A Minister “Of”, “By” & “To”
Throughout scripture we see Paul consistently refer to himself as an apostle OF, BY and TO.
Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God, to the saints which are at Ephesus, and to the faithful in Christ Jesus: (Ephesians 1:1)
In this scripture, Paul refers to himself as an apostle OF Jesus Christ, BY the will of God and TO a particular group of believers.
As a fivefold minister, you too can be identified by these three facets:
Who are you a minister of?
Who are you a minister by?
Who are you a minister to?
Paul, an apostle, (not of men, neither by man, but by Jesus Christ, and God the Father, who raised him from the dead;) (Galatians 1:1)
Both the scriptures presented so far reveal that it is possible to be a minister OF men and BY men, or OF Jesus and BY God the Father.
To be OF something is to belong to that thing, to represent that thing, to display the character of that thing. Not all ministers are OF Christ, some are OF men i.e., they belong to man and represent man.
To be BY something speaks of the passage in which a thing came to be, exist, or arrive. Not all ministers are BY the will of God the Father, some have been commissioned BY the will of man.
Lastly, we must acknowledge that, as fivefold ministers, we are each called TO a specific group of people. Yes, some may have a wider remit then others, but nobody is called to everybody. If we are ministers OF Jesus and BY God, then we will also acknowledge, agree, and assume the specific mandate we have been given by the Lord.
We, on the other hand, will not boast beyond our legitimate province and proper limit, but will keep within the limits [of our commission which] God has allotted us as our measuring line and which reaches and includes even you. For we are not overstepping the limits of our province and stretching beyond our ability to reach, as though we reached not (had no legitimate mission) to you, for we were [the very first] to come even as far as to you with the good news (the Gospel) of Christ. (2 Corinthians 10:13-14, AMPC)