Part 5: How Do You Know That You Are Called?
In the name
of God, Master of the universe, Ruler of the earth.
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.
and Love, Carl Patton writing for the FreedomJournal 24June 2006 in the year of
our Lord and Savior Christ Jesus.
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