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Summary: Paul speaks of his ministry in Christ and what it deals with. 1- Ministry is a matter of believing in others 2- Ministry uses the avenue of writing 3- Ministry always points to Christ

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INTRO.- Romans 15:15-16 “I have written you quite boldly on some points, as if to remind you of them again, because of the grace God gave me to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles...” Paul was a minister of Christ Jesus but not many men are interested today in becoming a minister in any church for any reason. I WONDER WHY?!

ILL.- Church members are sometimes hard pressed to say something to their preacher after the service. Here are some words that people have said to their preacher at the close of the service:

- "You always manage to find something to fill up the time."

- "I don't care what they say, I like your sermons."

- "If I'd known you were going to be good today I'd have brought a neighbor."

- "Did you know there are 243 panes of glass in the windows?"

- "We shouldn't make you preach so often."

I’ve had some different verbal responses at times to my sermons but none like these! I believe if I ever heard some of these I would be tempted to quit the preaching ministry.

ILL.- Martin Luther gave ten qualifications for the minister:

(1) He should be able to teach plainly and in order.

(2) He should have a good head.

(3) Good power of language.

(4) A good voice.

(5) A good memory.

(6) He should know when to stop.

(7) He should be sure of what he means to say.

(8) And be ready to stake body and soul, goods and reputation on its truth.

(9) He should study diligently.

(10) And suffer himself to be criticized by everyone.

Whoa! They sure didn’t tell me these things when I was in Bible College! If they had I might have decided to do something else instead of the preaching ministry. I do recall that when I was in Bible College that a verse of scripture was given to make us think before we made a commitment to enter the preaching ministry. Care to guess what scripture?

James 3:1 “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

Do you believe this? And how do you feel about it? Does it make you want to think twice before teaching Sunday School or a Bible class in any form? And how should this affect someone who wants to enter the preaching ministry?

Now, how do you think you would have responded to the apostle Paul’s ministry and preaching?

PROP.- Paul speaks of his ministry in Christ and what it deals with.

1- Ministry is a matter of believing in others

2- Ministry uses the avenue of writing

3- Ministry always points to Christ

I. MINISTRY IS A MATTER OF BELIEVING IN OTHERS

14 I myself am convinced, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, complete in knowledge and competent to instruct one another.

These words sound like Paul believed in his Christian brothers and sisters. He had faith in them. If a preacher doesn’t believe in people (Christian or non-Christian) then he or she won’t have much of a ministry or effect on others.

ILL.- Jay Craig is the Stewardship Director (31 years) with the Shiloh Christian Children’s Ranch in Shelbina, MO. The home opened in 1977 and has grown ever since. They now have six homes for abused or neglected children. Jay wrote recently on facebook: Recently, Marge and I traveled to Columbia, MO to shop at the mall there. While she shopped, I spent time in Barnes & Nobles, browsing. After finding a suitable book to buy, I went to the coffee bar register to pay. The other registers in the store had lines. The barista was probably a college student who wore a Jewish skull cap.

The off-centered cap looked home made, and was affixed to his hair with large bobbie pins. I greeted him with a "shalom", which he returned. "With which Jewish denomination are you affiliated", I asked. "Oh, I don't belong to any denomination, I'm just Jewish", he informed. "Well, which denomination would you most closely resemble if you did affiliate with a Jewish group, then?" "Oh, none of them, I'm just Jewish."

His flustered inquirer, (me), finished with, "Well, in what Jewish denomination were you raised, then?" "None of them, I was raised Catholic", he laughed.

I appreciate Jay’s interest in people. I appreciate the fact that he was interested enough to speak to start a conversation with that young Jewish man. Most of us probably wouldn’t have started a conversation. We would have paid for our book and left.

I Peter 3:15 “But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect.”

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