Be Like Jesus---Minister!!

1* ¶ My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2* And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. 3* ¶ And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 4* He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him. 5* But whoso keepeth his word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6* He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked. (1 John 2:1-6)

These verses clearly explain the great salvation we have in Jesus. He Himself is the propitiation--the "payment"- for our sins--in fact for all the sin of all the world--amen! But then we see that the scriptures say that the reflection of our belief in Jesus will show in us outwardly by our obedience to his commandments. We cannot say we "know him"--that we "believe in Jesus" and live a life that goes against the word of God. Verse 5 says that when we keep his word "hereby know we that we are in him". The obedience we have to the word of God reflects the spiritual fact that we are "in Him"--that we are made safe--saved--born again--walking by faith--living our life in the Spirit.

But it is verse 6 that we need to look at carefully--

6* He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.

It clearly says that the next step for all those who believe in Him is that they "ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked." It says that we ought to walk the way Jesus walked. To "walk" means to live--it means lifestyle--

****peripatew peripateo {per-ee-pat-eh'-o} v

----- walk 93, go 1, walk about 1, be occupied 1; 96

1) to walk 1a) to make one's way, progress; to make due use of opportunities 1b) Hebrew for, to live 1b1) to regulate one's life 1b2) to conduct one's self 1b3) to pass one's life

The "walk" we ought to have as Christians is to use Jesus as our example. We ought to live our life--to pass our life--to use the opportunities we have--in direct imitation of Jesus. I believe that most sincere Christians honestly make every effort to live their life in this way.

However, I believe that here is one aspect of the life of Jesus that we very often overlook in regard to this concept. The question is: How did Jesus live His life? What did Jesus do when He lived on earth as a human being? The simplest and most direct answer could be stated in one word--MINISTRY! Jesus served God! In every instance and at every occasion, He took every opportunity to do ministry. He stated that He did nothing that was not His Father's will--that He truly was in constant service to God the Father. It is very obvious that Jesus ministered the word of God--He preached the Good News everywhere--He healed the sick--He cast out devils--during His ministry He gave authority to all His disciples to do the same..

1* ¶ And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. (Matthew 10:1)

Jesus gave this authority to His disciples (in the next verse they are first called apostles ---once again we see that ministry is NOT a title, but a function!). Now we certainly are Jesus disciples of today--but do we truly understand our authority? Let's consider it from the other standpoint. If we are told to live as Jesus did we should all be doing ministry at every opportunity--and we should be appointing and giving authority to others to do ministry at every opportunity and whenever there is the need. It is never recorded in scripture of Jesus holding back ministry from anyone--or saying that serving God was a special call only to "some".

16* And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace. 17* For the law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ. (John 1:16-17)

These verse clearly state once again that we have all received of the fullness of Christ. That we literally possess every gift or "grace" that He possessed. Certainly this must include the gift of ministry! The word "fulnes" is defined below--

***pleroma pleroma {play'-ro-mah} n

----- fullness 13, full 1, fulfilling 1, which is put in to fill up 1, pierce that filled up 1; 17

1) that which is (has been) filled 1a) a ship inasmuch as it is filled (i.e. manned) with sailors, rowers, and soldiers 1b) in the NT, the body of believers, as that which is filled with the presence, power, agency, riches of God and of Christ

All Christians clearly are said to have all the fullness--all the power--the agency--the riches of God in Christ. The example of Jesus certainly is to serve God.

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised, To preach the acceptable year of the Lord." (Luke 4:18-19, KJV).

In these verses of the Bible, Jesus outlines His purposes and His ministry. These are the purposes which the Father directed Him to accomplish--preach the Gospel, heal the sick, feed the poor, cast out the devil (deliverance), and "set at liberty" (Greek: apostello)--freely release others who believe in Him to carry on all of His ministry. All of us have recevied His fullness--which is meant to be fulfilled in our lives in the ministry which He has called all of us to accomplish.

There is wonderful saying that is going around amongst many Christians--"WWJD"--"What Would Jesus Do?" This is a wonderful trend. It is of course meant to remind people to think of Jesus in every situation--to stop and consider what He would do in every situation. I am sure that many young people (and people of all ages!) have heeded this advice, and not rebelled against God--resisted temptation. I am sure that many young people have avoided using drugs--not gotten addicted to alcohol--resisted sexual sin by being reminded through this saying. I am certainly not putting the concept down at all.

But it is interesting to consider that this saying is usually used to indicate the "good behavior" that Jesus did in His life--His obedience to the law--to the word of God--which of course was perfect. Jesus is truly our perfect example. But, let's ask ourselves once again--WWJD?--What would Jesus do? I have an answer that I believe we must add to our traditional ideas that center around obedience to the law. What did Jesus do?--He ministered! When we ask ourselves the question--WWJD?--one of the most important answers certainly should be ministry!