Ministry In the Holy Spirit

Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented
0 ratings
· 1 view

Do Whatever Is Necessary For Ministry

In Lystra Paul encountered a young man by the name of Timothy. He had a Jewish Mom and grandmother who taught him about the one true God. Though Timothy was very well versed in Jewish teaching he had not been circumcised because his father was Greek.
The Bible does not say what Paul saw in Timothy but it says in Acts 16:3
Acts 16:3 NASB95
Paul wanted this man to go with him; and he took him and circumcised him because of the Jews who were in those parts, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.
Timothy would become a life-long disciple of Paul and eventually become the pastor to the Churches in Ephesus. This is evidenced by Paul’s letter to Timothy in the Bible appropriately named Timothy! It is a letter of encouragement as Timothy struggled pastoring that church.
I find it interesting that Paul had Timothy circumcised and had just recieved a ruling from the Apostles that circumcision was not necessary for salvation. So why did Paul have Timothy circumcised? Though it was not necessary for salvation it was necessary for ministry. The Bible describes Timothy as a believer who had a Jewish mother and a Greek father. Having a Greek father would mean that he would not have been circumcised as was the Jewish custom. This would present a problem as Paul would need access to the synagogues for the spread of the gospel to both Jews and Gentiles. Since Timothy was not circumcised he could not gain access to the synagogue and Paul probably would not either because of his association with Timothy.
Paul had Timothy circumcised not for the purpose of salvation, but for the purpose of ministry. This brings me to an interesting point about being a Christian. We have tremendous freedom in Christ, however we must sometimes limit our freedom for the sake of ministry. Paul says in Galatians 5:13-15
Galatians 5:13–15 (NASB95)
For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another. For the whole Law is fulfilled in one word, in the statement, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another.
There are certain things that we have the liberty to do in Christ, however if they are found offensive to other brothers or sisters in Christ we should abstain from exercising our liberty in Christ. Paul also says in Romans 14:13-15
Romans 14:13–15 (NASB95)
Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this—not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way. I know and am convinced in the Lord Jesus that nothing is unclean in itself; but to him who thinks anything to be unclean, to him it is unclean. For if because of food your brother is hurt, you are no longer walking according to love. Do not destroy with your food him for whom Christ died.
A practical application of this is drinking. I may like a Margarita because I like sweet drinks, however I will not drink one because many people know that I am a pastor and may find it offensive for me to drink alcohol. I have the liberty and freedom in Christ to drink alcohol, but because it may hinder my ministry to someone who finds it offensive I choose not to drink alcohol.
You may ask why I should sacrifice what I enjoy for the sake of what someone else may think. It is because I value the opportunity to minister more than I do the pleasure of having a margarita.
This is why Paul had Timothy circumcised and Timothy went through with it. They valued the calling to spread the gospel among all people and was willing to do whatever it took to fulfill the calling.
Because they were willing to do whatever was necessary to spread the gospel, God blessed their efforts. Acts 16:5
Acts 16:5 NASB95
So the churches were being strengthened in the faith, and were increasing in number daily.
When we are willing to do whatever is necessary to fulfill God’s calling, He will bless our efforts!

