“Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the
gospel of God”,
I. What does it mean to be “Called”?
A. “Called” (Calleo in Greek) means a “divine appointment” from God to a “particular area” of the Gospel ministry that requires by law a minister’s license. A “calling” then is more than a “general invitation” to active church ministry. The reason for this is as a child of God, all of us are “biblically obligated” to be “a witness” to the public about Jesus and about the God’s plan of salvation. There is no “legal written license” (documentation) required for this. The church has been commissioned by Jesus “to be a light unto the world” as Jesus is “the light of the world”. Whenever a person is called to the Gospel ministry, it signifies that God has separated that person and the individual is under the authority of Christ himself under the watchful eye of an “established” church.
It’s rare, but sometimes, there are those who desire to preach, and will call themselves doing so (without a calling from God) because they are “enamered” by watching ministers in the public. They are those who believe they can go to a seminary, get biblical training, obtain a scholastic degree from said seminary, and then publicly began to openly preach the Word of God without a legitimate calling from God. This is neither biblically sound or sanctioned by God and could in the right circumstances have severe "legal" ramifications heaped upon that individual.
God and God alone calls people to the active preaching ministry and because God is a God of “order” and “proper protocol”. A great Biblical example of this is found in 1 Samuel Chapter 3 concerning the Calling of the prophet Samuel.
1 Samuel 3: 1- 10: 19- 21
Now the boy Samuel ministered to the Lord before Eli. And the word of the Lord was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation. 2 And it came to pass at that time, while Eli was lying down in his place, and when his eyes had begun to grow so dim that he could not see, 3 and before the lamp of God went out in the tabernacle* of the Lord where the ark of God was, and while Samuel was lying down, 4 that the Lord called Samuel. And he answered, "Here I am!" 5 So he ran to Eli and said, "Here I am, for you called me."And he said, "I did not call; lie down again." And he went and lay down. 6 Then the Lord called yet again, "Samuel!"
So Samuel arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you called me." He answered, "I did not call, my son; lie down again." 7 (Now Samuel did not yet know the Lord , nor was the word of the Lord yet revealed to him.) 8 And the Lord called Samuel again the third time. So he arose and went to Eli, and said, "Here I am, for you did call me."Then Eli perceived that the Lord had called the boy. 9 Therefore Eli said to Samuel, "Go, lie down; and it shall be, if He calls you, that you must say, 'Speak, Lord , for Your servant hears.'" So Samuel went and lay down in his place.
10 Now the Lord came and stood and called as at other times, "Samuel! Samuel!" And Samuel answered, "Speak, for Your servant hears."
19 So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground. 20 And all Israel from Dan to Beersheba knew that Samuel had been established as a prophet of the Lord . 21 Then the Lord appeared again in Shiloh. For the Lord revealed Himself to Samuel in Shiloh by the word of the Lord .
In the modern church. once the person is convince that a preaching ministry calling has truly been place upon their life by God, the Pastor of that member’s church need to be notified of “the call” by that member in order to obtain both a “hearing” and a “legal license” to preach the Gospel. God will confirm the call on the life of the person to the pastor and, under God’s prompting, the pastor will at the “appropriate time” schedule a public “hearing” for the candidate to preach of what is commonly called a “trial sermon” (their first public sermon)
The purpose of that “sermon” is for the "newly called" new minister to give “clear” and “concrete evidence” to the waiting congregation that Jesus called them into the “gospel preaching” ministry. Upon successfully doing so, the church will issue a License of Ministry, signed by the Church's clerk who provides the church a written record of all events pertaining to that hearing, and the Pastor to certify the licensing and calling. The newly licensed minister will be challenged and required to go to seek formal ministry training by the Pastor, as well as by othe assisting ministers and teachers designated by the pastor, or by siminary training from a legitimate Bible College or Seminary to prepare the new minister for that day when God will release them in the market place to a “specific assignment or purpose” in the field of gospel ministry.
License Restrictions: for an "UN" ordained Minister
The laws govening the licensing and legal duties of a called minister may vary from state to state, but in general there are at least 5 “Ministerial Duties” that a “unordained” minister cannot performed, unless they assisted by an “ordained and licensed Pastor” or designated ordained and licensed minister by the Pastor for the purpose of further ministry training:
1. You cannot “officiate” a funeral.
2. You cannot “officiate” a wedding.
3. You cannot “open the doors” (extend the formal invitation to discipleship) of the church after a sermon. unless prompted to do so by the Pastor.
4. You cannot “officiate” a Communion Service, unless the pastor is present and allows you to doso as part of further minister training.
