” (What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions? He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors, and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:9-13 NIV)
Christ, Himself gave gifts to men and women to function in the roles of apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers–all promoting The Word and how to live a Godly life–so that all in the Body of Christ will know what they are to do and how they are to live. Christ did not set up denominations or religions to divide those who Believe Him, but to bring all who believe into unity–one purpose–teaching all, what God said in preparation for His return.
The ministry gifts–given to those chosen to function in those offices are accompanied with the Spiritual gifts as noted in I Corinthians 12:7-11 (a separate lesson coming soon). All of the spiritual gifts are given as Holy Spirit chooses to those He chooses–not as we desire. Many have been given the gifts of healing and manipulated the gift to bring attention to self and have been exposed for the deception. We are not give gifts to exploit people, but to provide purpose for what we do, magnifying God in all we do–so He gets the glory, not us.
But note this: The nine gifts listed, cooperatively work in groups of three–faith, healing and miracles; prophecy, speaking in tongues and interpretation, wisdom, knowledge and discernment–all working together for the same purpose, but through different individuals. For anyone to claim they operate in all nine of the spiritual gifts–on their own–I would question the validity of that claim based upon the scriptures and discount anything else they had to say.
This is why it is important for all Believers to know and understand The Word. It is not enough to know what is said without having understanding of what is said and why. It is because so many have gone out–proclaiming and declaring things that God did not say, that we have so much confusion in the Body of Christ today. We must read, study, mediate upon The Word, gaining understanding before we attempt to tell anyone else, anything.
One of the reasons people attempt to manipulate the gift given is because they do not understand their purpose in ministry. They proclaim they have been called by God (when actually some have been called by people) and spend little to no time, preparing to function in the calling they claim. When God calls us–He equips us to do the work He has called us to do–naturally, supernaturally, and spiritually. He inspires us to study, directs us to where we can find information to clarify our roles and in understanding His Word. He speaks to us when we allow ourselves to hear Him, guiding us every step of the way.
When He anoints us to do something out of the ordinary, it is the supernatural gifting and operation of Holy Spirit in control, not us and all we have to do is submit to His leading and by this submission, people will know–whether we are called by God or we have allowed men/women to influence our decision to get into ministry.
Doing the work of ministry is not always a pleasant task, but it is a necessary task and when we do it to the glory of God, we know it is worthwhile.
Before we go out into the world of unsuspecting people trying to make our name for ourselves, let’s seek God and obtain understanding the purpose of the ministry gifts and then allow Him to fill us to overflowing to function in the gifts, He gives!