Monday, April 25, 2005

A new style of ministry: Is 42:1-3

"Behold, My Servant, whom I uphold; My chosen one in whom My soul delights. I have put My Spirit upon Him; He will bring forth justice to the nations. He will not cry out or raise His voice, nor make His voice heard in the street. A bruised reed He will not break and a dimly burning wick He will not extinguish; He will faithfully bring forth justice." (Isaiah 42:1-3)
There is a danger in patterning your ministry "style" after old testament models. Ministry under the old covenant was not only different in its content, but also in its "style". Consider the ministry allotted to Jeremiah. "See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, to pluck up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant." (Jeremiah 1:10) Contrast that with the prophetic ministry as prescribed under the new covenant. "But one who prophesies speaks to men for edification and exhortation and consolation." (1 Corinthians 14:3) Jeremiah plucked up, broke down, destroyed, and overthrew while the new testament prophets built up, exhorted, and consoled. Before Jesus, the prophets were for ever reminding Israel of their sin before God. But when Jesus came, He revealed to us God's provision for our sins. Jesus' ministry style was humble and mild, not harsh and brash. The hallmark of His ministry was not condemnation, but His intense love for all of mankind.

I once read a flyer about an evangelist that was coming to town. The flyer announced that the evangelist was going to preach against all the things that were contrary to the scriptures. The flyer even enumerated over 20 "sins" that the evangelist was going to preach against. Things such as, drunkenness, gluttony, and television. This kind of ministry may in some way resemble the ministry of the prophets of old, but it does not reflect the true nature of Christ. All too often, what gets expressed is our own anger over the deeds of others, rather than the redeeming love of God. People will hear how God is angry at their sins, but will they ever hear about His love and His sacrifice for them? Who do you pattern your ministry after? For the sake of the lost, as well as for the believer, let us learn to imitate Jesus in our ministry. Let us learn to express the unfathomable love and grace of God to all that we minister to.

David Robison


  1. Thank you for your posting. i am now going into your blog regularly as i find it edifying to my soul.

  2. Anonymous12:11 PM

    Good stuff Dave! I find myself, as I mature in Christ, getting further and further away from that harsh old testament model to more of the compelling love of Christ that draws all men. It is the Love of God that draws us and keeps us! Thanks for the insight!