Three qualities for ministers of Christ Jesus by Dr. La Fayette Scales
When Dona Williams came to our church to minister to the women’s group, she told us that she was going to be ordained as a minister. God led her to this path. I was blessed to be able to attend her ordination at Good Ground Family Church in Cohoes, NY. Many pastors came to confer her ordination on her. Pastor Don, Rev. Harry Heintz, Rev. James Davis, Rev. Wendell Williams and Apostle La Fayette Scales. His teachings are stellar, and he has taught at our church before.
He will be speaking at Living Word Chapel in West Hurley, NY today and tomorrow. So that you can see the clarity with which he teaches, I am going to post last night’s talk. He gave a short teaching before the ordination.
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
The Corinthian church received two letters from Paul, who was the father of their Church. The first letter was a note of correction and judgment for the messed up church of Corinth.
The 1st chapter told them that they were messed up with sectarianism in the church. The 2nd chapter told them that they were messed up because they were using natural wisdom, not spiritual wisdom. 3rd messed up with personality cults, 4th messed up the apostolic relationship, 5th messed up with immorality, 6th messed up with law suits, 7th messed up with marriages, 8th is a divided church messed up with knowledge instead of God, 9th messed up with how to support apostles, 10th messed up in temptations, 11th messed up in communion, 12th messed up about spiritual gifts, 13th messed up in love, 14th messed up in public works and 15th messed up in the resurrection.
Pastor Scales then said, “Corinth was a MESSED UP Church.”
Paul writes a letter to straighten up the messed up church. People in the world are messed up, and they don’t need to come to a church to find out that the church is also messed up.
1 Corinthians 1:12-13 Paul noted that the Corinthians were arguing over who they followed. Now I say this, that each of you says, “I am of Paul,” or “I am of Apollos,” or “I am of Cephas,” or “I am of Christ.” Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul?
1 Corinthians 4:1-2 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.
Three qualities for ministers in Christ Jesus.
1. SERVANTS: They minister as servants. Pastor Scales told us that there are three words that are translated as “servant” in the Greek.
A. doulos (1401 in Strong’s) which means a bond slave, an indentured servant. When the servant’s debt was paid, he was set free. Sometimes a servant loved the master so much he decided to continue working for the master as a bondslave. The master would take an awl and punch a hole through the ear as a sign that this servant chose to remain with the master. Pastor Scales told us that ministers of God serve God for love. It is not a job, it is a passion. Sometimes a passion can be a profession. Pastor Scales said, “I go to sleep counting sheep.” But doulos is not the word used in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2.
B. diakonos (1249 in Strong’s) which sounds a lot like deacon. It was an errand runner, a servant, a table waiter, who serves a meal. Pastor Scales had us laughing as he put a white cloth over his left arm and carried his Bible in his open hand like a serving tray. He told us that ministers serve up the Word of God for the people. The Church is a bunch of hungry people. The minister takes orders to the Chef (God) who cooks up a meal for the people. The minister gets to deliver the meal to the people and also to tell the chef how the people enjoyed the meal. The minister does not cook the meal, he just gets to serve the meal. The glory goes to the Chef (God.) Sometimes the minister gets a tip from the people to say thank you, but the glory really goes to God. This is not the “servant” that Paul used in Corinthians.
C. huperetes (5257 in Strong’s) (Heather’s note, the King James version of the Bible uses the term “minister” for servant). This is the word that Paul uses in 1 Corinthians 4:1-2 and it refers to an oarsman, an oarsman who was below the galley on the 3rd level, one that was chained to the oars. This oarsman rowed to another’s beat, always staying on the oar. They are the invisible people down below. They are given an assignment, row to someone else’s lead to move the ship of Good Ground Family Church, to move to the destiny of God. Pastor Scales talked about the donkey that was used to bring Christ into Jerusalem. He imagined that that donkey, chained to that post, wondered about the other donkeys frolicking in the field, or was envious of the donkeys who went to foreign countries carrying gold and other precious goods. What the donkey chained to the post did not realize was that he was being preserved to carry the Son of God, the Glory of God into the city. The reason he was able to do that was because he remained chained to the post. Pastor Scales told Dona Williams that she is to give Pastor Wendell her best for the church, to follow Pastor Wendell’s instructions. There is a perk in that though, for as the ship moves, so do the slaves.
A steward takes care of business for someone else. They manage the affairs of someone else. We have to remember that it is not MY ministry, it is God’s. We sometimes say, “my ministry.” but we have to realize that it is with the understanding of roles.
MINE = Stewardship
The Earth is the Lord’s. Even my money, all that I have is the Lord’s. When you say:
My car – it is yours by Stewardship, it is His (God’s) by ownership. The same goes with My house, My wife (your wife is the daughter of another man). What we are stewards over does not belong to us.
Hebrews 8:6 more excellent ministry But now He has obtained a more excellent ministry, inasmuch as He is also Mediator of a better covenant, which was established on better promises.
Hebrews 2 Jesus is a more excellent ministry.
Ephesians 4:11-12 And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.
Jesus operated in all the ministries: apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher.
Hebrews 4:11-12 Let us therefore be diligent to enter the rest, lest anyone fall according to the same example of disobedience. For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 Gifts of the Spirit
Hebrews 3:1 Jesus was an apostle. Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus.
John 4:19 The woman at the well, Jesus as prophet The woman said to Him, “Sir, I perceive that You are a prophet.”
Luke 4:19 evangelist To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.
John 10 Good Shepherd
John 3: Teacher.
We are stewards over what belongs to us. If we see Jesus as only a pastor and teacher we only know 40% of Him. We want 100% of Jesus in our church – all the ministries.
Pastor Scales told us that we can think of the five fold ministry as our hand. The thumb is the apostle (who touches all the ministries), the pointer finger is the prophet pointing people in the right direction, the middle finger is the evangelist who stands out there showing people Jesus, the ring finger is the pastor who is married to the church, and the little finger is the teacher who can break down the wax that blocks us from hearing the true word of God.
Jesus, after He ascended, gave the church over to the Apostles to steward, and they passed stewardship down to the hands of regional groups. In the 21st Century, the Church has passed down to us and we are stewards of Christ.
A synonym for “faithfulness” is reliable. A minister must be consistently reliable in four areas. 1. Character, 2. Judgment, 3. Performance. and 4. Results.
Character: God is called faithful. Malachi 3:6 For I am the LORD, I do not change…
Judgment: Psalm 119:137 Righteous are You, O LORD, and upright are Your judgments.
Performance: Philippians 1:6 being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ
Results God does not change and He fails not. God expects His stewards to reflect these qualities and to be faithful to Him. Character is who you are in private. Ministry is what you do in public. Pastor Scales told Dona to not let her ministry carry her to places her character cannot take her.
Pastor Scales has watched Dona’s judgments over time with her kids, her husband, her work at church, her relationship with God and has found that she exhibits the traits God wants. He told her to do what God called her to do. To do her assignment and perform it with all her heart, to do it with excellence and a little drama.
Jesus is looking for results. Nowhere in the Bible does Jesus say, “Nice try.” We are seeking for Jesus to tell us, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” Performance and results is what we want. The Holy Spirit will use us so we will have right performance and right results. We are to be faithful to the end.
I hope this teaching blesses you. You can hear more of Pastor Scales’ teachings tonight and tomorrow. Or you can check out where he is speaking in his international ministry and find our more about him at Rhema Christian Center, Columbus, Ohio.
Have a blessed day!
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