Part 16

The Tools of God‑given Ministries

We continue to look at how God equips us to take our place in the Body of Christ. We’ve already seen that, in fact, this equipment comes through the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.

The same is said in Acts 1:8, just before Jesus was taken up to heaven and they saw Him no longer with their natural eyes there on the Mount of Olives. His last words to them were:

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.”

Notice, they were not to go out even though they had the story to tell. They were not to go out and tell it until they also had the equipment that was needed to go with their ministry. In Hebrews 2:3–4, the writer of this epistle again speaks about the equipment that God has provided for His people:

How shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation? After it was at the first spoken through the Lord, it was confirmed to us by those who heard, God also bearing witness with them, both by signs and wonders and by various miracles and by gifts of the Holy Spirit according to His own will.

Notice it’s the will of God that the testimony of Jesus and the message of the gospel be accompanied by the gifts of the Holy Spirit. This is God’s will. We are not to think of spiritual gifts as toys but rather as tools. And, without the tools, we’re not equipped to do our job, to fulfill our function.

Another point, and this is my last, in order to be equipped we need the help of God‑given ministries. Paul makes this clear in Ephesians 4:11–12:

And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of service....

Notice again, it’s God’s will that His people be equipped for the job that they have to do but has put in the body certain main ministries whose responsibility it is to equip God’s people. That’s another reason why it’s so important to be in the body because only in the body can you receive the benefit of these ministries which are to equip you for your work of service. So we need equipment.

Now, at the close of this series I’m just going to recapitulate the five steps that you need to take to find God’s plan for your life. First, you need to become a new creation in Jesus Christ. Second, you need to present your body as a living sacrifice on God’s altar. Third, you have to be renewed in your mind, you have to think differently—different values, standards, purposes, objectives. The old, unrenewed mind is at war with God and can never find the will of God. Fourth, your renewed mind will lead you to your place in the body, just like radar brings the airplane down on the runway. And fifth, when you find your place in the body, you have to be suitably equipped with the supernatural equipment that the Holy Spirit makes available to us. And this equipment also comes to us through the ministries that God has set in His body.

Dear Father, thank You for the ministries You have given to Your Body. Help me to discern and respect these ministries. Give me a humble and discerning heart, to fully benefit from these ministries. I want to take my place in the Body, and I thank You that You have a special place for me! In Jesus’ Name, amen!

 

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