The Ministry Gifts PDF Print E-mail
Written by Dr. John E. Russell Sr   

Introduction

There is a widespread lack of understanding of the ministry gifts today. Also, ministry gifts are often confused with the nine spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12:1-11. Only later in life have I began to understand the ministry gifts and the spiritual gifts. May this study be a blessing to you and if you haven't found your place of ministry in the Church, may the Holy Spirit quicken His word to you. May we all function in the gifts the Lord Jesus Christ has given us in order to extend His Kingdom to the ends of the earth. This study is taken from my book on Ephesians, which can be downloaded free at http://BusterSoft.com/JRCM/.

Much of the teaching on the ministry gifts I owe to Kenneth Hagin’s works in The Word of Faith, his tapes and his books. His primary sources are the Bible and his experience with Christ. In addition, I believe that his main human sources are Howard Carter and P. C. Nelson. Howard Carter served as the Superintendent of the Assemblies of God in Great Britain and founded the world's oldest Pentecostal Bible school. Reverend Hagin also studied under P. C. Nelson at what is now Southwestern Assemblies of God University in Waxahachie TX.

It also helps to understand and teach about the gifts of ministry when you have experienced some of the ministry gifts and some of the spiritual gifts. The Lord has graced my life with some of both.

The New International Version is in blue. Other translations are in gray and are identified. The words of Christ are in red in all translations.

But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
Ephesians 4:7, NIV
7 to one But each of us was given [the] grace according to the measure of the gift of [the] Christ [Messiah].
Ephesians 4:7, MARSHALL 
 
7 But unto each one of us was the grace given according to the measure of the gift of Christ (EP 4:7, KJV).

Here we have a transition. The Body of Christ is one social unit. However, it consists of individuals who have been redeemed by Christ's death on the cross. Each individual has a function and some have special functions. Vincent comments,

From the church as a whole, he passes to its individual members. In the general unity the individual is not overlooked, and unity is consistent with variety of gifts and offices (VINCENT 3:388).

According to Vincent, "the grace" is the correct translation:

The article, omitted by A.V.[KJV], is important: the one grace of God, manifesting itself in the different gifts (VINCENT 388).

God gives common or universal grace to both saint and sinner. He gives prevenient grace to the person who has not yet accepted Christ, but will in the future. He gives saving grace to every individual who accepts Christ as his Savior. He gives postvenient grace to every Christian. He gives special graceto the ones whom he calls to ministry. (See Glossary for definitions.)

Since the ministry gifts are not earned, but given by Christ, we have no reason to glory in them.

8 This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."

Paul is apparently quoting the first part of Psalm 68:18,

18 When you ascended on high, you led captives in your train; you received gifts from men, even from the rebellious—that you, O LORD God, might dwell there (PS 68:18, NIV).

Delitzsch comments on this verse,

Paul (Eph. Iv. 8) gathers up the meaning of ver.19 [18], without following the LXX [see Glossary].... Might he perhaps have had the Targum, with which the Syriac version agrees, in his mind at the time.... He interprets in the light and in the sense of the history that realizes it. For the ascension of Elohim [God] in its historical fulfillment is none other than the ascension of Christ. This latter was, however, as the Psalm describes it, a triumphal procession (Col. ii. 15); and what the Victor has gained over the powers of darkness and of death, He has gained not for His own aggrandisement, but for the interest of men. It is..., gifts which He now distributes among men, and which benefit even the erring ones. So the apostle takes the words, inasmuch as he changes elabes into edoke. The gifts are the charismata which come down from the Exalted One upon His church. It is a distribution of gifts, a dispensing of blessing, which stands related to His victory as its primary cause; for as Victor He is also the possessor of blessing, His gifts are as it were the spoils of the victory He has gained over sin, death, and Satan (DELITZSCH 2:261-262).

Using the phrase, "he led captives in his train," Paul evokes a mental video in the mind of the Ephesians. They were acquainted with a Roman triumphal procession into Rome, which had its roots in antiquity. The conquering Roman General and his soldiers led the parade. Next in the procession came the prisoners of war, the spoils of war and maybe some wild animals native to the area of defeat.

Paul gives more information concerning Ephesians 4:8 in Colossians 2:15,

15 And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross (COL 2:15, NIV).

15 And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it (COL 2:15, KJV).

So, Paul teaches the triumph of Jesus' work on the cross by the analogy of the Roman triumphal procession, an event that the Ephesians understood well.

The word "gifts" is doma, “gifts,” from the base of didomi, “to give” (SEEDMASTER). These gifts are people whom Christ has chosen to lead and serve his Body, the Church.

They are not the pneumatikos, adjective, meaning here, “of God the Holy Spirit,” therefore, “spiritual [gifts]” that Paul lists in 1CO 12:1 (SEEDMASTER). The gifts of the Holy Spirit in 1 CO 12:4-11 are gifts—specific acts—that the Holy Spirit gives through yielded Christians—clergy and laity—to others when they are needed.)

Gifts,” doma are people, whom we call clergy today. The ministry gifts can be described as follows:
1. Christians yield their hearts and lives to Christ.
2. Christ selects some of these Christians and gives them special gifts.
3. These selected people develop their gifts by continuing to yield to the Holy Spirit and applying themselves to study and further development of their specific gifts.
4. These Christians become specially-endowed human gifts to the body of Christ and to the lost.

9 (What does "he ascended" mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions?
9 Now the “he ascended” what is it except that he descended into the lower part of the earth? (EP 4:9, MARSHALL).

9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? (EP 4:9, KJV).

He ascended” is anabaino, a verb formed from the preposition ana, “up” + the verb baino, “to walk, go, travel” therefore, literally, [“to travel up”] or “to rise.” It is in aorist active indicative form (SEEDMASTER) (VINE 76).

he … descended” is katabaino, a verb formed from the preposition kata, “down” + baino, “to walk, go, [travel]” therefore, literally, [“to travel down”] or “to go down” (SEEDMASTER) (VINE 298).

Lower, earthly regions” (“the lower part of the earth,” MARSHALL).

Did Jesus descend from heaven to the earth or to the place of the dead? Vincent gives credence to this view:

The lower parts of the earth [KJV] [the lower, earthly regions , NIV] ... The under world. The reference is to Christ's descent into Hades. Some give the words a comparative force, deeper than the earth (VINCENT 389).

Jesus came to the earth as a baby and his spirit went into Hades (Hebrew, sheol) after he died.

10 He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.)

Freeborn turns our attention to three pertinent scriptures: PR 30:4; JN 3:13; and JN 6:62.

4 Who has gone up to heaven and come down?
Who has gathered up the wind in the hollow of his hands?
Who has wrapped up the waters in his cloak?
Who has established all the ends of the earth?
What is his name, and the name of his son?
Tell me if you know!
(PR 30:4, NIV).
13 No one has ever gone into heaven except the one who came from heaven—the Son of Man (JN 3:13, NIV).

62 What if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! (JN 6:62, NIV).

Jesus, the Son of God, made preincarnate appearances in the Old Testament. However, in Ephesians, Paul is speaking of his coming and ascension as the Son of Man. He has always existed as the Son of God. His Incarnation—when the Holy Spirit caused Mary to conceive him—began his life as a human being. He is fully God and fully human. He is not a hybrid. He laid aside the exercise of his divine attributes at his incarnation, but his deity was in no way diminished (PH 3:6-8). When he ascended, he did so in his glorified human body.

Paul speaks of being caught up to the third heaven:

1 I must needs glory, though it is not expedient; but I will come to visions and revelations of the Lord.
2 I know a man in Christ, fourteen years ago (whether in the body, I know not; or whether out of the body, I know not; God knoweth), such a one caught up even to the third heaven.
3 And I know such a man (whether in the body, or apart from the body, I know not; God knoweth),
4 how that he was caught up into Paradise, and heard unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
5 On behalf of such a one will I glory: but on mine own behalf I will not glory, save in [my] weaknesses.
6 For if I should desire to glory, I shall not be foolish; for I shall speak the truth: but I forbear, lest any man should account of me above that which he seeth me [to be], or heareth from me
(2CO 12: 1-6, ASV).

In the Bible, the word "heaven" is both singular and plural. It is used as (1) our atmosphere, (2) the created universe and (3) the place of God's throne. Taking Paul's testimony in 2CO 12:1-6 into consideration, there may be more "heavens" or dimensions. The angels are spirit beings and dwell in another dimension, even though they have access into our fourth dimension. Jesus passed through all these heavens! He transcends and fills all these heavens.

