“But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send Timothy to you shortly, that I also may be encouraged when I know your state. For I have no one like-minded, who sincerely care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus. But you know his proven character, that as a son with his father he served with me in the gospel.” Philippians 2:19-22.
From the aforementioned Scripture we could see the cordial father and son relationship between Apostle Paul and Timothy, who were kingdom minded ministers of the gospel. We could also see the heart, passion and sincere service with proven character of those who are true Ministers of the gospel.
The epistle to the Philippian church was written by Apostle Paul during the time he was incarcerated in prison at Rome, and despite the fact that he was accused falsely by the Jewish authorities, yet some of the believers Paul thought were with him in the gospel struggle, took the advantage that he was in prison to worsen the pains he was going through. They tried so hard to blackmail him with their ‘so called’ preaching of Christ. Paul alluded to the fact when he said: “Some indeed preach Christ even from envy and strife, and some also from goodwill: The former preach Christ from selfish ambition, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my chains.” Philippians 1:15-16.
For others, they went to the extent of misrepresenting Christ, by milking the flock and making merchandise of the church. These are those whose god is their belly… They claim to be ministers of the gospel, I would not doubt them, because I did not call them to ministry. But this will make one to ask; of which type of gospel. Is it the gospel of Jesus Christ or the modern day gospel of man, postmodernism, secularism and Satanic worship? But actually they are the enemies of the cross of Christ. Philippians 3:18-19. They do not have sincere love and passion for the kingdom and for the people.
This brings to the fore what then should be the character of the minister of the gospel to the flock of Jesus Christ. Apostle Peter admonished that the minister of the gospel should “Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.” 1Peter 5:2-3.
It is abundantly clear that the character of the shepherd sterns out of his or her sincere love and passion for the Chief Shepherd whose flock s/he is called to shepherd. And that sincere love and passion will be transmitted to the flock. Sad enough we live in a time where many pseudo and false shepherds exist everywhere. With sugar coated and eloquent speeches and messages without exhibiting or having the character and nature of the gospel message. These are wolves in sheep’s clothing. Unfortunately, many of which are in and coming out from the church. Acts 20:28-31.
It behooves on the faithful followers of Jesus Christ and the Bride which is His Church to critically watch in all things, and to observed with the help of the Holy Spirit those that claimed to be ministers of the gospel but they are not. By using the Scripture to test, examine and evaluate the persons, his ministry and their ministrations to know whether their life and practice matches or contradicts the Scriptures.