Last week, I wrote on “The Anatomy of the Biblical Church”. In that time together, we took a look at the calling God has placed upon His people. If you don’t know your calling, it is hard to answer it. Israel as a nation was called to be a kingdom of priests. Just to be clear, the responsibility for this call has not passed from them. When speaking of the children of Israel, the Bible tells us:
As far as the gospel is concerned, they are enemies for your sake; but as far as election is concerned, they are loved on account of the patriarchs, for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable. Romans 11:28-29
Their rejection of Jesus as Messiah did not take away their calling but opened a door for the Gentiles to participate in that calling. To accurately answer this calling, your identity must match up to your call and if it doesn’t, you will excuse your neglect of it.
The call to be priests is one we must understand and flow in. Today, we look at another call we have as God’s church.
I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some past0rs and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Ephesians 4:1;11-13
There is one Lord. We are baptized into one Spirit. We are a part of the body of Christ. That makes us a part of Christ’s ministry.
I have been talking to the church lately about the role of the Holy Spirit but the ministry of the Holy Spirit was given to us in order to honor Jesus and finish His work. This is why, through the Holy Spirit, we were given the gifts and power of the Spirit.
Ephesians 4:11-13 tells us many important things. One thing it tells us is that the biblical church will have in operation within it five ministerial impartations:
Apostles: Father hearted leaders who impart to the Body of Christ, raising up sons and daughters in the faith.
Prophets: Bringers of supernatural revelation, giving insight into the times and seasons of God so that the people of God know what to do in the time they are in.
Evangelists: Those who impart zeal for souls and who equip the church with wisdom and anointing in winning the lost.
Pastors: Nurturers of the Body of Christ who clothe the church in God’s armor and garments.
Teachers: Reveal the Word of God with simplicity and wisdom.
The healthy biblical church will have each of these five ministries operative within the church. These ministries operate with two basic goals:
To grow the church into the measure of stature of the fullness of Christ.
Simply put: this means that the ministry of the biblical church is to grow its members into imitators of Christ. Not “fakers” but disciples transformed by the power of the Word of God and the Spirit of God.
To equip the church to finish the ministry of Christ.
It follows that if you are growing in Christ, then you will work to finish His ministry in the earth.
Now, two questions:
Who is doing the equipping?
Who is doing the ministry?
This is the essence of the calling I wanted to talk about today.
I hear someone saying, “Well pastor, I’m not a saint.” Listen, a saint is not someone who is dead or who has been canonized by the Catholic church.
The term saint is used in the Bible to identify God’s chosen people. A true saint is one who has become holy through the righteousness of Christ. They are anointed ones who have become set apart from the ways of the world to live Christ’s life and demonstrate God’s Kingdom.
How many of you are truly saved? Then, you are a saint!
So, you are called to be a holy kingdom of priests – intercessors for the will and kingdom of God. You are also called to be ministers – edifying the church and spreading the Kingdom of God.
Godly leaders are important because God puts a priority on the saints. You could say that we are living in the days of the Saints. Let me ask a question:
What does a saint called to be a minister in the pulpit need that is different from what a saint called to minister in the marketplace needs? Nothing. All ministers require the same thing: to be born again, to be filled with the Holy Spirit, and to have a working knowledge of the Word of God.
I’m not downplaying leadership with this saying. No one should take the mantle of leadership in the Body of Christ upon themselves. They should be called by God to do so. Yet, you need the same Holy Spirit empowered ministry in the marketplace that is needed in the church. You may not be in authority out there, but you do need power!
Because the same devil works out there that works against the church! You may not exercise authority over people, but you sure need to exercise it over the devil!
Next time we get together, we will begin to examine the role of the Holy Spirit in all this, but just for reference know that God has imparted gifts of the Holy Spirit in each one of you! These are given so that you can fulfill your part of the ministry of Christ.
Just as is the case with the nation of Israel, the gifts and callings of God to you and on you are without repentance.
What does that mean?
God does not change His mind about what you are called to do nor does He withdraw His gifts from you or the responsibility to use them according to His will.