As my friend Dan and I drove up to the house, there stood a man with a big smile. “God bless you, and welcome to the class,” he said as he stooped down to the car window, showing us where to park. Walking up the front porch, we were warmly greeted by the Class coordinator and a married couple who had opened their home to us. Everyone was dressed their best. Uplifting music of Way Productions filled the room and settled me down. The love and kindness extended to me made me feel so welcome; I was treated like family.
As we drew closer to the opening of the class, I was ushered to my seat, where I received my class nametag and syllabus. I felt very comfortable, encouraged, and important. I was seated in the front row, and sitting behind me was Dan, who had introduced me to the fellowship and the ministry. He had been behind me all the way for the past few months. His leadership, support, and example helped me to be sitting there that day.
I often think about my first Foundational Class and the lasting impact that so many had upon my life. The love, kindness, and believing of the disciples ministered to my life. They all played a necessary part in helping me to receive the Word of God that was taught and in guiding me on course for the more abundant life.
God needs men, women, and young people who are willing to help and guide others into living the more abundant life. I Corinthians 12:28 tells us how God has placed believers in the Church, the Body of Christ, to minister.
I Corinthians 12:28:
And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Receiving the Holy Spirit Today, by Victor Paul Wierwille, gives a literal translation according to usage of this verse: “So God has placed some in the Church having the ministry of apostles, prophets, and teachers. There are some who minister more effectively as miracle workers, some who are very effective in ministering the blessings of healings, some who are very adept in ministering as helps and governments, and some whose ministry is diversity of tongues.”
Two necessary functions in moving God’s prevailing Word to the world are helps and governments. Let’s look more closely at these two ministries of service by defining what they are and by viewing some Biblical and practical examples. We will see how necessary helps and governments are to the building up of the Church and how we can all benefit from them.
Having good support and direction by way of helps and governments enables us to keep growing and stay on course with God’s Word and His power. The two Greek words translated “helps” and “governments” that we’re going to look at appear only once in the New Testament—in I Corinthians 12:28, which is in the context of spiritual matters within the Church (I Corinthians 12:1). The spiritual matters I Corinthians 12 tells us of are the gifts, administrations, operations, and manifestations God has given for the greatest service and benefit to the Church.
I Corinthians 12:28 is God’s plan for ministering in the Church Age, the Grace Administration. Apostles, prophets, and teachers are gift ministries to the Church. Miracles, healings, and diversities of tongues are manifestations of the gift from the Holy Spirit in the Church. Helps and governments are service ministries in the Church. These two work side by side as companions in service to the Church. Helps and governments are ministries of service that we all can contribute in, and as I Corinthians indicates, some are very adept at.
The Greek word for “helps” is antilēpsis, meaning “a rendering assistance, help,” according to Bullinger’s Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament. It is a helping or supporting. The simplest and strongest meaning of the ministry of helps is to supply another with what is needed to accomplish his ends.
Leading up to and during my first Foundational Class, there were several disciples who helped me. Since I did not yet have a vehicle, these helpers provided rides to and from class and fellowship. This labor of love became a source of great learning for me as these disciples taught me how to believe God to meet needs in my life. As I continued to grow and develop myself, other helpers entered my life. They helped to teach me many other things, including how to put in a good day’s work, how to pray, how to study God’s Word, and how to teach.
The most rewarding kind of labor I know of is to be a helper in the movement of God’s Word. What price could be put on the power of God that delivers people and sets them free from their bondage? What a joy it is to know that we have helped to give someone the Word of Life, just as someone did for us.
The Greek word for “governments” is kubernēsis. Bullinger’s lexicon defines kubernēsis as “a steering, piloting, direction, hence, a governing. The idea being that of guidance rather than rule.” Governments are in the category of administrators, those who steer and guide within the Church….
This is an excerpt from the March/April 2011 issue of The Way Magazine.
Copyright© 2011 by The Way International. All rights reserved.
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