A Minister of Jesus Christ
1 Timothy 4:6 If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.
Just what is a good minister of Jesus Christ? What are the qualities or qualifications of a minister? In this teaching I hope to explore some Bible basics concerning this subject. By the Holy Spirit, Apostle Paul covers the subject in-depth in the epistles 1-2 Timothy and Titus.
Let us see what the scriptures say.
A. God is the one who calls and sets into the offices.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Ephesians 4:11 And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
There are many who stand behind pulpits that were not called of God; their choice was more of a career decision then a call.
1. God anoints those He calls
Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Act 10:38 How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.
The anointing of the Holy Spirit is the enablement of God to fulfill Godís call.
B. Some things a good minister must do
1. Study to show self approved
2 Timothy 2:15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
Notice what the Apostles said:
Acts 6:4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.
A good minister of Jesus Christ must be an avid student of Godís word. He or she must have that quality time in prayer and study.
2 Timothy 4:2-4 Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all longsuffering and doctrine.
3 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
In order to do this, Godís servant must be rooted in Godís word.
We are to preach the word, if necessary we are to reprove, rebuke and exhort, with longsuffering and doctrine.
2. Have good Doctrine
The servant of the Lord must hold to good solid Christian doctrine and be able to correct others who may be in error.
1 Timothy 1:3-7 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;
7 Desiring to be teachers of the law; understanding neither what they say, nor whereof they affirm.
1 Timothy 4:7 But refuse profane and old wives' fables, and exercise thyself rather unto godliness.
1 Timothy 4:12-16 Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.
13 Till I come, give attendance to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine.
14 Neglect not the gift that is in thee, which was given thee by prophecy, with the laying on of the hands of the presbytery.
15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy profiting may appear to all.
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.
Titus 2:1 But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine:
1Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
2 Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;
In the times that we live, the basic doctrines of Christianity are under attack by not only the cults, and various religions of the world, but also some main line denominations are in stages of APOSTASY ( a falling away ). A falling away from the doctrines and principles that Christians through out the ages have embraced and held dear to.
Many have forsaken sound biblical teachings such as the Virgin birth, the Deity of Christ, His Second Coming, He is the only way to God, The Doctrine of Sin etc. and have replaced it with the philosophies of man.
Many seminaries have thrown out the Bible as the source of truth and teaching and have adopted the more acceptable philosophies of humanism. *Note (not all have)
Colossians 2:8 Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ.
2 Timothy 4:3-4 For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;
4 And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.
There are people who only want to hearthe bless me message, ďwhat is God going to give me.Ē Therefore they will seek out only those teachers that they want to hear. God forbid that someone would mention to them something concerning sin or personal discipline.
In many churches a God fearing Pastor who seeks a God given message will be voted out and replaced with a more suitable preacher, one who seeks to please the people instead of God.
It is vitally important that every Christian be rooted in good Christian doctrine, especially the basics, the foundational teachings. Every pastor should make this a priority.
Colossians 2:7 Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.
1 Peter 2:2 As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby:
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, [and] cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Many Christians have been tossed to and fro by the doctrines of the cults that go door to door in their efforts to convert people to their sects. They succeed because people donít know what they believe.
3. Be Consecrated
The word consecration means, to set apart for sacred purposes. Ones heart and mindset must be: My life belongs to God, for His purposes, to fulfill the call of God. God is Holy, so also is the call of God; therefore the servant of the Lord must maintain a holy lifestyle, which is a part of consecration.
2 Timothy 2:20-21 But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver; but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor and some to dishonor.
21 If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the Master's use, and prepared unto every good work.
2 Timothy 2:3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
Titus 1:8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake [as they were] moved by the Holy Ghost.
Matthew 10:24 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord.
4. Shun some things
2 Timothy 2:16 But shun profane and vain babblings: for they will increase unto more ungodliness.
2 Ti 2:23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
Titus 3:9 But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain.
Romans 16:17 Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them.
1 Timothy 6:3-5 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.
1 Timothy 6:6-11 But godliness with contentment is great gain.
7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.
8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.
9 But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.
10 For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
11 But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.
1Timothy 1:4 Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.
2 Timothy 2:22-23 Flee also youthful lusts: but follow righteousness, faith, charity, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
23 But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes.
5. Serve not for filthy lucre
1 Peter 5:2 Feed the flock of God which is among you, taking the oversight thereof not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind;
1 Timothy 3:3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
1 Timothy 3:8 Likewise [must] the deacons [be] grave, not double tongued, not given to much wine, not greedy of filthy lucre;
Titus 1:7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
6. Must be faithful
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ, and stewards of the mysteries of God.
