Ephesians 4:11-13 ESV
And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
The ministerial gifts is defined by it purpose which is to equip the saints for the work of ministry for the edification of the body of Christ. This is to say that the Church is more of a training ground or a school.
Therefore anyone who finds him or herself in any office of ministry has a responsibility to build the saints(the body of Believers) up, not just anyhow or in any other thing but in the knowledge of the Son of God precisely.
Knowing that such a task is at hand, it is therefore important for the minister himself to be equipped. The church can’t afford to have an unequipped ministers or overseers.
Hence Pauls instructions to Titus and Timothy
Titus 1:9 ESV
He must hold firm to the trustworthy word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to rebuke those who contradict it.
Titus 2:1-5 ESV
But as for you, teach what accords with sound doctrine. Older men are to be sober-minded, dignified, self-controlled, sound in faith, in love, and in steadfastness. Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.
1 Timothy 6:2-3 ESV
…Teach and urge these things. If anyone teaches a different doctrine and does not agree with the sound words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the teaching that accords with godliness.
As we see that trend in the Church that firstly, Christ gave unto us the Apostles who train other men and equip them for ministry.
We have much evidence in the Scriptures as said and noted Paul who trained Timothy, Titus, Philemon and so forth. Knowing well that every gift of ministry can only be developed through proper training.. Every minister then is therefore accountable since he has a task to perform.
What then are we saying since there’s an accountability. There’s also a reward for service. What then will the reward be?
Notwithstanding, Nobody goes into a workplace without knowing what he/she will be paid with. You must understand the conditions of payment before you even start the Job. Also, no one runs a race without knowing what he/she should receive at the end of it. In the same tone, ministers of the gospel are not to expect a “surprise” from the Lord for the work of ministry.
What then is our aim? First of all, we must understand we were equipped to also equip. We never worked for our equipment neither did we pay for it. It’s a gift from God. Likewise Jesus said “Freely you have received, Freely give”(Matthew 10:8)
And so even this..
1 Corinthians 9:18 ESV
What then is my reward? That in my preaching I may present the gospel FREE of charge, so as not to make full use of my right in the gospel.
Now every minister has the responsibility to pass on what he has received to others and this is what we call equipping.
Let’s take some footnotes from Paul’s statement
Concerning ministerial rewards
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 ESV
For what is our hope or joy or crown of boasting before our Lord Jesus at his coming? Is it not you? For you are our glory and joy.
2 Corinthians 3:2-3 KJV
Ye are our epistle written in our hearts, known and read of all men: Forasmuch as ye are manifestly declared to be the epistle of Christ ministered by us, written not with ink, but with the Spirit of the living God; not in tables of stone, but in fleshy tables of the heart.
Our reward is what we produce. In human terms every artiste or inventor always keeps his inventions.. that which they call their “hall of fame” unfiltered and anytime they see that work they rejoice. Infact, it is a priceless possession to them. Their labour and talent have produced a fruit that’s their greatest joy. Sometimes they expose these works in museums, or holds exhibition just for people to come and see the works of their hands and appreciate it. This is a reward of their labour.
Ephesians 2:4-7 ESV
But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
God shows the incomparable riches of His grace in those who believe on Christ for salvation. We became the trophies of God’s grace. We became Christ’s trophy/reward when we believed the gospel.
We are the trophies of Christ displayed . We are the result of the work of Christ. If Christ received us and rejoiced. Do you expect to received any other thing apart from the soul given you to equip?
Christ Jesus said with Joy, “This was to fulfill the word that he had spoken: “Of those whom you gave me I have lost not one.”
John 18:9 ESV.
The Problem that people have about rewards and receiving a reward apart form these is the fact that they have not been able to lay hold on the people offered them by God. That’s to say they were not able to adequately equip the people given to them.
They do not find satisfaction in their work so they can’t boldly say, like what Paul said:
..”For you are our glory and joy”.
1 Thessalonians 2:19-20 ESV.
1 Corinthians 3:11-15 ESV
For no one can lay a foundation other than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on the foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw— each one’s work will become manifest, for the Day will disclose it, because it will be revealed by fire, and the fire will test what sort of work each one has done. If the work that anyone has built on the foundation survives, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned up, he will suffer loss, though he himself will be saved, but only as through fire.
The word “receive” in the Greek which is “Lambano” means “to aggressively lay hold on something which is offered”.
Therefore the word “reward” can simply be said to be a payment for service/work done. So to receive a reward in the context implies there should be something which is offered.
What’s the offer? The offer is souls! And to receive is to aggressively lay hold on them by sound doctrine. By teaching them sound doctrine.
The test of your work which will be through fire in the context also is.. the ability of your work to remain stable and established in sound doctrine even when every wind of false doctrine blows or emerges. If they (the people thus our rewards which are Eternal in nature) do not remain but are carried away.. that’s your loss. You didn’t equip them to the measure of the stature of the Son of God.
That’s not a lose of salvation to them but lose of reward for/to us the overseers. It’s now and here! Rewards.
Thanks for reading
Hope you are blessed?