Marks of the Ministry

We then, as workers together with Him also plead with you not receive the grace of God in vain. For He says: “in an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you.” Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. We give no offense in anything, that our ministry may not be blamed. But in all things we commend ourselves as ministers of God: in much patience, in tribulations, in needs, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings; by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love, by the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and on the left, by honor and dishonor, by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and behold we live; as chastened, and yet not killed; as sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich; as having nothing, and yet possessing all things.  2 Corinthians 6:1-10

When you tell someone you are a Christian, how far do you go in revealing what Christ has done for you? How in depth do you elaborate the calling or kind of ministry the Lord has equipped you for? How urgent is your message at telling others their need of being saved? These are the subjects of what Paul refers to on the subject his ministry for Jesus Christ. The first point is his position, being joined with Christ. Workers together with Him—And then pleading with his readers not to receive God’s grace in vain,” Most of the Corinthian believers were saved but hindered by legalistic teaching regarding sanctification. Some were not even truly saved but deceived by a gospel of works (Galatians 5:4), which was being taught by the false teachers in that day. In either case, Paul’s proclamation of the gospel of grace would not have been having its desired effect, and would have had cause for serious concern that his many months of ministry at Corinth would have been in vain. Now is the day of salvation—Paul applied Isaiah’s words to the present situation that there is a time in God’s economy when He listens to repentant sinners, who ask for His mercy and seek His forgiveness for their sins. And it was then, and still is now, that time that we are living in known as, the age of grace. Solomon wrote in Proverbs, Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. (Prov.1:23) In this call to wisdom, God promises the spirit or essence of true wisdom that is linked to divine revelation to those who repent from their sin laden life. So Paul’s emphasis of “Today,” as the day of salvation is because there will be an end to that time when anyone can freely come to God in true repentance and Godly sorrow.

We give no offense in anything—Jesus gave His disciples a very strict warning that not everyone will accept your gospel message. If fact, be prepared for those who will hate you because of Me. Like Paul, any believer who engages in a faithful ministry of reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:18-20) should expect to be rejected and accepted, to be hated and loved, to encounter joy and hardship. The faithful ambassador for Christ does nothing to discredit his ministry, but everything he can to protect its integrity.

We commend ourselves—The word “commend” means “introduce” with the connotation of proving oneself. The most convincing proof is the patient endurance of character reflected in Paul’s hardships and nature of his ministry. These marks of ministry can be seen in three ways: First of all, In the physical sense. In much patience, in afflictions, in necessities, in distresses, in stripes, in imprisonments, in tumults, in labors, in sleeplessness, in fastings (vv.4-5); The preposition (in) talking about the physical sufferings and hardships that he endured as a minister of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Then changing the word to (by) he speaks now of  mental things that he endured: by purity, by knowledge, by longsuffering, by kindness, by the Holy Spirit, by sincere love. Then from there, Paul speaks of the third mark of his ministry, the spiritual things of importance and of the righteousness God had granted him through the Holy Spirit. These spiritual things: By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the armor of righteousness on the right hand and the left, (vv.6-7). So the ministry, the proof of ministry, it’s marks it left in the life of Paul, these characteristics of ministry God gives to all of His faithful ministers even today who serve the Lord and their fellow man. These interesting contrasts that take place within the ministry; “Sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; poor, yet making many rich; having nothing, yet I possess everything.” All because I possess Christ. Or maybe it should be said, Because Christ possesses me. I have surrendered my life unto Jesus Christ, The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! (John 1:29)

Beloved friend, The mark of ministry that has genuine character and is effective in this world is paradoxical and therefore must never be trying to conform itself to fit or be like the world’s standards, but rather, must take if necessary the hard stance in which God’s word will not ever be compromised even if it brings much persecution with it. We must prepare ourselves through prayer, and with the reading and studying of His Word. God’s Word must take deep lodging in our hearts, and become synonymous with our actions and responses in everyday life. We need to take the warning seriously on the subject of purity, the enemy of our souls will do all he can to get you to compromise your purity in lieu of popularity. The tactics of spiritual warfare are ever present today, as they were when they wrote them to warn the believers about it during the first century church. The marks of your ministry will be what is part of the cost at being called a disciple of Jesus Christ. Knowing whom you’ve received it from, should be enough evidence and proof that the Lord Jesus Christ has equipped you for this ministry, and will provide all of what is needed in His written Word to allow you to fulfill your ministry. Praise His name, go out and make it count for the kingdom and glory of God. Prayer: Lord Jesus, I don’t want to “act important,” but rather I want to be an important vessel You use in furthering the gospel to our world. In Jesus Name, amen.

May the Lord bless your walk with Him today!





Author: rontrujillo

Married 37 years We have six children. All of whom are adult. Three are married one of them blessed us with three beautiful grandchildren. Retired Firefighter @ Boeing Aircraft 37 years (Formally McDonnell Douglas) Born Again Summer of 1981

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *