A Triumphant Ministry
Christians live a life of unceasing gratitude (2 Cor 2:14). God has done something magnanimous for our benefit. Not only has He done the entirety of this good work, He has made us to know what He has done for us (the Bible). He has given us the knowledge of His saving us from sin, death, judgment, eternal hell and the lake of fire (Rev 20:10, 14, 15). In truth, He saves us from Himself, that is, from His justice under His Law (1 Thess 1:10).
There is much to say of His predetermined plan, predestination, and election (Acts 2:23; Rom 8:30; Eph 1:4–5). There is also much to say of Christ’s redemptive death on the cross for His church (Rom 5:8; Eph 5:25; 1 Pet 2:24), taken from people groups, from all over the world (Rev 5:9; 7:9). The former (election) is the Father’s work and the latter is the work of God’s only begotten Son (redemption).
The mystery of Christ’s triumph over the enemies of God has become the ministry of His Spirit-filled church (1 Jn 3:8). All the work of God is absolutely perfect. Nothing is left to chance or possibility. God’s eternal decree will surely come to pass, exactly as it was designed from eternity. The execution of God’s eternal decree in space and time is called, “God’s providence.” Everything in your life and ministry, Christian, is grace and providence.
The work of the ministry of reconciliation is the work of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 5:18–20), who executes God’s will, for all things pertaining to life and ministry (Phil 2:13). This ministry cannot fail (Rom 8:28), but we do have resistance from a defeated foe (2 Cor 10:3–4; Eph 6:10–20).
God dwells within our hearts (Jn 14:17; Rom 8:9, 11). He has begun a good work in us, and we have the promise He will complete His good work (Phil 1:6). Christian, you are who you are, a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), because of what God has done to transform you (Ezek 36:26; Rom 12:2). You do what you do — good works prepared beforehand (Eph 2:10) because the Holy Spirit is working in you (Phil 1:6; 2:13), to conform you, to the image of Jesus Christ (Rom 8:29; 2 Cor 4:4).
Christian ministry is the ministry of the Holy Spirit. All credit, honor and glory must always be ascribed to the Spirit of Christ. If the Christian is manifesting more love, that is the Spirit, who is love (1 Jn 4:8).
With bold confidence, we proclaim Christ’s victory — past, present, and future. This is the spiritual rose parade of the Victor victorious (2 Cor 2:14). It is a fragrance of life and death, depending on whether the veil, hindering a person from seeing Christ, has been removed or not (2 Cor 4:3). It is the Holy Spirit, alone, who removes the veil of darkness.
When a soul is granted repentance (Acts 5:31; 11:18; 2 Tim 2:25) and receives faith as a gift of God’s grace (Eph 2:8–9; Phil 1:29), then she sees the light of the glory of God, in the face of Christ (2 Cor 4:6). Seeing Jesus, with the illumination of God’s Word, by His Spirit, is transforming (Jn 17:17; 1 Thess 4:3). A new mind, the mind of Christ (1 Cor 2:16), is coupled with a new heart for God (Ezek 36:26).
This ministry speaks truth, loves life, shines light, and serves as an instrument of grace. It is a ministry that reveals God’s unconditional covenant that shows us the terms by which God has promised to do all His holy will (Gen 12, 15, 17; Eph 1:11), as it is purposed in Christ Jesus (Eph 3:11). He has willed to save some souls, but not all (Mt 22:14). This is according to His eternal good pleasure.
This ministry is liberating, to those who believe our report (Rom 10:16). Christ is building His church (Mt 16:18), the Israel of God (Gal 6:16), adding to His body of members, as the Spirit gives the life of God (2 Cor 3:6) to His chosen ones (Job 33:4; Jn 6:63). Jesus came to set free the captives to sin and Satan, to liberate them from an evil dominion (Is 61:1; Lk 4:18).
Each Christian is a letter of Christ, written by the Holy Spirit (2 Cor 3:3). The Christian is a living witness (Acts 1:8), and even after the death of the body, she yet speaks through those who received Christ, through her ministry in the Spirit (Heb 11:4). How many, on this very day, will pick up a sermon from Spurgeon, a book from Edwards, or listen to an audio sermon from Boice?
The Word of God does not return void (Is 55:11). The Gospel light is never quenched by the darkness. Truth’s unstoppable advance has met innumerable foes throughout history, but it goes forth each day, in a demonstration of the Spirit and power (1 Cor 2:4). None of Christ’s sheep have been lost or will be lost (Jn 10:28–29; Rom 8:35–39).
Christian, this ministry is yours and mine. We are utterly inadequate for service to our King, but He makes us to be adequate (2 Cor 3:5–6), as stewards, who must give an account of that which has been entrusted to us (1 Cor 9:17; Gal 2:7; 1 Thess 2:4). We must never hide this light under a basket (Mt 5:14–16), nor twist it with human wisdom (1 Cor 1:20) or propagate it with corporation marketing methods (2 Cor 2:17; 4:2).
The Gospel is to be preached, heard, believed, and loved with great joy. It is the old, old story of God’s electing love (Eph 1:4–5), for those He gave to His Son (Jn 6:37; 17:2, 6, 24), Jesus Christ, to be His bride for all eternity (Eph 5:25; Rev 21–22). The message and the ministry are marvelous in our sight. They are glorifying to God, in His sight. God planned it. He created it. God executed it. He revealed it to us. God, in three Persons, is praised for it (Dt 10:21; Ps 98:1; Is 12:5).
Friend, this is no fairy tale or mythical story. This is reality, as it is revealed to us from God. Again, today, He has made these things, long hidden, to be made known to you (Heb 1:1–2). Your response to this ministry, designed to raise dead souls to life, will tell you exactly where you stand.
You are either outside of Christ, veiled from seeing the light of the glory of God, and perishing because of sin…or you have been transferred into Christ and His right standing before God. In the first case, this ministry is foolishness to you. In the second case, you see it as the triumphant ministry of Jesus Christ, carried on by the triumphant ministry of His Spirit. Enjoy their victory, which is your victory, by faith (1 Jn 5:4).
August 7, 2022