Minster Through the Leading of the Holy Spirit

Acts 16:6–7 (NASB95)
They passed through the Phrygian and Galatian region, having been forbidden by the Holy Spirit to speak the word in Asia; and after they came to Mysia, they were trying to go into Bithynia, and the Spirit of Jesus did not permit them;
In order for Paul to be successful in ministry he would have to depend and follow the moving of the Holy Spirit. In these passages it says that the Spirit forbid Paul from sharing the gospel in Asia at that time and did not allow them to go into Bythinia. So I ask myself how did the Holy Spirit forbid them and stop Paul from doing what he wanted to do. Jon Courson makes a valid argument when he says:
Once Paul decided to do something, nothing would deter him. So how did the Spirit stop Paul from going into Turkey? Most Bible scholars believe Paul was struck at this time with a brutal infirmity, a sickness, an Asian fever so severe that his eyesight would be permanently damaged (Galatians 4:13–15). I also personally believe this is what happened because in verse 10, we see the pronouns “we” and “us” replacing “they” and “them” as Luke joined the journey very possibly to attend to the medical needs of Paul.
Sometimes, to those of us who are stubborn and thick-headed like Paul, the Lord gives guidance through infirmities. I am not saying every illness is a word from the Lord. However, sometimes the Lord does, indeed, work though infirmities
Jon Courson, Jon Courson’s Application Commentary (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2003), 740.
I believe the Holy Spirit uses many ways to guide us. However, in Henry Blackaby’s book experiencing God He points out four predominate ways the Holy Spirit guides us: The Bible, Prayer, Circumstances, and the church. The Holy Spirit gives us illumination of the Bible. Simply put, how to apply the biblical principle to our circumstance. The Holy Spirit uses prayer to direct us by placing passions and concerns within our soul. He has a way of guiding us by speaking to our hearts in prayer. The Holy Spirit will use circumstances in our life to guide us to His will. Marriage, children, employment, illness, opportunities and a myriad of other circumstances to guide us into His will. Finally, the Holy Spirit uses the church to guide you into ministry opportunities. God has gifted all people and desires that we employ that gift through the church.
There are those rare times that the Holy Spirit will use supernatural ways to fulfill ministry. We see this in Paul’s vision that the Holy Spirit gave him. Acts 16:9
Acts 16:9 NASB95
A vision appeared to Paul in the night: a man of Macedonia was standing and appealing to him, and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.”
I can recall a handful of times where the Holy Spirit supernaturally guided me to ministry opportunities. At Life tech the Holy Spirit would not let me walk away from that ministry when I had every desire to do so. Their was another time when members of my Sunday school class were in premature labor and the Holy Spirit prompted me to stop what I was doing and go straight to the hospital and pray for that child and mother. explain. Stepping out of corporate finance and into vocational ministry was another time the Holy Spirit moved supernaturally in my life. explain.
Perhaps you can recall times in your life when the Holy Spirit called you into a ministry opportunity.

God Provides Where He Calls.

Acts 16:13–15 NASB95
And on the Sabbath day we went outside the gate to a riverside, where we were supposing that there would be a place of prayer; and we sat down and began speaking to the women who had assembled. A woman named Lydia, from the city of Thyatira, a seller of purple fabrics, a worshiper of God, was listening; and the Lord opened her heart to respond to the things spoken by Paul. And when she and her household had been baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come into my house and stay.” And she prevailed upon us.
When Paul arrived in Macedonia he met a rich woman named Lydia. She would prove to be a big supporter for Paul and worker for the spread of the gospel.
When God calls He always provides. We have often times when we feel called will say I don’t have time, resources, or skill set to do what the Lord has called you to do. And you will probably be right. However God will give you whatever is necessary to fulfill your calling. This is because He will receive the glory for the ministry opportunity that is fulfilled.
The whole point of this message is to say that Jesus Christ is worth it all. Anything that He calls you to, even if it requires sacrifice is worth it. Jesus will never leave you alone in the ministry that He calls you, but will use the Holy Spirit to guide you. John 16:13-15
John 16:13–15 (NASB95)
“But when He, the Spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak; and He will disclose to you what is to come. “He will glorify Me, for He will take of Mine and will disclose it to you. “All things that the Father has are Mine; therefore I said that He takes of Mine and will disclose it to you.
When you step out in faith the Lord will provide everything you need to fulfill your calling. Gen.22:14
Genesis 22:14 NASB95
Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”
God provided the sacrifice to Abraham so he would not have to sacrifice Isaac. He provided a ram stuck in a thicket as a sacrifice. God has provided our sacrifice in His Son Jesus Christ so we do not have to face everlasting destruction in the lake of fire. If He has done this then surely He will provide all we need for our calling!
Related Media
See more
Related Sermons
See more