x34......How did Paul become a minister?


7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. (ephesians 3:7)

".......according to the gift of the grace of God........."

Paul states that he was made a minister--according to the gift of the grace of God

What is the gift of the grace of God ?

Well, first let us see what is the grace of God...

5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)

8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: (epehesians 2: 5, 8)

Ro 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The grace of God is salvation through Jesus Christ--Jesus is the gift of God.

There are three clearly defined areas of gifts in the Bible. Two of these gifts are very well known.

1. The gift of God--the gift of God is Jesus. the gift of God is the fact that God the Father sent His only Son into the world to save the world through His blood sacrifice on the cross. This is the gift of God--or the "grace" of God. the world "grace" and the word "gift" are both from the same Greek word "charis"

2. the gifts of the Holy spirit. These gifts are described in 1Corinthians and in other places in the Bible. They include praying in tongues, prophecy, gifts of healing, helps, and many others. These gifts have only recently been re-found by the church only in recent times. But this serves to prove the point that gifts can be lost or ignored if bound by tradition of man or wrong doctrine in churches. Yet God has restored these gifts in recent years and we see a wonderful outpouring of Gods Spirit and these gifts understood by the church and functioning (at least to some degree!) within the church of today.

But there is a third gift that is apparently unknown to the church today..

3. The gift of Christ. These are the gifts of ministry..

7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. 8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.....

11 ....And he{Jesus} gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; (ephesians 4:7,8,11)

Let's look again at the question asked at the beginning of this study---

How did Paul become a minister?

7 Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power. (ephesians 3:7)

Paul states that he was made a minister by a gift. But who gave him this gift? It is the "grace of God" who gave him his ministry. Well, the "grace of God" is Jesus. therefore he is saying that he was given his ministry and he operates in the gift of Christ.

If he were given his ministry by God the Father he would have said it came as "the gift of God"--but instead he says that his ministry came from the "gift of the grace of God" This agrees completely with the statement he has already made in chapter 2 verse 8 (Jesus is the grace of God)--and later verified by the statement he makes in chapter 4 verse 7 (ministry is the gift of Christ)

So we see that we must study and understand these "gifts of Christ" in a new light. Not as degrees that people earn--not as postions of rulership and authority over others--as tradition has taught--but by a clear look at the Bible and understanding what the word of God says rather than by what our "church experience" has already laid down before us.

It is clear that the gifts of the Holy Spirit were lost to the church for centuries by rules and man's tradition--and if we do not know or understand that ministry is a gift that is "unto every one of us" these gifts too must be relearned and understood from a purely Biblical standpoint and re-evaluated and understood by the word of God.

Ephesians 3:20 Now unto Him that is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.

Jesus can do more than we ask or think alright, but according to what? According to His power in us, not His power floating over our heads in the clouds somewhere. We must be in agreement with this power. Is it just enough to say we have received Christ and the Holy spirit at some point, and now believe that all the rest is up to HIM? We walk in agreement with His power through our obedience and according to His word...by believing ephesians 4 and following His example of a ministry. Then He can do more than we ask or think. This also implies that we have a great deal to do with the move and action that is taking place in the Spirit. God has always used men and women in the earth to carry out His purposes. Nothing happens without His servants cooperation with and understanding His word. He uses us for healing, salvation and all His marvelous works. We can all think of something He did for us, and how He used people to accomplish it. He has many reasons for this, and it is important to understand that it is HIS power in us that works many miracles. So once we are truly His, we must never feel useless or unimportant in the kingdom, that is the enemy's trick to stop ministry and souls from salvation.

It is our service toward others that gets people saved!