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Church Ministry (Part 1)

In my last post, we saw the list of ministry functions needed for a healthy church.  In today’s article, I want to begin looking at them in more detail.

And in the church God has appointed first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then workers of miracles, also those having gifts of healing, those able to help others, those with gifts of administration, and those speaking in different kinds of tongues.  Are all apostles?  Are all prophets?  Are all teachers?  Do all work miracles?  Do all have gifts of healing?  Do all speak in tongues?  Do all interpret?
1 Corinthians 12:28-30

As I said in my last post, even though some of these may sound similar to the manifestations of the Spirit, it’s not the same list.

Apostle.  Over the years, we’ve Christianized this word to the point where the meaning is almost lost to us.  We get the idea that it’s a “holy man” so high in the ranks that it’s all but unreachable.  Some teach that after the first 12 apostles, there were never any more.

We need to understand that Paul is talking about ministry in the local church here.  That means this apostolic ministry should be found within each local congregation.

This word means to be set apart as a messenger or delegate.  It’s someone who is under orders to go to a certain place and represent the one who sent them.  I believe this is talking about the pastoral ministry in the local church.  It’s the person or people who oversee all the other ministries of the church.

Prophet.  These are people who hear God’s voice and speak what He wants to be said.  We need to be aware of what God is saying to the church.

I think that sometimes we get the idea that prophecy is always about the future.  That’s not the case.  A prophet will reveal truth that we need to hear.

There are times when a prophet will bring hidden sins to the surface so they can be dealt with.  Sometimes it’s a word of encouragement or insight into a challenge we’re going through.  And, yes, there are times when they will reveal something that’s about to happen in the future.

Teacher.  This is the one that we’re the most familiar with.  It’s the person who helps others by explaining truth that has already been revealed in Scripture.

However, that’s not as easy as it sounds.  In the church, we’re not just dealing with facts and figures.  We’re to train people in how to apply the truth of Scripture to their daily walk.

This requires us to spend time in the presence of the Great Teacher – the Holy Spirit.  He alone will give us the insight we need to speak life to those who will listen.  A godly teacher will make deep truths accessible to those who want to learn.

Workers of Miracles.  Now we’re getting into an area we don’t see very often.  Maybe it’s because nobody thinks of this as a ministry of the church.  In most churches, miracles aren’t common anymore.

Simply put, the word miracle in this verse is actually the Greek word for power.  It’s talking about people who consistently walk in the power of God.  They’re the ones you go to when you have a pressing need.

These people should definitely be a part of the church prayer team.  They spend time in the Lord’s presence developing their faith and sensitivity to the Holy Spirit.

Like I said, this isn’t seen very much in the church of our generation.  My hope is that as I teach it, many will feel the call to walk in this great ministry.  Then, they’ll spend the time needed to develop intimacy with God.

In my next post, I’ll continue explaining these important local church ministries.  If you don’t already know your calling in the body of Christ, read them prayerfully.  Be open to what the Holy Spirit wants to do through you.

Question: Why does the church of our generation seem to downplay the more powerful ministries?

© 2019 Nick Zaccardi

 
 

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Anointing and Calling #anointing #theanointing #calling

MeditationI’m posting for a while on how to walk in our anointing.  In my last post we saw that the power of the Holy Spirit follows the anointing.  Today, I want to start getting into some details that we may have missed along the way.  If I can find the key to the anointing, then the rest will fall into place.

It’s interesting to note that anointing is only mentioned 13 times in the New Testament.  Of those, it’s only referred to as a spiritual anointing for us 6 times.  There’s a reason for so little mention in the N.T.  It comes from an ancient practice in the Old Testament.  If we can understand that usage, then we’ll have a good foundation for understanding the anointing in us.

Anointing was a ceremony of pouring oil on something or somebody.  It was used for a lot of things.  Personally, I don’t care about how to anoint cooking pots.  What relates to us is the usage with prophets, priests, and kings.  I want to know how anointing brings power.

The LORD said to Samuel, “How long will you mourn for Saul, since I have rejected him as king over Israel?  Fill your horn with oil and be on your way; I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem.  I have chosen one of his sons to be king.”
But Samuel said, “How can I go?  Saul will hear about it and kill me.”
The LORD said, “Take a heifer with you and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the LORD.’  Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what to do. You are to anoint for me the one I indicate.”
1 Samuel 16:1-3

God told Samuel to go and anoint a new king over Israel.  He gave Samuel a Word – Go to Bethlehem.  He told Samuel that He would show him what to do when he got there.

Once in Bethlehem, Samuel went to the house of Jesse as instructed.

Samuel replied, “Yes, in peace; I have come to sacrifice to the LORD. Consecrate yourselves and come to the sacrifice with me.” Then he consecrated Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.
1 Samuel 16:5

According to the Word of the Lord he was given, Samuel invited – called them – to come the sacrifice.  In actuality, he was calling them to come to the anointing of the new king of Israel.

It should be clear from this passage that anointing involves calling.  The two go hand in hand.  To reject your calling is to reject the anointing God has for you.

God has called you to do a great work for Him.  The anointing is what enables you to walk in the power to fulfill that calling.  Anointing is not a license to do whatever you want with God’s power.  It equips you to fulfill God’s plan in your life.

Question: What is God calling you to do at this point in your life?

© Nick Zaccardi 2013

 
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Posted by on July 15, 2013 in Anointing, Power of God, Revival

 

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People of Vision

What is your view of God?

Isaiah 6:1
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of his robe filled the temple.

Isaiah is an interesting Old Covenant prophet.  He lived during uncertain times.  In this passage he tells of a life-transforming vision he had of the Lord.  It causes me to take a step back and ask myself how I view and serve God.

Probably the most important point is when this encounter took place.  Isaiah said that it happened in the year king Uzziah died.  Uzziah was a great king.  He served God with all his heart.  He renewed the temple worship of Judah.  Because of his devotion to God, he was victorious in his battles against the enemies of Israel.  The borders were secure and their cities and towns were returning to their former glory.  It was a wonderful time.

Then one day, because of pride, Uzziah tried to worship God in a way that was only reserved for the priesthood.  At that point he was struck with leprosy until the day of his death.  Now the future of Israel was in the balance.

This was a turning point in their history.  The people were slipping back into complacency.  Their devotion to God was waning.  It’s in this climate that Isaiah saw this vision.  He got a glimpse of the majesty of the Lord – enthroned in the heavenlies.

We live in uncertain times.  The economy, politics, weather, and a host of other issues scream for our attention.  What is your stability in all of this.  We need the same vision as Isaiah.

GOD IS STILL ON THE THRONE!!!

Don’t let the events around you, rob you of your peace and joy.  We are the children of God.  Nothing is beyond His knowledge or ability.  As a matter of fact, He knows what is going to happen before it does.  Nothing takes Him by surprise.

See the Lord on the throne today.  Lay your burdens and cares at His feet.  Trust Him to guide you through these days in victory and joy.  Then we can truly be people of vision.

 
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Posted by on May 31, 2012 in Daily Thoughts

 

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