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                                                      BIBLE STUDY - THE FIVE - FOLD MINISTRY.

'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, till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ', Ephesians 4:11 - 16.


The apostle is the highest rank in the structure of the ministry, 1 Corinthians 12:28 and still would be if we could get a person today qualified as an apostle. The word apostle literally means 'one sent on a special mission'. One that would remain behind sends the apostle. The one that is sent goes to accomplish the same work, that the one who has send him would do if he went instead, of the one being sent. We see in other words that the apostle is like an ambassador.

Jesus Christ was an apostle sent from God the Father, Hebrews 3:1, "Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus". Jesus chose others to be apostles after His ascension as can be seen in 1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4:11. When one gets to the place in God where he/she can do the works of Christ, he/she is a true apostle, John 14:12; 1 Corinthians 9:1 - 6; 2 Corinthians 12:12.


The prophet's main purpose is to comfort and edify the believers, 1 Corinthians 14:3. The prophet is also mentioned as a class of minister to equip the saints for the ministry in the early church as can be seen from Ephesians 4:11,12; Acts 13:1 - 5. Then there is also prophecy as one of the Gifts of the Spirit. We read in 1 Corinthians 14:29 - 32, "Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others judge". Verse 31, "For you can all prophesy one by one, that all may learn and all may be encouraged". Verse 32, "And the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets".


If souls get saved when a person preaches the Gospel of Jesus Christ that person has the office of an evangelist. Timothy had the ministry of an evangelist as can be seen in     2 Timothy 4:5, "But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry". We also read of Philip the evangelist, Acts 21:8, "On the next day we entered the house of Philip the evangelist.


A pastor is seen as a shepherd. The Bible also refers to a pastor as a bishop. He is one that watches over the flock of God. A pastor's assistant is a deacon as can be seen in the Scriptures. A pastor is a person that would come out of the believers where a church has been established in a community.


A teacher is one that teaches others and they understand things better. Jesus is a good example of a teacher, John 3:2, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God". We read that Paul was also a teacher, 1 Timothy 2:7. A teacher is one that knows God, the Scriptures, is a leader and can have one or all of the above mentioned ministries.


God the Father ordained Jesus Christ to come as Saviour to this world as can be seen in Acts 17:30 - 31, verse 31b, 'He will judge the world in righteousness by the Man whom He has ordained'. The word ordain means to choose, appoint and set apart a person called or sent on a special ministry. Ordination is simply the recognition of a qualified person to do what he/she is divinely called to do. It is the recognition by a church and its leaders of a man/women who has received certain preparation for a particular work for God. No person is to be ordained to an office until he/she is qualified to fill it. The person to be ordained should not only be chosen by God, but also be recognized by the congregation and set apart by proper church officials in a special service of instruction, prayer, and laying on of hands as can be seen in, Acts 6:1 - 8; Acts 12:1 - 3; Acts 14:23; 1 Timothy 4:14; 1 Timothy 5:22; 2 Timothy 1:6; Hebrews 6:1 - 3.   

                                                             Compiled by: Chris Mengel Snr.

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