Let us refer back to Ephesians 1:23.

23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way (EP 1:23, NIV).

23 Which is His body, the fullness of Him Who fills all in all—for in that body lives the full measure of Him Who makes everything complete, and Who fills everything everywhere [with Himself] (EP 1:23, AMP)

Vincent comments on Ephesians 1:23:

That filleth all in all [KJV] [who fills everything in every way, NIV] ... Better, that filleth all things with all things. The expressive is somewhat obscure. All things are composed of elements. Whatever things exist, God from His fullness fills with all those elements which belong to their being or welfare. The whole universe is filled by Him (VINCENT 3:373-374).

God fills his creation, yet fills each Christian in a unique way. He is omnipresent with all his attributes at all time.

The deity of Jesus is expressly stated. Only God is omnipresent. Therefore, if Jesus is omnipresent, he is God.

11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,

Some Bible teachers have left the plain teaching of scripture and deny that God has apostles and prophets today. You might say that they are members of "non-prophet" organizations. However, Freeborn finds Erdman to be more biblical:

     "He gave some to be apostles"—men specially qualified and equipped for the great work of laying broad and deep the foundations of the church; men who themselves, in a true sense formed its foundation. An apostle in the strict meaning of the word was a witness of the resurrection, appointed directly by Christ, and possessing the power of working miracles. In a more general sense "apostles" included men like Barnabas and James, the brother of Jesus; and even today there are men of power and unusual gifts who in many lands are doing truly apostolic service for the church.
     "Prophets" are next mentioned. These were itinerant teachers who, under divine inspiration, instructed the church in Christian doctrine and even on occasion predicted future events. The four daughters of Philip the evangelist are said to have "prophesied" (ERDMAN 90).

Here are three New Testament passages that list the ministry gifts:

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (EP 4:12, KJV).

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues (1CO 12:28, KJV).

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness
(RO 12:6-8, KJV).

Here is the Ministry Gifts diagram:

 

The Apostle

The word "apostle" is the transliteration of apostolos, which means "one sent forth." The apostle corresponds to our term "missionary," and heads the list of ministry gifts in EP 4:11 and 1CO 12:28. Jesus is called an apostle in HE 3:1. Jesus called the twelve disciples apostles in LK 6:13. John also called the twelve disciples, "Apostles of the Lamb" in RE 21:14. The term "apostle" was also applied in a wider reference to the following people in the New Testament:

1. Paul and Barnabas in AC 14:4, 14.
2. Andronicus and Junias (a woman) in RO 16:7.
3. Two unnamed "apostles of the churches" in 2CO 8:23.
4. Epaphroditus in PH 2:25.
5. Timothy and Sylvanus/Silas in 1TI 1:1; 2:6.
6. Matthias in AC 1:26.
7. James in GA 1:19; 1CO 15:7.
8. Apollos (implied) in 1CO 4:4-9.

There were a total of 25 people called "apostle" in the New Testament. The word "apostle " occurs 79 times in the New Testament (KITTEL). What are the distinguishing characteristics of an apostle?

 

The Marks of an Apostle

12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds (2CO 12:12, KJV).

Using himself as an example, Paul lists the marks of an apostle:
1. “Signs,” semeion, a sign, mark, indication, token which appeals to the understanding, to distinguish a person from another (VINE 1052);
2. “Wonders,” teras, something strange, unusual, causing the beholder to marvel, appealing to the imagination (VINE 1251);
3. “Mighty deeds,” dunamis, (“powerful deeds,” MARSHALL); (“miracles,” (NIV);
4. All 9 gifts of the Holy Spirit (1CO 12:1-11), from Paul’s ministry as recorded in the New Testament.
5. All five ministry gifts (taken from his New Testament ministry).

Close relationship with Jesus

The 12 Apostles were discipled by Jesus (AC 1:21). James was the brother of Jesus. Paul saw Jesus; was called by Jesus; and was given a revelation of Jesus. (AC 9:3-9; 22:6-11; 26:12-18) (1CO 11:23) (GA 1:11-12).

The Work of an Apostle

10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon (1CO 3:10, KJV) (Cf: EP 2:20; REV 21:12).

The apostle,
1. Lays a spiritual foundation;
2. Includes all the ministry gifts (AC 11:26; 13:1-3);
3. Establishes churches;
4. Is called to and ministers to a target group:

1 Am I not an apostle? am I not free? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? are not ye my work in the Lord?
2 If I be not an apostle unto others, yet doubtless I am to you: for the seal of mine apostleship are ye in the Lord
(1CO 9:1-2, KJV).

 

Has God Done Away with Apostles today?

Here are reasons that support the existence of apostles today:
1. The 12 Apostles were unique (AC 1:15-25), but
2. The New Testament names 13 additional apostles.
3. The New Testament does not remove apostles from the lists in EP 4:11 and 1CO 12:28.
4. God will not remove any of the ministry gifts,

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (EP 4:13, KJV).

1. Have “we all [Christians] come in the unity of the [Christian] faith”? No!
2. Have we all reached unity “of the knowledge of the Son of God”? No!
3. Have we all reached the goal of being “a perfect [mature] man”? No!
4. Have we all reached the perfection of Christ? No! (Jesus is our standard—not some human being or abstract ideal. Our standard is “the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”)
5. Have all these conditions been met? No! Not a single oneof these conditions have been met by those of us who are still alive! Therefore, there is a need for ministry gifts. Jesus will keep his word by continuing to call more people into the ministry—into all five ministry gifts!

In conclusion, one can recognize apostles today by the individual's close relationship with Christ, the nine spiritual gifts manifest in his ministry, the ability to establish churches and spiritual leadership.

 

The Prophet

The word "prophet" is the transliteration of prophetes, which is the compound Greek word from, pro, "for, on behalf of" + phemi, "to speak," therefore "to speak for another" (FREEMAN 39). The translators of the Septuagint used the Greek word prophetes to translate three Hebrew words: roeh and hozeh, both translated "seer," and nabhi, "one who speaks for God." (VINE 904)(FREEMAN 39-40). Nabhi is the primary Old Testament word for "prophet." Freeman says,

The term [nabhi] "prophet" emphasized the prophet's utterances, roeh and hozeh indicated his method of receiving the divine communication. The terms for "seer" speak of the receptive aspect, whereas the term for "prophet" points up the communicative function (FREEMAN 40-41).

 

Definition of a Prophet

The prophet or prophetess has a call to the ministry, is a member of the clergy and is one who is a preacher and/or teacher. The prophet's ministry is characterized by the gift of prophecy (1CO 12:10), one of the three gifts of utterance. The prophet's ministry is also characterized by the three revelation gifts: (1) the word of knowledge; (2) the word of wisdom and (3) discerning of spirits.

 

Old Testament Prophets

Prophets' function
1. The Old Testament prophets were forthtellers. God called them to be moral and ethical teachers and preachers.
2. They were also foretellers. They predicted future events concerning Israel, the Gentiles and the coming Messianic Age.
3. They functioned as watchmen to warn of religious apostasy (EZ 3:17; 33:7).
4. God guided kings through them.

Examples
Some male prophets were, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Daniel, Obadiah, Joel, Jonah, Hosea, Amos, Micah, Nahum, Zephaniah, Habakkuk, Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi, John the Baptist and Jesus. (John the Baptist and Jesus are included since their ministries were before Jesus death and resurrection, which marked the beginning of the New Testament. However, Jesus did minister on earth for a short time after his resurrection and he continues to minister as a prophet and priest.)

Some female prophets were Miriam, Moses’ sister; Isaiah's wife (IS 8:2-3); Huldah, wife of Shallum (2KI 22:14); Noadiah (NE 6:14); and Anna, daughter of Phanuel (LK 2:26-28) (FREEMAN 35-36).

 

New Testament Prophets

Prophets' function
1. Like their Old Testament counterparts, New Testament prophets were forthtellers. God called them to be preachers and teachers of the Gospel.
2. They were also foretellers. They predicted future events. An example is of the time Agabus prophesied of Paul's imprisonment. Now, the Holy Spirit indwells believers in a unique way and leads each believer. The New Testament prophets did not lead others as the Old Testament prophets did. However, they did give individuals messages from God that would confirm God's will for them. I remember Reverend Anna Schrader, a friend who was a prophetess. She once gave us supernatural guidance from the Lord before we left on a trip from San Antonio. I had not really sought the Lord and he changed our itinerary for our proposed trip, which worked out better for my family and me. (Reverend Anna Schrader was ordained in 1912. I served on her board while teaching at International Bible College, San Antonio TX, USA.)

NT Examples
Some male prophets were Jesus, Paul, Agabus, Judas and Silas.

Anna was a female prophet. (Mary, Elizabeth, and Phillip's four daughters prophesied, but may have done so as laymen) (FREEMAN 36).

Recent Examples
Theologically, we live in the Church Age, i.e, in New Testament times. Therefore, the same principles apply to us that applied to New Testament figures. Some male examples of present day prophets are William Branham, Kenneth Hagin, Kenneth Copeland and David Wilkerson. Anna Schrader is an example of a female prophet.

I was stationed at Fort Jackson SC in the late 1960s and we attended a David Wilkerson meeting. Carolyn, my wife, went up for prayer. David Wilkerson simply said to her, "You already know what you should do, and take that as a word from the Lord." This confirmed that she was to live near my mother in Mississippi instead of near her folks in Missouri when I went to Vietnam as an Army Chaplain. A daughter would ordinarily live near her parents.

There is an outbreak of the occult in our times. Satan has his counterfeit of the genuine. Let us encourage prophets to yield to the Holy Spirit and prophesy as the Holy Spirit leads. Let us encourage laymen to yield to the Holy Spirit. Some have overreacted to spurious prophecy to the point that they have quenched the Holy Spirit. The Bible commands us,

19 Do not put out the Spirit’s fire;
20 do not treat prophecies with contempt.
21 Test everything. Hold on to the good
(1TH 5:19-21, NIV).

 

The Evangelist

The word "evangelist" occurs only three times in the New Testament: AC 21:8; EPH 4:11; and 2TI 4:5. It is a transliteration of euanggelistes, the compound word from eu, "well" + angelos, "a messenger," which means "a messenger of good news (VINE 384). Evangelists minister primarily to the lost. They are very important to the Lord, because he uses evangelists to bring individuals into the Kingdom of God!

The New Testament Example: Philip

While the word evangelist is only mentioned in the Bible three times, only one evangelist is given as an example. This Philip is not the Apostle Philip, but the Philip in AC 6:5, whom the Twelve Apostles—including the Apostle Philip—chose to serve as a deacon. The Lord later called him to be an evangelist. Philip's four daughters prophesied (AC 21:9).

8 And the next [day] we that were of Paul's company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the seven; and abode with him (AC 21:8, KJV).

Philip did mass evangelism:

5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and preached Christ unto them.
6 And the people with one accord gave heed unto those things which Philip spake, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.
7 For unclean spirits, crying with loud voice, came out of many that were possessed [with them]: and many taken with palsies, and that were lame, were healed.
8 And there was great joy in that city
(AC 8:5-8, KJV).

Philip also did personal evangelism:

26 And the angel of the Lord spake unto Philip, saying, Arise, and go toward the south unto the way that goeth down from Jerusalem unto Gaza, which is desert.
27 And he arose and went: and, behold, a man of Ethiopia, an eunuch of great authority under Candace queen of the Ethiopians, who had the charge of all her treasure, and had come to Jerusalem for to worship,
28 Was returning, and sitting in his chariot read Esaias the prophet. 29 Then the Spirit said unto Philip, Go near, and join thyself to this chariot.
30 And Philip ran thither to [him], and heard him read the prophet Esaias, and said, Understandest thou what thou readest?
31 And he said, How can I, except some man should guide me? And he desired Philip that he would come up and sit with him.
32 The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:
33 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
34 And the eunuch answered Philip, and said, I pray thee, of whom speaketh the prophet this? of himself, or of some other man?
35 Then Philip opened his mouth, and began at the same scripture, and preached unto him Jesus.
36 And as they went on [their] way, they came unto a certain water: and the eunuch said, See, [here is] water; what doth hinder me to be baptized?
37 And Philip said, If thou believest with all thine heart, thou mayest. And he answered and said, I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God.
38 And he commanded the chariot to stand still: and they went down both into the water, both Philip and the eunuch; and he baptized him.
39 And when they were come up out of the water, the Spirit of the Lord caught away Philip, that the eunuch saw him no more: and he went on his way rejoicing.
40 But Philip was found at Azotus: and passing through he preached in all the cities, till he came to Caesarea
(AC 8:26-40, KJV).

 

The Characteristics of an Evangelist

Using Philip as the example, we can discover the characteristics of a New Testament Evangelist.

A Call to the Ministry
The Evangelist has a call to the ministry, as do all the ministry gifts. Hagin says,

     We sometimes plead with young people to enter the ministry, to surrender to God, to become evangelists. But if the divine gift and calling is within them, they'll need no such plea. Those with the divine urge burning in their spirits will preach the gospel of necessity. And that's the kind of evangelism we need. Paul said, "...woe is unto me, if I preach not the gospel!" (I Cor. 9:16).
     The impulse—that divine something—seems to constrain the evangelist to tell the story. A consuming fire burns within him—and that divine gift will make a way for him (HAGIN WOF 5).

The Power Gifts
The evangelist's ministry is accompanied by power gifts. The spiritual gifts are listed in 1 CO 12:7-11. The power gifts are (1) the gift of faith; (2) the gifts of healings; and (3) the working of miracles. Philip's ministry was accompanied by the gifts of healings and the working of miracles. The Holy Spirit, working through Philip, brought healing and deliverance to people. The Holy Spirit brought joy. This produced a strong emotional appeal for the lost to accept Christ as their Personal Savior.

Paul lists ministry gifts in 1CO 12:28,

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues (1 CO 12:28, KJV).

The miracles and gifts of healings may be a synonym of the evangelist (HAGIN WOF 4). Read about Philip's ministry in Samaria above (AC 8:5-8), where the Lord performed miracles and healings.

The Evangelist Preaches Christ
God heals and delivers because he loves people. When people see concrete expressions of God's love, they have a set of mind to listen to the gospel. The evangelist's message is Christ. Thus the evangelist has the opportunity to appeal to the intellect of the lost. It is only as the gospel is preached that people can be saved:

12 But when they believed Philip preaching the things concerning the kingdom of God, and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women (AC 8:12, KJV).

Drawing the Net
The evangelist has the specific gift of appealing to the will of the lost and bringing them to a decision for Christ. This may be the most important aspect of his gift.

 

Complementary Ministries

After Philip won the lost to Christ, the Apostles Peter and John came and laid hands on the converts, who then received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit:

14 Now when the apostles which were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent unto them Peter and John:
15 Who, when they were come down, prayed for them, that they might receive the Holy Ghost:
16 (For as yet he was fallen upon none of them: only they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.)
17 Then laid they [their] hands on them, and they received the Holy Ghost
(AC 8:14-17, KJV).

When people accept Christ as their Personal Savior, they should be led to receive the Baptism of the Holy Spirit immediately. They should be shown from the Bible that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for us today.

I came back to the Lord due to two caring Navy buddies. Charlie Sansom and Jack Winebrenner cared enough to take me to a tent meeting in Memphis TN. Jack Winebrenner explained from the Bible that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is for us today. Two weeks after coming back to the Lord, this young Baptist boy received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Right away, I prayed in the Spirit and felt a love for others. I was filled with the joy of the Lord and received boldness to testify to others about Christ.

New converts need to be grounded in the Word of God. This is the ministry of the teacher. They also need to be under the care of a pastor. Pastor and Mrs. Harold Headrick grounded me in the Word of God and pastored me while I was stationed at the Naval Air Station, Barber's Point HI. They are still dear to my heart.

Present Day Examples

A few present day examples are F. F. Bosworth, Billy Graham, Oral Roberts, Kathryn Kuhlman, Jimmy Swaggart and Billy Sunday.

The ministry of the evangelist is sorely needed today. We must encourage those called to this ministry to develop their ministry and support them in prayer and finances. In this way, we become a partner with them.

 

The Pastor

Jesus, The Great Shepherd, is the model for the undershepherd or local pastor:

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep (JN 10:11, KJV).
20 Now the God of peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant,
21 Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom [be] glory for ever and ever. Amen;
(HE 13:20-21, KJV).
25 For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Shepherd and Bishop of your souls (1PE 2:25, KJV).
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away (1PE 5:4, KJV).

Q: Whom did Jesus give?
A:

11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (EPH 4:11, KJV).

