Missions and ministry

SERMON TOPIC: Missions and ministry

Speaker: Ken Paynter

Language: ENGLISH

Date: 3 July 2011


Sermon synopsis: A look at the importance of 'works of service' in the light of missions and ministry.
Ephesians 4:11-12 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.
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Missions and Ministry.


When the average Christian

hears the word missions they

usually think of the great

commission Jesus gave in

Matthew 28:19-20.

Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always.

Somehow missions then becomes spreading the Gospel in a far off land.


Another Scripture that highlights the need for the Gospel to go out into the whole world is..

Acts 1:8.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria and to the ends of the earth.

Missions then becomes to many Christians something done far

away in some distant land, but the fact is we all have a mission.


There is a word in Pentecostal and Charismatic circles that has become a dirty word….


However there is no way of getting away from the fact that God’s purpose for us is not to sit around marking time until the 2nd coming of Jesus, there is work to do.

God has a purpose and a mission for every true Born-again believer.

Faith and works.

The problem is that in an attempt to get people to realise that they cannot work for, or earn their Salvation

( it is a gift offered by God in His Grace)

The impression has been somehow created by some preaching the Gospel, that work or Christian service is not important, and that it is an optional extra for those who would like rewards in heaven.

But James 2:14-17 warns us that a faith that is not displayed by works is a


Faith and works.

James 2:14-17.

What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds?

Can such faith save him?

Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food. If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish well: keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Faith and works.

James 2:18-22.

But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that – and shudder. You foolish man do you want evidence that faith without deeds is useless? Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did….

v24: You see a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.

Salvation will only be given to those who repent and obey God.


In general Christians don’t have a problem with the word ministry, but the word service is not too popular as it sounds like servant.

However that is exactly what ministry is, serving.

1 Peter 5:1-3.

To the elders among you….

be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers- not because you must, but because you are willing , as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve, not lording it over those entrusted to you.

Salvation is not attained by works.

Titus 3:5.

He saved us not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.

Ephesians 2:8-10.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith-and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God-not by works, so that no one can boast.

v10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

We don’t do good deeds to get saved, we do them because we are saved.

Works are evidence of repentance.


But when he saw many of the

Pharisees and Sadducees coming

to where he was baptising, he

said to them: “You brood of vipers!

Who warned you to flee from the coming

wrath? Produce fruit in keeping

with repentance.”

Acts 26:20.

First to those in Damascus, then to those in Jerusalem and in all Judea, and then to the Gentiles, I preached that they should repent and turn to God and demonstrate their repentance by their deeds.

Works are evidence that we know God.

Titus 1:16.

They profess that they know God, but in works they deny him……

1 John 2:3,4.

We know that we have come to know him, if we keep his commands.

Whoever says “I know him” but does not do what he commands is a liar and the truth is not in that person.

Later we will look a little more at knowing God and how we can be sure we know Him. (Have a relationship with Him)

Zacchaeus is a prime example of how entering into a relationship with Jesus Christ changes your behaviour.

Works are evidence that we know God.

Luke 19:7-10.

All the people saw this and began to mutter, “He has gone to be the guest of a sinner.” But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, “Look, Lord!

Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount.” Jesus said to him,” Today salvation has come to this house…..

The absence of works shows we don’t know God.

The rich young ruler.

Luke 18:20-24.

You know the commandments: Do not commit adultery, ..do not steal, do not.. “all these things I have kept since I was a boy” he said. When Jesus heard this, he said to him, “You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in Heaven. Then come follow me.”

When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was a man of great wealth.

The absence of works shows we don’t know God.

The Rich man with the poor man at his gate.


There was a rich man who was dressed in purple and fine linen and lived in luxury every day. At his gate was laid a beggar named Lazarus, covered with sores and longing to eat what fell from the rich man’s table. Even the dogs came and licked his sores.

Both died and the rich man went to Hades and was in torment while Lazarus was taken to Abraham’s side. The only thing pointing to the rich man’s character was his lack of concern for Lazarus.


