Part 5: How Do You Know That You Are Called?

                                   In the name of God, Master of the universe, Ruler of the earth.

Greetings Brethren,

Peace be unto you. Throughout America and the world are various churches. There are also many denominations, and a vast assortment of Preachers. The first qualification noted by these Preachers is that God called them to Preach. However, there are reasons to believe that many of these Preachers are confused about the Calling.

For the record we do not know who God Called. However we do know that the Bible is our guide for determining duties, qualifications and responsibilities of Preachers. Therefore, we introduce the term "The Fruit of the Call." Also keep in mind that all believers are Called to Christ. However, Pastors, Preachers, and Ministers receive a second Calling to special service.

For the sake of clarity, and logic we note the sequential order of the Call. First one is Called to Christ by the Holy Spirit. Secondly one is Called by God for special service. Thus, there are special qualifications for the person Called to the Ministry.

The qualifications for Pastors are found in Titus 1: 5-9, I Timothy 3: 1-7 and 5: 22. Paul reveals in his letter to Titus that character is most important in choosing a church leader. Preaching the Word is good, but living out the Word of God is more important. Preachers should also be examples (Role Models) for others to follow.

The Apostle Paul in I Timothy 3:1-7 gives us additional information in choosing a church leader. The standards are high for a Pastor entrusted with such a great responsibility. He must also be able to maintain discipline in his home and teach his children.

Paul also notes in verse six a very important statement for the aspiring Preachers:

"Not a novice, lest being lifted up with pride, he fall into the Condemnation of the devil."

Here Paul warns the new believers that they must be prepared before taking on leadership roles in the church. Thus they must be firmly grounded in the faith and the Word of God before being assigned or accepting leadership roles in the church.

In the fifth chapter of I Timothy verse 22 Paul adds to the scripture on the preparation of church leaders.

"Lay hands suddenly on no man, neither be partakers of other men's sins Keep thyself pure."

Paul warns us not to appoint church leaders quickly. The church leader especially the Pastors have to be upright and have a strong faith. The church also must realize that not everyone who wants to be a church leader is qualified. Meanwhile, we ask the following question. Does the Call from God qualify you to be a church leader? God does not make mistakes, so our answer is yes. Thus logically if one is not grounded and qualified in the Bible and does not seek to become qualified, what then? We can look at "The Fruit of the Call" to determine if God has truly Called someone to the Ministry.

There are also important principles for the ministry found in I Corinthians 9:22-23. In verses 24-27 in this chapter Paul also notes that all Christians are in a race for the prize of eternal life. The race is hard and often filled with trials and tribulations. However, there are also triumphs in this race. To run this race one has to be disciplined. He must have faith in God. He must also stay in prayer. You will also gain strength and Joy from your growth in the knowledge of God through your study of the Word of God.

Paul and many great Prophets in the Bible were blessed with a special and often direct Call from God. For the contemporary Preachers and servants of God this is not so. However, the Preacher of today still should know if he has been truly Called. Thus "The Fruit of The Call," is noted in qualifications, and your preparation for service. In Galatians 2: 1-3 we see that Paul prepared for the Ministry and the work God called him to perform.

Paul warns young Christians not to rush into the ministry. Thus one must study and learn from qualified teachers before taking on a special ministry. As we wait for God to direct us, we must continue to grow in the Word.

Meanwhile many men and women claim they are Called but few are chosen.

Peace and Love, Carl Patton writing for the FreedomJournal 24June 2006 in the year of our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.

Cont. Part 6: The Fruit of The Call


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