Q: Why?
A:

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (EP 4:12, KJV).

Q: For how long?
A:

13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ: (EP 4:13, KJV).

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues (1CO 12:28, KJV).

6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;
7 or ministry, let us wait on our ministering; or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness
(RO 12:6-8, KJV).

New Testament words for pastor

1. Presbyteros—“elder", literally, "older person." Generally, elders were placed over the early New Testament churches—pastors take time to develop.

2. Episkopos—“bishop, overseer."

3. Kubernesis—"governments." This word included those who organize or administer; literally, "those who steer a ship" (1CO 12:28).

4. Prohistemi—"ruling." This word includes "those who preside, conduct, direct, or govern.” The literal meaning of the word is "put before" or "go before."

5. Poimen—"shepherd." This is the word from which we get our word, "pastor." It basically means a shepherd. The Israelites were very familiar with the term, since they raised sheep. Sheep were defenseless and needed intensive care. The tasks of a Near Eastern shepherd were to
     5.1 Watch for enemies trying to attack the sheep.
     5.2 Defend the sheep from attackers.
     5.3 Heal the wounded and sick sheep.
     5.4 Find and save lost or trapped sheep.
     5.5 Love them, sharing their lives and so earning their trust.

 

The Characteristics of a New Testament Pastor

A Call to the Ministry
He or she has a call to the ministry as a preacher and teacher. Those who go into the ministry because it would be “a good and noble thing to do” are in error. God calls people individually into the ministry. People are sometimes mistaken in their views as to whom are called and to whom are not called. In my first pastorate, one dear old saint questioned my call—she had a preconceived idea of a preacher. When God sent Samuel to anoint David King of Israel, the LORD said these words concerning Eliab, one of David’s brothers,

 

7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for [the LORD seeth] not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart (1SA 16:7, KJV).

New Testament Qualifications and Role

Bishops

1 This [is] a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 (For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?)
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil
(1TI 3:1-7, KJV).

In summary, bishops must
1. Be above reproach.
2. Have only one wife.
3. Be temperate or self-controled.
4. Be prudent or make wise decisions.
5. Respectable.
6. Be hospitable.
7. Be able to leach.
8. Not be addicted to wine. (This would include other drugs today.)
9. Not be pugnacious (violent), but gentle.
10. Be uncontentious (not quarrelsome).
11. Not love money.
12. Manage one's own household well.
13. Not be a new convert (cf. 1TI 5:22).
14. Have a good reputation outside of the church.

Elders

5 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers
(TI 1:5-9, KJV).

In summary, elders must
1. Be above reproach and be a good steward of God.
2. Not be self-willed (selfish, hedonistic and "hard-headed").
3. Not be quick-tempered.
4. Not be addicted to wine.
5. Not be pugnacious.
6. Not be fond of sordid gain.
7. Be hospitable.
8. Love what is good.
9. Be sensible (self-disciplined).
10. Be just (righteous).
11. Be devout (living a holy life).
12. Be self-controlled.
13. Hold fast to the faithful Word.
14. Exhort in sound doctrine.
15. Convince those who contradict the Word of God.
16. Have one wife.
17. Have children saved and living right.

Elders(Continued)

1 The elders which are among you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed:
2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight [thereof], not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
3 Neither as being lords over [God's] heritage, but being ensamples to the flock.
4 And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away
(1PE 5:1-4. KJV).

In summary, Peter says the pastor must
1. Shepherd the flock.
2. Not serve under compulsion but voluntarily.
3. Function according to the will of God.
4. Not be greedy for money.
5. Serve with eagerness (enthusiasm).
6. Not lord it over the flock (seeking to control people).
7. Lead by example.

Other Guidelines

1. Be faithful in the use of money. Jesus said,

11 If therefore ye have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches? (LK 16:11, KJV).

2. Guard and shepherd the flock. Paul told the elders at Ephesus,

28 Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to [shepherd] feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
29 For I know this, that after my departing shall grievous wolves enter in among you, not sparing the flock.
30 Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them
(AC 20:28-30, KJV).

3. Pray for the sick. Jesus healed the sick. James tells believers to call for the elders to pray for them when they are sick:

14 Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
15 And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him
(JA 5:14-15, KJV).

 

Supernatural Equipment of the Pastor

The Gifts of the Holy Spirit are listed in 1CO 12:1-11,

1 Now concerning spiritual [gifts], brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
2 Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.
3 Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.
4 Now there are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit.
5 And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.
6 And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.
7 But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
8 For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
9 To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;
10 To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another [divers] kinds of tongues; to another the interpretation of tongues:
11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will
(1CO 12:1-11, KJV).

The pastor's ministry is characterized by at least two of the Revelation gifts, (1) the Word of knowledge and (2) the Word of wisdom. His ministry is also characterized by at least two of the Speaking gifts, (1) Tongues and (2) the Interpretation of tongues.

The most important supernatural gift that God gives the pastor is his love—a pastor's heart. This is agape, the God-kind of love that C. S. Lewis calls "gift love." God gives every Christian his love, but pastors receive a special gift of love. (See Chapter Thirteen of my ebook, How to Raise Your Self-Esteem Using Proven Biblical Principles. Download this book free of charge at http://BusterSoft.com/JRCM/.)

Jesus is the pattern. The pastor will place his sheep above his own welfare. His life will be a continuous sacrifice as was Jesus' life. Jesus said,

11 I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.
12 But he that is an hireling, and not the shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, seeth the wolf coming, and leaveth the sheep, and fleeth: and the wolf catcheth them, and scattereth the sheep.
13 The hireling fleeth, because he is an hireling, and careth not for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep, and am known of mine.
15 As the Father knoweth me, even so know I the Father: and I lay down my life for the sheep
(John 10:11-15, KJV).

 

Treatment of the Pastor

How are Christians to treat their pastor? Here are some New Testament guidelines:

Honor him.

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine. 18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer [is] worthy of his reward (1TI 5:17, KJV).

Support him:
1. With prayer. Paul (and the writer of Hebrews) asks prayer for himself. His implication is that Christians should pray for all ministers, including one's pastor.

2 Continue in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving;
3 Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:
(COL 4:2-3, KJV).

25 Brethren, pray for us (1TH 5:25, KJV).

1 Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified, even as [it is] with you: 2 And that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men: for all [men] have not faith (2TH 3:1, KJV).

18 Pray for us: for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things willing to live honestly (HE 13:18, KJV).

2. Financially.

17 Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honour, especially they who labour in the word and doctrine.
18 For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward
(1TI 5:17-18, KJV).

3. By attending church.

25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching (HE 10:25, KJV).

4. When speaking to others about him. When his credibility is undermined, then his counsel to you and your family is weakened. The Bible warns against slander:

11 The mouth of a righteous [man is] a well of life: but violence covereth the mouth of the wicked.
12 Hatred stirreth up strifes: but love covereth all sins
(PR 10:11-12, KJV).
18 He that hideth hatred with lying lips, and he that uttereth a slander, is a fool.
19 In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin: but he that refraineth his lips is wise.
20 The tongue of the just is as choice silver: the heart of the wicked [is] little worth.
21 The lips of the righteous feed many: but fools die for want of wisdom
(PR 10:18-21, KJV).

5. Confront him when he is wrong.

19 Against an elder receive not an accusation, but before two or three witnesses (1TI 5:19, KJV).)

6 Obey him in the Lord.

17 Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you (HE 13:17, KJV).

CONCL: God has a great plan for every local church. Let us pray for his direction in the selection of a pastor. God will give the pastor a vision for the church and the area. We will know God's place for us by (1) the inward witness of the Holy Spirit and (2) by the Bible.

 

The Teacher

The New Testament word translated “teacher” is didaskalos, from didasko, "...to give instruction," therefore, "one who gives instruction" (VINE 1134-1135). Jesus used the word "teacher" to describe himself:

8 But be not ye called Rabbi: for one is your Master [Teacher], [even] Christ; and all ye are brethren (MT 23:8, KJV).

Jesus is the role model par excellence for the teacher. Jesus is referred to as teacher 45 times in the four gospels and 61 times if we include all the terms equivalent to teacher. (Download my free ebooklet, Jesus the Master Teacher, at http://BusterSoft.com/JRCM/.)

Jesus ministered as a prophet and teacher. We separate the ministry gifts to define and study them, but they can be combined. Luke lists five men that he classifies as prophets and teachers—this included Paul and Barnabas:

1 Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them
(AC 13:1-2, KJV).

Pastors have settled ministries, whereas other gift ministries generally have traveling ministries. A teacher usually travels from church to church, unless his ministry is combined with pastor or prophet. Other exceptions are a teacher in a Bible college and a teacher who uses mass media. Some see the pastor and teacher as one ministry gift, based on the grammatical structure of the Greek text. If so, some may develop the pastoral ministry more, others the teaching ministry more. I have treated them separately for teaching purposes.

 

The Teacher—A Divine Gift

1. All believers are to teach, according to Jesus' command in the great Commission:

18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age"
(MT 28:18-20, NASB).

2. Some people have a natural ability to organize knowledge and impart it to others. They may or may not have a calling to teach. Sinners certainly cannot fulfill a call until they are saved.

3. The ministry gift of teaching is a gift and calling from God. This gift should be developed and exercised like the other four gifts.

Dr. Ralph Earle gave his testimony to us students in a class at Nazarene Theological Seminary in Kansas City MO in the 1960s. He told us that the Lord called him to be a teacher and he remembered the time. This was after he was a minister. At one time, he wrote and studied up to 18 hours per day in his calling. He taught New Testament Greek for about 40 years and helped translate the New International Version.

The Lord also called Kenneth Hagin to be a teacher. This was sometime after he was in the ministry. Before his calling, he did not like to teach. After his calling, he said,

But one day—God gave me a gift! And when it came down into my spirit I was conscious it was in there! I found out you can stand before a small crowd of half a dozen people or before a large crowd, and never move, never even hardly lift your voice, never even hardly wave your arms, or lift your hand—but such a strong anointing of the Spirit of God comes that the Word of God comes flowing out of you like water out of a faucet. And what a blessing when it comes! I know a little, not a lot, but a little bit about this office because I’ve stood in it now for some time (HAGIN WOF FEB 76, 3).

The Teacher—A Waterer and Builder

Apollos is a New Testament example:

24 And a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, an eloquent man, and mighty in the scriptures, came to Ephesus.
25 This man was instructed in the way of the Lord; and being fervent in the spirit, he spake and taught diligently the things of the Lord, knowing only the baptism of John.
26 And he began to speak boldly in the synagogue: whom when Aquila and Priscilla had heard, they took him unto [them], and expounded unto him the way of God more perfectly.
27 And when he was disposed to pass into Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him: who, when he was come, helped them much which had believed through grace:
28 For he mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the scriptures that Jesus was Christ
(AC 18:24-28, KJV).

1. One figure Paul used was that of a farmer. Paul planted the seed, Apollos watered it, and the Lord caused it to grow. One florist said that the waterer was the most important individual in growing flowers. He could ruin the flowers if he watered them incorrectly.

6 I have planted, Apollos watered; but God gave the increase.
7 So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.
8 Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.
9 For we are labourers together with God: ye are God's husbandry, [ye are] God's building
(1CO 3:6-9, KJV).

2. Another figure that Paul used was that of a house builder. An evangelist lays the foundation, using the figure of a house builder. Paul did the work of an apostle (including evangelist) and Apollos did the work of a teacher. A teacher builds the superstructure upon the foundation laid by an apostle.

The Teacher—A Vital Member of the Ministry Team

1. Teachers stabilize new Christians. He or she must teach the word of God accurately, according to his gift from the Head of the Church (Jesus). Then the saints will be properly grounded, refreshed, revived and will flourish. Luke said that Apollos "helped them much" (AC 18:27, KJV). Teaching should be a help.

2. New Testament teaching unites Christians. The church is bound together—proper believing does this. We are to learn the basics of Christianity and then build on them. We are to go beyond the "milk" and learn the "meat" of the Word of God:

1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God,
2 Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment
(HE 6:1-2, KJV).

3. However, New Testament teaching will divide the flock from those who reject the fundamental truths about Jesus. Jesus is The Prince of Peace for those who accept him as their Savior. However, Jesus himself said concerning those who reject him,

34 Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.
35 For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law.
36 And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.
37 He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.
38 And he that taketh not his cross, and followeth after me, is not worthy of me.
39 He that findeth his life shall lose it: and he that loseth his life for my sake shall find it.
40 He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
41 He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet's reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man's reward.
42 And whosoever shall give to drink unto one of these little ones a cup of cold water only in the name of a disciple, verily I say unto you, he shall in no wise lose his reward
(MT 10:34-42, KJV).

Conclusion:

The ministry of the teacher is part of a team effort, necessary for the body of Christ. Let us recognize and support the teacher. Let us welcome his ministry.


Other Ministry Gifts

The Ministry of Helps

In Ephesians 4:11, Paul lists the basic (five-fold) ministry gifts. Paul gives two other lists in 1 Corinthians and Romans that add more ministry gifts and perhaps restate some listed in Ephesians.

28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues (1CO 12:28, KJV).
6 Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, [let us prophesy] according to the proportion of faith;
7 Or ministry, [let us wait] on [our] ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
8 Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, [let him do it] with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness
(RO 12:6-8, KJV).

The Ministry of Helps—Called by God

Paul wrote these words under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
1. "God hath set"(1CO 12:28);
2. "He gave" (EPH 4:11;)
3. "Having ... gifts" (RO 12:6).

God calls each person and gives him a unique ministry gift.

The Ministry of Helps—Equipped by God

Each Ministry Gift is a person.

Each of the nine gifts of the spirit are individual manifestations given by the Holy Spirit as he sees fit both to the clergy and laity ("spiritual gifts" = pneumatikos (1CO 12: 1).

The Ministry of Helps—A Description

Helps” (1CO 12:28, KJV) is antilepsis, "a helper, a reliever" and possibly the same as "he that sheweth mercy" in RO 12:8). The ministry or gift of helps is a person who relieves other ministry gifts so they can function in their calling.

Some examples are song leaders, pilots, drivers, mechanics, ushers, computer experts, medical professionals, leaders of church departments, buildings and ground directors, secretaries, etc. I personally know people who help foreign missionaries—they are helpers to apostles (missionaries).

Old Testament examples would be servants or understudies of the prophets. (Musicians could be classified as psalmists.)

The Ministry of Helps—Importance

God's program will be hindered unless this ministry functions. The five-fold ministry gifts need these persons in order to fulfill their ministries.

 

The Ministry of Giving

The word translated “giveth” is metadidome, which means "to give a share of.”
1. Giving is a ministry gift.
2. It is not a gift to be shirked, but a privilege and art.
3. Wrongly used, giving can be manipulative and harmful.
4. Rightly used, giving is a blessing.

One usually thinks of someone with the gift of giving as being rich. However, not everyone who has this gift is rich. Paul Cumberland was a man who couldn’t read, yet he was an intelligent and compassionate man. His income was from VA and possibly Social Security. Yet, Paul managed to deliver groceries to those in need, transport used appliances for those who needed them and to give scholarships to those in a Christian school where I served as principal.

 

The Minister of Mercy

The phrase in Romans 12:8 above, "he that sheweth mercy" is one word in the Greek New Testament, eleeo, "to have mercy on; to help one afflicted or seeking aid; to help the afflicted, to bring help to the wretched." The one who has this gift is to exercise it "with cheerfulness," from hilarotes," cheerfulness, readiness of mind." Vincent says that hilarotes is "The joyful eagerness, the amiable grace, the affability going the length of gayety, which make the visitor a sunbeam penetrating into the sick-chamber, and to the heart of the afflicted."  Our English word "hilarity" comes from this word. Well, the Lord has used me to show mercy, but I haven't always been as cheerful as I could have been. I believe that the Lord gave me this gift, coupled with pastor-teacher. My wife has the gift of giving.

 

The Ministry

The word translated "ministry" is diakonos, which means "a servant, attendant, minister, deacon." This word is used several ways:
1. As a broad term for ministry.
2. As a deacon.
3. Here, as a person who ministers.

 

The Exhorter

The word translated “exhorter” is paraklesis, which means “a calling to one’s side, and so to one’s aid” meaning an appeal, encouragement and comfort (VINE 400).
1. Exhortation is involved in all five ministry gifts.
2. Here it means a person with the gift of exhortation.
3. The person with this gift both encourages and urges others to live right.

 

Diversities of tongues

The word translated “tongues” is glossa, which means "tongues, languages."
1. Here it is not one of the nine spiritual gifts.
2. Here it is not the evidence of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit.
3. Here it is not a personal prayer language.
4. It is a person with a special gift of speaking in various tongues (languages).

