But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare to Jacob his transgression…
The work of the ministry is the most arduous, the most important, the most honourable work in which a man can be engaged. Arduous, because it requires constant diligence, watch fulness, zeal, and perseverance. Important, because it involves the eternal interests of man. Honourable, because it is the work of God, and in the due discharge of it the glory of God is most promoted.
I. THE MINISTER'S APPOINTMENT. This is not of man, but of God; of God the Holy Spirit. God has set apart certain persons to this office, who from time to time, as the services of His Church require, are raised up, converted, qualified, and sent for this office. Jesus sends His ministers whither He Himself will come. All the qualifications of ministers for their office are of God, both gifts and graces. Ministers are men of God sent from God to work for God, and bring sinners to God.
I. THEIR FAITHFULNESS IN THE DISCHARGE OF THEIR HOLY DUTIES IS OF GOD THE HOLY SPIRIT. The first ministers were commanded to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they were endued with "power from on high" (Acts 1:8). The prophets under the Old Testament and all the ministers of Christ in the present day have been and are equally indebted to this gracious operation. Nor can we be surprised at this, when the blessed Saviour Himself is represented in His mediatorial character as qualified and sustained by the Holy Ghost. Ministers know not what to preach, except as the Holy Spirit teaches them.
III. THAT MINISTERS' SUCCESS IS OF THE SPIRIT. And this Spirit is poured out just in proportion as Christ is preached. Learn —
1. Where to look for a blessing. All our fresh springs are in Jesus.
2. Ask whether the Lord is among us or not?
3. To whom we should give the glory, all the glory, for any benefit that we at any time receive from the ministry.
(R. Simpson, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: But truly I am full of power by the spirit of the LORD, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin.