Who has made us sufficient to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life (2 Cor. 3:6 ESV)
The Apostle Paul contrasting the ministers in the Old versus the New Covenants gives us an astonishing definition of what ministry is from God’s perspective in these days of Christ. He says the minister of the New Covenant is a minister of the Spirit. What does this mean?
Ministry fundamentally means serving others. However, Paul did not say here that the minister of Christ is one who serves others, though this would still be biblically accurate. Furthermore, also notice he said, “ministers of the Spirit” here not “ministering by the Spirit” which is also biblically correct!
Ministry, in the New Covenant, is bringing people to receive and/or come under the full influence of the Spirit of God to operate in their lives, releasing divine blessings and commanding supernatural changes. The people in the world also serve others. The servants of God in the Old Testament served others. Therefore, though service is required and foundational in ministry today, it is NOT the defining element of the minister of Christ. Our ministry in Christ is the ministry of the Spirit. Jesus summarizes it to us in the words below
Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water'” (Jn. 7:38 ESV).
Rivers of living waters gushing out from within you to refresh those around you! This is ministry, whether it gushes out through your preaching, teaching, laying of hands or whatever you do that impacts another person!
Could you articulate the relationship between service and the ministry of the Spirit discussed above?
APPLY THE WORD
Ministry of the Spirit will always be through acts of service. However, not all acts of service is ministry. A man can preach, but not minister, if the preaching is void of the Spirit. A worshiper leader might lead worship but not minister. It is not the service itself or the charisma in the delivery, but the Spirit that is ministered which makes the difference in people’s lives.
Ask the Lord to help you be an effective minister of Christ!