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Understanding Gifts & Callings: Their Role in Today's Church

Copyright 1992.  All Rights Reserved.  KC Enterprises.

Author: Apostle Kelvin Franklin

Section 1

|| Section 1 || Section 2 ||

1.  Introduction

     This book is focused on God's call to ministry in the church. God has established the church for his purpose. In order to fulfill his purpose, he has established many gifts and calling in the church. Each person in the church is given an area of work: a ministry. The purpose of their ministry is to add to and build up the church of the Lord.

     As we analyze all of the ministries, I think that it is important that we keep in mind the ultimate purpose of the Church: TO SAVE SOULS FOR THE KINGDOM OF GOD. I encourage all to remember this one idea: WE ARE IN THE SOUL SAVING BUSINESS. With this in mind, it should be clear that we are not in the soul collecting business. Whenever we minister or do any work for the Lord, our ultimate purpose should be to strengthen the hope of salvation in those that we come in contact with.

     See, we are called to be the salt of the earth. Each one of us has a job to do. Everyone is in some sense a minister. we are called to serve one another. This book will also focus on teaching us to be content in the place God has called us to and with the gift he has given us.

2.  What is the Church and Its Purpose

     First we must understand what the Church is: It is the body of people that have been baptized into Christ. An easier way of looking at this is to remember that Jesus did not die to save bricks and other materials used to building our sanctuaries: he died specifically for you.

ACTS  20:  
     17.   And from Miletus he sent to Ephesus, and called the elders of the church.  
     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.  
EPHESIANS 5:  
     23.   For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body.  
     24.  Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.  
     25.  Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it;  
     26.  That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,  
     27. That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.  
     28.   So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself.  
     29.  For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church;  
     30.  For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.
     31.  For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh.  
     32.  This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.  

     Let us examine a few key points from these scriptures.

     1.  Christ is the head of the Church.
     2.  He is the Saviour of the Body.
     3.  The church should be subject to Christ.
     4.  Christ loves the church and gave himself for it.
     5.  He sanctifies and cleanses it through the word .
     6.  He will present it a glorious church, holy, without spot or blemish .
     7.  The Lord nourishes this body called the church.
     8.  We are joined to Christ. We are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones.

     This  shows us Christ's purpose for the church.

     Remember, before, in the booklets ' Spiritual Relationships and Marriage: the Best Part of Life I expressed the idea that once we understand our marriage we can better understand the church or vice versa. A major qualification of church leaders is that they rule their houses well. If they understand their marriage, they will not really understand their part in the body of Christ.  

1 TIMOTHY 3:  
     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, HO SHALL HE TAKE CARE OF THE CHURCH OF GOD?)  

     This principle showing the relationship between family life and the church is clearly defined in the scripture above.

     Now we shall take a look at these same scriptures and begin to examine the church.

     We will attempt in this opening section to show you the purpose of the church's composition.

3.  Understanding the Body of the Church

1 CORINTHIANS 12:  
     12. For as the BODY is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one BODY, being many, are one BODY: so also is Christ.  
     13. For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one BODY,_ whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free: and have been all made to drink into one Spirit.  
     14.  For the BODY is not one member, but many.  
     15.  If the foot shall say, Because I am not the hand, I am not of the BODY; is it therefore not of the BODY?  
     16.  And if the ear shall say, Because I am not the eye, I am not of the BODY; is it therefore not of the BODY?  
     17.  If the whole BODY were an eye, where were the hearing? If the whole where hearing, where were the smelling?  
     18.  But now hath God set the members every one of them in the BODY, as it hath pleased him.  
     19.  And if they were all one member, where were the BODY?  
     20. But now are they many members, yet but one BODY.  
     21. And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of thee: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you.  
     22. Nay, much more those members of the BODY, which seem to be more feeble, are necessary:  
     23. And those members of the BODY, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.  
     24. For our comely parts have no need: but God hath tempered the BODY together, having given more abundant honour to that part which lacked:  
     25.  That there should be no schism [DIVISION] in the BODY; but that the members should have the same care one for another.  
     26. And whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it; or one member be honoured, all the members rejoice with it.  
     27.  Now ye are the BODY of Christ, and members in particular.  
     28.  And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, etc ......  
SEE ALSO ROMANS 12:3-5 AND EPHESIANS 5:23  

     In first Corinthians chapter 3, it seems evident that the Corinthian church was in turmoil. They were trying to decide which particular church they wanted to be apart of and which of the apostles they were going to follow: Paul or Apollos.

