Our understanding of Christian ministry has its foundation in our understanding of the Christian church and in God’s plan of redemption. It all begins with what is described in the Book of Genesis at the beginning of the Bible. Man’s covenant with God was that he be both a son and a servant. God’s covenant with man was that he would give them his presence. This relationship between God and man has been broken by sin and by the Fall.
Jesus Christ, however, comes as both Lord of the covenant and the servant of the covenant. As the Lord of the covenant, he gathers his people together to be their king and he lives within them and among them. He gives his people his presence. He can do this only because he is also the servant of the covenant. As servant of the covenant, he comes to represent us, to stand in our place as our representative head, and to fulfill the covenant for us. He is the perfect Son, reflecting the image of God. He is the perfect servant, obeying God actively and passively, even to the point of death on the cross. When we believe in him we are united with him and we become members of his body, so that the merits of his death and life become ours.