The Ministry Designed by God

The Ministry Designed by God

THE LIVING WORD CENTER, INC.

study guide for The Ministry Designed by God

by Rev. Jay Werman

The first thing we need to do is to extract the meaning of the word “ministry” according to Scriptural context, in which the passage was written.
Mat 20:26 “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister”.
The Greek word used for minister is “diakonos”, which means has the following definitions:
1- One who executes the commands of another, especially of a master, a servant, attendant, minister
2- The servant of a king. Mt 22:13
3- Servants of feasts. John 2:5-9
4- A deacon, one who, by virtue of the office assigned to him by the church, cares for the poor and has
charge of and distributes the money collected for their use as it is described in Acts 6:5-6
5- It is used of “preachers of the gospel”. 1 Cor 3:5; 2 Cor 3:6; 6:4; 11:23.
6- “diakonos” is used in 2 Cor 11:15 in reference to “the ministers of satan”, which purpose is to forged, deceive and to fake the true work of ministers of God.

Nowadays the concept of a “Minister” has been corrupted and no longer is used to “serve others” as it is meant by Jesus in Mat 20:24-28. Any person called by God to do any specific work is with the purpose of “serving,” whether ministering to God or to others.

The definition of “ministry” will be subject to the context in which it is used and by the calling that is upon such ministry. Let’s explain first why Jesus brought up the concept of “minister” among the disciples and then we can comprehend the usage of the word “minister” as used by Jesus according to Mat 20:24-28.

In Mat 20:20 “Then came to him the mother of Zebedee’s children with her sons, worshiping him, and desiring a certain thing of him”.

The name of the mother of these 2 disciples is “Salome”. Compare Mat 27:56 with Mk 15:40.

Mat 20:21 “And he (Jesus) said unto her (Salome), What wilt thou? She saith unto him, Grant that these my two sons may sit, the one on thy right hand, and the other on the left, in thy kingdom”.

What she is asking is that her 2 sons to be seated in the highest position in the Messiah’s millennial reign. Compare with Mk 10:35-37.
The Greek word used for “Kingdom” is “basileia”, which means “Having the right or authority to rule over a kingdom”.

Mat 20:22 “But Jesus answered and said, Ye know not what ye ask. Are ye able to drink of the cup that I shall drink of, and to be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with? They say unto him, we are able”.

Jesus taught complete against seeking to be the greatest, they should have known this before they asked. Compare Mat 18:1-10; 20:16. Observe their answer “They say unto him, we are able”. Meaning they were willing to go through anything for “honor and position”, as many still do today. Look at the attitude of Daniel when the king offered gifts to him if Daniel was able to interpret the writing on the wall. Dan 5:17.

Mat 20:23 “And he saith unto them, Ye shall drink indeed of my cup, and be baptized with the baptism that I am baptized with: but to sit on my right hand, and on my left, is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared of my Father.”

This passage speaks about of some prerogatives that The Father have and The Son doesn’t. Compare with Mk 13:32; John 8:28; Acts 1:7. Obviously, this must be understood under the redemption plan of God to redeem humanity.

This particular request from Salome and her sons provoked Jesus to explain what is the right concept of being the greatest in the kingdom of God. Anyone who calls himself “minister” and doesn’t have the attitude of being a Servant, such person hasn’t comprehended the purpose of his calling. We need to find out what is the real concept of being a “Minister of God” and follow it. There’s a lot of polluted and corrupted ministers, whose purpose is to be served by others and being placed in the highest position. Such people have already received their own reward. If we don’t use “spiritual discernment” in our lives and ministry, we will end up on the same path them. Spiritual discernment will help you to distinguish what is the motivation that moves others to do what they do. 1 John 4:1.

Now, notice what happens when the other 10 disciples find out about the request of Salome and her 2 sons.

Mat 20:24 “And when the ten heard it, they were moved with indignation against the two brethren”. The carnal reactions of the disciples are very noticeable. Satan took advantage of this situation to divide the disciples. But Jesus right away moved to correct the issue and established the right concept of what really means to be “the greatest.”
Mat 20:25 “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.”

1-“The princes of the Gentiles”. Nations whose rulings are not aligned with God’s purpose. Pagan nations which purpose to enslave others for their own gain.
2-“Exercise dominion over them”. Which means “to hold others in subjection”. The term literally means“To subjugate others by terrorizing and oppressing”. They are called Tyrant and oppressors. Just like the Egyptians treated the nation of Israel when they were captives. Gen 15:12-14; Ex 1:7-14; Acts 7:18-19.

God will be the Supreme ruler of planet earth again, once all the enemies of God are defeated.

1 Cor 15:25 “For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet”.
Mat 20:26 “But it shall not be so among you: but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister.”

The idea expressed by Jesus is the opposite of what the pagans do. The principle here is that we must serve others to be rewarded by God and not the other way around. If this principle is not the basis of a ministry, then we are instead working under a pagan principle, as many still do today. Jesus even expanded this principle in the next passage, which says;

Mat 20:27 “And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant.”

The Greek word used for “chief” is “protos”, which means “First in time or place, first in rank and Principal or Honor”.

