THE WORK OF THE MINISTRY - 2
In reading Ephesians 4:11-13 we see that Paul's statement is meant to
envision all these kinds of ministry to accomplish four things:
(1) for perfecting the saints, 12.
(2) the edifying of the body of Christ - - - the church, 12.
(3) gaining a unity of the faith, 13. The faith spoken of is that
referred to in Jude vs.3.
(4) Come to the knowledge of the Son of God, 13. A 'three-in-one'
ministry may accomplish this (many do) but it is with much study,
divine leadership, and a preaching/teaching effort.
When Paul spoke of the "pastor ministry", he used a word translated
as "pastor" (in the text) and "shepherd" fifteen times. Also as Christ,
the good shepherd.
The pastor may serve as an evangelist too, but there is another phase
of "the ministry of the word". The pastor is connected to the church.
He is the earthly shepherd of the flock. A shepherd is to look out for
the welfare of the church. Peter says "feed the flock of God which
is among you, I Peter 5:2. Jesus said "feed my sheep . . . ", John 21:16.
And, Paul told the Ephesians elders ("overseers") to "feed the church
of God, . . .", Acts 20:28.
The feeding has two formulas:
(a) milk of the word, I Peter 2:2:
(b) and "strong meat", Hebrews 5:11-14.
The pastor must have skill to discern the measure of his feeding, all
are not equal in their growth in Bible knowledge.
I Peter 2:2 shows that the Word is meant to promote growth. When a
healthy growth is not seen in the church, a red flag should go up.
Three factors are to be seen:
(A) God and His Word are sure!
(B) the feeder should be, and often is, faithful. However the human
factor is also present so he may falter.
(C) or, the flock as hearers are distracted, dull of hearing, or
resistive - - - therefore proper growth does not result. God has done
His part, we must do ours. (more to follow) DDH.
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