Today’s selected reading continues in the first epistle of the apostle Paul in the New t stamens which was written unto the saints which were at Corinth. More specifically, today’s passage of scripture ya found in verses nineteen though twenty-four of the sixteenth chapter. With these final six verses the apostle Paul closes out and concludes the first epistle which he wrote unto the saints which were at Corinth. After sixteen chapters and an incredible amount of language which was written unto the Corinthian congregation the apostle finally brings the epistle to a close, and he does so by encouraging the saints of God to greet each other with a holy kiss. Within these final verses the apostle Paul brings to an end an epistle that contained within it a tremendous amount of language that was designed and intended on brining correction to a congregation that desperately needed it. Within the pages of this epistle we find the apostle Paul describing this congregation as carnal and unable to handle the meat of the word of God, but as babes in Christ could only be fed with milk. The apostle Paul would go on to write concerning this congregation that despite the fact that they came behind in no spiritual gift and did not lack any spiritual gift they could not be regarded as spiritual. What’s more is that the apostle Paul speaks to and addresses this church—not only as carnal, but also as divisive, for they allowed schisms to take place among them. This congregation might have been chosen in Christ to be holy, however, this congregation permitted themselves to get caught up with and divided by the personalities of their day such as Paul, Cephas, Apollo, and even Christ Himself. What’s more, is this congregation refused to allow themselves to suffer any wrong without retribution or recompense of some sort, for they had absolutely no issue with taking their brethren to court among the Gentiles. As if this weren’t enough, this congregation gathered around the Lord’s table and partook of the Lords supper without any regard for those who were present among or sound them.
When you come to the sixteenth chapter of this first epistle which Paul wrote unto the Corinthian congregation you will find the apostle Paul calling and bringing them to a place of response to everything he had thus written. When the sixteenth chapter opens it does so with the apostle Paul appealing to everything he had written within the epistle and calling them to respond by giving unto the saints. If you read the sixteenth chapter of this first epistle you will undoubtedly discover the apostle Paul speak of two distinct realities within and among the body of Christ—giving and ministry unto the saints. Within this final chapter the apostle Paul brings this congregation to a place of response, yet perhaps not to a place of response we would expect. If you had written this epistle, how would you yourself have closed and concluded it? Would you have closed it with a prayer, or would you have closed it with a litany of questions demanding response from those to whom you had written? The apostle Paul closes out this epistle by speaking unto this congregation concerning two of the most crucial realities and practices within and among the saints of God. While the apostle Paul begins writing about giving liberally unto and for the saints according to each mans prosperity, he continues on and moves forward with speaking or ministry unto and ministry among the saints. What’s more, is the apostle Paul included specific names of those who had partnered together with him in the ministry of the saints and the ministry among the churches. As I read the sixteenth and final chapter of this first epistle which was written unto the saints at Corinth I can’t help but see it as a chapter that not only describes and speaks of giving, not only describes and speaks of ministry unto the saints, but also speaks of partnership in the ministry.
I am convinced that even a cursory glance and a cursory reading of this final chapter will bring any who read it to encounter those who had partnered together with Paul in the preaching of the gospel concerning Jesus Christ, as well as with the ministry of unto the saints. I would dare suggest and boldly state that when it comes to, and as it pertains to ministry unto the saints, one of the most crucial elements surrounding that ministry is who you choose to partner with, as well as who chooses to partner together with you. I am firmly convinced that Christian living is not an isolated occurrence, and that no Christian brother or sister engages in such in an Island by themselves. With that being said, I would also declare that Christian ministry and Christian service is not an island unto and by itself, but requires others to come alongside and partner together with such ministry. There are a number of men and women who would dare attempt to do ministry alone and all by themselves and as such, are perhaps unwilling to allow others to come alongside them and provide any assistance. I am convinced that one of the single greatest dangers men and women make when attempting to engage in Christian ministry centers upon their attempting to do it alone and all by themselves—without allowing others to come alongside them and partner together with them. If you read each of the epistles which the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches he planted, you will find specific references to those who decided to partner together with him in the ministry among the Gentiles and the ministry among the saints. Even the apostle Paul did not, could not, and would not make any attempt to engage in Christian ministry without and apart from those who would come alongside him to provide assistance as needed. What’s more, is that even the apostle Paul admitted the tremendous burden that surrounded care for the churches and ministry among the saints—“Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches” (2 Corinthians 11:28).
