Christ is the message. Him we preach.  We have seen so far in this series that there is only one message, it is Christ and Him crucified. It is the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow . There may be different  topics but same message. Click here to read part 1, part 2, and part 3 of this series if you have not read it.
In this part, we will be considering what  it means to be a minister of Christ. First WHO IS A MINISTER ? A minister is one who executes the commands of another, especially of a master, he is a servant or  attendant. A minister renders service that is, he serves what is delivered to him. If  in an occasion an attendant  is serving food, he can not serve  anything else except what is given him . If he does, he has failed. Imagine you went for an occasion and was given bitter cola instead of the garden egg given  to the attendants. The relevance  of a minister is in delivering the EXACT content he is told to deliver.  Therefore, ministry is in the message . There is no ministry or  service without the content of what is being served.
In Christ we are all ministers. We have being given an assignment. The acceptance of Jesus as your Lord is a call to service.
2 Corinthians 5
17  Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. note
18  And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;
19  To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. note
20  Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God.
21  For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
When a man is in Christ he becomes  a new creature. He is to keep beholding the new things that he has got, not knowing himself after the flesh.  verse 18 downwards explains what happens at salvation. We are reconciled to God by Jesus. Reconciliation as used here has to do with an exchange. Christ became our sin sacrifice so we can be accepted before God. The sin virus that Adam introduced was dealt with so we can have God’s righteousness.
Notice verse 18 says he gave us THE MINISTRY OF RECONCILIATION.  When you are saved, you have a work to bring dead men to life by preaching the gospel. Notice He didn't give us a service without giving the content. Verse 19 explains this.
We are given a message of reconciliation. This reconciliation is in God not imputing sin on people. We are sent to tell the world that God is not counting their sins on them because Christ  has become their sin sacrifice. Any thing outside this is not ministry. Never forget that responsibility in ministry is in delivering the EXACT message you were given.
As ministers, we are to serve Christ to people. We are not to serve traditions of men, we are not to serve culture, we are not to serve what we like or what is reigning. We serve only the knowledge of Christ  to people just like the disciples did.
Acts 5 :  42  And daily in the temple, and in every house, they ceased not to teach and preach Jesus Christ.
But man of  God if all Christians are  ministers, what of pastors, evangelist, prophet and apostles? Does it mean every Christian is called  to these offices ? No.  See Ephesians 4 :  11-14.
In Ephesians 4, you will notice He GAVE SOME as gifts to all. The essence of God giving these gifts is for the complete furnishing of the saints so they can do the work of ministry. Every believer is a minister . Among the ministers we now have some persons graced to train the rest on how to deliver The message.  The scope of these ministry gifts is the knowledge of Christ. Emphasis again on the message. It is that message of Christ that the five offices ought to feed the saints with.
Many times people seemto place less emphasis on doctrine.  Now that we have seen that ministry is in the message and that There IS NO MINISTRY without the MESSAGE, it is very relevant that every minister gives attention to doctrine/teaching of Christ. When you look  at the pastoral epistles,  first and second Timothy  and Titus,  you will see a lot of admonitions on doctrine. This is because these books are written to pastors. A minister’s meeting ought to be a meeting where people are trained on competence in the message of Christ. Let’s look at some of these admonitions in the pastoral epistles.
1 Timothy 1
3  As I besought thee to abide still at Ephesus, when I went into Macedonia, that thou mightest charge some that they teach no other doctrine,
4  Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
5  Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:
6  From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling; note
7  Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
8  But we know that the law is good, if a man use it lawfully;
9  Knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers,
10  For whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;
11  According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust.
The book of Timothy started with an admonition on doctrine. Paul told Timothy to charge people not to teach any other doctrine. We explained this in part 3 of this series, that it is ONE MESSAGE, though there may be different topics and emphasis. Also that they should not be given to stories and endless tracing of genealogies.
Notice from  verse 6, Paul  spoke  of vain jangling which is empty talk. Those who teach the law are not in the message. This is because according to the glorious gospel the law is not for a righteous man. In Christ, the teaching of the law that has been done away with is irrelevant. Many times ministers feel that until you 'hammer' people with laws they can’t live Right. This is not true. Rather the law is the strength of sin. Romans 3 :19 -24.
Verse 10 of 1 Timothy 1 clearly states that the law is contrary to sound doctrine. We are not servers of the law but servers of Christ. Remember ministry is service. You cannot serve anything outside what you were given to serve.
1Ti 4:13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
