Summary: God gives various ministries out to specific individuals to match their talents, but one ministry that is given for all to do is to share the gospel of grace with the whole world.
April 27, 2003
Text: Luke 9:1-6
Title: I’ve Got the Power in the Name of Jesus
Do you know that you are called to be ministers of the gospel of Christ? If you claim Jesus Christ as your Savior you have a ministry to do. Not all of you know what that ministry is yet, but there is a ministry for you. For some it is teaching. For some it is music. For some it may be administration. But there is a ministry for you. Some may not be as good at their ministry as others are, but it’s still yours.
An usher met an elderly lady at the back door of church and asked her, "Where would you like to sit?"
"On the front row." Was her reply?
"You don’t want to do that," the usher said, "The pastor is really boring."
"Do you know who I am?"
"I’m the pastor’s mother."
He asked her, "Do you know who I am?"
"No" came the reply.
We all have a ministry to do and not of our own choosing, but Jesus sends us out. Today we are going to look at the sending out of the twelve disciples to see what is there for us to learn about ministry.
I. The ministry of a disciple. (Verses 1-2) First of all notice this; The call is from Jesus. I Corinthians 1:1, "Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God..." People can’t just decide to do God’s work. They are called. Then you have to answer the call.The first thing you have to do is respond to God’s message of salvation. Look what happens when people try to do God?s work on their own. Acts 19:11-16, "Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul, so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them. Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, ’We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.’ Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, ’Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?’ Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowering them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." Unless we answer the call of God we can’t do the work of God. The power is from Jesus.
Whoever God calls He will empower. Acts 1:8, "But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you..." I Corinthians 2:4-5, "And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." That’s one of the problems with witnessing. We try to use convincing words. We tend to do it in our power. We do not allow the power of God to work in us. God wants to confirm His word with signs and wonders. That means He wants to
A. Confirm that the Word (logos;Jesus) is true.
B. Confirm that His word (logos;the Bible) is true.
C. Confirm that word to the inner man (rhema) is true.
Jesus gives us the authority to cast out demons. This is where spiritual gifts come into play.
Discernment. Not every person who makes poor choices in their lives is possessed. They can be demonically influenced or oppressed but not possessed.
There will be some, but you have to be sensitive to what the Spirit is revealing.
Test the spirits.
To cure diseases.
As an extension of Jesus’ ministry.
John 14:12, ’Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father." This is a way to draw attention to Christ. Jesus was always careful to see that people didn’t worship miracles, but the miracle worker, God. Every time He performed a miracle it opened a door for Him to preach the gospel. So if Jesus gives us authority to cast out demons and cure diseases He must have intended for that to lead into preaching.
Jesus calls us to preach the kingdom. To preach means simply to share the good news of Jesus Christ. It doesn’t have to be eloquent. Some of the best preaching is done outside of church. Sharing the gospel with a friend. Now when we talk about the Kingdom what do we mean? A realm of authority over which a king has reign. If we preach the kingdom, we must realize there is a King. Jesus told Pilate that, "my kingdom is not of this world." Yet he went around preaching that the kingdom of God was at hand.