Review by John G. Panagiotou of The Unnecessary Pastor – Part III26 February 2017
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In his Letter to the Ephesians, the Apostle Paul teaches that God has given His people salvation through the gift of faith in His Son Jesus. He speaks of how he experienced this by referring to “how the mystery was made known to me by revelation”. Paul believes and unequivocally states that his ministry is supernatural. It is not of earthly intent, essence, or means. This supernatural nature of his ministry is from where he attributes his authority as an apostle.
Consequently, he exhorts that we as God’s people are called to express this new life we have in Christ by holy living and self-sacrificial love. It is precisely this diakonia (service) of love to one another rooted in worship that should exude from the pores of the community in its church life.
Paul teaches that his ministry is of apostolic origin which is rooted in a mystery of revelation when he writes, “of this gospel I was made a minister according to the gift of God’s grace which was given me by the working of his power.” This is a clear directive for us to scrap the corporate model of the Church to which we have erroneous been beholden. A new direction needs to be charted by pastors and congregations whereby the Biblical imperative is heeded and the Biblical standard is established and maintained. The Church needs to stop allowing itself to be molded by the culture and start challenging and influencing the culture. It needs to stop being about us and our needs and start being about discerning the Will of God in our personal, familial, and ecclesiastical lives. In The Unnecessary Pastor, we read that “the Gospel that Jesus brought and the Paul preached is not first of all about us; it is about God…None of this involves fulfilling our needs as we define them.”
(to be continued)