By studying the New Testament concerning ministry gifts, we learn the wonderful provisions the Lord gave the early church. These ministry gifts are also for us today!

 

The Deacon

The deacon is classified as a layman ministry whereas the five fold ministry gifts are classified as clergy. However, the one who performs this service is very important in the New Testament and I have included it in this study. The word “deacon” is a transliteration of the Greek word diakonos, which means "servant" and is sometimes translated “minister.”

Dr. Anthony Palma gives us insight concerning the Greek New Testament word, diakonos:

     The common New Testament words for minister (diakonos) and ministry (diakonia) have a variety of meanings. The basic meaning of diakonos is servant, and more specifically, one who serves tables—a waiter. But that specific meaning cannot always be pressed.
     Diakonos, as it relates to Christians, has three important meanings in the New Testament:
     1. The general meaning of servant applies to all Christians. The ideal for every Christian is to be the servant of all (Mark 9:35; see also 10:43).
     2. One specific position of leadership in the church is usually translated by the word deacon (a transliteration, actually). Paul refers to bishops (elders, overseers) and deacons (diakonoi) in the congregation at Philippi (Philippians 1:1).
     He outlines qualifications for deacons (1Timothy 3:8-13). The qualifications are similar to those prescribed for elders, but with one important exception: deacons are not required to be “able to teach” (1 Timothy 3:2, NASB), as are elders. Elders are specifically entrusted with a ministry of the Word; deacons are not. ....
     3. Another position of leadership in the church is often translated by the word "minister." The Apostles drew a clear distinction between the primary function of those seven men in Acts 6 and their own. They said it was not desirable for them “to leave the word of God, and serve tables” (Acts 6:2). They said further that their responsibility was the “the ministry [diakonia] of the word” (verse 4).
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
     In all this, let us remember that every Christian, no matter what his or her area of service, is called upon to follow the greatest Servant of all, who came not to be served (diakonos) but to serve (diakonein), and to give His life (Mark 10:45) (PALMA ADV 13).

The ministry of a deacon is vital to the local church. His or her ministry (role) and qualifications are biblically defined:

8 Likewise must the deacons be grave, not doubletongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
9 Holding the mystery of the faith in a pure conscience.
10 And let these also first be proved; then let them use the office of a deacon, being found blameless.
11 Even so must their wives be grave, not slanderers, sober, faithful in all things.
12 Let the deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well.
13 For they that have used the office of a deacon well purchase to themselves a good degree, and great boldness in the faith which is in Christ Jesus
(1TI 3:8-13, KJV).
1 And in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplied, there arose a murmuring of the Grecians against the Hebrews, because their widows were neglected in the daily ministration.
2 Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.
3 Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.
4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude: and they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and of the Holy Ghost, and Philip, and Prochorus, and Nicanor, and Timon, and Parmenas, and Nicolas a proselyte of Antioch:
6 Whom they set before the apostles: and when they had prayed, they laid their hands on them.
7 And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith
(AC 6:1-7, KJV).

A Deacon Must Be Qualified in Character

Men(1TI 3:8-10)

1. A deacon must tell the truth. One cannot represent the lord Jesus Christ, who is truth personified, unless he is truthful. If one does not tell the truth, his judgment will be affected.

2. A deacon must not be an alcoholic. Dependence on drugs indicates a lack of self-control or the inability to cope with life's problems. If one cannot solve his own problems, how can he solve a local church's problems?

3. A deacon must make an honest living. Cheating in business indicates covetousness or a lack of business ability in that one stoops to unethical practices in order to get rich or remain solvent.

4. A deacon must be doctrinally sound and live a corresponding life. If one is not doctrinally sound, a moral twist in his nature is indicated. One's actions must correspond to his real beliefs.

5. A deacon must be observed and proven. If he is appointed a leader before he has matured, he maybe lifted up in pride, and fall. Also, too much responsibility may discourage a young convert (AC 6:3).

6. A deacon must be a man of good report.

7. A deacon must be filled with the Holy Spirit.

8. A deacon must be wise—have godly wisdom.

Women (1TI 3:11)

May a woman serve as a deacon? Paul says,

1 I commend unto you Phebe our sister, which is a servant [diakonon] of the church which is at Cenchrea:
2 That ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also
(RO 16:1-2, KJV).

Vincent comments,

Women were also chosen as deaconesses, and Phoebe, the bearer of the epistle to the Romans, is commonly supposed to have been one of these (Vincent 3:416).

Ralph Earle says concerning an early document,

In the Apostolic Constitutions (ca. 3rd cent.) the female workers in the Church are referred to under the term diaconos in the early part (2:26; 3:15), but diakonissa (feminine) in the latter part (8:19-20, 28) (EARLE WMNT 3:258).

Vine also agrees that Phoebe was a deaconess (VINE 275).

1. A deaconess must not slander others. Slander may indicate the mechanism of projection. It may also indicate shallowness—the acceptance of hearsay as evidence. These are not good traits of leadership.

2. A deaconess must be self-controlled. This fruit of the Spirit is essential for a role model as well as for the office. Being excessively outspoken and yielding to the flesh causes damage to the body of Christ.

3. A deaconess must be faithful in her private life and in her ministry. A leader reproduces herself in her followers.

A Deacon Must Be Qualified in Relationships (1TI 3:12-13)

Relative to their families.

 

1. A deacon must be married to only one person. There are two main interpretations: (1) Having no former living mate or (2) Having only one mate now. If one cannot get along with his mate, how can he get along with others?

2. A deacon must be a good manager of his home. If one does not manage his natural family well, how can he help manage his spiritual family?

Relative to God (1TI 3: 13)

A deacon is honored by God and by the church.

Relative to the World

A deacon occupies a unique place of witness to the world by virtue of his office, speech and action.

A Deacon Fills a Vital Need

1. A deacon serves as a role model.

2. A deacon cares for the needy.

3. A deacon manages finances.

4. A deacon ministers spiritually. Usually, he does not teach and preach the Word of God. Examples of New Testament deacons are Stephen and Phillip. However, God may “promote” faithful deacons to the fivefold ministries. Also, God uses deacons in the healing ministry, in miracles and in the nine gifts of the Spirit as he sees fit.

5. A deacon who serves well fulfils a high calling. In a human sense, deacons are the pillars of a local church. Therefore, it the Lord calls you to be a deacon, be encouraged to fulfill that calling.

Let us return to Ephesians 4:12.

Why did God give the ministry gifts? Many seem to believe that the preacher is supposed to do all the work. “After all, we pay him to pastor, be a missionary, an evangelist or teacher.” However, that is not what the scriptures teach. It is God’s will that every Christian work for Him. Every Christian has Christ’s motivation—God’s love. Let us be moved by love to serve as Christ did.

12 to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
12 for the perfecting of the saints, to [eis, into] [the] work of the ministry, to building of the body of Christ: (EP 4:12, MARSHALL).

12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (EP 4:12, KJV).

Prepare” (“perfecting,” KJV and MARSHALL) is katartismos, “fitting or preparing fully” (VINE 856). God’s intention is to save, restore, make whole, heal, edify, mend, perfect and to bring saints to maturity:

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved
(JN 3:16-17, KJV).

Jesus said that on the other hand, Satan's intention is to steal, kill and destroy humans. What does he steal? He steals people's health, finances and reputation. He kills people by disease, wars and stirring up hatred between people. He deceives and destroys people by getting them to reject Christ as their personal Savior. However, Jesus came to bring us eternal life-the quality of which begins when we accept Christ as our personal Savior:

10 The thief [Satan] cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I [Jesus] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (JN 10:10, KJV).

For works of service” (“for the work of the ministry,” KJV) is eis ergon diakonias, literally, “into the work of ministry.” According to EP 4:12, the ministry gifts are to train all God’s people—lay and clergy—to do the work that God calls them to do. Then the body of Christ will build itself up—see verse 16 below.

The word translated “edifying” in the KJV and “built up” in the NIV is oikodomeo, the compound Greek word from oikos, “a home” + demo, “to build,” therefore “to build a home/house.” It is used figuratively to build the “home/house of God” or the Body of Christ (VINE 357-358).

There are no passengers on the Good Ship Grace—only crew!

