The Body Of Christ :)

Wednesday blessed Ephesians 4 15

Have a Wonderful and Blessed Day!!! The Body Of Christ!!!

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

Ephesians 4:17 This I say therefore, and testify in the Lord, that ye henceforth walk not as other Gentiles walk, in the vanity of their mind,

 

How do we become part of the church? Do we have to Pay dues? Do we have to pass some kind of test? Oh we have to be baptized? None of the above.

This opportunity is available by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is through Salvation. The Church is the saints, the born-again believers children of God. We pay nothing, it is not of works, it is not by denomination. It is ONLY through Jesus Christ and his blood on the Cross at Calvary.

Once entry into the church, the body of Christ is made, what comes next? Many either lack understanding or are content to remain where they are as babes in Christ. The Father never intended for us to stay babies forever. This was never the intent of Christ for the church. As we will discover, each member is individually gifted with abilities that aid in the growth and ministry of the church. He has given each one of his children a gift, and wants us to us it for the growth of the church. Coming together in unity, and actively using our gifts is essential to the Spiritual growth of each of us, and to further the gospel. He didn’t just give us gifts to use if we become bored.

 

I. The Provision Granted – Paul spoke of the gracious provision of our Lord in equipping the church and providing for her spiritual health and prosperity. Consider:

Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;

Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

 

The Expectations (12) – For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Paul goes on to reveal the expectations for such unique and varied giftedness among the church. These individual gifts are provided for:

Perfecting of the Saints – This has the idea of preparation of the saints. God uses various spiritual gifts within the leadership to prepare and equip the believers to serve within the church. That is certainly not biblical, but it isn’t the church’s fault entirely. Often times some verses are a bit misunderstood and some believe it is not for everyone; ex: Soulwinning I have heard some say it is just for the Pastor, well this is not true it is for all of us. We are all to out out and give the gospel.

Work of Ministry – Those in leadership are expected to prepare believers to carry out the work of ministry. The responsibility of laboring in the harvest is to be shared by all who make up the body of Christ. If you are saved by grace, part of the church, you are expected to be engaged in the ministry efforts of the church. As we will discover, there is a work for all to perform.

Edifying of the Body of Christ – The church is expected to encourage and support those within the body. We are all responsible for her continued growth and encouragement. Granted, the Lord will provide the resources and abilities we need, but we are expected to engage in the work of building up the church and pursuing her continued growth!

We are all expected to encourage others who are hurting. Don’t assume others are taking care of the hurting.

The Purpose Revealed-(13&14)-Here we find the purpose behind such collective efforts. As the church is equipped, fulfilling her ministry, it affects the body as a whole. Notice:

Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and

 

Our Sanctification (13) – Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ. This should be the goal of every Saint. Paul speaks in essence of our sanctification, our conformity to the image of Christ. The church cannot rest until we all stand united in the faith, possessing an intimate knowledge of Christ, being mature in Him, and abiding in the fullness of His grace.

We are currently making progress, but this is a never ending process. There is always room for continued spiritual growth, and the need to disciple others in the faith.

 

Our Stability (14) – Paul was well aware of the relentless attacks upon the church and the dangers they presented. The believer is responsible to be settled in the faith – knowing what they believe and why they believe it. Hearing a message once in a while would not suffice. Pastors and evangelists could not be content to simply proclaim the truth they had embraced, but ensure the body embraced and understood those truths as well. The church was responsible to equip and train its members in sound, biblical doctrine.

The winds of heresy and false doctrine continue to blow. The enemy seeks to infiltrate and corrupt every Bible believing church. We must be settled in the faith, and certain of doctrinal truth. Our world is filled with those who seek to present an alternative to the Gospel. Individually and corporately, we must be settled on the Word, and stand firmly upon it! Congregations divided on doctrine are easy targets for attack and defeat. We must be ready with the whole armour of God, daily. We need to be ready to stop anyone telling us any other doctrine but that of Jesus Christ.

