THE DELIVERANCE MINISTRY
DO NOT GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
Ephesians 4:30 “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
In Ephesians chapter four Paul is dealing with the church from the perspective of what God’s call is to the body of Christ for ministry, Paul is dealing with all levels of ministry.
By the time that he gets to the end of the chapter he adds the above warning: Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, almost as a redundant warning of
something that should have been obvious to all who were serving our Lord back then, and that is that, without the Holy Spirit there is no true ministry.
Unfortunately, what was very clear to the believers of Paul’s day has become somewhat muddled in our present time, because there are many ministries today that do not function under the unction of the Holy Spirit.
Let us begin under the assumption that the ministers and ministry types that we are going to examine here, are all called by God and abide in true service to God; then let us ask this question: How do I personally, and how do we as a body, keep from grieving the Holy Spirit of God when rendering to Him what is our due reverence to Him, our service?
Number One: We need to know what our calling is!
Ephesians 4:1 “I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called.”
Not knowing what our calling is, and that we are all called, will surely hinder in us the flow of the Holy Spirit that is so vital for our spiritual growth, and so necessary for our training and edification. Imagine getting hired to work in a large department store or factory, and when we get there we have no idea as to what place or division we are to report to.
We wouldn't just start working and serving aimlessly somewhere in that place in the hope that somebody from the placement department that hired us to begin with will eventually find us and send us to our proper destination.
Yet, that is what many Christians do, after they get saved instead of seeking what God’s ministry and calling is for them, they just serve out of place where others are glad to have their help, but it will not profit the person that is in the wrong place any, because as far as management is concerned, they did not show up to work where they were needed.
Number Two: We need to have the right attitude, a humbled spirit!
Ephesians 4:2-3 “With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another with love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”
There are some that after they get saved, have a desire to serve in a ministry that they are not called to perform, because in their eyes this other ministry is a more glamorous ministry than the one, they know they were called to; this too is grievous to the Holy Spirit. So that we are not only supposed to be in the right ministry, but we also need to have the right attitude about the ministry that we are in.
Humility includes lots of patience also, and patience is needed because in a sense we are all in training. If we think that we can do a better job at what another person has been called to do, our tendency might be that of doing their part just because we can do it better and or faster than they can, and by us doing what they are supposed to be doing, we hinder their calling to the point that they will never get the training necessary to eventually fulfill their calling.
I was involved in the making of a TV commercial once for the company that I worked for at that time. The setting was in a beautiful three story house in Malibu, California, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I was spraying the outside stucco of the house with a life long texture coating material, the owner of the company had arranged for a Hollywood crew that filmed commercials to be there the day that I was spraying.
After they finished filming my part, they set up to the side of the house a tarp over the grass and put a bucket of paint into which one of the commercial making crew was to through a paint brush into, to make the emphasis that if you put our product on your house you could get rid of your paint and brushes, for you would never have to paint again.
There were about eight people in the commercial filming crew, and this one fellow was assigned the task of throwing the brush into the paint bucket, a smile still comes to my face as I am telling you the story, for this fellow could not hit the inside of the bucket no matter how hard the poor fellow tried. Take after take, changing the angle, getting closer to the bucket, nothing, they tried everything.
Others on the crew would have no problem hitting the inside of the bucket in just one or two tries, to which somebody in the filming crew suggested to the director that they might have to use somebody other than the person that was assigned for that job originally, so that they could get the commercial done. To my amazement, the director told them that this fellow was hired by the commercial company for that purpose and that the company knew best, and that they would be there until that poor fellow got the brush into the bucket.
Encouraged by the unshaken commitment of his boss as to what his calling was, the young man got the brush in the bucket in the very next take, the cheers from all of us who were there were heard all the way back to Los Angeles.
But I learned a spiritual lesson that day that has served me well through the years. When it comes to God’s calling for a person’s life, only God knows the magnitude and the impact that His gift and calling will have in that person’s life, and after all is not how you begin, but the depth of your heart’s commitment to your call that really matters.
So that when serving the Lord in ministry, as I recognized the gift and the calling of God upon a person that was serving in whatever ministry it was that I was in charged of at the time, I would immediately set out to help them to develop their gifts no matter how inept or uncomfortable they appeared at first, knowing that someday that person would glorify Jesus in the exercising of their calling.
I found out that if I kept getting myself replaced by somebody that was better than me at whatever it was that I was doing, that the body of Jesus was being edified and better served, after all that is what really matters.
Ephesians 4:4-7 “There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”
Although each one of us receives personal gifts, these gifts are always for the purpose of enabling and equipping the saints for the work of the ministry and for the edifying of the One body of Christ.
Ephesians 4:12-13 “For the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
Number Three: Know what the function and emphasis of the five different offices of ministry are, for they embodied the qualities of leadership under which the church is and should be governed.
Ephesians 4:11 “And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.”
The church represents the physical body of Christ here on the earth, a physical body has five different senses, vision, hearing, smell, taste, touch, by which it navigates through life. The five offices of ministry are a spiritual representation of those five senses through which the body of Christ operates here on the earth.
In order for us to be more effective in ministry, we need to know under which of those five offices, or combination of these offices, any given ministry into which we are involve with its functioning, for the spiritual emphasis will be different under each one of these five offices.
