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Summary: How can we become effective ministers of Christ? How can we become an effective church? - As far as ministry is concerned, Apostle Paul is one of the most effective Ministers to emulate.

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EFFECTIVE MINISTERS

Study Text: Colossians 1:24-29

Introduction:

- How can we become effective ministers of Christ? How can we become an effective church?

- As far as ministry is concerned, Apostle Paul is one of the most effective Ministers to emulate.

- In many ways, by the grace of God, Paul was able to reach not only Jews but also much of the Gentile world.

- He became an approved scriptural role model in our living and our working for Christ. 1 Corinthians 11:1; Philippians 3:17

- Paul is a model, and his ministry should be our constant study. In this lesson, we will discuss effective ministers by studying Paul’s ministry to the Colossian church, under three sub-headings.

1. The Commissioning of Effective Ministers

2. The Characteristics of Effective Ministers

3. The Commitment of Effective Ministers

1. The Commissioning of Effective Ministers

i. A Call unto Salvation:

- According to the Bible the Lord "calls" or summons people to do certain things. In a general sense God calls all men to receive the salvation and redemption that can be found only in His Son Jesus Christ [Rom. 8:30; 1Cor. 1:9; 1Thes. 2:12].

- This calling is more than just an invitation, though, it is a command [Acts 17:30]. Thus God calls and commands all men everywhere to repent and receive Christ. Though this calling is for all men, it is a call to the individual.

- God personally and individually invites and commands each individual to partake of the blessings of His redemption. This call is given outwardly by the gospel [2Thes. 2:14] and inwardly by the Holy Spirit [Rev. 22:17].

- Those who refuse God's gracious call will be eternally held accountable for their refusal [John 12:48].

ii. A Call unto Sanctification:

- After one has answered the call to salvation and received Christ, God calls him to other callings which are affect a believer’s attitude and conduct. This is generally known as a call unto sanctification.

- This call include a call to "fellowship with Christ" [1Cor. 1:9], to "holiness" [1Thes. 4:7], to "liberty" [Gal. 5:13], to "peace" [1Cor. 7:15], and to "virtue" [2Pet. 1:3].

- Believers are to "walk worthy" of the calling they have received [Eph. 4:1].

iii. A Call unto Service:

- But there is still another calling that is even more personal than the moral callings. It is God's call to the individual believer for a specific ministry.

- A call from God into a ministry is a high and heavenly calling [Phil. 3:14] which, unfortunately, is taken lightly by some ministers today [if they are truly called].

- Paul was called to be an "apostle," "preacher," and "teacher" of the Gentiles [Rom. 1:1; 1Tim.], and he never lost sight of his calling. He actively engaged in his ministry until his death.

- This call unto service is only meaningful and meant for those who had previously and effectively answered the call unto salvation and the call unto sanctification.

- For many believers one of the most difficult and elusive things they ever encounter is determining the will of God for their life.

- Others seem to know the path God would have them travel, but hesitate to follow it.

- And a small minority of others quickly determine the will of God for them and immediately follow it.

- Once God calls a person for a ministry he must enable him for service. When a brother surrenders to the call he is not instantly prepared for the ministry.

- Before Paul was actually placed into a full ministry he spent three years in training and instruction [Gal. 1:18]. Once God found him faithful in this, He put him into the ministry.

- Every minister must learn the Bible and God's ways before he can be fully effective in God's service.

- Contrary to popular belief attending a Bible school does not guarantee one is ready for a ministry. For some a Bible school may be the best avenue to take.

- For others it may be being under the tutelage of a more experienced minister. And some others may learn a considerable amount by reading and studying on their own.

2. The Characteristics of Effective Ministers

i. Effective Ministers Are Willing To Suffer For The Church

“Now I rejoice in what was suffered for you, and I fill up in my flesh what is still lacking in regard to Christ’s afflictions, for the sake of his body, which is the church” (Col.1:24).

- Christ said this to his disciples in John 15:20: “‘No servant is greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also.”

- Christians suffer the persecution that their master would if he was still on the earth. The more our life models his, the more we will receive the same animosity he did.

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