We see that Paul admonished minister Timothy to give attention to reading, exhortation and doctrine. The word use for reading means to read and read again. It has to do with paying attention to words until it is clear. As a minister, never forget that YOUR ONLY RELEVANCE IS IN WHAT YOU PREACH. In fact that is why you are a minister. You are not a Minister to do comedy, to dance, to do motivational meetings, to organize cultural and suya services, to serve as love coach, to be calling down fire and killing people. All these things are not why you are a Minister. If they must be done (in exception of killing people which is a work of the flesh ) , they should never replace the assignment, the message. They can only serve as additions, never replacing the time for doctrine. Imagine a typical business man having a busy week hearing and doing business goes to church on Sunday only for him to start  hearing a series on business instead of hearing the word and being refreshed in the Holy Ghost. That is a misplaced priority for the Minster in charge. The question people fail to answer is who becomes  A business guru from learning business in church ? What then are business schools meant for ? Sharing the gospel of Christ?  No. Who becomes a medical doctor by hearing health talk in church?  No one. All these are very important  but because they can be gotten outside, we must pay attention to the primary assignment. Remember that YOU ARE A MINISTER ONLY BECAUSE YOU WERE GIVEN A MESSAGE TO DELIVER. The church is a pillar and ground of truth. 1 Timothy 3:  15  But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth.
Paul also gave Timothy similar admonition to take heed to himself and his doctrine (teaching).
1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee
Notice the importance is to save oneself and one’s hearers. One major reason a minister must be given to teaching Christ is for the sake of his audience. Know that people are listening to you. Not just people, those that were purchased by the blood of Jesus. It should be with dread that you speak to them. There is a holy reverence in speaking to those bought of God. This should drive you to STUDY and be exact in what you say, not preaching what you like.  Acts 20:28  28  Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.
Dear believer and overseer of believers, you must realise that you were given a message. You must be competent in this message. Ministry is in preaching this message. Every other thing is secondary. In fact one major qualification of an overseer  is that he must be apt to teach. This means he must be trained to teach.  1 Timothy 3:2.
Doctrine is so important that it is one major reason for maintaining good works. Paul in 1 Timothy 6 admonishes servants to be obedient to their masters so that the name of God and the doctrine of  Christ be not blasphemed.
In the same chapter, we see a warning against preaching  gain as godliness.
1 Timothy 6
3  If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness;
4  He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings.
5  Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself.
6  But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7  For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
There are some who teach that gain is godliness. This means the number of worldly things like cars, houses , planes you have is a proof that you are godly. Many people have been so deceived that they can go for impartation from a 'dead' man who is not born again because the person has money. Worldly things are good, but should never be our source of joy. This gain is godliness message is  a major cause of pressure among ministers. Some people  believe that you are making it in ministry when you have many cars. People  will rejoice more for a contract of one million over five souls that were saved and filled with the spirit. That is  deception. Paul admonishes us to WITHDRAW FROM SUCH PEOPLE.  Man is a product of influence. If you keep listening to such ambitious men in ministry, you won’t know when you become like them.  Ministry is not for any personal ambition. Remember that YOU ARE A MINISTER, A SERVANT. You were given a message. You cannot promote yourself. You promote Christ. You are not in ministry to MAKE IT but  To MAKE HIM KNOWN. This should forever be your desire. Learn to abase and abound for godliness with contentment is great gain.
Ministry is primarily in preaching.  Dear believer be given to preaching and teaching the message.
2 Timothy 4: 2  Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
Even in the great commission, we are told to make disciples by teaching all men not by drama, comedy  or other activities. Matthew 28:19-20, Mark 16:15-20. Those things are important but should never replace the message. ARE YOU A MINISTER ? Yes. Then you must preach. But what if I am a drama minister?  Ensure you are preaching.  What if am an usher. Preach. Ministry is in preaching. Talk to people anywhere you find yourself about the message of Christ. This is what makes you a minister of Christ.  We preach to unbelievers to get them saved. We preach to believers to equip them so they can realise who they are and what they have In Christ.  This will make them mature and live in the fullness of Christ.
In summary, we can boldly say any man not preaching Christ is not doing ministry.Ministry is in serving or delivering the message of Christ which was committed to our trust. We cannot afford to add to it. We cannot afford to lay another foundation. We can not afford to preach ourselves. We build on this foundation which is Christ. Please read 1 Corinthians 3:9-15. In the next part of the series we will further investigate the message to see that it is beyond results . Watch out for it.

A generation has risen. It is a generation that preaches Christ. For your relevance in this generation will be only  to the degree you are preaching Christ. We are lifting up the banner of Jesus, spreading the knowledge of Christ to every corner on this earth. It is the dawning of vibrant ministers with the message and the miraculous. Hallelujah.


THE MESSAGE PART 4. MINISTRY IS IN THE MESSAGE THE MESSAGE PART 4. MINISTRY IS IN THE MESSAGE Reviewed by Emeke Modesty Obiazikwor on December 13, 2018 Rating: 5

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