x479......Ministry--No Big Deal!
Ac 1:17* For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
This verse is referring to Judas--Judas had ministry!
Ac 1:25* That he may take part of this ministry and apostleship, from which Judas by transgression fell, that he might go to his own place.
Matthias becomes the replacement for Judas here--he was a "full-fledged" apostle--and was never heard about again.--"ministry" or "apostle" are NOT Biblical "titles" which signify a persons importance.
Ac 6:4* But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
Ac 12:25* And Barnabas and Saul returned from Jerusalem, when they had fulfilled their ministry, and took with them John, whose surname was Mark.
ministry here refers to a specific assignment from the Lord--which had a beginning, middle and end--it was NOT a permanent "position" it was an action which someone carried out.
Ac 20:24* But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.
ministry is the gift of Christ (see Ephesians 4)--"the gift of the anointed One and His anointing"--NOT an education from man or by mans requirements.
Ac 21:19* And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
When someone serves God--God is working through them--again--something which is for all of us to do--not just "some"--since all Christians have God inside--right?
Ro 12:7* Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Here ministry is mentioned as one of the functions of the body of Christ--NOT a function which rules over the body--rather a function of all the body.
1Co 16:15* I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)
Ministry was done out of peoples houses--NOT from one central "house of God"--and here again we see that the entire "house of Stephanas" is doing ministry--NOT just the "pastor" of the house--it is "THEY" which are addicted to serving God and His people.
2Co 4:1* Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not;
Paul does not talk of his own special ministry--but rather "WE" have received this ministry.
2Co 5:18* And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
Again, the Bible tells us that we all have been given this ministry--to reconcile the lost to God. (this is the one ministry which is generally noted as being for all in most churches--unfortunately we miss the gifts which go along with this ministry--those of apostle-prophet evangelist pastor and teacher--therefore we have no power in this ministry of reconciliation).
2Co 6:3* Giving no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:
Read in context, this verse is speaking about "we as the workers of God"--again--ministry for all--not "Some"
Eph 4:12* For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
The gifts described in the previous verse (apostles prophets evangelists pastors and teachers) are "to equip (perfect) the saints (all Christians) for the work of ministry (serving God).
Col 4:17* And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfil it.
Ever hear of Archippus? Once again the Bible talks about ministry being in a person who is NOT "famous" or "titled"--just a Christian who is serving God.
1Ti 1:12* And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry;
This verse, taken out of context, might seem to be saying that "the ministry" is some exalted place of rulership (our experience which comes from tradition)--but please read the context--
13* Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious: but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. 14* And the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. (1Timothy 1:13-14)
Paul is in the middle of telling how that he was a sinner--and was saved and given his ministry by the grace and love of Christ Jesus. Ministry is humbling--not exalted rulership.
2Ti 4:5* But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry.
Notice that "evangelist" is "work"--it is NOT rulership over others or authority over others--right?
2Ti 4:11* Only Luke is with me. Take Mark, and bring him with thee: for he is profitable to me for the ministry.
In the Bible ministers worked together--when we have the kingly rulership concept of ministry--we always go it alone and try to build our own kingdom instead of Gods kingdom. This is the way apostleship worked in the Bible--groups of people--on a common level--doing the will of God.
Heb 8:6* But now hath he obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also he is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.
Jesus Himself, the greatest servant (minister)--bought for us a better covenant with better promises than the Old. Thank God.
Heb 9:21* Moreover he sprinkled with blood both the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry.
This is referring to the Old Testament Levitcal practice of sprinkling the blood of the sacrifice on "vessels" (cups)--the cups which held the sacrificial offering. This is somewhat symbolic of we as Christians being sprinkled and cleansed by the blood of Jesus--but we get deeply into implication when we read of the "vessels of ministry needing a covering" (of badgers skin--see Number 4:12--where we get our ideas of minsitry from!) and imply that this means we need the authority of a pastor over our ministry.
Mt 27:55* And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
Women ministers?--Many churches still have rules against this concept--yet here these women are described as "diakoneo"--the same Greek word which means "deacon"--or minister--the same word which describes the gifts of ministry in Ephesians 4. It simply means to serve--in all instances, whether it is a woman or a man or a pastor or anyone.
Ro 12:7* Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;
Ro 15:16* That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Paul "served" the Gospel to the Gentiles--he had a specific calling on his life--your ministry is your calling--and we all have one.
2Co 8:4* Praying us with much in treaty that we would receive the gift, and take upon us the fellowship of the ministering to the saints.
"Fellowship" means commonness--community. Paul is praying here that he and his fellow workers would receive the right gift from God, that they might carry out the ministry which they were called to. But that ministry is called a fellowship--a commonness---just the opposite of our concept of rulership!