Isaiah 29:10 “For the Lord has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; and He has covered your heads, namely the seers.”
Here we see how the Lord uses that metaphor against Israel. Their eyes represent the spiritual vision that enables their prophets to prophesy God’s Word to the nation, and if you cover the entire head, they are no longer even able to process the Word of God that they already had.
The Apostolic and the Prophetic Ministries
In our present day the apostles and their apostolic ministry, along with the prophets and their prophetic ministry, represent the foundation upon which the entire church is built.
Ephesians 2:20-22 “Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building (the church), being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.”
If an apostle is one who lays the foundation, and he is, then no other foundation can be laid but that which has already been laid by the founding apostles, and all true prophets will testify to that.
1 Corinthians 3:11 “For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ.”
The apostolic ministries of today are ministries that start brand new churches in places where no other churches existed before, but if their foundation is not that which has already been laid, then that ministry is not part of the building of God, for it has not been erected on the original foundation which Christ laid when He built His church.
The ministry of today’s prophets is not the same as it was for the prophets of Jesus’ days, for through their prophetic ministry God gave to us the books that comprise the New Testament through which the foundation of the church was established, hence: Having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets there is nothing new that we can add.
However, the prophets of today are the ones that proclaim that which was prophesied by the prophets of old, in both the Old and New Testaments, as being extremely relevant to what is going on in the world of today, they keep God’s yet to be fulfilled promises alive to the present generation.
Also, the prophets of today testify against the so-called churches that are not built on the solid foundation of God’s apostolic church but are built on a deviation of what God originally intended His church to be built on.
And if you are involved in an apostolic ministry that aims to start new churches where none ever existed before, make sure that they are being built in the apostolic pattern laid out for us in the New Testament, and in you helping them, model your service to them in the same manner that those who helped the apostles build their churches back then did, that is why we have His Word in the New Testament to aid us.
The Evangelistic Ministry
An evangelist is one who preaches the Gospel for the purpose of making converts. You may ask, how does that differ from one who teaches and by his teaching leads others to the Lord? Or from a pastor who preaches and makes converts through his preaching? Salvation is not limited to any one ministry, for the Holy Spirit convicts' sinners every time the Word of God is proclaimed no matter who proclaims it.
But just like the eye may see something and it is confirmed by the ear hearing something, the evangelistic ministry is designed to work hand in hand with the other two. The heart of a true evangelist however is in leading sinners to Christ, he is not as concerned with who is going to disciple the convert, or who is going to teach them spiritual principles, for the evangelist knows that that is the work of the church.
2 Timothy 4:5 “But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.”
The Ministry of the Pastor
The ministry of the pastor revolves around the task of keeping the flock together, as his title implies. A pastor’s main concern is that of maintaining the house/church in proper working order. He not only feeds the flock with the Word of God, but he also steers it away from danger.
God has appointed the pastors as the overseers of the spiritual heath and well being of the flock. If the enemy, like a wolf, comes against one of the members of his church, that enemy will have to go through that pastor’s authority and watchful eyes in order to get to that member.
So that the pastor is not overwhelmed by all his responsibilities, God brings into the church teachers, evangelists, administrators, and divers helps, that means everybody in the congregation, that allows that pastor to focus his energy into keeping his flock safe from spiritual attacks.
If a pastor surrounds himself with wise elders that will inform and advise him truthfully about the spiritual condition of the church, what they see from their perspectives, that pastor will have everything that he needs to maintain his people safe, but if he ignores their wise counsel, his people will suffer the consequences. Nothing worse than a pastor that thinks that he knows everything, even David a wise shepherd himself, needed the counsel of the seers that God provided and surrounded him with.
A pastor’s ministry is to build others up and not to tear them down, his ministry can be summed up by this verse of Scripture:
Ephesians 4:29 “Let no corrupt word proceed out of your mouth, but what is good for necessary edification, that it may impart grace to the hearers.”
The Ministry of the Teacher
Matthew 13:52 “He said to them, ‘Therefore every teacher of the law (the Word of God) who has been instructed about the kingdom of heaven is like the owner of a house who brings out of his storeroom new treasures as well as old.’” NIV
Jesus really paints it with this verse as to what the nature and calling of a teacher really is.
I once, during a time of fellowship with some very close friends who were asking if we could play some kind of constructive word game, suggested to them that we pretend that we were stranded in a desert island without our Bibles, and told them, let us see how much of John chapter one we can recreate from memory, and after we have exhausted every one of our recollections we will look it up and see how well we did. Well to begin with we could not even remember how many verses were in the whole chapter, can you without looking it up?
A teacher of the Word of God may not really be able to literally, from his memory, have the ability to reconstruct all or even parts of the Word of God, but the essence of what that chapter was about was firmly etched in my heart. For that word had become real in my heart, and I went on to preach from it that night without opening a Bible.
So that the ministry of a teacher of the Word of God is to store in the storeroom of his heart, the essence of the revelation that the Word of God brings to his enlightenment. To treasure the revelation that the Holy Spirit reveals into his heart to such a point that, they not only remember the revelation, but how it made them feel and the circumstances that brought the revelation about.
An anointed teacher can be likened to a spiritual reservoir that can bring to a thirsty church rivers of living waters in the time of drought.
1 Samuel 3:1, 19 “Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation...So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his (God’s) words fall to the ground.”