It is necessary to take a look at an examine the various concluding chapters of some of the epistles the apostle Paul wrote unto the various churches he planted, for it is within his concluding remarks we discover the names of certain men and women who joined together and came alongside him for the care of the churches and the ministry of the saints. If you begin reading with the first verse of the sixteenth chapter of the epistle unto the saints which were at Rome you will find the following words—“I commend unto you Phoebe our sister, which is a servant of the church which is at Cenchrea: that ye receive her in the Lord, as becometh saints, and that ye assist her in whatsoever er business she hath need of you: for she hath been a succourer of many, and of myself also. Green Priscilla and Aquila, my helpers in Christ Jesus: who have for my life laid down their own necks: unto whom not only I give thanks, but also all the churches of the Gentiles. Likewise greet the church that is in their house. Salute my well beloved Epaenetus, who is the first fruits of Achaia unto Christ. Greet Mary, who bestowed much labour on us. Salute Andronicus and Julia, my kinsmen, and my fellow prisoners, who are of note among the apostles, who also were in Christ before me. Green Ampilias my beloved in the Lord. Salute Urbane, our helper in Christ, and Stachys my beloved. Salute Apelles approved in Christ. Salute them which are of Aristobulus’ household. Salute Herodion my kinsman. Greet them that be of the household of Narcissus, which are in the Lord. Salute Tryphena and Tryphosa, who labour in the Lord. Salute the beloved PErsis, which laboured much in the Lord. Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Salute Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermas, Patrobas, Hermes, and the brethren which are with them. Salute Philogus, and Julia, Nereus, and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints which are with them. Salute one another with an holy kiss. The churches of Christ salute you” (Romans 16:1-16). If you continue reading within this same chapter you will find an additional reference to those who partnered together with Paul in the care of the churches, the preaching unto the Gentiles, and the ministry unto the saints—“Timotheuis my work fellow, and Lucius, and Jason, and Sosipater, my kinsmen, salute you. I Tertius, who wrote this epistle, salute you in the Lord. Gains mine host, and of the whole church, saluteth you. Erastus the chamberlain of the city saluteth you, and Quartus a brother. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen” (Romans 16:21-24).
When you come to the sixteenth chapter of the first epistle which was written unto the Corinthian saints you will find these words concerning those who partnered together with the apostle Paul in the ministry unto the saints—“Now if Timotheus come, see that he may be with you without fear: for he worketh the work of the Lord, as I also do. Let no man therefore despise him: but conduct him forth in peace, that he may come unto me: for I look for him with the brethren. As touching our brother Apollos, I greatly desired him to come unto you with the brethren: but his will was not at all to comer at this time; but he will come when he shall have convenient time. Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong. Let all your things be done with charity. I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) that ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth. I am glad of the coming of Stephanas and FOrtunatus and Achaicus: for that which was lacking on your part they have supplied. For they have refreshed my spirit and yours: therefore acknowledge ye them that are such. The churches of Asia salute you. Aquila and Priscilla salute you much in the Lord, with the church that is in their house. All the brethren greet you. Green ye one another with an holy kiss. The salvation of me Paul with mine own hand. If any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen” (1 Corinthians 16:10-23). IN the final verse of the second epistle written unto the Corinthian saints you will find the apostle Paul concluding with these remarks—“The second epistle to the Corinthians was written from Philippi, a city of Macedonia, by Titus and Lucas” (2 Corinthians 13:14). In the final chapter of the epistle which was written unto the saints which were at Ephesus we find the following words written by the apostle Paul concerning this who came alongside him and partnered together with the ministry—“But that ye also may know my affairs, and how I do, Tychicus, a beloved brother and faithful minister in the Lord, shall make known to you all things: whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that ye might know our affairs, and that he might comfort your hearts. Peace be to the brethren, and love with faith, from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen” (Ephesians 6:21-24).
If you begin reading with and from the seventh verse of the final chapter within the epistle written unto the Colossians you will find the following words which provide additional commentary on all those who partnered together with the apostle Paul and the ministry unto the saints and among the churches: “All my state shall Tychicus declare unto you, who is a beloved brother, and a faithful minister and fellow servant in the Lord: whom I have sent unto you for the same purpose, that he might know your estate, and comfort your hearts; with Onesimus, a faithful and beloved brother, who is one of you. They shall make known unto you all things which are done here. Aristarchus my fellow prisoner saluteth you, and Marcus, Sister’s son to Barnabas, (touching whom ye received commandments: if he come unto you, receive him;) and Jesus which is called Justus, who are of the circumcision. These only are my fellow workers unto the kingdom of God, which have been a comfort unto me. Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers , that ye may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him record, that he hath a great zeal for you, and them that are in Laodicea, and them in Hierapols. Luke, the beloved physician, and Delmas, greet you. Salute the brethren which are in Laodicea, and Nymphas, and the church which is in his house. And when those epistle is read among you, cause that it be read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and that ye likewise read the epistle from Laodicea. And say to Archippus, Take heed to the ministry which thou hast received in the Lord, that thou fulfill it. The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen. Written from Rome to the Colossians by Tychicus and Onesimus” (Colossians 4:7-18).
There is something absolutely wonderful and incredibly powerful about those who agree to partner together in the ministry of the saints, as well as the care of the churches. There is something to be said about those who dare not make any attempt to engage in ministry among the saints by themselves—alone and on an island. What I absolutely love about the words we find and which we read in the various epistles the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches is that he included those who partnered together with him in the ministry of the churches, and the care for the churches in his absence and in his stead. If you read the New Testament book of the Acts of the apostles, and if you read the various letters the apostle Paul wrote unto the churches he helped found and plant, you will quickly discover various individuals whom he met along the way who felt compelled by Christ to partner together with Paul in the ministry of the saints. What’s more, is that within certain of the final remarks contained in the various epistles, we notice two distinct classifications of men and women who patterned together with the apostle Paul—the first is that of fellow workers, while the second is fellow prisoners. Please don’t be quick to quickly dismiss and glance over such realities, for it would be very easy to do so. I am absolutely convinced there is a tremendous prophetic truth that is contained within these two realities and concepts, for there is something to be said about those who are willing to be a fellow worker with you in the work of the Lord. With that being said, however—while there is something to be said about those who would give of themselves to be a fellow worker in the Lord, there is something to be said about those who would take it a step further and be a fellow prisoner with you in the Lord. It is one thing to share ministry of the saints together with you, but it is something else entirely to share chains, and bonds, and a prison cell with you. There is something to be said about those who are willing to accompany you and stay with you—even in the face of judicial concern and trouble, as the authorities of the day seek to place you in chains and cast you into prison. Remember the account of Paul and Silas when they were cast together into the prison which was in Philippi, and how it was the two of them who sang praises unto the Lord at midnight there in that dark and cold cell.
Taking this concept a step further, it is necessary to recognize and understand that not even Jesus Christ Himself attempted to partake in public ministry alone and by Himself. If you read the four gospel accounts of His life and ministry, you will find that He carefully selected twelve men who would be His disciples and closest companions and who would walk with Him for three and a half years. Beginning to read with the first verse of the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel according to Mathew you will find the following words which were written concerning the disciples whom Jesus had chosen: “And when He had called unto Him His twelve disciples, He gave them power against unclean spirits to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip, and Bartholomew; Thomas, and Matthew the publican; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus; Simon the Canaanite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go no into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not: but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy: and there abide till ye go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it. And if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be nor worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the dust of your feet. Verily I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment, than for that city. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves” (Matthew 10:1-16).
If you transition forward into the tenth chapter of the New Testament gospel of Luke you will find that in addition to the twelve whom Jesus chose and appointed, there were also seventy others whom Jesus appointed and sent out ahead of Him before His face into every city. Beginning to read with the first verse of the tenth chapter of this New Testament gospel you will find the following words: “After these things the Lord appointed other seventy also, and sent them two and two before his face into every city and place, whither He Himself would come. Therefore said He unto them, The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few: pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that He would send forth labourers into His harvest. Go your ways: behold, I send you forth as lambs among wolves. Carry neither purse, nor scrip, nor shoes: and salute no man by the way. And into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again. And in the same house remain, eating and drinking such things as they give: for the labourer is worthy of his hire. Go not from house to house. And into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you, eat such things as are set before you: and heal the sick that are therein, and say unto them, the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But into whatsoever city ye enter, and they receive you not, go your ways out into the streets of the same, and say, Even the very dust of your city, which cleaveth on us, we do wipe off against you: notwithstanding be ye sure of this, that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you. But I say unto you, that it shall be more tolerable in that day for Sodom, than for that city” (Luke 10:1-12).
There is something incredibly powerful that is found and contained within the sixteenth and final chapter which the apostle Paul wrote unto the saints which were at Corinth. In the fifteenth verse of this particular chapter you will find the apostle Paul writing concerning the house of Stephanas, and how this particular house was the firstfruits of Achaia, which was a city in Asia. It is perhaps best to present unto you that which is recorded in the fifteenth verse, and even that which is presented in the sixteenth verse, for it helps drive home a truth which the saints of God must understand and come to terms with. “I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,) that ye submit yourselves unto such, and to every one that helpeth with us, and laboureth” (1 Corinthians 16:15-16). THEY HAVE ADDICTED THEMSELVES TO THE MINISTRY OF THE SAINTS! Pause for a moment and consider the tremendous power that surrounds and is contained within those words, for with those words we find something that is truly remarkable concerning that which we allow ourselves to be engaged in. Within these two verses we find the apostle Paul speaking of the house of Stephanas, and how this particular house addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints. I would dare suggest and state that it is one thing to engage ourselves in the ministry of the saints, but it is something else altogether to allow ourselves to be addicted to the saints. There is perhaps no better way to define and describe what this addition to the ministry of the saints looks like than with the words which are recorded in the second chapter of the New Testament book of the Acts of the Apostles. Consider if you will that which is recorded beginning to read with the forty-second verse of the second chapter within this New Testament book:
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all thigns common; and sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:42-47).
CONTINUED STEADFASTLY IN THE APOSTLES’S DOCTRINE AND FELLOWSHIP! BREAKING OF BREAD! IN PRAYERS! ALL THAT BELIEVED WERE TOGETHER! HAD ALL THINGS IN COMMON! SOLD THEIR POSSESSIONS AND GOODS, AND PARTED THEM TO ALL MEN! AS EVERY MAN HAD NEED! CONTINUING DAILY WITH ONE ACCORD IN THE TEMPLE! BREAKING BREAD FROM HOUSE TO HOUSE! EAT THEIR MEAT WITH GLADNESS AND SINGLENESS OF HEART! PRAISING GOD! HAVING FAVOUR WITH ALL THE PEOPLE! With these words Luke the beloved physician sets forth to describe the environment and atmosphere that was found to be present within and among the early Church which was formed on the Day of Pentecost just fifty days after the resurrection of Jesus, and only ten days after His ascension unto the right hand of the Father. If we are to truly understand the reality of addicting ourselves to the ministry of the saints, we must understand that it is only possible as we are willing to give of ourselves and no longer live for ourselves. What’s more, is that the only way we can truly addict ourselves to the ministry of the saints is if we purpose within ourselves to no longer live isolated and alone on an island of our own choosing and making. There is not a single individual who can truly addict themselves to the ministry of the saints if they are unwilling to live together in communal relationship with their brethren who are in Christ. The apostle Paul wrote and spoke about the household of Stephanas and how they addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints, and we must recognize and understand the tremendous significance and power that is contained within such a reality, for such a reality must be fleshed out among us who would call and claim ourselves to be saints of God. I continue to believe and stand firm in the fact that it is one thing to engage ourselves in the ministry unto the saints, but it is something else altogether to addict ourselves to the ministry of the saints.