Mat 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.”

This is the perfect example of having the right motivation to serve others. Until this principle is fully comprehended, we won’t achieve as church the purpose of our calling and ministry.

What is the definition of a calling? Let’s see what the Scriptures say:

Heb 3:1 “Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus”.

The Greek word used for “partakers” is “metochos”, which means “sharing in, partaking or a partner (in a work, office, dignity)”. It is used in the same sense Heb 3:1; 14; 6:4; 12:8. Every born again Christian has a heavenly calling, the earthy Israel had an earthly calling and both are in a different covenant and ethnic group. 1 Cor 10:32. The heavenly calling means that there will be no restriction when ruling under God’s government. In fact, the expression “heavenly calling” Heb 3:1, implied “an invitation to embrace a heavenly calling”. That applied to everyone who had been born again and it is part of the body of Christ. Also, Heb 3:1 made a reference to:

-“Jesus heavenly calling” which made him better than Moses. Heb 3:1-6; Dt 18:15-19; John 1:17.

-Mentioned Jesus as “The Apostle” and a “High Priest”. Heb 3:1

Phip. 3:12 “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus”. “ Follow after” from the Greek means “to make to run or flee, put to flight, drive away”, from the Greek word “dioko”. It is related to a “full commandment to follow after; someone”.

Phip. 3:13 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before”. 3 things are extracted from the text itself:

-“This one thing I do”. V 13. Have a clear objective mind set.

-“Forgetting those things which are behind”. V 13. “Forgetting” meaning, “no longer caring for it” why?New creature in Christ. 2 Cor 5:17

-No condemnation for those who are in Jesus Christ. Rom 8:1.

Phip 3:14 “I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus”.

-“I press” comes from the Greek word “dioko” as “I follow” in V 12 and it has the same meaning.

-“Toward” means “through out” or “according to” from the word “kata”.

-“ The Mark” comes from the Greek word “skopos” which means “the distant mark looked at, the goal or end one has in view.” Used only in this passage.

-The prize” comes from the Greek word “brabeion” meaning “the award to the victor in the games, a prize.” It is used in the same sense in 2 Cor 9:24.

-“The high calling of God” implies the type of calling we have received as born again Christians. It is related to all Christians and not just a few people, as some teach today. The Greek word used for “calling” is “klesis”which means “of the divine invitation to embrace salvation of God” and it is used in Rom 11:29; 1 Cor1:26; 1 Cor 7:20; Eph 1:18; 4:4; Phip 3:14; 2 Th 1:11; 2 Tim 1:9; Heb 3:1; 2 Pet 1:10. and Eph. It is used as“vocation”.

Rom 11:29 “For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance”. The application of this passage can be used as follow:
-As relates to the gifts and calling of Israel as a nation, in which God will fulfill all his promises. Jos 21:45;1 Chr 16:15; Jer 31:35-36; Ezek 36:22-23; Hosea 5:16; 6:1-2; Mat 24:35; Rom 4:21; 2 Tim 2:13; Heb 6:13-18 and James 1:17 says “The Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning”. God does not change!
-As relates to any person that has received a “gift or calling” from God, to do a specific work. If such person failed to follow that calling but repents and comes back to God with a sincere heart, God will restore him to the early stage.
The Greek expression “without repentance” basically means “not repentant of or un-regretted”, which implies that “God doesn’t change his mind as if He made a error”.

Eph 4:4 “There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling” refers to “Unity in our calling” as it is expressed in the context of the passage.

-“Ministerial gifts”. Definitions and functions of each one of them given to the church.

We will explain only the ministries that are based in the Scriptures and not any man made positions, which will produce nothing but losses, to be expanded upon further on this study.

Eph 4:11 “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”. Here we have the 5 major ministries given to the church, which are aligned with the calling. We will define these 5 ministries and later the rest of them.

The Apostle: From the Greek “apostolos”, which means “a delegate, messenger, one sent forth with orders”. Under the meaning of Scriptural text an apostle is “one that had been sent forth with a special abilities and powers to act and represent other”. Another complementary definition is “That one that has been sent is completely backed up and supported by the one who had sent him”. It basically means that the apostle counts with God support in every step of his mission and calling. The word “apostle” is used 81 times in the Scriptures. Observe what is it stated in Luke 613:

“And when it was day, HE called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom also HE named apostles”. Only God can call someone to do a ministerial work. No man, University, nor Organization can gives a ministry.

Compare with Mat 10:2, Mar 6:30, Luk 6:13; 9:10; 11:49; 17:5; 22:14; 24:10; Act 1:2, 26;2:37, 43; 4:33, 36; 5:12, 18, 29, 34, 40; 6:6; 8:1, 14; 9:27; 11:1; 14:14; 15:2, 4, 6, 22-23; 16:4; Rom. 16:7; 1Co4:9; 9:5; 12:28-29; 15:7, 9; 2Co 11:5,13; 12:11; Gal 1:17; Eph 2:19-20; 3:5; 4:11; 1Th 2:6; 2Pe 3:2; Jud 1:17;Rev 2:2; 18:20; 21:14.

 

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