2Co 9:1* For as touching the ministering to the saints, it is superfluous for me to write to you:
Paul writing to all the Collossian church states here that it is not necessary for him to teach them about ministry--they already are doing a good job--they don't need more instruction. What a concept! We are told in most of our churches that we are never ready for ministry--we are made permanent disciples--permanent "sheep" who have no ministry!
Heb 1:14* Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation?
All angels minister ---to us. And yet the Bible tells us that we are made in Gods image--while angels are not. Why then are not all Christians ministers?
Heb 10:11* And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
This is describing the Old Covenant necessity of daily sacrifice by the Levitcal priests. In the OT only the Levites were priest--and could "minister unto he lord". But in the New Covenant--all Chistians are made "kings and priests" unto God--do we not all therefore have the God-given right to minister unto Him?
Mt 20:26* But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister; Mt 20:28* Even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
These verses are Jesus' teaching on authority--how that ministry amongst Christian is specifically NOT authority over others--
25 But Jesus called them unto him, and said, Ye know that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. (Matthew 20:25, KJV).
These words of Jesus (repeated in Mark 10 and Luke 22) specifically state that ministry is NOT authority over others. Jesus gives Himself in His servanthood as the example for ministry--and He states implicitly that His ministry is NOT by authority over others--but rather by laying down His life for others. Laying down our life is the definition of ministry--NOT authority over others
this doctrine is again stated in Mark chapter 10--
Mr 10:42 But Jesus called them to him, and saith unto them, Ye know that they which are accounted to rule over the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and their great ones exercise authority upon them. Mr 10:43 But so shall it not be among you: but whosoever will be great among you, shall be your minister: Mr 10:45 For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.
This is Jesus' definition of ministry. Question: when was the last time you heard your pastor teach on this?
Lu 4:20* And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.
It is interesting to note that this Greek word translated as "minister" is not "doulos" or diakonons" the usual works translated as "minister--but rather it is the Greek "hupertes" meaning supervisor. The rulers of the temple were supervisors--rather than servants. This was one of the problems which Jesus faced in His ministry to Israel--he met with constant opposition from the scribes-priest and elders --the "supervisors" of Israel.
Ac 13:5* And when they were at Salamis, they preached the word of God in the synagogues of the Jews: and they had also John to their minister.
Ac 24:23* And he commanded a centurion to keep Paul, and to let him have liberty, and that he should forbid none of his acquaintance to minister or come unto him.
Paul is getting ministered to in this case. "Minister" was very much not a title that went one way--as we conceive it to be. It was an action that any Christian could do for any other Christian. Question: when was the last time you ministered to your pastor?
Ac 26:16* But rise, and stand upon thy feet: for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee;
Paul here describing how he received his ministry--directly from the Lord--specifically NOT form the ordination of man or by mans tradition. Whether we like it or not--this is the case of everyone in the New Testament Bible--and they are called to be our example--do we follow this example with regard to our "qualifications" for ministry? Do we believe that another Christian is a "minister" or do we look for a title or experience or a Bible school diploma?
Ro 13:4* For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil.
Evil rulers in the world are called ministers too. The lesson of these verses in Romans is that God is above all of mans rulership. It is very interesting to note that this is mans ministry--mans authority--the wrong kingdom as Jesus would describe it in Luke 22 or Matthew 20 or Mark 10 as we have studied. Knowing this we see that these verses are saying that in the world there is authority (power to rule over others) and we should cooperate with it as best we can,(and as far as the authority in the world enforces the laws of God) understanding that God is above all this false authority of man. But it is specifically NOT to be this way amongst ourselves. Jesus said specifically NOT to exercise authority one over another amongst ourselves--Don't do it this way!
Ro 15:8* Now I say that Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers:
Jesus' ministry was to the Jews--He came to bring the Gospel and the authority of God to the Jews--and He gave all of us His followers the job of bringing it to the rest of the world.
Ro 15:25* But now I go unto Jerusalem to minister unto the saints.
Again we see the Bible concept of serving (ministering) to others within the church. Paul does not say that he is going to Jerusalem to rule with authority over the saints--right?
Ro 15:26-27*For it hath pleased them of Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor saints which are at Jerusalem. 27* It hath pleased them verily; and their debtors they are. For if the Gentiles have been made partakers of their spiritual things, their duty is also to minister unto them in carnal things.
One of the chief ministries of the church of the Bible was to give to the needs of the other Christians. All the giving in the church was to those saints which had need. This is considered ministry (service) and of course it rightly is. It is important to note that the giving was NOT to the pastor to do with as he was lead to--and it was NOT used primarily to build and maintain the assembling place. Question: Does your church minister to the financial needs of the poor that are within it?