I would like to present two specific references found within the New Testament, and specifically, among the epistles which the apostle Paul wrote unto the Roman saints, as well as the Philippians congregation. It is within these two passages of Scripture that we understand and encounter exactly what addicting ourselves to the ministry of the saints truly looks like. Beginning to read with and from the third verse of the twelfth chapter of the New Testament epistle written unto the Romans we find the following words: “For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Having then gifts differing according to the graze that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness. Let love be without dissimulation. Ashore that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instand in prayer; distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you: bless, and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another. Mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceits. Recompense to no man evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed Him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:3-21).
IN the second chapter of the epistle which was written unto the Philippians congregation we find the following words which were written concerning the ministry of the saints, which also includes the example of Christ: “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfill ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given him a name which is above every name: that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Wherefore, my beloved, as ye have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling. For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of His good pleasure. Do all things without murmurings and disputing: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom the shine as lights in the world; holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Yea, and if I be offered upon the sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all. For the same cause also do ye joy, and rejoice with me” (Philippians 2:1-18).
I would also seek to include in this writing that which the apostle Paul would go on to write immediately following these words, for what he writes immediately after further confirms this reality and concept of addicting ourselves to the ministry of the saints. “But I trust in the Lord Jesus to send TImotheus shortly unto you, that I also may be of good comfort, when I know your state. For I have no man like minded, who will naturally care for your state. For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s. But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the gospel. Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with me. But I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly. Yet I supposed it necessary to send to you Epaphroditus, my brother, and companion in labour, and fellow soldier, but your messenger, and he that minister to my wants. For he longed after you all, and was full fo heaviness, because that ye had heard that he had been sick. For indeed he was sick nigh unto death: but God had mercy on him; and not. On him only, but on me also, lest I should have sorrow upon sorrow. I sent him therefore the more carefully, that when ye see him again, ye may rejoice, and that I may be the less sorrowful. Receive him therefore in the Lord with all gladness; and hold such in reputation: because for the work of Christ he was nigh unto death, not regarding his life, to supply your lack of service toward me” (Philippians 2:19-30).
I absolutely and totally love the words of the apostle Paul in this passage of scripture, for what he writes of Timothy powerfully demonstrates the concept of being addicted to the ministry of the saints. That which Paul speaks of concerning the house of Stephanas presents for us an overwhelming challenge—not merely to allow ourselves to be addicted to the ministry of the saints, but to live our lives as selflessly and sacrificially as we can. One cannot consider themselves to be addicted to the ministry of the saints if they cannot and are unwilling to esteem others as better than themselves. The apostle Paul spoke of Timothy as caring for the things of the Lord in a world that is filled with men and women who seek their own. What’s more, is the apostle Paul also declared of Timothy that he knew of no other individual who was like minded with him and would naturally care for the state or the churches. What I so love about the writing of the apostle Paul is that when speaking of certain Individuals who partnered together with him in ministry, but actually described those who were fellow soldiers, those who were fellow laborers and those who are fellow prisoners. FELLOW SOLDIERS! FELLOW LABORERS! FELLOW PRISONERS! Being addicted to the ministry of the saints touches the realm of men and women who are fellow soldiers with you—those who are willing to stand side by side with you in the battle and engage the enemies and foes with you. Being addicted to the ministry or the saints touches the realm of partnering together with you in the work of the Lord upon the earth in caring for His body here on the earth. What’s more, is that being addicted to the ministry of the saints touches the realm of those who aren’t merely willing to stand beside you in ministry, not only willing to stand beside you in combat, but also stand beside you in trials, in suffering, in persecution, and even in chains. There is something to be said about another individual who is willing to share chains with you regardless of the cost and expense it may have in their own life. There is something to be said about those who are willing to stand side by side with you in the battlefield and share the landscape until the battle has been won. The question you must ask yourself is whether or not you are willing to give yourself to being addicted to the ministry of the saints, and to give yourself to everything that entails.