Title: OUR MINISTRY
Text: II Corinthians 4:1-7
Subject: The Ministry God has given Grace Baptist Church And Our Responsibilities Regarding It
Date: Sunday Morning – June 13, 1993
Scripture Reading: II Cor. 3:1 - 4:7
I want to talk to you this morning about OUR MINISTRY. In a minute or two I want us to look at II Corinthians 4:1-7. But before we do, I want to tell you why I am bringing this message at this time.
· The Problem at Pikeville.
· Greenwood Baptist Church, Pasadena, Tx.
· Memphis Baptist Temple, Memphis, Tn.
Whenever a church loses perspective and loses her burden for the work of the gospel, whenever a church fails to see her responsibility as a church, whenever a congregation allows petty strife to turn it aside from the weighty matters of eternity and is divided in it’s allegiance to the glory of God. The gospel of Christ, and the salvation of God’s elect, she is headed for trouble, if not ruin. I am preaching this message…
1. To Inspire Thanksgiving!
2. To Warn of Danger!
3. To Encourage Commitment, Faithfulness and Zeal! With those things in mind, let’s look at II Corinthians 4:1-7.
Verse 1 – “Therefore seeing we have this ministry.” The word ministry simply means “service.” Every servant of God is given a service to perform. Our service, our ministry is a common task. WE labor together in the work of the ministry. Paul does not say, “I have this ministry.” He says, “We have this ministry!” What is “This Ministry” of which he speaks? Let Paul answer for himself.
1. Our ministry is “To preach Christ’s gospel.” (2:12).
2. It is a ministry with astounding consequences (2:14-16).
3. It requires the utmost sincerity (2:17).
4. It is a spiritual, new covenant ministry (3:6).
· Not of letter but of the spirit!
· Not of law but of grace!
· Not of duties and ceremonies but of privileges and opportunities!
5. It is a glorious ministry (3:7-8).
6. It is “the ministration of righteousness” (3:9) (Imputed! Imparted!)
7. It is a ministry of liberty (3:17).
· Liberty in Grace!
· Liberty in Worship!
· Liberty in Giving!
· Liberty in Service!
· Liberty in Life!
“We have this ministry, as we have received mercy!” “Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ!” The work we do is work. It involves sacrifice, commitment, and labor. But it is a blessed privilege of grace! Let me share with you some of the mercy we have received from our God.
1. Our Missionaries!
2. Our Tapes!
3. Our Books!
4. The Grace Bulletin!
5. Our Tracts!
6. My Itinerary!
7. Newspaper Articles!
8. Television Broadcast!
9. Sermon Notes!
“We faint not!” Though scandalized, maligned, abused, lied about, and despised, “we faint not!” Though we do not see the success we would like to see, “we faint not!” Though many others do, “we faint not!” We keep on doing what God has put in our hands to do.
Verse 2 – No Dishonesty! No Hypocrisy! No Pretense!
· In Our Actions.
· In Our Motives.
· In Our Doctrine.
Verse 5 – “We preach not ourselves.”
· About Ourselves!
· For Ourselves!
· By Ourselves!
“But Christ Jesus the Lord!” We preach Christ!
· We preach for Him!
· We preach about Him!
· We preach by Him!
· We preach Him!
“And ourselves your servants for Jesus’ sake!” God’s servants do not labor as men pleasers, under the rule and thumb of the people they serve. Pastors are not under the rule of churches. Churches are under the rule of God appointed pastors (Heb. 13:7, 17). But pastors serve the churches.
Illustration: A Father serves the interest of his wife and children.
Verse 6 – God alone can make our ministry effectual. As he revealed Christ in us, so he alone can reveal Christ in those whom we serve and to whom we preach. “Our sufficiency is of God!” (2:16; 3:5).
· A True Description of The Gospel – “This Treasure!”
· A True Measure of Ourselves – “Earthen Vessels!”
· A Noble Design – “That the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us” (I Cor. 1:16-19).
Proposition: The ministry we have is the gift of God’s grace and mercy to us in Christ – What a Privilege! What a Blessing! What an Opportunity!
Let me wrap this message up by calling your attention to these seven things.
I. Our Motives.
If our motives are wrong, everything is wrong. If our motives are right, we will not go far astray in our deeds. This is a matter of great concern to me in all things, especially as they relate to our work and ministry as a church. What are our motives? (Matt. 6:9-10).
A. The Glory of God – “Hallowed be Thy Name!”
(I Kings 18:36-37; Rev. 4:1-2)
B. The Kingdom of God – “Thy Kingdom come!”
· “I do all things for the elect’s sake!”
· (Eph. 4:11-16).
C. The Will of God – “Thy will be done!”
· Nothing is more important than the will of God.
· We must seek it!
· We must submit to it!
· We must obey it!
II. Our Mission – (John 20:21-22).
“Ye shall be witnesses unto me!” (Acts 1:8). As the servants of God, as his witnesses in this world, we have three things to do as the church and people of God.
A. We must be A Lighthouse of Truth in a world of Darkness.
B. We must seek the Salvation of God’s Elect.
C. We must preserve the Truth of God and Pass It On To Succeeding Generations – (I Tim. 3:16-17).
III. Our Mandate (Matt. 28:18-20).
What right do we have to press our religion upon others? How dare we be so bold and presumptuous? Our Lord and Master has commanded us to do what we are doing. Should we keep silent, we would be treasonous to him! And treasonous to the souls of men!
A. The Commander is the Sovereign Christ.
B. The Command is Crystal Clear.
· “Teach them to observe!”
C. The Confidence of His Presence Sustains Us!
I have been through some battles. I have endured some heataches. I have suffered reproach and scandal. What is worse, I have seeen my family abused. But I have no regrets (other than my own sins and failures). If I know this were my last day on this earth – I would gladly choose to do what I have done. Indeed, I do choose to go on doing what I have done (Acts 20:24).
Will you go along with me?
IV. Our Message
I know this is a day of revision and discovery. Most churches, denominations, and preachers are rapidly upgrading (down grading!) their message to suit the times. As for me, (and I speak for this congregation), there will be no revision. We choose the old paths – (Jer. 6:16).
My doctrine has not changed so much as a hair’s breadth in twenty-five years. And it shall not change!
Illustratoon: John Grisell’s comments
· Divine Sovereignty!
· Absolute Predestination!
· Total Depravity!
· Unconditional Election!
· Limited Atonement!
· Irresistible Grace!
· Perseverance of the Saints!
V. Our Method – Preaching!
(Rom. 1:15-17; I Cor. 1:21).
VI. Our Ministry.
I want you to see three things clearly taught in the Scriptures with regard to our ministry as a local church.
A. It is A Worldwide Ministry – “Go ye into all the world.”
B. It is a Diversified Ministry (I Cor. 12:1-31).
Illustration: Factory Workers doing many jobs on one project.
C. It is A Team Ministry.
· The Seventy were sent out in pairs.
· Paul Never Travelled Alone.
· Romans 16 is a list of helpers!
VII. Our Mainstay.
“My grace is sufficient for thee!” (II Cor. 12:9).
Application: Numbers 10:29
Moses to Hobab – “We are journeying unto the place of which the LORD said, I will give it you: Come thou with us, and we will do thee good; for the LORD hath spoken good concerning Israel.”
· Trust Our God and Savior.
· Bow to our King.
· Enlist in the service of God’s House!