Ordained Ministers Let Light Shine
WHAT does it mean to be ordained? To be ordained means to be invested with ministerial functions or to be appointed authoritatively, even as Jesus Christ was ordained by God. One who is thus ordained has as his vocation or divine calling the Christian ministry.
Who are God’s ordained ministers today? The clergy who attended a theological seminary and thereafter underwent an elaborate and pompous ordination ceremony? No; if such were essential then neither Jesus nor his early disciples and apostles would have qualified as God’s ordained ministers, for they neither had such formal education nor underwent any such ordination.
God’s ordained ministers today are those who have recognized Jehovah God as their Sovereign, Jesus Christ as their Savior, themselves as sinners and their need of Christ’s sacrifice in order to have a proper standing before God. These upon dedicating themselves to do God’s will, and being baptized at the first opportunity, are ordained by means of God’s holy spirit or active force.
To all such Jesus’ words apply: “You are the light of the world. A city cannot be hid when situated upon a mountain. Likewise let your light shine before mankind, that they may see your right works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens.”—Matt. 5:14, 16.a
Light both dispels darkness and gives life. The light that the ordained Christian minister lets shine is the life-giving truth that dispels the darkness of false religion, superstition and ignorance. It is the truth about Jehovah’s purposes and his will for man.
How can we let our light shine? By bringing these truths to others as we go from house to house, stand on the streets, and whenever an opportunity presents itself. We also let our light shine when we teach others by making return visits upon them and by conducting Bible studies in their homes. And we let our light shine when we make public confession at our congregational meetings.
We let our light shine by the kind of speech we use. We want to use words that are decent, clean, helpful, respectable, that express our thoughts clearly and forcefully. We want to avoid not only obscene, vulgar and corrupt language but also slovenly and slipshod expressions. Yes, let “neither shameful conduct nor foolish talking nor obscene jesting, things which are not becoming,” be mentioned among you, says the apostle Paul.—Eph. 5:3, 4.
In particular do we want to watch our actions. We want to be careful that nothing we do will reflect unfavorably upon our heavenly Father and the New World society. “Therefore, whether you are eating or drinking or doing anything else, do all things for God’s glory.”—1 Cor. 10:31.
Where must we let our light shine? Everywhere! In the Christian home, and especially so if our mate is not also a Christian. How brightly our light shines under such circumstances when we are careful to heed the Scriptural admonition about “chaste conduct together with deep respect” and having as an adornment “the secret person of the heart in the incorruptible apparel of the quiet and mild spirit.” How often such conduct has opened the eyes of the unbeliever, even though at times it may have taken years and years to do so!—1 Pet. 3:1-4.
We also want to be careful to let our light shine at our place of employment. By an integrity-keeping course we bear witness that we are no part of the world. So let us faithfully give full measure to our employer, neither loitering at our work nor taking things from our employer that do not belong to us.
Nor would we overlook the need to let our light shine when enjoying recreation. Here also we are Christian ministers and therefore may not let down the guards of propriety. At such times we do well to call to mind Paul’s example: “I browbeat my body and lead it as a slave, that, after I have preached to others, I myself should not become disapproved somehow.”—1 Cor. 9:27.
Letting our light shine on all occasions is not easy. It requires being on guard and exercising self-control. But is it not worth it? Thereby we bring honor to Jehovah’s name; thereby we help our neighbor to see the truth and get on the road that leads to everlasting life, and thereby we assure salvation for ourselves. So “let your light shine before mankind, that they may see your right works and give glory to your Father who is in the heavens.”—Matt. 5:16.
a For details see The Watchtower, January 1, 1960.