Works of Service.

We bring glory to God by doing good works.

John 17:4.

I have brought glory to you on earth by completing the work you gave me to do.

What work has God given you to do?

Matt 5:16.

Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.

1 Peter 2:12.

Live such good lives amongst the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.

Works of Service.

The letters to the seven Churches in Revelation have a common opening address in each one.

Revelation 2:2.

Revelation 2:9.

Revelation 2:13.

Revelation 2:19.

Revelation 3:1.

Revelation 3:8.

Revelation 3:15.

I know your works.

How can we say works are not important?

What has God given to prepare us for good works?

2 Timothy 3:16-18.

All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Ephesians 4:11,12.

It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up.

Our motives in service are vital.

1 Corinthians 13.

If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love I gain nothing.

Philippians 1:15-18.

It is true the some preach Christ out of envy and rivalry, but others out of goodwill. The latter do so in love, knowing that I am put here for the defence of the Gospel. The former preach Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing they can stir up trouble for me while I am in chains. But what does it matter, the important thing is that in every way, whether from false motives or true, Christ is preached, and because of this I rejoice. Yes and I will continue to rejoice.

Our attitude in service is important.

Phil 2:5-7.

In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Jesus Christ: Who being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant.. He humbled himself by becoming obedient to death, even death on a cross.

1 Peter 4:11.

If anyone serves they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.

When we serve in our own strength we grumble and complain and dishonour the Lord.

Luke 17:7-10.

When we have done everything we should do, we should still realise we are unworthy servants.

While the Church is looking for better methods God is looking for better men.

Our attitude is important.

Luke 17:7-10.

Suppose one of you had a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Would he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘come along now and sit down to eat’? Would he not rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; Would he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? So you also when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’

Jesus’ example.

John 13:12-15.

When he had finished washing their feet, he put on his clothes and returned to his place. “Do you understand what I have done for you?” he asked them. “You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.

Good works must be encouraged.

Paul said to Titus regarding Christ.

Titus 2:14.

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from every lawless deed, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good deeds.”

Hebrews 10:24.

Let us consider how to provoke one another to love good works..

The NIV says Spur one another

V25 goes on to say “not giving up meeting together as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another and all the more as you see the day approaching.”

From my own experience I have found that those who are inactive or serving with the wrong motives are the ones who most easily take offence.

Works cannot save us.

We must never lose sight of the fact that works or good deeds cannot save us, we must “Know” Jesus.

Matthew 7 v21.

Not everyone who says to me ‘Lord, Lord’ will enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in Heaven.

Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord. Lord did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers’

The evidence of Knowing Jesus.

1 John 2:3-6.

We know that we have come to know him, if we obey his commands. The man who says “I know him,” but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.

v17 The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.

Christ must work through us.

Christians fall into the trap of working for the Lord and end up discouraged by no or poor results.

Psalm 127:1.

Unless the LORD builds the house the builders

labour in vain, unless the LORD watches over

the city, the guards stand watch in vain.

God’s work should bring an inner rest.

Matthew 11:28,29. (KJV)

Come unto me all ye that labour and are heavy

laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke

upon you and learn of me; for I am meek and

lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your


Hebrews 4:10.

For anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from

his own work, just as God did from his. Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest so that no one will fall by following their example of disobedience.

Christ must work through us.

John 15:4,5.

Abide in me, and I in you, as the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can you except you abide in me. I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Christ must work through us.

Philippians 2:13. (Amplified Bible)

(Not in your own strength) for it is God who is all the while effectually at work in you (energising and creating in you the power and desire), both to will and to work for his good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.

There will not always be opportunities to work.

John 9:4.

As long as it is day we must do the works of him who sent me. Night is coming, when no one can work.

Galatians 6:9,10.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.


Unless otherwise stated, Scripture quotations are taken from the NIV:

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Scripture quotations taken from the NASB:

New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation Used by permission. (http://www.lockman.org/)