Thoughts on the “Five Fold Ministry”

A Wilderness Voice

Image The other day a brother wrote and asked me if I was a prophet. I have come to the place where I believe that all the so-called “five-fold” gifts given unto men are all about Jesus and His graces given to all who are in Christ and not about us as individuals, but are rather about Him in us collectively. Like Paul said, “I can do ALL things through Christ who is my strength.” Was Paul extra special? Not according to his own words. So, I try not to limit Christ in me by saying, “I am a prophet, or I am teacher, or I am an apostle, etc.” No, “I am IN Christ and it is from there that HE can do all things,” IF I don’t limit Him by my flesh or preconceived ideas as to what my “calling” is. We limit Christ in us when we try…

View original post 1,134 more words

Advertisements

4 comments on “Thoughts on the “Five Fold Ministry”

  1. Scarlett says:

    Why I am just now “catching” your comment, (after having approved it), after such a long time, is beyond me! But I wish to tell you that this was Michael Clark’s blog post, which I then reblogged on my own site. I must say, I do like your comment very much. We need to be very careful about how we treat and explain doctrine and difficult passages of scripture. I admire both Michael and your comments and will give special attention to both, since the subject has once again become front and center in Christian discussions. We need clarity to be able to judge and divide the word of truth correctly.

  2. John Galyon says:

    Now, I have to come back yet again and relate that it was not until I had just clicked “submit’…the last time, that I realized that your post was only a small part of a much longer post that I’m just beginning to read. Having very briefly scanned over the complete version…the portion that I read makes much more sense to me! I’ll be sure to read the entirety of your writing and if needed…correct any misgiving as to what I initially perceived you to be saying! I will go ahead and say that I already agree that there has been a huge misuse and downright perversion of the truth regarding the five-fold ministry in far too many churches. It will be interesting to read the remainder of your article!

  3. John Galyon says:

    ps. – Scarlett, please forgive my typos and poor spacing, as well as my rather clumsy attempt to articulate something I believe to be of spiritual value. I’m certain that it is obvious that my “calling” is not as a skilled writer! Bless you! – John

  4. John Galyon says:

    Scarlett, While I appreciate your obvious humility and desire to give all glory to Christ, taking none to yourself…I want to offer a few thoughts for your consideration.

    You wrote, “Was Paul special? Not according to his own words”. In the context of how I believe you are defining ‘special’…I concur. But even more importantly, I believe that the scriptures confirm your assertion. In fact, in I Timothy 1:15, Paul refers to himself as the “chief sinner”. Paul knew his own sin all too well…and he understood that when compared to the sinless life of Christ, any perceived righteousness of his own was as the scriptures point out…“as filthy rags”. It is obvious throughout Paul’s writings that he took every precaution to give all glory to Christ, taking none to himself.

    Yet, in Colossians 1:1…Paul states, “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, and Timothy our brother, to the saints and faithful brethren in Christ who are at Colossae: Grace to you and peace from God our Father.
    So how could this confessed “chief sinner” have the audacity to then refer to himself as an apostle of Jesus Christ …by the will of God? Was he talking out of both sides of his mouth? Isn’t there an obvious contradiction in what he’s proclaiming about himself? The answer is simply, NO. Of his own sinful flesh, he held no righteousness. But …the righteousness of Christ is imputed to every believer. Paul was righteous in Christ, as are all of us who are truly in Christ.

    You wrote, “So, I try not to limit Christ in me by, “I am a prophet, or I am a teacher, or I am an apostle, etc.”.

    Please know that I’m not trying to reprove or rebuke you, but on a purely scriptural basis (which is the only basis that really matters), in acknowledging an office or a calling that God has placed on or life doesn’t limit “Christ in me”. If it did, I’m sure that Paul would never have referred to himself as an apostle.
    You wrote, “I have come to the place where I believe that all the so-called “five-fold” gifts given unto men are all about Jesus and His graces given to all who are in Christ and not about us as individuals, but are rather about Him in us collectively”.

    I agree substantially to your overall point, but God has specific callings for all of our lives. Everyone is not a teacher, a pastor, a prophet…or any of the five-fold ministries. God has a reason for listing these ministries individually, distinguishing one from the other….and giving them to believers individually as He wills. (I realize that I’m giving very general comments, but my time is limited at present. Should we talk further, I will be glad to supply scriptural references).

    Lastly, you wrote: “.” No, “I am IN Christ and it is from there that HE can do all things,” IF I don’t limit Him by my flesh or preconceived ideas as to what my “calling” is. We limit Christ in us when we try…”.

    I agree that we certainly can limit our use in God’s kingdom if we are “in the flesh”…or if we have “preconceived ideas as to what (our) calling is”…but there is no need for any of us to be bound by our flesh, nor to have preconceived ideas of our calling. God’s calling are sure…and He wants each of us to know exactly what are callings are. Granted, the full extent of our calling may be revealed to us over a period of time, and not all at once…but there is never a time in which we should be “guessing” as to what our calling is. If we are walking in the Spirit of God, if we are listening to His voice, willing to be obedient…we will know our calling.

    While I believe that your thinking is certainly well intended, I will go so far as to say (with all due respect) that you’ve got things a bit backward. We certainly don’t want to be arrogant and boastful of “who we are in Christ”…but yet if we fail to step up to the plate, so to speak, and do as Paul did when he said, “Paul…and apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God”…we can inadvertently deny the very calling of God in our lives and diminish the work that He would do through us. Think about it: there was a reason that Paul spoke up and declared himself an apostle!

    So…am I saying that the next time someone asks you if you’re a prophet (and if hypothetically, this is your calling) that you should declare yourself as such? I would advise that you listen closely to what the Holy Spirit is saying to you at such times. I don’t know that there’s any clear teaching on the subject that covers all circumstances. I can only speak for myself and say that if I were called to be a prophet, I don’t see myself going around declaring myself to be a prophet…but instead, I would endeavor to fulfill the calling and leave it up to the Holy Spirit to bear witness to others of my calling. Yet, if for some reason I heard the Lord telling me to declare my calling openly as Paul did in Colossians…I would hope that I would have the spiritual boldness to do so without hesitation.

    I hope this will be of benefit to you, as this is my sincere intention!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s