     God makes it clear that there in only ONE Church. If we have the Spirit of God then we are members of that one church (St John 3:3-8, Romans 8:13-16, Ephesians 4:1-6.)

     Examine these concepts in the scriptures above:

     1.  By one Spirit are we baptized into one body.

     2. We cannot sit at home and not become involved in the church if we have accepted Jesus as saviour. We are members of the body of Christ. We need the other members. See verses 15-22.

     3. God sets members into the body, and gives them certain gifts. We do not just pick and choose our office. God is the one who gives gifts. He is the one who sets us in the church in a particular position.

     4. God has given more honor to the part which lacked so that all parts of the body are of equal importance. See, the helps ministry is just as needed as a pastor. There are no unimportant parts. No matter how useless you may think you are, there is a big role for you to play in the church of Christ.

     5. Let us think on this idea: we must exercise every part of our natural body to keep it in shape. If one part becomes hurt, all of the attention of the body is immediately focused on the part that is hurt: even down to a toenail. Each part of the body serves a particular function. The less glamorous parts, like a fingernail, are seldom thought of or notice until it is hurt, damaged, or separated from the body. See verse 26.

     6.  Every member and part of the body of Christ is necessary. See verse 19.

     We seem to face the same problems today that the Corinthian church faced back in their time. Let us try to sort through some of our thinking

     First, there is only one body of Christ: I like to refer to it as the Universal Church. The concept of a universal church was presented to me by Rev. Elijah Holland Jr., of Austin, Texas. Everyone that has truly accepted Jesus as Lord and Saviour of their lif e are a part of this church. Under this umbrella, we have created local churches which are multi-denominational is structure.

4.  How Christ Accomplishes the Church's Purpose

EPHESIANS 4:  
     11. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;  
     12.  For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  
     13. Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ:  
     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;  
     15. But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  
     16. From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.  

     This passage of scripture gives us many jewels of understanding concerning the church and personal ministries:

     1.  The Holy Ghost (God & Jesus) calls people to certain offices.

     2. The work of the ministries is to help teach you to be perfect.

     3. The must work the ministry God has called them to.

     4.  The overall goal of ministry is the edification of the body of Christ.

     5.  Knowledge and understanding will help unify us in the faith and the knowledge of God.

     6.  Through this knowledge and understanding, the church will grow into a perfect body (full measure of the stature of Christ.)

     7.  We (the church) will be stable and not tossed about in our lives (beliefs.)

     8.  Men are waiting to deceive us. The only way we can overcome this is that each member of the body must grow in knowledge.

     9.  We will grow up into Christ in all things.

     10. We are member of that body. We must supply our part to the body of Christ. When we do, the church will be strengthened and edified in love.

5.  The Gifts and Callings of God

1 CORINTHIANS 12:  
     4.  Now there are diversities of GIFTS, but the same Spirit.  
     5.  And there are differences of administrations, but the same Lord.  
     6.  And there are diversities of operations, but it is the same God which worketh all in all.  
     7.  But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.  
     8.  For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same spirit;  
     9.  To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;  
     10. To another the working of miracles; to another prophecy; to another discerning of spirits; to another the interpretation of tongues:  
     11.  But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.  
     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.  
ROMANS 12:       
     6. Having then GIFTS differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  
     7. Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  
     8. Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.  

     From these scriptures we can come up with a short concise list of most of the spiritual offices that God has placed in the church as revealed in these scriptures:

1.  Word of wisdom 2.  Word of Knowledge  
3.  Faith 4.  Gifts of Healing  
5.  Working of Miracles 6.  Prophecy  
7.  Discerning of spirits 8.  Diver Kinds of Tongues  
9.  Interpretation of Ton 10.  Apostles  
11.  Prophets 12.  Evangelist  
13.  Teachers  14.  Pastors  
15.  Helps 16.  Governments (Ruling)  
17.  Ministry  18.  Exhorting  
19.  Giving 20.  Shewing Mercy  

     I must emphasize at this point that God gives each individual the gif t (s) that he wants them to have. If we use these gifts wisely, we will profit: see verse 7. Also see 1 TIMOTHY 3:13.

6.  Celibacy, A Special Calling

     For those who can receive this, their is a special calling of celibacy in the church. Here is Webster's definition of celibacy.

CELIBACY -- The state of not being married, abstention from sexual intercourse, abstention by vow from marriage. pg 219  
EUNUCH -- A castrated man placed in charge of a harem or employed as a chamberlain in a palace. A man or boy deprived of the testes or external genitals.  
Webster Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, c 1984 by Merriam-Webster Inc.  

