Ministries of the Servant of Christ tells us that each Christian was called to be servants of Christ. Not necessarily as pastors or elders, but serving God is definitely one of the things that we are to do. Therefore, it is also necessary that we are to do the ministries of servants of Christ. This sermon is taken from 2 Corinthians 4:1-6.
Today, we will be talking about the ministries of the servant of Christ. This list of ministries should be common to all Christians, and not just intended for Church leaders. This will remind us that we need to live out a life worthy of our calling.
But let us define first the word “ministry”. What is ministry? Ministry is the work of Christ.
Renouncing secret and shameful ways (v.2)
Renouncing means giving up, or turning away from. And this is the main idea that Apostle Paul wants to emphasize in this part of the passage. To turn away from “secret and shameful ways”. One of the ministries of the apostles is to correct what the secret and shameful ways.
This is not only true with the ministry of the apostles; the same is true to each one of us. We are supposed to renounce every secret and shameful ways that we are doing. We need to turn our backs from them. In reality, the hardest sins to turn away to are what are being done in secrets. It is because we tend to forget that there is someone who sees us.
Matthew 10:26 “Do not be afraid of them, for nothing is hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing is secret that will not be made known.”
Ephesians 5:11-12 “Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but rather expose them. For the things they do in secret are shameful even to mention.”
The only valid things that have to be done in secrets are those things that can ignite self righteousness and pride. Matthew 6:1-4 “1 “Be1 careful not to display your righteousness merely to be seen by people.2 Otherwise you have no reward with your Father in heaven. 2 Thus whenever you do charitable giving,1 do not blow a trumpet before you, as the hypocrites do in synagogues2 and on streets so that people will praise them. I tell you the truth,3 they have their reward. 3 But when you do your giving, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, 4 so that your gift may be in secret. And your Father, who sees in secret, will reward you.
Does not deceive anybody (v.2)
Everyone is always encouraged to be honest with others in all things. In business, in transactions, and all other dealings with others, we have to be honest in all things that we do. In our passage, the context is all about teaching the word of God. And the same thing is applicable; we are to teach the word of truth not deceiving anyone just to be a part of our group.
Our world today has thousands of religious groups. In Christian groups alone, there could probably hundreds of different subgroups of denominations. But many of these Christian groups have been deceiving people so that they will be entering their group. Some made their own booklet to give power for their doctrines and claim that what is in the booklet was taken from the Bible, though the fact is; only half of it was taken from the Bible.
Some other religious leader is claiming to be the new Messiah of this generation, the new Jesus that comes from the East. However, the Bible warned us about these false claims. Galatians 1:6-8 “6 I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one1 who called you by the grace of Christ2 and are following3 a different4 gospel –7 not that there really is another gospel,1 but2 there are some who are disturbing you and wanting3 to distort the gospel of Christ. 8 But even if we (or an angel from heaven) should preach1 a gospel contrary to the one we preached to you,2 let him be condemned to hell!”
Note that these people who preached a different gospel and deceive many will never claim that he is a deceiver. He will never admit that he made up all these things in the way he believes in them and not in accordance to what the Bible is saying. Furthermore, we have to be reminded that some people will as they are looking for justification for their sins, they will always believe only on things that they want to believe. This then will lead to the next ministry of a servant of Christ.
Does not distort God’s word (v.2)
A true servant of Christ does not distort God’s word. Some false teachers can easily be identified because they are trying to prove themselves in way apart from the Bible. But there were some false teachers that are hard to detect, it is because they also use the Bible. And if a Christian is not so careful in studying and listening to what he is saying, many Christians fell into their deceitful schemes, because after all they are using the Bible.
This is why we also need to be very careful in listening to other people, to whether or not they are not twisting the word of truth. For example, some people are saying that there is really no need to go and evangelize because if God really saves these people they will be saved no matter what happens.
And indeed, it is Biblical that God chooses his people, whom He predestined. But on the other hand, it is also Biblical that Jesus Christ himself told his disciples to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Furthermore, it is also Biblical that one of the gifts that God gave is the gift of evangelism.
Another example that we can get is the belief that God is omnipresent; therefore he is present in you and in me. Thus, we can say to one another; “hello Jesus”, “good morning Jesus”. What this teaching misses is that yes, God is present anywhere, but God is not everything. Such teaching is an upgrade to “pantheism”.
Another good example of distorting the Scriptures is that, some people claims that God will also save the homosexual. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son that whoever believes in Him will not perish and have everlasting life.” And they claim to believe in the begotten Son, and so they can also have salvation. Furthermore, there is no one to be blame than God himself because he created all creatures and part of the creation was homosexuals.
