone to believe wrongly?
Do as I say and not as I do has no place in the Body of Christ. God isn’t like that and neither should we behave that way. We are all ministers of the Lord, agents cut loose upon the earth to be the hands, ears, legs, feet and mouth of the Godhead, It’s best to know exactly what’s on our plate, how we should behave throughout different circumstances, and always remember that the Father is in charge.
Let us Move on to Perfection
Strive to be perfect in the Lord. Nobody’s perfect, but that doesn’t cut it as an excuse to be lazy in your walk. Nobody is perfect save God, and none of us ever will be. But that is no excuse to decide to sin, or to give lack luster service to the King.