April 16, 2015

Ministers of Salvation

In Mark 1:14-17, we see the Lord Jesus stepping into the beginning of His ministry. "14) Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15) and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” 16) And as He walked by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew his brother casting a net into the sea; for they were fishermen. 17) Then Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Jesus launched His ministry with the message of the Kingdom of God and how people could enter into it.  One of the first things Jesus does is to invite others to join Him in getting this message out.  In verse 17, He tells Peter and Andrew, "Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men."

There are two key truths the Lord Jesus reveals to us as His ultimate purpose for us all.  First, we are to be a follower of Jesus.  We are to pattern our life and lifestyle after Him.  Our goal should be to be like Jesus.  Second, we are to mature in our faith walk to the place that we too can do the works of Jesus and begin to reproduce others into the Kingdom of God.

The ultimate maturity is not just having faith for our things, but becoming a witness for Jesus.  It is time for the church to become fishers of men again.  To do this, every Believer is going to have to begin seeing yourself as a minister of salvation.  I invite you to study the notes provided below and allow God's Word to reveal to you that you are a minister of reconciliation, and that you are a fisher of men. 

Ministers of Salvation

I)       You must first see yourself as a minister.

A)   Mark 1:17 - As we follow Jesus, His ultimate goal is to mature us to a place we can do His works and reproduce after Him.

B)   II Corinthians 5:17-20 (AMP) - Two Things

vv.17-19 - We are now new creations, reconciled to God our sins are blotted out.

vv.18-20 - We are now ministers of reconciliation, representing Jesus and His message to the world.

v.20 - We are Christ's ambassadors. We are fishers of men.  The ultimate of maturity is becoming a witness for Jesus, not having faith for things.

II)      We must have a lifestyle of evangelism to be effective.

A)   II Corinthians 5:18 (AMP) - By word and deed we bring others to Christ.

B)    I Timothy 4:12-16 - Paul tells Timothy to live the lifestyle of a Believer.

v.16 - You can't witness to others what is not real to you. 

You don't witness to others just to win them over or to do your Christian duty.

You witness out of the life and love of God that is real in you.

You want others to experience in their lives the love and forgiveness of God.

1)     II Timothy 3:10-11 - Paul lived what he preached in both good and bad times.  This gave Paul credibility when he spoke to others.

C)    Acts 2:40-47 - Early Believers were taught to live and share their faith. They were to be fishers of men bringing others to Christ.

v.42 - They got into the Word and got involved in church.

v.46 - They lived their faith in church and in their home.

v.47 - They lived it, witnessed it, and brought others to Christ.

1)    Acts 4:29-31 - They prayed for God to strengthen them in their commitment and walk in the Lord and His Word.

Our witness to others is always going to flow out of what is real to us.