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A Portrait of Paul: Identifying a True Minister of Christ
Reformation Heritage / Soli Deo Gloria / 2010 / Paperback
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Author: Rob Ventura
Located in: Cranston, Rhode Island
Submitted: April 20, 2010
Tell us a little about yourself. I graduated from the Reformed Baptist Seminary in 2006. I am one the pastors at Grace Community Baptist Church in Rhode Island. I am married and have three wonderful children.
What was your motivation behind this project? As a new pastor entering into the full time ministry, I had been asking myself the questions, What kind of minister am I going to be? and What type of ministry do I want to pursue in the church where I labor? While preaching a series of consecutive expository sermons through the book of Colossians, chapters 1:24 to 2:5, I found the main answers to my questions, and thought that what I had learned from Gods Word would be helpful to others. After seeking counsel from several trusted men, I was encouraged to pursue this project. In studying this section of Colossians, I was utterly struck and extremely challenged by the life and labors of the Apostle Paul and became convinced that he portrays an outstanding model for biblical ministry. For churches seeking men to fill their pulpits, he serves as an excellent example of the sort of man whom churches should pursue. For the gospel minister, he provides an excellent picture of what the man of God must strive to be by Gods grace.
What do you hope folks will gain from this project? The aim is to put in the hands of God's people a brief but helpful guide to enable them to understand and identify what a true minister of Christ looks like and how he lives and works. This book looks at the life and ministry of the apostle Paul, as set forth in Colossians 1:24 to 2:5, as a model and standard for the ministry of the Lord Christ. According to the Scriptures, every spiritually healthy child of God should be part of a healthy local church and under the care of her under-shepherds: this portrait of Paul will help you to make wise choices in every aspect of this vital matter. Here, churches looking for a pastor will find guidance in what a faithful man of God will look like. Christians looking for a church will find a tool by which they can assess the pastors of the flock in the light of Gods Word, finding men to whom they can commit the care of their souls. Christians already in a church will be better equipped to pray for their pastors and will further understand what it really means to be shepherded by a man after Gods own heart. Ministerial students pursuing the work of the ministry will see a picture of a man they should seek to imitate. Pastors and church planters our brothers in this labor will, like us, have to deal with sins and shortcomings, but will also find here the model of a Christlike man, made competent by Gods saving grace in Jesus for the work to which he was called, a man who stirs us up to pursue the high calling with which we have been called. We hope that by these means we might help to promote and encourage faithfulness to God in gospel ministry, encouraging and assisting men who seek to follow Paul, just as he also followed Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).
How were you personally impacted by working on this project? Studying these verses in Colossians phrase by phrase utterly challenged me to the core. Paul was the real deal - this is how I want to be by God's great grace.
Who are your influences, sources of inspiration or favorite authors / artists? Spurgeon, Al Martin, Jim Domm, W.R. Downing, Greg Nichols, MacArthur, A.W. Pink etc.
Anything else you'd like readers / listeners to know: My prayer is that everyone who reads this book will be richly blessed and instructed in their own souls and that through the book God's most excellent Name will be magnified by all. Thank you for reading it. Yours in Christ, ~Rob Ventura
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