Ministry Gifts Pt 3
We’re going to pick up where we left off last time. We were talking about those in any ministry position need to be proven 1st. 1 Tim 3:1
I. In Verse 1 it is talking about an BISHOP or an OVERSEER. Apparently, an OVERSEER is the same thing as an elder.
A. Look at Verse 5.
1. Notice “Take care of the Church of God.”
B. Verse 6 “Not a Novice.”
1. Not someone that is young in the Lord, But mature.
a) A good way to determine your age in the Lord is to ask yourself how many years you’ve been serving the Lord.
b) This may not be exact because matures at a different rate.
(1) Once you have 30 or 40 years in with the Lord, you know something.
(2) That doesn’t mean that we can’t learn from someone that has less years with the Lord.
2. Maturity is not really based on how many years you’ve been with the Lord, but rather on how you act.
C. Let’s turn to Phil 1:1.
1. Bishops (Overseers) & Elders are apparently the same thing. It’s 2 words used to mean the same thing.
a) Like we use the word Christian, but we also use the word Saint, or the word Believer.
II. Now if God does call you to the 5-flod ministry, you need time to be alone with the Lord.
A. If God does call you, He will equip you. (Supernatural equipment)
1. Rom 11:29
2. (Rom 1:6 from the Message translation), “Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ!” 
a) You don’t have to struggle to find you position. God will use you right where you are and He will promote.
(1) If He is not in it, it will fall apart.
B. Once you know that God has called you, you need to be a man or woman of integrity.
1. Look at Psa 15:4 (NIV Says, “who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,”).
C. Develop. Mature. Grow
1. Ministries are developed. Take time to develop the ministerial gift.
2. It takes time for people to become equipped to do what God has for them to do.
a) It take time to learn how to flow in the anointing.
b) They must not only be equipped; they must mature or Grow in the Lord (much growth)
(1) It take years..
3. Usually people start out in a different area of ministry from what God called them to.
a) Saul (Paul) is named as one of the 5 prophets and/or teachers in Acts 13. Later the New Testament calls him an apostle.
b) But he didn’t start out with an apostle’s ministry. He started out as a prophet and a teacher.
4. Philip started out in the ministry of helps (Acts 6:1-6). He was faithful in that office. Later he was moved to the office of evangelist (Acts 8; 21:8).
a) If God called you to pastor, you will not begin pastoring a church of 2000.
b) You would not know how to handle the job. You may start with a small flock, or as an assistant, or associate pastor, youth pastor, etc.
c) God may have called you to be an evangelist. You may eventually preach to 5000. But you won’t start out preaching to 5000. You may start out by preaching to 5.
d) Do not despise the day of small things (Zech. 4:10).
(1) Take time to wait and see what God wants you to do. Let God make you the minister He wants you to be.
(2) Don’t say, “I choose this office.” You cannot choose.
5. Don’t try to be like someone else.
a) Just be yourself. Take the truth of God’s Word that is revealed to you and let God use your personality to inject it. Then it becomes your message.
b) . Don’t just say, “I’m a teacher.” Stop and wait and find out whether that is what you are or not.
c) Just because you had one revelation, or given a few words of prophecy, don’t say, “I’m a prophet.”
(1) From all probability you are not.
(2) Even if your call were a prophet, you couldn’t enter it right away. You wouldn’t be capable.
d) God will not violate His own rules. His Word says not to put a novice in the office of deacon (1 Tim. 3:6).
(1) He will not put a beginning deacon into an office of an elder.
(2) He will not put a beginning elder into the position of a pastor or evangelist.
(3) He will not put a beginning pastor, evangelist or teacher into the office of a prophet or an apostle. Maturity has to take place.
(a) God will not put an immature Christian or an immature preacher into the office of prophet.
(4) God is the God of order. Things develop step after step.
(a) The Bible says that we walk by faith, step after step. It's not a leap of faith, that's dangerous.
e) If God called you and set you in an office, you won’t have to advertise it, anyway. People will find out eventually. If they do not, it is not your place.
(1) Don't push for it because if that's not the place God wants you to be in and you push to get into that position, you’ll just make a mess of everything.
(2) If the ministry is there in embryo stage, it will develop as you are faithful.
(3) Realize that the call of God is there. Then be faithful to work for God wherever you are. (To preach and to teach is always right.) Eventually — when you reach some maturity, both mentally and spiritually — God will let you know what your calling is.
6. Take time to wait on God. Take time to fast and pray. Take time to find His perfect will for your life and ministry.
a) Intruding into the wrong office can cost you your life.
b) Holy things are holy.
c) In the Old Testament if someone besides the High Priest intruded into the Holy of Holies, he fell dead instantly. He had intruded into the wrong office.
d) The calling of God is holy.
