Listen:  155.4

It is worth noting that the twelve men that the Lord Jesus chose to be apostles were simple men.  Most of them were what we would call ‘common laborers’.  Matthew was probably the most educated; he was a tax collector.  It seems that the apostles’ lack of education was evident, but so was their love for the Lord.  Let’s consider Acts 4:13which says, “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”  However, we read in Acts 4:8that Peter was, “…filled with the Holy Ghost.”  By the Spirit’s guidance, Peter spoken intelligently and powerfully. 

I have nothing against those who pursue formal studies in God’s Word, but a degree in religious studies does not mean that the Lord has called that person to minister and it doesn’t mean that he is qualified to minister.  Let’s consider the words of the Apostle Paul to young Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:6, “If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ, nourished up in the words of faith and of good doctrine, whereunto thou hast attained.”  A true minister will share the Word of God to others and keep them in remembrance of the scriptures.  A true minister will be nourished himself by spending time studying the scriptures.  He, by the leading of the Spirit, will be able to properly divide the Word of God and understand its teachings.  A true minister will insist on the truth of the Bible, even though many others disagree with the Word. 

It is only the Lord who can properly call someone to ministry.  It is only the Lord who can equip someone for ministry.  It is only the Lord who can ordain someone for ministry.  The whole concept of one man, or a group of men, being able to authorize someone to minister God’s Word is completely foreign to scripture.  As has been said before: God does not call the qualified, He qualifies the called.  While some consider time spent in the classroom as invaluable to being able to minister God’s Word, we read of the purpose of the Holy Spirit in John 16:13, “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  Each believer on the Lord Jesus Christ is indwelt with the Holy Spirit.  The Spirit of God will take the Word of God and reveal its precious truths to us so that we might minister to others.  Each one in the body of Christ has a function to perform.  As believers, we are all called into a life of service to our Lord. 

C.H. Macintosh, a gifted writer and minister of God’s Word from early in the 20th century, had this to say about qualifications to minister.  He said, “Man’s authority without Christ’s gift makes a man a minister.  Whereas Christ’s gift without man’s authority does not.  If this be not a dishonor done to the Lord Christ, what is?”  (155.4)