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Summary: God saved us by His grace and has a wonderful ministry for each of our lives. The Bible says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Praise God, we all have a mi

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God saved us by His grace and has a wonderful ministry for each of our lives. The Bible says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them." Praise God, we all have a ministry unto good works and it is all part of God’s wonderful plan for our Christian life.

In Part 1 of this message, we examined the "what we are to do" or our responsibilities as a Christian. In part 2, I’d like to go one step further and examine "how we are to do it." In other words, now that we know "what we are to do" to meet our challenge as a Christian, "how are we to do it"? Once again the answer is in God’s Holy Word. Listen to this wonderful challenge given us in 2 Timothy 4:5-8 concerning the fulfillment of our ministry:

"5. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry. 6. For I am already being poured as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come. 7. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith; 8. In the future there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day; and not only to me, but also to all who have loved His appearing."

First, to meet our challenge as a Christian, we must BE STEADY. Notice Paul’s words in verse 5: "5. But you, be sober in all things...” Paul says, in essence, be consistent, do not be up one day and down the next, do not be off and on in your Christian commitment. Steadiness (soberness) always comes from a firm base. Here the apostle is exhorting Timothy to rest upon that firm foundation which will result in a consistent, steady life amidst all the pressures and the countering forces of any day or age. Paul earlier exhorted Timothy to "be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus." This raises the question: What is your base? I think we have to ask ourselves every day whether we are resting upon that firm foundation. Do we have fellowship with the Lord? Are we in communication with him in prayer? Are we learning more of his mind and thinking through His Word? Are we saturating our thoughts with his thoughts so He might impart to us the wisdom and power we need to live today? That’s what it means to be steady.

Second, to meet our challenge as a Christian, we must ENDURE SUFFERING. Notice Paul’s words again in verse 5: "But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship....." Paul had already exhorted Timothy to "endure hardness as a good soldier of Christ Jesus." (2 Tim. 2:3) All those who seek to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. The reason, of course, is that Christianity is a counter-culture movement; it is against the trend of the day and the spirit of the age. If we are going to live in faithfulness to what we believe, then we will experience some rejections, some difficulties, some pressure, and even some persecution.

Third, to meet our challenge as a Christian, we must DO THE WORK OF AN EVANGELIST. Notice Paul’s words again in verse 5: "5. But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist..." This does not imply that all pastors must have the gift of evangelism but it does imply all pastors and Christians must do the "work" of an evangelist. All the gifts God has given to the Body of Christ must ultimately be directed to the world as well as to the church. The church is in this world in order to teach it the truth about life and about God, and to offer to the world the good news about forgiveness and healing in Jesus’ name. That is the work of the

church--to reach the world. That is not necessarily the gift of an evangelist, but it is doing the work of an evangelist, using the gifts that we have. This is the thought that Paul is relating to Timothy.

Fourth, to meet our challenge as a Christian, we must FULFILL OUR MINISTRY. Notice Paul’s words again in verse 5: "But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry." Paul means, do not quit until the end, keep on until you have done all that the Lord has sent you to do. When you have reached that time when the Lord takes you home; that is the end of your ministry.

The message is clear: we have a ministry until we die. Our ministry is to be a Christian, to live as a Christian, to walk and talk as a Christian wherever we are, whatever we do. Paul said it best in Acts 20:24: "I do not account my life of any value nor as precious to myself, if only I may accomplish my cause and fulfill the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God." Anyone can look well for a while, but it is those who endure to the end, those who manifest the basic change of their hearts that they are born again, who have possessed the life of Jesus.

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