5. You cannot “commit” a body to burial at a cemetery or a mausoleum.
II. Important things to Remember:
Remember: You have been “separated” unto the gospel of God:
A “better” way of saying it is, you have been "separated” from the traditional life lived by the general public to become a “consecrated servant” in the Gospel ministry of the Church of God for the purpose of "mission service" to the public sector.. This places a great responsibility upon you to maintain a sound character and "moral conduct that is above reproach” and “designated” for the work of the Gospel Ministry.
Remember: The purpose of this calling is not to live in splendor, wealth, and ease, but to devote yourself to this “Holy business” of proclaiming the “good news” of the Gospel message, You can be rest assured that God will supply all of your needs. (Philippians 4:19)
The Gospel Message is: "God sent both “salvation and reconciliation” to all people through his Son Jesus Christ and we can have "these things" by faith and belief in Jesus Christ alone for Salvation". This is the “sole business” of all ministers of the Gospel Paul wrote it under the unction of the Holy Spirit this way:
1 Cointhians 15:3-8
" For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, 5 and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve. 6 After that He was seen by over five hundred brethren at once, of whom the greater part remain to the present, but some have fallen asleep. 7 After that He was seen by James, then by all the apostles. 8 Then last of all He was seen by me also, as by one born out of due time".
Remember: God has designed your life that you should make it "your business" to preach the gospel. Set apart to this, as the special, great work of your life; as having no other object for which I should live. For the meaning of the word "gospel," Refer to Matthew 1:1. It is called the Gospel of God because it is his appointment; it has been originated by him, and has his authority. The function of an apostle was to preach the gospel Paul regarded himself as separated to this work.
The Calling of Ministry: The Minister’s Call “The Ordained” Minister
What God has designed men for in this life and the life to come, he will call them to His chosen field for each of them. God already knows beforehand His every intention and who He has chosen to do his will even down to the time in history the chosen vessel will do it. Just like with Jeremiah, God calls us all and ordains us all to the Gospel Ministry, that is those He has set aside specifically for this chosen field.. Matthew Henry in his biblical commentary makes the following statement: “There is a particular purpose and providence of God conversant about his prophets and ministers; they are by “special counsel” designed for their work. What they are designed for, they are fitted for the Lord said:” I that knew thee, sanctified thee”. God destines them to it, and forms them for it, when he first forms the spirit of man within him.
According to John 15:16, the first ministers of the Gospel were the choice of Jesus Christ. It’s no wonder, then, that they were so successful. The ministers whom men have since sent, and are “ordained” of men without the appointment of God, have done no good. The choice should still continue with God, who, knowing the heart, knows best who is most proper for the Gospel ministry.
To be a genuine preacher of the Gospel, a man must:
1. Be chosen of God to the work.
2. He must be placed in the true vine-united to Christ by faith.
3. He must not think to lead an idle life, but labor.
4. He must not wait until work be brought to him, but he must go and seek it.
5. He must labor so as to bring forth fruit, i.e. to get souls converted to the Lord.
6. He must refer all his fruit to God, who gave him the power to labor, and blessed him in his work.
7. He must take care to “water” what he has planted, that his fruit may remain-that the souls whom he has gathered in be not scattered from the flock.
8. He must continue instant in prayer,that his labors may be accompanied with the presence and blessing of God-Whatsoever ye shall ASK.
9. He must consider Jesus Christ as the great Mediator between God and man, proclaim his salvation, and pray in his name.-Whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name,
The laws vary from state to state, but unlike these 5 “Ministerial Duties” that a “licensed” minister cannot performed, An ordained minister can performed these duties listed assisted, if necessary or without the assistance of another “ordained and licensed minister or Pastor.” It is always wise to know the laws of the state you minister in, as local and state laws governing the practice of certain church protocols will differ. Always where applicable, contact the proper state, local or church ahead of time to be in legal compliance as well as whatever the protocol of a particular church or funeral home you are privileged to provide ministerial service.
Always seek the Lord in prayer and maintain strict adherence to the Word of God, and govern yourself accordingly. Whenever you are asked to perform any one of these duties it is wise to do only that you have been asked to do and do it to the glory of God. An ‘ordained” minister or Pastor can perform the following duties:
1. You can “officiate” a funeral.
2. You can “officiate” a wedding.
3. You can “open the doors” of the church after a sermon.
4. You can “officiate” a Communion Service.
5. You can “commit” a body to burial at a cemetery or a mausoleum.
The Ordination of a minister from the “legal aspect” must be done in accordance of the biblical model. The candidate must be voted on by the church congregation based upon the examination of the candidate by the ordaining council and their recommendation to the local fellowship based on the findings in the examination of the ethical behavior as well as the proper biblical knowledge of church doctrine, policies and procedures as set forth by God in the Sacred Scriptures. (This is based on Luke 2:52 where Jesus was favored both by God and by man and subject to the both the earthly (church) and heavenly authority (God) in his earthly tenure). The church’s responsibility is to sanction the setting aside (licensing) of said candidate. (Ordaining council)