True Ministers of the GospelFrom The Heart
Publish date: 08/29/2010
I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. John 15:5 AMP
When you become a child of God, you are grafted in to the Vine, you become a branch of the Vine – Jesus is that Vine. You have a new nature and a new identity in Him. You no longer function as a wordly, carnal person, because His life and nature have been imparted to you. Those who continue to operate like the world they died to in Christ, are obviously ignorant of this great new life they have been offered in Him. It is necessary for them to have their minds renewed to the truths of God’s word.
We (the believers) each and all represent Jesus Christ to the world and, as such, are ministers of the Gospel and ambassadors of Christ. Some are called as five-fold ministers, given to the Body of Christ for the perfecting of that Body for the work of the ministry. These five-fold ministers will be judged by a higher standard than the rest of the Body. That is why it is not wise to seek an office to which you have not been called by the Father, Himself. We should not seek an office or a position or a title, but each of us should rather just be content to do only what the Spirit of God leads us to do even as we fulfill Mark 16:15-18. Here are some requirements for those who want to be used by God.
True ministers of the Gospel are those who are:
1. United to the Vine (John 15:5)
2. Chosen and ordained by God to the work of ministry
John 15:15 AMP - I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.]
2 Corinthians 5:18-21 NKJV - Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, 19 that is, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. 21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
1 Timothy 1:12-13 NKJV - And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord who has enabled me, because He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
3. Laborers to bring forth fruit, not idlers or lazy wasters of time and opportunities
John 15:16 AMP - You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I AM], He may give it to you.
John 6:27 TMB - “Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”
4. Goers to the work, not waiters for the work
Acts 1:8 NKJV - "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Mark 16:15-18 NKJV - And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
Matthew 28:19-20 NKJV - "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
5. Prayers that get results (John 15:16)
James 5:16b NKJV - The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.
1 John 3:22 AMP - And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.
6. Lovers of all men (1 Corinthians 13)
John 15:12-13 NKJV - This is My commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.
1 John 3:18-19 NKJV - My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him.
1 John 3:22-23 NKJV - And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment.