THE GIFT AND CALLING ARE WITHOUT REPENTANCE
1. Is it in the Bible?
Ro 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.
2. What do we believe it means?
1. God ordains ministry.
2. Most people do not have the call to ministry, since only a very few people are pastors.
3. If someone has a ministry calling, it will some thru no matter what.
3. What does it really mean?
Let's look at this idea one point at a time and see where it goes awry....
1. "God ordains ministry." this is a new testament Biblical truth. god is the supplier of ministry gifts. In fact the Bible says that "ministry" is God acting thru a person, to serve others.
2. "Most people do not have the call to ministry, since only a very few people are pastors." Here is where this idea goes wrong--and once again "experience" is at fault. when we are sure that the pastor is "all the ministry" in the church (or the "top" ministry--or the only "full-time/professional" ministry) we have inherited an incredibly narrow view of "ministry". Of course only a handful of people have the "pastoral gift" since tradition and experience defines this gift (and not the Bible!) as someone who gives good speeches on Sunday and can handle the finances of a church.
this concept is very very wrong if we simply read the Bible. ephesians chapter 4 is the area of the Bible that speaks of the ministry gifts (the only place the word "pastor" is translated in he entire new testament!0. ephesians chapter 4 says quite plainly that all believers have been given a job--a gift--a calling,,
1 ¶ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you
that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,
2 ¶ With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;
3 Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
4 There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;
Next in Ephesians 4 the Bible says that God is in all believers and that ministry is God acting thru a believer....
5 One Lord, one faith, one baptism,
6 One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Next these verse say that God has given different gifts to different people--but these gifts are meant to work together to "edify the Body" (to build up--add to the Body--in other words GET PEOPLE SAVED!).
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the
measure of the gift of Christ.
8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.
9 (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?
10 He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: (Ephesians 4:1-12)
These gifts, operating thru different people, but working together, is a description of how the church should work.
Does the church work this way today, under "pastoral authority"?
Did Jesus work this way? Did Jesus have this non-authoritarian definition of ministry?
Did the church in the Bible work this way? Did the church in the Bible have this non-authoritarian definition of ministry?
3. "If someone has a ministry calling, it will some thru no matter what." This part of the concept is wrong--again because of the wrong definition of ministry that tradition has handed us. Can a ministry call be hindered? Of course it can! If we read the Bible and allowed it to define ministry perhaps our eyes would be open to see how the ministry callings of most Christians have been smothered by our elevated notion of pastoral ministry. When the Bible says "the gift and calling are without repentance" it is reiterating exactly what Ephesians chapter 4 is saying..
7 But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.
this quote, which uses the old testament to establish the concepts of new testament ministry is from psalm 68:18....
18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them. (psalm 68:18)
The Bible says God has given every person the gift of ministry--"event he rebellious"--Which means that even those who have not repented have a ministry gift.
"Ministry" is much more prevalent than we believe. God made every person with gifts that are meant to serve Him.