     This  is what God has to say about celibacy.

ST MATTHEW 19:  
     12. For there are some EUNUCHS, which were so born from their mother's womb: and there are some EUNUCHS, which were made EUNUCHS of men: and there be EUNUCHS, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven's sake. HE THAT IS ABLE TO RECEIVE IT, LET HIM RECEIVE IT.  
1 CORINTHIANS 7:  
     1.  Now concerning the things whereof ye wrote unto me: IT IS GOOD FOR A MAN NOT TO TOUCH A WOMAN.  
     2.  Nevertheless, TO AVOID FORNICATION, LET EVERY MAN HAVE HIS OWN WIFE, AND LET EVERY WOMAN HAVE HER OWN HUSBAND.  
     6.  But I speak this by PERMISSION, and NOT OF COMMANDMENT.  
     7. For I WOULD that all men were even as I myself. BUT EVERY MAN HAS HIS PROPER GIFT OF GOD, one after this manner, and another after that.  
     9.  I say therefore to the UNMARRIED and WIDOWS, IT IS GOOD EVEN FOR THEM IF THEY ABIDE AS I.  
     10.  But if they cannot contain, let them marry: FOR IT IS BETTER TO MARRY THAN TO BURN.  
SEE ALSO 1 CORINTHIANS 7:32-34.  

     A study of these scriptures along with other that you may know will reveal God's stance on this issue. Some men are made celibate for God's purposes.

     This is an issue that is seldom discussed in the church put it is an idea that is a part of God's church and it is only for those who can live a life totally dedicated to God (not desiring a mate.)

7.  The Purpose of Gifts in the Church

     Gifts and callings should operate in the church in love: 1 CORINTHIANS 13:1-13. Their purpose is to edify the church. Edify is defined this way: to BUILD, ESTABLISH, to instruct and improve esp. in moral and religious knowledge: ENLIGHTEN.  

1 CORINTHIANS 14:  
     12.  Even so ye, forasmuch as ye are zealous of spiritual gifts, seek that ye may excel to the EDIFYING of the church.  
     26. How is it then, brethren? when ye come together, every one of you hath a psalm, hath a doctrine, hath a tongue, hath a revelation, hath an interpretation. Let all things be done unto EDIFYING.  

     The gifts of God when used properly will enlighten the church.

8.  Should Gifts be Alive In Today's Church

1 CORINTHIANS 14:  
     39.  Wherefore, brethren, covet to prophesy, and forbid not to speak with tongues.  
     40.  LET ALL THINGS BE DONE DECENTLY AND IN ORDER.  

     Paul, when dealing with the issue of tongues, gave the advice that is related in the preceding scripture. He did not say to do away with tongues. He said say that all things be done decently and in order.

     Gifts should not be done away with in the church. They should be used properly. This will allow everything to be done decently and in order.

1 CORINTHIANS 13:  
     8. Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail, whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.  
     9. For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.  
     10. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.  
     11. When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.  
     12. For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.  

     We have not reached the point that we know all things even as we are known. God knows all about us. We will not know all about him until we reach heaven. Until then, tongues will not have ceased.. Prophecies have not failed: they can't until they are fulfilled. Knowledge surely has not vanished away: we still use it day to day. Until we reach that point of perfection, all the gifts and calling must remain a part of church until we grow up unto perfection: see Ephesians 4:13-15.

9. The Difference Between Work and Duty

     It is interesting that most Christians look at worshiping, fasting, praying, meditation, attending church and many other necessary activities as work. Even the Pharisee lifted himself up for the religious works that he was doing (ST LUKE 18:10-14.) These are not work. These are necessary activities that are evidence of our relationship with Christ. The object of Christianity is not for us to spend time in prayer, meditation and the other activities listed above.

ST JOHN 6:  
     28.  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?  
     29.  Jesus answered and said unto them, THIS IS THE WORK OF GOD, THAT YE BELIEVE ON HIM WHOM HE HATH SENT.  

     SEE, THE OBJECT OF CHRISTIANITY IS FOR US TO DEVELOP A RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THE FATHER, THROUGH JESUS CHRIST THE SON AND THE HOLY GHOST WHO IS OUR COMFORTER. These activities are merely the tools by which we maintain this relationship.

     When we began to preach and minister to those who are lost, exhort those who are weak, heal those who are sick, and deliver those who are afflicted, then we are beginning to do the works of Christ. This is what ministry is all about. These other activities prepare us for the work that God would have us to do.

