As it is with every professional endeavour, the Christian vocation is one that is guided by strict ethics as laid down by the Holy Bible. As a vocation instituted by and devoted to a perfect God, all that proceeds from its practioners must be nothing short of perfection. “Be ye therefore perfect, as your heavenly father is perfect,” the scriptures say.
The greater weight of the demand for righteousness rests on God’s anointed ministers. They are charged by Christ Himself to ensure that the flocks are not left in starvation of the Bread of Life and are tended from prowling wolfs. To this end, the Bible is explicit about giving account of stewardship when it said that the judgement of those called to be ministers of the word would be in two-fold; first, as a Christian, and second as a servant of God.
An understanding of the severity of God with His ministers and His intolerance to a compromise of His divine standards provoked Christ to curse the Pharisees and Sadducees for being stumbling blocks to those whom they were supposed to show the light (Matthew 23:13-16). The Bible also prophesies doom on godless and heretic teachers; proclaimed destruction on false prophets and; prescribed damnation to deceptive preachers (Jude 4-16, 2 Peter 2:1-2, 1 Timothy 1:19-20).
To understand his responsibilities, the Christian minister must prayerfully know the ethics, guiding principles and the manner in which his duties must be discharged, for if a man strive for mastery yet is he not crowned except he strives lawfully (2 Timothy 2:5). Exemplifying the gospel by emulating Christ is the primary call of Christ’s ministers. Such one is sent forth as light to shine in the midst of darkness. His light must shine so that men, by beholding his good works, may glorify God.
The minister ought to exercise all holy endeavours to see that his life corresponds to the sermon he preaches. His life must bear outward signs of inner grace; he must be an example of the believers in words, conversation, faith, love and in purity.
The minister must be able to teach the truth transparently. He must exercise all holy diligence in teaching the whole truth of God’s word as contained in the Bible. The sincere milk of God’s word must be preached with a sincere motive to do good to the souls of men. This ministerial duty must not be patterned for personal gain and the ministers must not withhold or deliberately obscure certain truth of the scripture which would amount to handling the word of God deceitfully.
The minister is called to prophesy and heal heartily. The minister’s office is likened by the scriptures to that of a nurse, physician or healer. The spiritual gifts with which he has been furnished must be utilized for the nourishment of the spirit, edifying of the soul and the healing of the body of Christ’s church, bearing in mind that freely he has received hence, freely must he also give. Prophet Isaiah played this role when he was sent to a bed-ridden King Hezekiah to tell him that he would not survive the sickness. Shortly after he related the news of the imminent death of the king, God again instructed him to relate a much better prophesy to the king that he would not only survive the sickness, he would live another extra 15 years to lead the children of Judah.
Instruction By Divine Inspiration
The minister is God’s oracle; hence, he must not venture to speak out of carnal propulsion nor guide his flock by words of man’s wisdom else he leads them astray and fall under divine judgement. He must not say, “Thus says the Lord” when the Lord has not spoken. Great care must he taken to search out and speak the mind of the Spirit. “For as many that are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God” (Romans 8:14).
The minister of the word is also expected to be compassionate, charitable and consistent. He must have care for the flock over which the Holy Spirit has made him overseer knowing that he would give account and have an understanding that it is the Father’s will that none of His sheep be lost. This charity must begin from his own household and family which must be nurtured in the faith of Christ and the fear of the Lord, then the church, and finally to the world.
In conclusion, the minister must be about the duty of seeking the lost souls with sound doctrines. The great commission must not be neglected as some do today, for it is the heartbeat of God and ought to be the minister’s utmost endeavour.
If these and others as the Spirit reveals are diligently adhered to, the minister of God should be sure that a crown of life, a harp of gold and a mansion on high awaits him at his Masters coming. He will also not be put to shame.