2 Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful.
Faithfulness means to be trusted, reliable. Apostle Paul says in the above scripture that they were stewards of the mysteries of God; a steward is someone who has been entrusted to oversee or manage the affairs of someone else.
Paul says that it is required that a steward be found faithful. Noticed the word found, to be found faithful, comes by testing.
1 Timothy 1:12 And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry.
Before God will entrust us with the riches of his grace, he may find out just how faithful we are.
7. Obtain Credibility and Accountability
Proverbs 22:1 A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favour rather than silver and gold.
We all have heard the nursery rhyme story, of the boy who cried wolf; he lied so many times that when the wolf did appear, no one believed him: the boy lost his credibility.
The word credibility means capable of being believed. Without credibility a person will accomplish little in the kingdom of God. We gain credibility, as our ministry is proven to be authentic, scriptural sound, and we are faithful in the things of God. Having a home church, with a Pastor and Elders adds to credibility.
Acts 9:26-27 And when Saul was come to Jerusalem, he assayed to join himself to the disciples: but they were all afraid of him, and believed not that he was a disciple.
27 But Barnabas took him, and brought him to the apostles, and declared unto them how he had seen the Lord in the way, and that he had spoken to him, and how he had preached boldly at Damascus in the name of Jesus.
Paul had persecuted the church before his conversion and had no credibility with Christians up to this point. After Barnabas spoke up for Paul, the disciples began to accept him.
Accountability means the quality of being answerable. The servants of the Lord are accountable to the Lord and to the church.
To the Lord
Romans14:12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God.
Luke12:48 But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more.
Luke19:15 And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.
2 Corinthians 5:10 For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.
1 Corinthians 3:13-15 Every man's work shall be made manifest: for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work of what sort it is.
14 If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward.
15 If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss: but he himself shall be saved; yet so as by fire.
To the Church
Acts 11:1-18 Vs.4 But Peter rehearsed the matter from the beginning, and expounded it by order unto them..
Acts 21:18-19 And the day following Paul went in with us unto James; and all the elders were present.
19 And when he had saluted them, he declared particularly what things God had wrought among the Gentiles by his ministry.
Being answerable to others, provides the checks and balances that we all need.
1 Corinthians 14:29 Let the prophets speak two or three. and let the other judge.
Galatians 2:11 But when Peter was come to Antioch, I withstood him to the face, because he was to be blamed.
It doesnít matter who a person is, because of the flesh, a person can miss it. The scriptures say in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Lone rangers can get into trouble without checks and balances.
Accountability adds to Credibility
8. Show no partiality
1Timothy 5:21 I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, and the elect angels, that thou observe these things without preferring one before another, doing nothing by partiality.
James 2:1-4 My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, [the Lord] of glory, with respect of persons.
2 For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;
3 And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:
4 Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?
* In many churches there is a central core. This core is usually composed of people that have been with the church from it's founding and are usually the pillars of the church. The problem with this inner circle is that it can become a clique and the problem of partiality is soon evident. Partiality is show in all sorts of ways, judgments , helps etc.
9. Serve and not be served
John 13:3-7 Jesus knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that he was come from God, and went to God;
4 He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.
5 After that he poureth water into a bason, and began to wash the disciplesí feet, and to wipe [them] with the towel wherewith he was girded.
6 Then cometh he to Simon Peter: and Peter saith unto him, Lord, dost thou wash my feet?
7 Jesus answered and said unto him, What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.
Luke 22:26-27 But ye shall not be so: but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve.
27 For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? But I am among you as he that serveth.
Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant.
Luke 6:40 The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.
10. Qualifications for Bishops Ė Pastors - Elders
1Timothy 3:1-7 This is a true saying, If a man desire the office of a bishop, he desireth a good work.
2 A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach;
3 Not given to wine, no striker, not greedy of filthy lucre; but patient, not a brawler, not covetous;
4 One that ruleth well his own house, having his children in subjection with all gravity;
5 For if a man know not how to rule his own house, how shall he take care of the church of God?
6 Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride he fall into the condemnation of the devil.
7 Moreover he must have a good report of them which are without; lest he fall into reproach and the snare of the devil.
Titus 1:5-8 For this cause left I thee in Crete, that thou shouldest set in order the things that are wanting, and ordain elders in every city, as I had appointed thee:
6 If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly.
7 For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not selfwilled, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre;
8 But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate;
9 Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
For more info, see my Study Course - The Calling Of God
In Christ's Service