Summary: What are God's expectations for His man? What are we supposed to do and to be? And what's this?...oh yeah, all God's people are to be ministers like this! Link inc. to formatted text, audio, PowerPoint.
The Minister's List
Here's a list God gave for ministers -- what is expected of us, physically, mentally, and spiritually. How we should behave and what we should do and not do. Now, before you get too excited to watch me go thru this passage, let me point out that right from the top in v. 1 God says that we're all ministers, and He's talking to you tonite!
We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain [2Cor. 6:1].
You will notice in your Bible that "with him" is in italics, which means that these two words have been supplied by the translators. It should be "We then, as workers together."
There is a line that needs to be rubbed out, and that is the line between the clergy and laity. God gives a gift to each member of the body of Christ. There ought not to be the distinction between the pulpit and the pew that we make today. We are all workers together. If you are one who sits in the pew, may I say that you are as responsible to give out the word of God as I am. I have been given the gifts of prophecy and teaching. You may be a bank president or the president of a large corporation, a truck driver, a housewife, but you are responsible today to get out the Word of God.
"Shepherds do not produce sheep. Sheep produce sheep."
You see, many people think it is the business of the evangelist and the preacher to win people for Christ. May I say to you that it is your business. God has given teachers and preachers and evangelists and missionaries to prepare the body of believers so that those who are sitting in the pews might be equipped for their ministry of going out to witness for Christ. The shepherd doesn't produce the sheep. He feeds the sheep and he watches over the sheep. He shepherds the sheep, but he doesn't produce sheep. He can't. The sheep produce sheep.
What are you doing today to get the Word of God out to others? You can do something that I cannot do and that no preacher in the country can do. There are some people who have confidence in you. They will listen to you but they won't listen to a preacher -- unless you encourage them to listen. Some here don't feel they can talk to someone but they do something, they send them links to sermons and let me speak to them on their behalf. That is the least we can do!
Then Paul says, "We... beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain." How can one receive the grace of God in vain? God has been showering His goodness and mercy on us. To receive His great goodness and to rejoice in the salvation of the grace of God and yet to live carnal, worldly lives is what it means to receive the grace of God in vain.
(For he saith, I have heard thee in a time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation.) [2Cor. 6:2].
"Have I succoured thee" means I have helped you.
Many people say, "Well, I won't accept Christ now. I will do it some other time." They postpone it. Now I don't know who you are or where you are right now, but if you are not saved, "now is the accepted time." Look at your clock. Whatever time it is right now is the time for you. Somebody will ask, "Can't I accept Him tomorrow?" Probably, but you have no promise of a tomorrow. The important thing is that God says the time is right now.
Now, the following passage is for all the ministers present. Raise your hand if you are a minister of God. Shouldn't all the hands be up?
Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed [2Cor. 6:3].
We need to be very careful about personal behavior. We are to give no offense in anything. An offense here doesn't mean hurting people's feelings. I don't think anyone can serve in the church today without hurting the feelings of someone. Some folk are there for no other purpose than to get their feelings hurt. You have heard the old saying about carrying your feelings on your sleeve. Well, a lot of the saints do just that. Dr. Harry Ironside put it something like this: If you don't shake hands with them, they feel you intended to slight them. If you do shake hands with them, you hurt their arthritis. If you stop to speak with them, you are interrupting them. But if you do not, you are a little snooty. If you write them a letter, they know you are after their money. If you do not write, then you are neglecting them. If you stop to visit them you hinder them from their work and bother them, but if you do not visit them, it shows you have no interest in them.