Worthy Walk Series – Week 12 (Ephesians 3:7)
Intro: This profoundly affected Paul.
Text: Ephesians 3:7 (NKJV)
“Of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
Having revealed the mystery to his readers, wanted them to know how he came to be in the office he occupied. Did Paul just wake up one day and decide to be a preacher? Did he decide on a whim to turn his back on his heritage, his religion, and his people? No, Paul wants his readers to know that the life he is living is not one he chosen for himself, but it is a life for which he was chosen. Paul the prophet tells us why he was also Paul the preacher. In this one verse he shares his CALL, his CREDENTIALs and his COMPANION.
1. His Call: “Of which I became a minister.”
Paul did not choose this path through life. In fact, he was a man of position and power before he met the Lord Jesus. When salvation came to Paul, along with it came the call of God to carry the Gospel to the Gentiles. In Acts 9:1-16 Paul shares his great testimony of his Damascus Road conversion. “Who are You, Lord?” he said. “I am Jesus, the One you are persecuting,” He replied. 6 “But get up and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Acts 9:5-6 (HCSB)
“The Lord said unto him, Arise, and go!” (KJV) The call hasn’t changed for the believer today, God still expects the called out one to Arise and Go. Paul described it this way: “But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you.” Acts 26:16
God will reveal things to the minister that he must share to the congregation!
It was not Paul's education, his power, his esteem among men, or any other thing that made him a preacher of the Gospel. It was the sovereign will of God! Paul says that he “was made a minister.” God took Paul, intervened in his life, and made him something he had never been. God made a preacher out him and sent him out with the mystery of the Gospel!
That's how the Lord still works in the lives of His children. He saves us for a purpose, and he fashions us to fulfill that purpose for His glory. We need to remember that God has a will for our lives, and that everything we face in life is merely preparing us to fulfill the will and plan of God: “And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.” Romans 8:28-29
2. His CREDENTIALS: “according to the gift of the grace of God.”
Paul says that he is a “minister.” This is the same word that is translated “Deacon” throughout the New Testament. It always refers to “a servant.” It was literally used of “a table waiter.” It comes from a word that has to idea of “kicking up dust.” It is the image of an individual running from one activity to another at such speed that they leave a cloud of dust in their wake.
That is how Paul saw himself. He did not see himself as a man who was worthy of honor and esteem. He saw himself as a servant of the church. He saw himself a man who was under that authority of his master, the Lord Jesus Christ. He understood the truth that were it not for the grace of God, he would still be a lost, religious Jew. He understood that the blood of Jesus, through the grace of God, had redeemed him. He was not doing what he was doing of his own initiative, but he saw his ministry as “a gift of the grace of God.”
None of us are prophets. None of us are apostles. Some of us are Deacons. A few of us are preachers. But, all of us are servants. First and foremost, we are the servants of the Lord Jesus, Who redeemed us, and owns us: “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? 20 For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Then, we are the servants of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We each have a ministry and we are to fulfill that ministry to the glory of God. There is no greater love than to serve a brother or sister in Christ.
3. His COMPANION: “given to me by the effective working of His power.”
Paul wants his readers to know that he does not know what he knows because he is smart. He does not write like he does because he is intelligent. He does not serve like he does because of any trait or power within himself. Paul wants them to know that he is the man he is because of “the effectual working of His power.” Paul was a “made man.” God took Paul, saved him by His grace, and transformed him into the mighty apostle to the Gentiles. God's work in Paul was supernatural. It was sovereign. It was personal. It was powerful. Paul took no personal credit for fruit of his ministry. He gave all glory to God. “Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers through whom you believed, as the Lord gave to each one? 6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.” 1 Corinthians 3:5-6
It was God Who made Paul the man he was and he never forgot it. When Paul preached, it was a display of the power of God. When Paul wrote, it was display of the power of God. In his preaching, his witnessing, and in his writing, Paul had a companion. He had the power and presence of the Holy Spirit to enable him to do the work he had been called to do.
So do we! When the Lord saved us, He moved in. When He moved in, He came into us to give us the ability to serve the Lord and to carry out His will in our lives. The Lord is the power behind the saint. When we are yielded to Him as Paul was, we can expect His help to work for Him, to live for Him and to serve Him in this world: “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."
The same Spirit that empowered Paul is the same Spirit that empowers us. What are you doing in your life that can only be described as “God in action?” Is there any area of your life that can only be described as Him? We have a heavenly Companion as we move through this world. The Spirit of God dwells in us and on us to equip us for the ministry God has selected for us. We can trust Him to enable us to carry out the will of God in this world. Paul was both a pioneer and a preacher. He was both by the will of God, for the glory of God. The Lord singled Paul out for a special ministry and he fulfilled it by the help of the Holy Spirit.
I hope you understand that God has selected you for a special ministry as well. If He saved, He saved you to serve. He desires to equip you, to use you and to make your life a blessing in His kingdom work. If you are not serving Him as you should, I invite you to change that today. Come before Him and ask Him to use you. Ask Him to make your life count for Jesus. As Him to do in you and through you everything He has saved you for. Come to Him and yield your will to His. If you are serving Him, but you aren't seeing the fruit you expected, I want to encourage you to remain faithful. It is up to the Lord what impact our lives have in the world around us.
If you are not saved, let me challenge you to come to Jesus Christ today. Call on the Lord while He is near!
OVBC I owe you an apology! I must admit I have been guilty of being intimidated by you, and I have worried more about what you might think or say or do, then what God has demanded me, called me to do. I am not here to please you! And for that I am sorry, forgive me. God has called me here to preach the word, in season and out of season. To make it very clear, God demands devotion, discipline, discipleship…
“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2
“Preach the word of God. Be prepared, whether the time is favorable or not. Patiently correct, rebuke, and encourage your people with good teaching.” 2 Timothy 4:2 (NLT)
I cannot continue to be only a day care teacher, I must help you grow. In order to do that, I must grow and use whatever means Godly given to continue. Please, Please! Grow with me. Let us together get out of the playing in the sandbox, and get into the prayer circle of Salvation! LET’S KICK UP SOME DUST!
In : Sermon
Tags: "worthy walk series"
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