And He Gave Some… Part 2

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers

Five kinds of ministers continued: [3] Evangelists. [Greek: euangelistes] a bringer of glad tidings. Used of those spreading the gospel during the New Testament period as Christ commanded the apostles and disciples to do (Matt. 28:19) until all had access to the written Word of God. [4] ‘Pastors’ [Greek: poimen]. Translated “pastor” only here, but “shepherd” 16 times (Matt. 9:36; 25:32; 26:31; Mark 6:34; 14:27; Luke 2:8-20; John 10:2-16; Heb. 13:20; 1Pet. 2:25). The Hebrew: ra‛ah to tend a flock is translated “pastor” 8 times (Jer. 2:8; 3:15; 10:21; 12:10; 17:16; 22:22; 23:1-2) and “shepherd” 63 times. God, Christ, and men are called “shepherds” (4:11; Ps. 23:1; 80:1; Ezek. 34:1-23; Zech. 13:7; Heb. 13:20; 1Pet. 2:25). [5] Teachers. [Greek: didaskalos] translated master 47 times in the Gospels, 40 times of Christ. Translated “doctor” in Luke 2:46 and “teacher” in John 3:2. Always “teacher” in the epistles, except in James 3:1.

Besides the above, ministers are called: ambassadors (2Cor. 5:20); angels (Rev. 1:20; 2:1); elders (1Tim. 5:17; 1Pet. 5:1); fishers of men (Matt. 4:19; Mark 1:17); labourers (1Thess. 3:2); men of God (Deut. 33:1; 1Tim. 6:11); lights (Matt. 5:14; John 5:35); messengers (2Cor. 8:23; Mal. 2:7); ministers (2Cor. 3:6; 6:4; Rom. 15:16); overseers (Acts 20:28); preachers (Rom. 10:14; 1Tim. 2:7); servants (Tit. 1:1; Jude 1:1; Jas. 1:1); soldiers (Php. 2:25; 2Tim. 2:3-4); stewards (Tit. 1:7; 1Pet. 4:10); watchmen (Isa. 62:6; Ezek. 33:7); witnesses (Acts 1:8; 5:32; 26:16); workers (2Cor. 6:1); stars (Rev. 1:20; 2:1).

Ministering to others is not any individual’s priority. The Word of God (Ps. 119; Luke 8) and the Holy Spirit (John 16:8) will lead sinners to God and convict them, that is not our calling. Jesus Christ will be the only teacher one will ever need (Matt. 23:8,10) and the Holy Spirit will teach us His words, His gospel, His truth and life (John 14:26; 15:26). We must take what we learn from God’s Word for ourselves and allow Him to bring all necessary changes (Php. 1:6) as we grow as Christians to become faithful in self-denial and holy in living. The most faithful self-denial and holy living may, for a time, seem unfruitful – through no fault of the believer, but because of conditions on earth. Those who labour must learn to do as Christ did – commit themselves and their work to God’s glory, and toil on in faith. God assumes responsibility for salvation and keeps men free on condition of meeting His terms of repentance and holy living (Luke 13:1-5; Col. 2:6-7; Heb. 12:14-15; 1Jn. 1:7-9; 2:29; 3:5-10; 5:1-4, 18).

And He Gave Some… Part 1

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers 

‘And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.’ Five kinds of ministers: [1] Apostles. [Greek: Apostolos] a delegate, one sent with the full power of attorney to act in the place of another, the sender remaining behind to back up the one sent. In the case of the New Testament Christians, it means God sent them to do what He, Himself would do if He went. They were the ones who either wrote N.T. books or ministered the gospel of Christ to the congregations. It is found 81 times and translated apostle 78 times; messenger twice (2Cor. 8:23; Php. 2:25); and once he that is sent (John 13:16). Twenty-four apostles are recorded: Simon Peter and his brother Andrew (Matt. 10:2); James, son of Zebedee and John his brother (Matt. 10:2); Philip and his brother Bartholomew (Matt. 10:3); James, son of Alphaeus and Judas his brother (Luke 6:16) and Matthew, son of Alphaeus, perhaps brother of James and Judas (Mark 2:14; Luke 6:15). Thomas (Matt. 10:3), Simon Zelotes, brother of James and Judas, according to tradition (Luke 6:15). Judas Iscariot (Matt. 10:4), Matthias (Acts 1:26), Barnabas (1Cor. 9:5-6; Acts 13:1-3; 14:4, 14; Gal. 2:9), Andronicus and Junia (Rom. 16:7), Apollos (1Cor. 4:6-9). James, the Lord’s brother (Gal. 1:19; 2:6; Jas. 1:1). Silas and Timothy (1Thess. 1:1; 2:6), Titus (2Cor. 8:23), Epaphroditus (Php. 2:25), Paul (Gal. 1:1; 2:8), Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1). We are warned to watch out for false apostles (2Cor. 11:13; Rev. 2:2), they are those that will try to add or take away from the written Word of God (Rev. 22:18-19). [2] Prophets. Prophets were those who spoke for God (Heb. 1:1; Acts 3:21). They were the Old Testament authors and receivers of God’s word during the O.T. period, the last one was John the Baptist (Matt. 11:11-13; Luke 16:16), even though some individuals were still operating under the name ‘prophet’ during the shift from Old to New Testament, the office ended with John the Baptist. To prophecy during the New Testament meant to edify, exhort and comfort (1Cor. 14:3) and is classified with the gifts of the Spirit (1Cor. 12:4-11, 28). Directions for the exercise of this gift are found in 1Corinthians 14:1-40. The office was next in importance to apostles (4:11; 1Cor. 12:28). We are warned in the New Testament to watch out for all the false prophets (Matt. 7:15; 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22; 2Pet. 2:1; 1Jn. 4:1), they are those that will try to add or take away from the written Word of God (Rev. 22:18-19).

To be continued…