Eph. 4:11-12; 1 Cor. 12:27-28
I believe the gifts in Ephesians 4, which are often termed the "Five Fold Ministry Gifts", are more than the other gifts or ministries, they are a divine ministry call to the church for the equipping of the saints.
Eph. 4:11 "God appointed some to be..."
God sets the ministry in place in the church not man, but obviously man, under the anointing of the Holy Spirit, needs to recognize them. Therefore:
A. You do not enter the ministry because you feel it is an important or holy calling and you would like to respond.
B. You do not enter the ministry just because someone else has told you, you are suited for it. You need to hear from God for yourself.
1. Don't let other, e.g. family and friends, pressure you into this calling.
2. Husbands, if you have a call - don't call your wife. Let her be your helpmate - include her, but don't make your call her call. Let her function in her own gifts.
3. Wives, if you have a call, don't make your husbands fit into your call. Find ways of flowing together.
C. You will know you have a divine call by:
1. You will have a deep conviction that God has called you, and a specific longing to fulfill it.
2. You will have a conviction in your own heart. "Let the peace of God garrison your own heart". It will feel right, and it won't be a struggle.
3. There will be others that will confirm it by prophecy or laying on of hands. If that confirmation doesn't come, then check your motives and call.
4. It needs to be submitted to established leadership, especially those God has placed in oversight over you. If they are slow in recognizing it, keep praying because either God is not in a hurry, or their hearts needs to be changed, and God is capable of that.
Means: one sent forth, or sent one.
A. A true apostle is always "one with a commission" not goes but is sent.
B. The marks of the apostle will be signs, wonders and miracles. 2 Cor. 2:12.
C. To have this office, "one must have had a personal experience with the Lord" - something deep and real beyond the ordinary - not second hand or handed down by tradition.
D. An apostle is a foundation layer, establishing ministries and churches,
and also has the ability to oversee ministries, making sure they grow and flourish.
E. A true sent missionary will hold the office of an apostle.
1. The work of an evangelist - leading to salvations.
2. The work of a teacher - teaching and edifying.
3. The work of a pastor - to shepherd and disciple the people.
4. The work of a prophet - to bring vision and revelation.
An apostle is someone who is very experienced in the work of God and has a deep, intimate and abiding relationship with the Lord. You don't suddenly become an apostle, it's like you grow into it.
Means: one who speaks forth or openly - a proclaimer of a divine message.
A. A prophet is a proclaimer of God's message, primarily amongst Christians. Sometimes in direct prophecy but also in preaching and expounding the Scriptures.
B. A prophet is called as a minister of the Gospel.
1. Set apart by God to bring His word and revelation to the church.
2. Bringing direction and the emphasis of the heart of God for the church.
3. A prophet is also called to be a watchman on the wall warning of danger and attack.
C. We need to distinguish between the gift of prophecy and the ministry of a prophet. A prophet may prophesy, but because you prophesy or have the gift of prophecy, does not necessarily make you a prophet. Acts 21:9-10: few virgins which prophesied -
Agabus the prophet.
D. A prophet is a revealer.
1. Often God speaks to them in dreams, visions and revelations.
2. Will speak forth those revelations in prophecies, words of knowledge and wisdom, or preaching and teaching.
3. Often flows strongly in discerning of spirits and senses quickly when something is not right.
4. Can sometimes act as a fore-teller especially as God wants to prepare His people for what is ahead.
5. It is unscriptural in the new covenant to seek guidance from a prophet, as guidance is from the Holy Spirit Himself.
E. A prophet is often involved in healing ministries, particularly inner
Means: one who brings the evangel (good news). A messenger of glad tidings.
A. A proclaimer of God's message primarily among non-Christians.
1. Brings messages of redeeming grace.
2. Favorite theme: Salvation in its simplest form.
3. Notable characteristic - no matter what Scripture they start at, they will always preach Jesus. That is their calling, that is their message.
4. They have a burning passion for the lost.
5. If they have a teaching gift as well, their teaching will be along the line of
encouraging others to evangelize.
B. An evangelist will often flow readily in miracles and healings.
C. With this ministry, no urging or pleading is necessary to get them motivated as they have a divinely passionate urge in them.
D. A true evangelist will focus on the word of God, not just experiences.
E. An evangelist has the gifting to be able to cause people to see their need of Jesus, and encourage faith to make the decision to change.
F. An evangelist may just work one to one, or be at home with groups, although a true evangelist preacher will always be looking for opportunities for one to one.
G. The evangelist has need for other ministries alongside.
1. Has no trouble planting a church but struggles to shepherd it and maintain it.
2. Is not normally a discipler, therefore needs someone to lead the converts on.
A. A pastor is one who tends the flock of God, not just feed them but guides them as well.
1. They are under-shepherds for Jesus who is the Chief Shepherd.
2. They are called and equipped, by God, for this ministry.
B. A pastor must be endowed with the ability to teach and bring sound counsel, therefore:
1. Needs to have a good grounding in the word of God.
2. Needs to have a strong and secure, intimate personal relationship
with the Godhead.
3. Needs to be equipped with knowledge, wisdom and discernment, and, even though these gifts may not be displayed as spectacularly through the pastor as other ministries, it is important they are in operation.
C. The ministry of a true elder is that of a pastor, even if it is in a layman's role.
D. The pastor is one of the most important offices because:
1. Without the pastor, the other ministries are not completed, i.e., no matter how many get saved with the evangelist; if there is not the shepherd to care for them, they fall by the wayside.
2. No other ministry is given so much instruction in the New Testament, i.e., elders, overseers, bishops.
E. The most outstanding characteristic is a shepherd's heart.
1. They are loyal to the flock even at the expense of depriving themselves, especially of time with wife and family, and also with intimate personal time with God. They are often prey to burn out.
2. It takes a shepherd's heart to look after baby Christians, to love, nourish, and bear with them as they start their walk.
3. They love people, and people need and respond to love. You have to prove to people in this love-starved generation, that you love them.
4. A true shepherd follows up the straying ones.
Means: one who instructs.
A. One who instructs and teaches groups, large or small, using either material researched by others or researched and prepared by self.
1. Has the ability to explain and break down the word of God into manageable and understandable measures and lessons.
2. Can be tied to the other four major ministries, e.g., pastor-teacher, prophet-teacher, evangelist-teacher, and obviously apostle-teacher, or can be just pure teacher.
B. It is a divine gift and calling, not just relying on natural ability or inclination to teach, but a special anointed ministry.
C. A teacher needs to draw from the Holy Spirit so that:
1. The anointing will flow as rivers of living water, leaving people refreshed and revived and not bored.
2. That the inspiration of the Spirit will come in the form of words of knowledge and wisdom direct from God.
D. The ministry of a teacher is to build up the body enthusing, edifying and equipping.
E. Teachers need to be open for fresh glimpses of truth.
1. Fresh revelation should mark a teacher's ministry.
2. A teacher must be willing to be teachable.
3. Must be of humble spirit and mind.
4. Understanding and experiencing the truth that the more you press
into God, the less you seem to know and the more you want to learn.
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