     It should also be noted that the activities of worshiping, fasting, praying, meditation, attending church along with others are not optional, they are necessary and absolutely mandatory if we are going to maintain our relationship with Christ.

HEBREWS 11:  
     25. Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another the more, as ye see the day approaching
1 THESSALONIANS 5:  
     17.   Pray without ceasing.  

10.  Ministering for God

MINISTER -- a agent, one officiating or assisting the officiant 17-nchurch worship; to give aid or service. pg 756  
CHARGE -- to impose a task or responsibility on; the ecclesiastical jurisdiction (as a parish) committed to a clergyman. pg 227  
Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, c 1984 by Merriam Webster Inc.  

a.  Preach the True Complete Word at all Cost

     In meeting the charge that God has given us, we will find that there are many people that simply don't want to hear the truth. It seems that women and men don't want to hear the truth about marriage or the church today. They are heaping to themselves teachers that will tell them the things that they want to hear and not what thus saith the Lord:  

2 TIMOTHY 4:  
     1. I CHARGE thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;  
     2.  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.  
     5.  But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy MINISTRY.  

     From this scripture, we can see the conditions that Paul said was going to exist in the end times. Since we are living in the end times, we as ministers can take a lot of guidance f rom this scripture also:

     1.  We have a charge from God to keep.

     2.  We must preach the word (tell the truth in love) in season (when people want to hear the truth) and out of season (when they don't want to heart the truth.)

     3. We have the job of Reproving [to scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent], rebuking [to criticize sharply: reprimand] and exhorting [to incite by argument or advice: urge strongly, to give warnings or advice: make urgent appeals.]

     4.  We must learn to suffer long with the ways of those who oppose Christ and the truth

     5.  We must watch (be alert in all areas of our life and ministry.)

     6.  We must endure afflictions (the state of being distressed so severely as to cause persistent suffering or anguish.]

     7.  We must make full proof of our ministry (we will discuss the idea as we go along.)

b.  Ministering in Honesty

2 CORINTHIANS 4:  
     1. Therefore seeing we have this MINISTRY, as we have received mercy, we faint not;  
      2. But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man's conscience in the sight of God.  
2 CORINTHIANS 6:       
     3.  Giving no offence in any thing, that the MINISTRY be not blamed:  

     In order to minister effectively, we must minister in complete honesty, regardless of the portion of the ministry that we are in. We should strive to keep God above reproach in all things that we do. Don I t give the world an opportunity to blame and hate God because of your actions.

c.  Ministering in God's Power

2 CORINTHIANS 4:  
     7. But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the POWER may be of God, and not of us.  
2 CORINTHIANS 3:  
     5.  Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think any thing as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God.  
     6. Who also hath made us ABLE MINISTERS of the new testament; not of the letter, but OF THE SPIRIT: for the letter killeth, but THE SPIRIT GIVETH LIFE.  
1 CORINTHIANS 2:  
     1.   And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.  
     2. For I determined not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.  
     3. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.  
     4. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticeth words of man's wisdom, BUT IN DEMONSTRATION OF THE SPIRIT AND OF POWER:  
     5. That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, BUT IN THE POWER OF GOD.  

     Paul focused his ministry on displaying the Power and Spirit of God, not his own earthly wisdom and knowledge.

d.  Ministering Through Difficulty

2 CORINTHIANS 4:  
     8.  We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  
     9.  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;  
     10. Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  
     11. For we which live are always delivered unto death for Jesus' sake, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal flesh.  
2 TIMOTHY 3:       
     12.   YEA, AND ALL THAT WILL LIVE GODLY IN CHRIST JESUS SHALL SUFFER PERSECUTION.  

     As we minister, we will be distressed and troubled, yet, we must keep depending on the Lord. This is where we must deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Jesus (ST MATTHEW 16:24.) Always remember what Paul said above.

e.  Ministering to Those Who Oppose Themselves

2 TIMOTHY 2:  
     24. And the servant of the Lord MUST not STRIVE: but be GENTLE unto all men, APT TO TEACH, PATIENT,  
     25. In MEEKNESS instructing those that OPPOSE THEMSELVES; if God peradventure will give them repentance to the acknowledging of the truth;  
     26.  And that they may recover themselves out of the snare of the devil, who are taken captive by him at his will.  
JUDE  
     22.  And of some HAVE COMPASSION, MAKING A DIFFERENCE:  
     23. And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh. (MATTHEW 25:25, 1 CORINTHIANS 9:22)  