 

Our Sincerity (15) – Paul urged the Ephesian church to remain committed to the Gospel, willing to proclaim the truth in love. They were to stand upon the Word, in every area of life. They were not expected to compromise the truth, but always act with grace and compassion. Such commitment to sound doctrine would serve to mature them in the faith.

Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:

 

We too must be united in sharing the truth. We live in a culture that denies the existence of absolute truth. They refuse to embrace anything that isn’t consistent with their way of life. Those who stand upon the Word of God are often viewed as hostile and uneducated. The pressure to conform to the ideas and philosophies of the modern culture will continue to increase. We must remain sincere in the faith and committed to truth. As we share truth in a world that doesn’t embrace genuine truth, we must do so with love and grace. An arrogant, condescending attitude will not reach anyone, but consistent truth, spoken in love can! Sometinmes even done in love we still are looked at as intolerate haters.

The Performance Desired (16) – Finally Paul spoke of the necessity and benefit of unity among the church.

Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.

 

The Need for Unity – From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth. Paul paints a beautiful picture of unity within the church. The whole body comes together, fitly joined according to God’s divine plan. Each part supplies or contributes to the work of ministry. Every member is present, in their place, and contributing the individual gifts they have received. There is nothing lacking within the body. Every area of service has those who are gifted in that particular area, and they contribute the gifts and abilities they possess. The body is complete, and each member of the body helps ensure the health and prosperity of the body as a whole.

 

The Nature of Unity – From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part. Paul revealed our unity and individual contributions were dependent upon the working of the Lord through us. Just as the hand does not work independently from the arm, we cannot prosper in ministry apart from the working of the Spirit within us. As the Spirit works within us, developing our specific gifts, we share our gifts along with others, and the body functions as it should.

 

I know that ultimately we are dependent upon the Lord for the grace and strength we need, but the health of this local body depends primarily upon the commitment of its members. Our contributions, or lack thereof, have a direct impact on the body. When we function as we should, the entire body benefits. We have the ability, through the working of the Spirit, to encourage and strengthen this local body. I want to contribute all I can to nurture and strengthen the congregation I am called to serve. It takes all of us working together, but we can grow together for our good and God’s glory! This is why the Lord has given us each a gift, a place, a plan. Now Gods plan won’t fall apart if we sit and do nothing, but do we really want to sit back and disobey what God has planned for us. Do we want to say “Lord You gave me the gift of teaching but I have better things to do”? We will all stand before him and he will know what we did with the gift given to us.

If you are saved by grace, you are gifted to serve within the body of Christ. All gifts are not the same, but all complement each other, and are necessary for a healthy body. Our individual spiritual condition affects the overall health of the church.

Are you aware of your spiritual gifts? Are you committed to using those to edify the church and reach those who have yet to be saved? Are you growing in your faith, and in turn strengthening the church as a whole? If there are needs in your life, seek the Lord for strength and guidance. It has been said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The church is only as strong spiritually as those who make it up. We must be close to the Lord and standing together in unity to be effective in ministry.

If you are yet unsaved, respond to the call for salvation. Come to the Lord in faith and repentance, and be saved today!

 

THE BANNER OF THE CROSS

There’s a royal banner given for display
To the soldiers of the King;
As an ensign fair we lift it up today,
While as ransomed ones we sing.

Marching on, marching on,

For Christ count everything but loss!

And to crown Him King, we’ll toil and sing,

Beneath the banner of the cross!

Though the foe may rage and gather as the flood,
Let the standard be displayed;
And beneath its folds, as soldiers of the Lord,
For the truth be not dismayed!

Over land and sea, wherever man may dwell,
Make the glorious tidings known;
Of the crimson banner now the story tell,
While the Lord shall claim His own!

When the glory dawns—’tis drawing very near,
It is hast’ning day by day—
Then before our King the foe shall disappear,
And the cross the world shall sway!

Love and Prayers

Cheryl

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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