How long will these ministry gifts be given and continue to function? Some uninformed Christians may believe that God has done away with some of the ministry gifts. However, Jesus will continue to give these gifts,

13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ (EP 4:12, KJV)

According to verse 13, ministry gifts will continue to function “until we all reach unity in the faith.” Have we all reached unity in the faith? The answer is obviously, “No.”

Have we all reached “unity…in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature”? Again, the answer is, “No.”

Have we attained “to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”? Once again, the answer is “No.”

The word translated “knowledge” is epignosis, from epi, “upon” + gnosis, “knowledge of spiritual truth” in the New Testament usage. Therefore, epignosis means that which means “exact or full knowledge, precise and correct knowledge.” (SEEDMASTER) (VINE 641). Epignosis

denotes exact or full knowledge, discernment, recognition, and [because of the preposition epi] is a strengthened form of [gnosis], expressing a fuller or a full knowledge, a greater participation by the knower in the object known, thus more powerfully influencing him (VINE 641).

The knowledge of which Paul speaks, is the believer’s knowledge of Christ. It is the Father’s will that we know Christ by being conformed into his image.

Jesus alone is the paradigm par excellence—the one pattern from whom the Holy Spirit works to make us like God. God’s plan from the beginning was to conform us to the image of his Son:

28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to {His} purpose.
29 For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined {to become} conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;
30 and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified
(RO 8:28-30, NASB).

Mature” (“perfect,” KJV) (“complete,” MARSHALL) is telios, “brought to its end, finished, perfect, full grown, mature” (SEEDMASTER).

Have we all attained “to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ”? None of us would be so arrogant as to claim to have reached Christ’s perfection. The answer is an unequivocal, “No.” Since we will not reach Christ’s perfection in this life, Jesus will continue to call and equip the ministry gifts until he glorifies us. For a more detailed treatment of becoming like Christ, download my ebooklet, Jesus the Master Teacher at http://BusterSoft.com/JRCM/.

14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
14 in order that no more we may be infants, being blown and being carried round by every wind of teaching in the sleight of men, in cleverness unto the craftiness of error (EP 4:14, MARSHALL).

14 That we [henceforth] be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive; (EP 4:14, KJV).

14 So then, we may no longer be children, tossed [like ships] to and fro between chance gusts of teaching, and wavering with every changing wind of doctrine, [the prey of] the cunning and cleverness of unscrupulous men, (gamblers engaged) in every shifting form of trickery in inventing errors to mislead (EP 4:14, AMP).

The word translated “infants” (“children, KJV)” is nepios, a compound Greek word meaning literally, “one who does not speak,” therefore, an infant or child who is too young to speak. The application here is the immature saint—the beginning of the maturity continuum. The end of the continuum would be the mature saint.

Paul leaves the figure of a developing human being and picks up a nautical figure. Kludonizo is translated “tossed back and forth by the waves.”

Blown here and there” (“carried about,” KJV) is Periphero, a compound Greek word in the present, passive participle form, from peri, “around” + phero, “to carry,” therefore “being carried around” (SEEDMASTER).

Anemos, “a very strong , violent, tempestuous wind” is translated “wind” in the NIV and KJV. So, Paul builds a mental picture of a ship that is being tossed by dangerous waves and being blown about uncontrollably by a violent storm. The wind represents false teaching. Here we have a picture of a saint who has not been grounded in the precious Word of God. He is being buffeted by Satan and suffering emotionally and possibly physically and financially.

The false teachers are compared to dice-players kubeia, (from kubos, “a cube or die for playing”), translated "craftiness" (“sleight,” KJV). In Paul’s time, dice players sometimes cheated and defrauded fellow players (SEEDMASTER). The word translated “men” is anthropos, which includes both male and female human beings.

Panourgia, “cunning, cleverness“ is translated “cunning craftiness” in the KJV (SEEDMASTER).

Methodeia is a compound Greek word, meta, “with” + hodos, “a way,” therefore “a cunning device, a wile” (VINE 12390. Methodeia is translated “lie in wait” in the KJV (SEEDMASTER). Paul uses methodeiato describe Satan’s evil schemes:

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles (methodeia) of the devil.
12 For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world-rulers of this darkness, against the spiritual [hosts] of wickedness in the heavenly [places]
(EP 6:11-12, ASV).

Paul says that demons use false teachers:

1 But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons,
2 through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron
(1TI 4:1-2, ASV).

Paul now turns to the end result and the purpose of being grounded in the Word of God.

15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
15 Rather, let our lives lovingly express truth in all things—speaking truly, dealing truly, living truly. Enfolded in love, let us grow up in every way and in all things into Him, Who is the Head, [even] Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One (EP 4:15, AMP).

15 but speaking truth in love, we may grow up in all things into him, who is the head, [even] Christ; (EP 4:15, ASV).

The phrase, “speaking the truth,” is a translation of one Greek word, aletheuo, from a (alpha negative) + lanthano, “to be hidden, secretly, unawares, without knowing.” Aletheuo is a present, active participle (SEEDMASTER). The literal translation of aletheuo is “truthing.” Therefore, “being truthful, open, transparent,” having to do with being, thinking, speaking and doing the truth. The Amplified Bible translation above is the most accurate. Vine says, aletheuo

signifies to deal faithfully or truly with anyone (cp. Gen. 42:16, Sept., “whether ye deal truly or no”), Eph. 4:15, “speaking the truth;” Gal. 4:16, “I tell (you) the truth,” where probably the Apostle is referring to the contents of his Epistle (VINE 1182).

Vincent comments,

15 Speaking the truth .... Only here and in Gal. iv.16. In classical Greek it means to be true, to arrive at truth, and to speak truth. Here the idea is rather that of being or walking in truth. Rev. in margin, dealing truly (VINCENT 3:392).

In conclusion, “being truth” means being like Christ, who said,

6 ... I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one cometh unto the Father, but by me (JN 14:6, ASV).

Therefore, we are truth in (1) Being (Heart) through the new birth.

We must (2) be truthful in our thinking:

8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things [italics mine](PP 4:8, ASV).

If we think truth, then we will (3) Speak truth. Jesus said,

45 The good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and the evil [man] out of the evil [treasure] bringeth forth that which is evil: for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh (LK 6:45, ASV).

If we are truth, think truth and speak truth, then we will (4) Act truthfully. Jesus said,

24 Every one therefore that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them, shall be likened unto a wise man, who built his house upon the rock:
25 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and if fell not: for it was founded upon the rock.
26 And every one that heareth these words of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, who built his house upon the sand:
27 and the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and smote upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall thereof
(MT 7:24-27, ASV).

We are to be, think, speak and act truth, motivated by “love," which is agape, "the love of God." May the Lord keep us from preaching the Gospel—or living—in anger, hatred or bitterness. There is a heaven and a hell. There is a coming judgment for Christ-rejectors. However, warning of judgment must be motivated by God’s love in us that the unsaved may be won by Christ’s love. Dr. Harold R. Carpenter tells us to preach judgment in compassion and brokenness.

Paul continues, “we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.”

Jesus is our pattern in all aspects of our being:

52 And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour [charis, grace] with God and man (LK 2:52, KJV).
1 Jesus increased in wisdom—he developed morally and intellectually.
2 Jesus increased in stature—he developed physically.
3 Jesus increased in favor with God—he developed spiritually.
4 Jesus increased in favor with man—he developed socially.

 

Jesus is our model:

1. The Model.

Jesus is the true hero of all time. He made a marvelous impact on his disciples while he was enfleshed on earth, and he continues to influence people positively down through history. Jesus is the authentic model for mankind. (MASTER) [Download Jesus the Master Teacher free at http://BusterSoft.com/JRCM/.)

Jesus is the model. However, we are models, too. Let us follow our unexcelled leader, Jesus Christ!

2. The Motivation.

Jesus' motivation was love. He loved as a human being, for he was truly human and he loved as God, for he was truly God. The scriptures say that "God is love" (1 John 4:8, KJV).
     The New Testament word for love, agape, and its Old Testament counterpart chesed may be defined as "the God-given desire to seek the best for the beloved on the highest moral plane." However, love is not an abstract concept, but a state of being that manifests itself in constructive action. This state in mankind is a concomitant of the indwelling Holy Spirit—there is no love without God. (MASTER).

Jesus was love and his motivation was love. We, too, have the love of God and are motivated by that love to reach the lost and hurting humanity.

