Friday, March 27, 2020

"Ministry of The Spirit"

Recently I wrote of the “Ministry of Stoning” after reading of how the Apostle Paul was stoned by the religious Jews for preaching the truth of the Gospel. That’s a pretty harsh treatment even though the participants apparently felt their faith threatened. But a much better ministry as God calls us to our ministries, is the “Ministry of the Spirit.” Again Paul tells the people of Corinth, a very rough lot, about this way.

“Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of God because of its glory, fading though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit even more glorious? If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!...Therefore since we have such hope, we are very bold…Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit”  (2Corinthians 3:7-12,17-18).  What an amazing and empowering truth; the Spirit of the Lord is setting us free in ever increasing likeness to Christ. So what should we do? Paul says, “’Let light shine out of darkness, made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.”’ But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us” (2Corinthians 4:6-7).

The ministry of the Spirit is in the hearts of all believers gloriously shining brightly the face of Christ. It is in our weak bodies, described as “jars of clay,” transforming us through His Spirit to reflect Christ’s love in the dark world. This is a “treasure” indeed. There is no other ministry if not empowered through the Holy Spirit. All others are of man with no power or influence for good. Get it? 

Peter tells us of this glorious light in us as well. “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light…Dear friends, I urge you, as aliens and strangers in the world, to abstain from sinful desires, which was against your soul. Live such good lives among the pagans that though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glory God on the day He visits”  (1Peter 2:9,11).  This is the ministry we all have been given if we trust in God through Christ. It is the Holy Spirit who causes us to do good deeds to the glory of God. It is not to earn or gain anything. It is to reflect His love through each of us. This ministry may take many forms according to the gifts He has given you. These gifts are to be used to edify or teach and build up the church and for others to see this reflection of the living God and be drawn to Him. Live in and be filled by the Holy Spirit.

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