     We must minister to everyone that God places in our ministry, regardless of the situation. We must learn to see souls and not the skin color or situations. Remember, Jesus came to seek and to save that which was lost. Many times, we only want to be with those who are saved and devoted to the Lord. However, God wants to raise us up and then place us with those who aren't saved. He wants us be with those who are not committed to following him with their whole heart. Through the witness of our life, we can help lead them to a life that is devoted to Christ. See also ST MATTHEW 18: 11 and ST LUKE 4:18-19. Even if a person is a satanist, God still loves them and he wants us to minister to them within his power and will.

f.  Ambassadors for Christ

2 CORINTHIANS 5:  
     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.  

     I encourage you to research and look at the natural position of an ambassador. As an ambassador represents his country to the world, likewise, we as christians and ministers represent Christ to the world.

g.  Ministers Work Together in the Harvest

1 CORINTHIANS 3:  
     6.  I have planted, Apollos watered: but GOD GAVE THE INCREASE.  
     7.  So then neither is he that planeth any thing, neither he that watereth: but GOD THAT GIVETH THE INCREASE.  
     8.  Now he that planteth and he that watereth are one: and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour.  
     9.  For WE ARE LABOURERS TOGETHER WITH GOD: ye are God's husbandry, ye are God's building.  
     10. According to the grace of God which is given unto me, as a wise masterbuilder, I have laid the foundation, and another buildeth thereon. But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  

     God is the one that is building his Church. As we each do the part that he has given us, the church of God continues to grow. If we take these scriptures to heart, we will be willing to work with everyone that is truly working for the Lord without looking for an earthly reward. God will pay each of us according to our own labour.

h.  We are Accountable for our Ministry

1 CORINTHIANS 3:  
     10.  But let every man take heed how he buildeth thereupon.  
     11.  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.  
     12. Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;  
     13. 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.  

     God holds each person accountable for his own ministry. We should take heed to what we are adding to or taking away from God I s church. God says that he wi 11 try every man Is work by fire. If it is made of wood, hay, or stubble it will be burned up and that person will suffer loss. If it is made of gold, silver, or precious stones, it will endure the fire and be perfected. Fire is used in many cases to burn of f the impurities that get into an object. Notice also that a man's work can be loss while he himself can be saved. However, his life must go through the fire. If he is not trusting in Jesus, even this will be loss. Jesus Christ, complete trust in him, is the only thing that can save us.

i.  We Must Prove our Ministry

2 CORINTHIANS 6:  
     3. Giving no offence in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed:  
     4. But in all things APPROVING OURSELVES AS THE MINISTERS OF GOD, in much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses,  
     5. In stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labours, in watchings, in fastings;  
     6. By pureness, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Ghost, by love unfeigned,  
     7. By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armour of righteousness on the right hand and on the left,  
     8. By honour and dishonour, by evil report and good report: as deceivers, and yet true;  
     9. As unknown, and yet well known, as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed.  
      10. As sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.  
ROMANS 8:  
     29. For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren.  
     30. Moreover whom he did predestinate them he also CALLED: and whom he called, them he also JUSTIFIED; and whom he justified, them he also GLORIFIED.  
2 PETER 1:       
     10. Wherefore the rather, brethren, GIVE DILIGENCE TO MAKE YOUR CALLING AND ELECTION SURE: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall:  
     11.   For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.  
ST MATTHEW 20:       
     16.  So the last shall be first, and the first last: FOR MANY BE CALLED, BUT FEW CHOSEN.  
ST MATTHEW 22:       
     14.  For many are called, but few are chosen.  

     You may also want to read the parable preceding the last scripture: ST MATTHEW 22:1-13.

     Each member of the body of Christ is required to prove out their own ministry. No one else can do it for you. You can't prove your ministry on just the words that you say. You can only prove it by enduring hardships, being patient, and allowing the Lord to strengthen you to make it to the end of the race.

     Through these scriptures, you can see that God will also equip you for your ministry. If you devote yourself to the word of God and serving him, through his word and his guidance, he will sufficiently equip you for every task that he has called on you to do. Seminary is nice to have but IT'S NOT A REQUIREMENT IN GOD'S EYESIGHT. He taught the disciples sufficiently through the ministry of Jesus. He can teach us also if we wait on him.

     Remember what they said about the apostles:

ACTS  4:  
     13.  Now when they saw the boldness of PETER and JOHN, and perceived that THEY WERE UNLEARNED AND IGNORANT MEN, they marveled; AND THEY TOOK KNOWLEDGE OF THEM THAT THEY HAD BEEN WITH JESUS.  
 

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