3. The Message.

Jesus himself is the greatest message of God to mankind:

1 In many separate revelations—each of which set forth a portion of the Truth—and in different ways God spoke of old to [our] forefathers in and by the prophets.
2 [But] in the last of these days He has spoken to us in [the person of a] Son....
3 He is the sole expression of the glory of God—the Light-being, the out-raying of the divine—and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God's] nature, upholding and maintaining and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power ...
(Hebrews 1:1-3, AMP).
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2 The same was in the beginning with God.
............................................
5 And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not
(John 1:1-2,5, KJV).

Jesus was the message and proclaimed a message. We, too, are a message:

3 For all can see that you are a letter of Christ entrusted to our care, and written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the ever-living God—and not on tablets of stone, but on human hearts as tablets And we have a message to proclaim—the Gospel of Jesus Christ (2CO 3:3, WEYMOUTH).

4. The Mission.

Jesus' Primary Mission

Jesus' primary mission was to die for the world. His whole life was a potential death to interests that conflicted with his Father's will. It meant death to sin but also death to good things like owning property, having a family and being a normal, respected Rabbi. Finally, Jesus' life of potential sacrifice became an actual sacrifice.

Jesus' Secondary Mission

     Jesus' secondary mission included healing the sick, raising the dead, casting out demons, performing miracles, teaching and discipling his followers.
     The importance of the teaching aspect of Jesus' ministry has been recognized. He was called "teacher" 45 times in the 4 gospels and never "preacher." By including all the terms equivalent to "teacher," he was called teacher 61 times. Even his enemies called him "teacher" and he also called himself "teacher."

We also have a calling—a mission to fulfill.

5. The Men.

Jesus prayed and fasted for forty days before beginning his ministry and before choosing four of his disciples (Mark 1:12-20). He spent an entire night in prayer before choosing the twelve apostles:
12 And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.
13 And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also he named apostles;
14 Simon, (whom he also named Peter,) and Andrew his brother, James and John, Philip and Bartholomew,
15 Matthew and Thomas, James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon called Zelotes,
16 And Judas the brother of James, and Judas Iscariot, which also was the traitor
(Luke 6:12-16, KJV).
     If we look at these men from a natural standpoint, we would have to conclude that Jesus made a mistake. Peter was impulsive and certainly not a "rock." Andrew was a fisherman, and had not been trained for religious leadership. James and John were quick-tempered fishermen; Philip, unimaginative; Nathaniel, naive; Matthew, crooked; Judas Iscariot, a thief; Thomas, full of unbelief, and Simon was a Jewish radical. Jesus' disciples could be described as undeveloped, impulsive, sinful, perplexed, ignorant, miseducated, prejudiced and unstable. However, the Holy Spirit knew that these men would respond to the grace of God and become transformed, so he led Jesus to select them.      The point is that we must do as Jesus did--we will teach many and disciple a few. We must make disciples under the guidance of the Holy Spirit—only God knows those who will follow Christ wholeheartedly. It is in those selected by the Holy Spirit that we are to invest more time and effort. (MASTER).

6. The Methods.

Jesus' Principles

     Before dealing with Jesus' specific methods of teaching, it would be well to present some principles of teaching that he used.
     First of all, he was God-centered and individual-focused. The curriculum was the Word of God. The Word (or Law) was not to be used to break people, but to help people. (MASTER).

Jesus used methods and principles of teaching that we should use. For details on this important subject, read my ebook, Jesus the Master Teacher. We Christians are falling pitifully short in the area of using Jesus’ methods of teaching.

Reverend Robert Cummings, who taught at Central Bible College, said, “Let us cooperate intelligently and enthusiastically with the Holy Spirit” (Paraphrased). The Spirit of God is forming us into the image of Christ!

16 From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
16 [out] of whom all the body being fitted together and being brought together through every band of supply according to [the] operation in measure of each part the growth of the body makes for building up of itself in love (EP 4:16, MARSHALL).

16 from whom [Christ] all the body fitly framed and knit together through that which every joint supplieth, according to working in [due] measure of each several part, maketh the increase of the body unto the building up of itself in love (EP 4:16, ASV).

16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love (EP 4:16, KJV).

Paul continues the analogy of a human body. Christ is the head and the Church is the body.

From him,” i.e., from Jesus. Paul continues his thought concerning Jesus from verse 15.

Joined” (“Fitly joined together,” KJV) is sunarmologeo, from sun, “with” + “harmos, “a joint” + logo, “a word” (SEEDMASTER)(VINE 469). Sunarmologeo is in the present, passive participle form, therefore, “joining closely together.” Vine says that sunarmologeo

is used metaphorically of the Church as a spiritual temple, the parts being “fitly framed together... (VINE 469-470).

Held together” (“compacted,” KJV) is sumbibazo, from sun, “with” + bibazo, “to force,” therefore, “to cause to coalesce, to unite” (SEEDMASTER). Bibazo is in the present, passive participle form, therefore, “pressing together.”

Vincent links sunarmologeo and sumbibazo:

16. Fitly joined—compacted.... The present participles denote present, continuous progress. The two participles represent respectively the ideas of harmony or adaptation and compactness or solidity. ...(VINCENT 3:392).

By every supporting ligament” (“by that which every joint supplieth,” KJV) is

dia pases haphes tes epichoregias. Lit., through every joint of the supply. .... The supply specifies it as peculiarly Christ’s. The phrase joint of the supply signifies joint whose office or purpose it is to supply. ...(VINCENT 3:392).

Energeia, “working, efficiency” is translated “effectual working” in the KJV. Energeia, “in the NT used only of superhuman power, whether of God or of the Devil” (SEEDMASTER). It describes the work actually being done by the Holy Spirit in and through yielded Christians in the Body of Christ. Jesus works through each member of the body to bind the body together in order to accomplish God’s will—to grow.

Grows” is auxesis, “increase, growth” and probably means numerical growth, i.e., new Christians being added to the Church.

"Builds" ("edifying," KJV) is oikodome, from oikos, "a home" + demo, "to build," therefore, "the act of building, building up" used here metaphorically for, "edifying, edification" (SEEDMASTER)(VINE 357-358). Christ works through His body to make individuals more like himself and consequently the body more like Himself.

Love” is agape, “the love of God.” We can only love with the love of God as we are in Christ. The indwelling Holy Spirit gives us the ability to agape(love).

As we walk in the Holy Spirit, we walk in obedience and love. Consequently, God has more control of us and we become more useful for Christ.

 

Ministry Gifts Summary

Ministry gifts are people. They are usually called clergy. God is the source of the ministry gifts. Jesus calls individuals and gives them special abilities and gifts—people cannot choose their gifts. Each person develops his gift(s) and then he/she becomes a gift to the church. Ordination is a rite that recognizes that God has called the individual to the ministry:

1 Now there were at Antioch, in the church that was [there], prophets and teachers, Barnabas, and Symeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen the foster-brother of Herod the tetrarch, and Saul.
2 And as they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.
3 Then, when they had fasted and prayed and laid their hands on them, they sent them away
(AC 13:1-3, ASV).

The purpose of the ministry gifts are for the perfecting and equipping of Christians in order that Christians might minister to others. The fourfold purpose of Christians is to bring the Body of Christ into (1) The unity of the faith; (2) The knowledge of Jesus; (3) Personal maturity; and (4) Full Christlikeness.

The duration of the gifts is until (1) Christians are fully in Christ's image and (2) Jesus comes again.

When Christ gives someone a call to the ministry (a gift), He does not change his mind. If the reader had a call in the past and has left the ministry, he should repent and obey Christ by exercising the gift(s) God gave him:

29 For the gifts and the calling of God are not repented of (RO 11:29, ASV).
29 For God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable—He never withdraws them when once they are given, and He does not change His mind about those to whom He gives His grace or to whom He sends His call (RO 11:29, AMP).

Let us obey Christ and pray that God would send laborers into the fields:

35 And Jesus went about all the cities and the villages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing all manner of disease and all manner of sickness.
36 But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion for them, because they were distressed and scattered, as sheep not having a shepherd.
37 Then saith he unto his disciples,
The harvest indeed is plenteous, but the laborers are few.
38 Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth laborers into his harvest
(MT 9:38, ASV).
 

This study is taken from my ebook, Ephesians. You may download this book free at http://BusterSoft.com/JRCM/.

© John E. Russell 2003, 2004. 2013

In Essentials: Unity; In non-essentials: Liberty; In all things: Charity—Peter Meiderlin 1626.

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Last Updated on Monday, 17 June 2013 21:32