(1) The ministry of God is holy
III. One of the most fascinating things concerning the ministry gifts of Christ is their variety.
A. . Apostles. The apostle’s office seems to embrace almost every type of ministry.
B. Prophets. The prophet’s ministry is inspirational. He speaks by direct, divine inspiration and revelation.
C. Evangelists. The evangelist has a direct endowment from the Lord to PREACH the Word.
D. Pastors. Pastors are the shepherds of God’s sheep.
E. Teachers. Those who fill the office of teacher teach the Word, not by natural ability, but by the divine ability of the Holy Spirit.
1. These ministry gifts have been given to the Church so that there may be a balance in the Church.
2. . The divine plan is for each ministry which God has set in the Church to correct
and complement the other, thereby providing check and balance needed.
a) The prophet is to inspire the teacher.
b) The teacher is to steady the prophet.
c) The evangelist is to continually remind us of the lost and dying world and its need for the Gospel.
d) The pastor is to show us that souls still need much caring for after they have been won.
e) And the apostle, above all, is to inspire and lead the Church.
(1) An apostle may win fresh conquest for Christ like Paul, but he may stay in pretty much the same place, nut has great influence to direct the body of Christ, like Peter
F. The ultimate goal for all ministry is to unite the body of Christ in the faith. Never divide.
1. Eph 4:11-13
IV. THE APOSTLE
A. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:28, “And God hath set some in the church, FIRST APOSTLES.”
1. Eph 4:11 says, “And he gave some, APOSTLES”
2. The ministry gift which heads the list is the apostle.
B. HEBREWS 3:1
1. The most significant statement of fact in the Bible regarding this office is that it was filled by Christ Himself.
2. The Greek word APOSTOLOS translated apostle means one sent forth, a sent one.
a) Jesus Christ is the greatest example of a sent one.
b) In John 20:21 Jesus said, “AS MY FATHER HATH SENT ME, even so send I you.”
c) A true apostle is always one with a commission — not one who merely goes, but one who is sent.
3. Look at Acts 13:2 They were sent by the Holy Spirit.
4. Turn to 2 Cor 12:12. (The signs of an apostle.)
a) In signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.
5. To stand in this office, one must have a personal experience with the Lord — something very deep and real, something beyond the ordinary. Not just something secondhand or handed down by tradition.
a) Notice something Paul said in defending his apostleship:
b) 1 Cor 9:1
c) When did Paul see Jesus? On the road to Damascus. Look at Acts 9:3-6.
(1) He had a deep spiritual experience with the Lord. Even his conversion was beyond the ordinary.
(2) Look at something else Paul said in 1 Cor 11:23. He got it from the Lord. . He got it by revelation
(3) Paul wasn’t taught the Gospel he preached by man. The Spirit of God taught it to him.
(4) Gal 1:11-12 (Gal 1:13-2:2)
(a) Paul had been preaching for 17 years now. He didn’t know what the apostles preached. He hadn’t heard them. He’d been with Peter only a brief two- week period. After which he preached 14 more years before the Spirit of God revealed to him that he should go up to Jerusalem and communicate with these brethren.
Paul did indeed have a deep religious experience with the Lord Jesus Christ!
H. The work of an apostle — foundation layer.
1 CORINTHIANS 3:10
10 According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise master-
builder, I HAVE LAID THE FOUNDATION, and another buildeth thereon. But
let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.
20 And are built upon THE FOUNDATION OF THE APOSTLES and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone.
1. The work of the apostle was first to lay the foundation.
2. The first twelve apostles first laid the foundation of the Church as the earliest pioneers and preachers of the Gospel. Secondly, they laid the foundation of the Church by receiving the Holy Spirit.
An apostle’s ministry seems to embrace all other ministry gifts. The distinguishing result is the ability to establish churches.
1. The apostle has the supernatural equipment called “governments” listed in First Corinthians 12:28. (Weymouth translates it “powers of organization.”)
2. After churches are established, apostles can exercise authority over those churches they have established (1 Cor. 9:1,2).
Comments: There are many who call themselves apostles who want to dominate and rule people. They say, “I’m an apostle. I have authority. You have to do what I say.” In New Testament days the apostles could only exercise authority over the churches they established themselves. Paul never exercised any authority over the church at Jerusalem, or any of the churches that other apostles had established.
Remember, these offices are in power and not in name. If the power is not there to establish churches, then they are not apostles.
3. A missionary who is really called of God and sent by the Holy Ghost is an apostle.
a. Acts 13:2,4. The Holy Spirit said, trSeparate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them.” Then verse 4 says, So they,
being SENT FORTH by the Holy Ghost, departed. . . .“
They were “sent ones.” They left on their first missionary journey to
b. The New Testament never mentions missionaries, yet it is an important office. It is here in the office of apostle.
c. The missionary will have the ability of all the ministry gifts.
1) He will do the work of the evangelist.
He will get people saved.
2) He will do the work of the teacher.
He will teach and establish people.
3) He will do the work of the pastor.
He will pastor and shepherd people for a while.
a) In studying closely the life of the Apostle Paul, we note that he said that he never built on a foundation someone else had laid. He endeavored to preach the Gospel where Christ was not named (Rom. 15:20).
He always stayed in a place from six months to three years.
His real calling was not to be a pastor, but he stayed long
enough to get them established in the truth, and then moved
J. Are there apostles today?
No one, not even Paul, could be an apostle in the sense the original twelve were. There are only twelve apostles of the Lamb (Rev. 21:14).
a. The Bible gives the qualifications for the original twelve when they were to select one to take Judas’ place.
15 And in those days Peter stood up in the midst of the disciples, and said, (the number of names together were about an hundred and twenty,)
16 Men and brethren, this scripture must needs have been fulfilled, which the Holy Ghost by the mouth of David spake before concerning Judas, which was guide to them that took Jesus.
17 For he was numbered with us, and had obtained part of this ministry.
18 Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.
19 And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as
that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.
20 For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein: and his bishoprick let another take. 21 Wherefore of these men WHICH HAVE COMPANIED WITH US ALL THE TIME THAT THE LORD JESUS WENT IN AN]) OUT AMONG US,
22 BEGINNING FROM TIlE BAPTISM OF JOHN, UNTO THAT SAME DAY THAT HE WAS TAKEN UP FROM US, MUST ONE BE ORDAINED TO BE A WITNESS WITH US OF HIS RESURRECTION.
b. To be one of the twelve apostles of the Lamb, one had to have accompanied them — the apostles and Jesus — all the time Jesus went in and out among them for the three and a half years of His ministry. Paul was not with them.
The original twelve were sent ones to be eye witnesses of the ministry, the works, the life, death, burial, resurrection, and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ. They stood in a place no other apostles or ministries can ever stand.
2. There are apostles today in the sense thatBarnabas and Paul were apostles.
a. In addition to calling Jesus Christ an Apostle, and the twelve apostles of the Lamb, the New Testament calls several others apostles:
1) Barnabas and Paul (Acts 14:14).
2) James the Lord’s brother (Gal 1:19).
3) Andronicus and Junia (Rom. 16:7).
4) Silvanus and Timotheus (iThess. 1:1; 2:6).
5) Apollos (iCor. 4:4-9)..
6) Two unnamed brethren (2 Cor. 8:23).*
7) Epaphroditus (Phil. 2:25).*
*The word translated “messenger” in these verses is the same Greek word translated “apostle” elsewhere.
3. Does the office of apostle exist today? Thank God, it does. Let’s go back to Ephesians 4.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended upon high, he led captivity
captive, and gave gifts unto men...
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some,
evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the
edifying of the body of Christ
13 Tifi we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the
Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fuiness of Christ.
a. If God has taken any of these ministries out of the list, the Bible should have told us that He gave them for just a little while.
b. ALL of these ministry gifts were given for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the Body of Christ. This includes apostles.
c. For how long did He give them? All of them were given Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ.”
K. What marks do we look for in an apostle today?
1. Outstanding spiritual gifts.
2. Deep personal experience.
3. Power and ability to establish churches.
4. Able to provide adequate spiritual leadership.
Comments: If God did call you to be an apostle, I wouldn’t bother about it. You won’t start out there anyway. Paul didn’t start out there. Acts 13:1 reads, Wow there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers; as Barnabas, and Simeon
and Lucius. . . and Manaen . . . and Saul.” Each of these men was either a prophet, or a teacher, or a prophet and a teacher (one can stand in more than one office). So Paul was, we know from study of the Scriptures, both a prophet and a teacher. Acts 14:14 calls him an apostle. He became an apostle.
Remember this: Don’t get taken up with names and titles. If I didn’t know what God called me to, I wouldn’t bother a minute about it.
If I sensed the call on the inside of me, I would just preach and teach and then let God eventually set me in the office He has for me.
Barnabas and Paul were not set in the office of apostle to begin with, but God eventually did set them there.
And also remember this: God rewards faithfulness. He doesn’t reward offices.
A prophet won’t receive any more reward in that day than a janitor who was faithful in his ministry of helps.
Higher offices do not receive any more reward; there is just a greater responsibility.
God rewards faithfulness!
The Ministry Gifts Pt3.doc
Peterson, Eugene H. The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language, Ro 1:5-6. Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2003.
The Holy Bible : New International Version, Ps 15:4. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.