“But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ. Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. (Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.) And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;”- Ephesians 4:7-11
The source of all that ails us is what we have called ministry. We have misconceived what ministry is all about. By thinking it is our ministry, we have misguided expectations, and once these are not fulfilled, our hearts become discouraged. Every ministry is primarily the ministry of Jesus Christ in Himself. The New Testament minister is a partaker of the continuing ministry of Jesus Christ. If this is true, it means what we perceive to be our calling is His in reality.
Many ministers are failing in ministry because they are trying to imitate Christ. Most ministers want their lives to resemble the earthly tenure of the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth. They want to preach the way Jesus preached, teach the way He taught and deliver people the way He did. However, this is not what Jesus is doing now. That is why our ministry is the present-day ministry of Jesus Christ. When He was on earth, before the cross, He was a minister to the circumcision to the Jews, to confirm the promises made to the fathers: Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Romans 15:8). How can we who now have a universal ministry unto all men want to re-institute the earthly tenure of Jesus of Nazareth?
Most often, ministers of the Gospel want to imitate what has passed, and they fail to participate in what is present. Paul did not say we should imitate Christ (1 Corinthians 4:16). He spoke of what is known as mimetic realism. Everyone has a mirror neuron in their brain. We identify ourselves by what we see in someone else. When Paul said, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ,” he was saying, “Know that what you see in me is in you, even as what is in me is in Christ.” Ministry is not the imitation of Christ; it is the participation in Christ. We are not servants; our value and worth are not determined by what we do for Christ. We are sons, and because we are sons, our worth and value are determined by whose we are.
“Wherefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus;” – Hebrews 3:1
As a minister of the Gospel, your value is not derived by what you do for God. We have our value from our origin in Him. We bear the image of He who is heavenly; we are partakers of the heavenly calling.
“For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end;” – Hebrews 3:14
When Paul uses ‘if’ here, he does not use it in a conditional sense, but he is presenting a conclusion. Since we are holding our confidence in Christ from the beginning unto the end, we know that all that He is, we are partakers of. It is not imitation but participation
Paul says, we have been qualified to partake of the inheritance of the saints in the light (Eph. 1:18). Your inheritance is in light and until you see the light, you cannot see the inheritance. You have been given a fulfill hope, the substance of His calling. It is Christ calling you are partaking of. Your calling is not that you are an apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher. The inheritance is already in you, it is not something that will happen in the future.
You are called into the one calling of Jesus Christ. It is His faith. We all have been given grace according to the measure of Christ which is measureless. It is that which Christ is that defines grace. We have received infinite grace, limitless grace; we do not have any form of inadequacy in our lives
Jesus is the holder of all the offices, but He says, is according to His appointment and Calling, meaning you are not called an apostle or prophet, you are appointed. This call is His call, and His offices. Christ has donated Himself as the measureless measure in each of us. This Christ dwells in you with all the offices. Most of the time we limit the operation of grace in our ministry when we only identify with one office, apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor or teacher because this passage does not mean some are apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers but it means when you are appointed by Christ to partake in His calling, when you stand to minister to some in the crowd, you minster as Christ the apostle, to others, as Christ the prophet, Christ the evangelist, pastor and teacher. Christ is the apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor and teacher.