The truth however is that, God gave salvation to those who have faith in Him that is being manifested through actions. And Apostle Paul made an emphasis concerning the wicked reality about homosexuality in Romans 1. And most of all, the Bible has been very clear that God only made two sexes, man and woman in the book of Genesis 1 and 2.
Proving oneself of high integrity (v.2)
It is very important that God’s servants are proving oneself of high integrity. Now this is not only true to pastors and preachers, nor to servant leaders but also to the whole community of God, for we are all supposed to be servants of God.
Integrity lies on the things that we profess accompanied by our actions. We profess that we have received God’s salvation, and then we are supposed to act as to have it received. 2 Corinthians 5:17 “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation, the old has gone, the new has come.”
2 Timothy 2:15 “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.” Jumping to verse 22, “Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace along with those who call on the Lord out of pure heart.”
Ephesians 4:1 “As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” Brethrens, it is very important that we are to live a kind of life that is worthy of our calling. Jesus called us from the darkness, when we are yet dead to sin. And through Christ, we have been made alive spiritually.
This point simply tells us to live out our good testimony in Christ so that the gospel of Christ will become true in us.
Unveiling the gospel of truth (v.3)
In the third point we talked about not twisting the word of truth. Now this point tells us to unveil the gospel of truth. The gospel that has been recorded in the Bible, the gospel that we “originally” received from Christ, and not from the traditions of men.
This is how we treat the gospel, it is to unveil, and exposing it, allowing the world to see what was in it. Believe me or not, there are lots of people who just wait there that someone will be telling them the truth using the Bible. They are just waiting there for someone who can expose to them the mystery that has been in their minds about the reality of Christ.
Please note that it is not our old nature that we are going to unveil. It is not the secrets of others that we are going to unveil, it is not a false teaching, it is not something that came out of our personal desire, but it is the gospel of truth. It is what was written in the Bible.
When someone asked us about God, we tell them what was in the Bible, and not what we personally believe. The problem of sharing our personal beliefs is the danger of falling out on telling people our personal opinions, rather than the truths of God.
This is very true in some gray areas of the Bible where God put some standards. We have to understand that the Bible only covered a small portion of specific incidents of sin, where there can be hundred scenarios. Now if we will only share what we personally believes other than what the Bible says, it gives loopholes for finding exemptions for that sin. Thus, personal justification of sin is born.
It should be the truth that we need to unveil and not our personal opinions. By nature, when a person committed a sin and have come to his senses where he thinks that it was probably wrong, yet he is not ready to abandon that sin, he will try to look for approval of others that he will feel a little better from the conviction of sin. But reality remains; the Bible should not be twisted nor be used for the justification of on-going sin.
Preaching Christ (v.5)
We are to preach Christ. As we have discussed so far, concerning God’s word, we are not to distort the gospel, we are to unveil the truth, and we are not to deceive anyone by deceitful schemes. It is very important therefore to be very careful in preaching Christ.
I do admire people who preach Christ and his gospel even if they were not pastors. And this should be the way for each one of us. Believe me; you don’t have to be pastors to be able to preach Christ. You don’t have to be seminary graduates to preach the gospel because if seminary is the requirement of preaching the gospel, then the Apostles of Christ themselves will fall short of that requirement.
But what do we need in order for us to become preachers of Christ? First, we need to live out our testimony. Our testimony is very important for our credibility to tell the truth. The reality is, many Christians do not want to become preachers not because they really did not have training, but because they feel that they fall short of the testimony. They feel like there are still things that they can’t give up. Now, we should not be taking this lightly. It doesn’t mean that you are not a preacher then you can live out a carnal life. Each Christian has to live a life worthy of our calling.
A good testimony builds credibility and truth in what he preaches.
Secondly, you must have a desire and willingness to serve God. Of course, without any desire to serve God it will be impossible to do ministry, or to do it over a period of time. The main problem with this area is that, most people have desire to serve, but is not willing to give up other things that hinders them to serve.
Who among you wants to serve God? Most probably, most if not all of you will raise your hands and say amen. But the next question terrifies almost each one of us, “Who among you are willing to give up those things that hinder you to serve God?”
Guess what, we are not talking here about full time service just like what I am doing. We are simply talking here about handling and involving ourselves in a ministry. This means, you don’t have to quit your job so that you can serve God. You don’t have to close down your business to serve God, you doesn’t have to give up your hobby just to serve God (not unless that the hobby is detestable in the eyes of God). In whatever situation you are in, you can definitely serve God only if, you have a desire.
If you have these both, you can start choosing the ministries that you can do. For in each ministry, the gospel of Christ can be preached.
Please, also read Treasures in Jars of Clay: Revealing the Secrets of Ministry