1Co 9:13* Do ye not know that they which minister about holy things live of the things of the temple? and they which wait at the altar are partakers with the altar?
This verse when taken out of context might be used to say that it is only the "ministry" which should live off the Gospel. When we read the context we see that Paul says he did NOT take money in this instance. He rather is agreeing with the freedom of Spirit-lead giving by which the church operated. He did not ask for money in this case (although there would be nothing wrong with him doing so) because he realized that it would hinder the Gospel--which is of prime importance. He is not in any way saying that because he has ministry he has a right to ask for money from everyone--and it is important to note that the tithe is nowhere to be found in these statements on paying ministers.
2Co 9:10* Now he that ministereth seed to the sower both minister bread for your food, and multiply your seed sown, and increase the fruits of your righteousness;)
This verse tells us that God serves ("minsters") to us with His abundance of food and seed to grow it. If God serves--why don't we all?
Ga 2:17* But if, while we seek to be justified by Christ, we ourselves also are found sinners, is therefore Christ the minister of sin? God forbid.
Jesus served us the Gospel--he served (ministered) us the grace which saves us--the cleansing blood of His sacrifice was the greatest ministry ever done. If while we say we are saved by grace, we are found in sin--we are turning away from Christ and His true mercy and love.
Eph 3:7* 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.
Paul tells us how he was made a minister--by the gift of grace--by the gift of Christ (see Ephesians 4)--which is what is effective for the work which he has been called to. Question: Is not Jesus Christ the same yesterday today and forever?--Is not this same gift available for us today--then--where are the apostles? (answer: swallowed up by tradition and our disobedience to the word of God)
Eph 4:29* Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
Again ministering for all--let everything we say be used to minister to others--and not be corrupted--a prayer we all ought to say every day.
Eph 6:21* But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: Every hear of Tychicus?--bet you didn't know all these people were ministers--huh?
Col 1:7* As ye also learned of Epaphras our dear fellowservant, who is for you a faithful minister of Christ;
Here is Epaphras--another unknown minister--hard to understand since we think ministry=being famous!
Col 1:23* If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and be not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;
Paul tells us here that it is his hearing and understanding of the Gospel which made him a minister--and this is true when were read Acts chapter 9, in which Saul (Paul) is converted, healed, baptized, and begins preaching--all in a matter of a few days!
Col 1:25* Whereof I am made a minister, according to the dispensation of God which is given to me for you, to fulfil the word of God;
God has given Paul a job to do--this is his ministry--his service to God. His ministry was for a certain group of people, to help build the church--the body of Christ. But within the body we all have parts to play--we all have ministries
Col 4:7* All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellowservant in the Lord:
Notice that Paul here calls Tychicus a minister and a "fellowservant". This word means someone who "serves the same master, with the same authority from that master". He does not call Tychicus someone who serves under him--or is under "his authority"--but rather he refers to him as someone who serves with him. There was no ranking or hierarchy in the church of the Bible, as is so expected within our church tradition. The same applies to Timotheus in the scripture below...
1Th 3:2* And sent Timotheus, our brother, and minister of God, and our fellowlabourer in the gospel of Christ, to establish you, and to comfort you concerning your faith:
1Ti 4:6* If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
Again here, note that the reference is one of mutual exchange between the minister and the "brethren". Those that are being taught are brothers in Christ--not "sheep" or "subjects" to the minister.
Heb 6:10* For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.
Yet another verse which relates ministry to love and service toward the saints--NOT rulership! Also note that the ministry is unto the Lord for His glory--and not for means of ownership of a church building or rulership over a group of people
Heb 8:2* A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.
Jesus is a minister in heaven--offering sacrifice for our sins--thank God for the grace which saves us!
1Pe 1:12* Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into.
This refers to the prophets of the OT which served God in their prophecy and laid the path for Christ.
1Pe 4:10* As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.
This simple verse tells us plainly that "every man" has received a gift--and we ought o serve these gifts out to one another. This is the simple explanation of what ministry is--simply the serving out of the gifts which we all possess--it is NOT a title-- as we so frequently misinterpret. In order to be good stewards, we need to minister--we need to serve God in the gift which He has given us. It is as simple as that.
1Pe 4:11* If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
Again--"any man" can minister--anyone--it is not the title that bears rulership as tradition outside the Bible has so firmly established in our minds. It is simply the gifts and the anointing flowing through "any man"--not something restricted to some few rulers--not just to those who speak from a pulpit or have the keys to the church building. This is how God will be glorified--this is how the church will be made glorious--all the body in service to God in their ministry.