Are You Using Your Gift

Wednesday Ephesians 4 15

 

Have a Wonderful and Blessed Day!!! Serve The Lord!!!

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,
Ephesians 4:18 Having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart:

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. 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. Healthy churches are comprised of those who have identified their gifts, and committed to using their gifts to complement to varied gifts of others. Coming together in unity, and actively using our gifts is essential to the growth of the church.

Let’s examine the aspects of Christian service essential to the church as we consider: The Necessity of Unity.
I. The Provision Granted (11-12)
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:

– Paul spoke of the gracious provision of our Lord in equipping the church and providing for her spiritual health and prosperity.
A. The Positions And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. As the Lord sovereignly designed the church, He provided leaders with various gifts to meet the variety of needs she faced. There is much we could discuss in this verse.
B. 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. Many churches have the idea that ministry is reserved solely for paid staff. That is certainly not biblical, but it isn’t the church’s fault entirely. Men of God are called to prepare those within the church to be used of God.
Too often we hear that the Pastor’s job, thats the Deacon’s job. We are all called to spread the gospel, we are called to be teachers, Pastors, and we are called to follow Christ. Don’t put it all on the Pastor.
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. She is responsible for her continued growth and prosperity. 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!
How hard is it to edify one another? We can all use our phones (many use it too much), we can all send a card, we can all find a kind word.

II. The Purpose Revealed (13-15)
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:

 

– 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:
A. 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 pastor and every New Testament church. 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. Like reading the Bible, we can say “I have read the whole bible through once”, that doesn’t mean to never read it again.
B. Our Stability (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. 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.

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;
Ephesians 6:15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;
Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.
Ephesians 6:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:
Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Because we need to becareful constantly of Satan and his attacks, of the false teachings the above scriptures are very important for us each day!!
C. Our Sincerity (15) – But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ. 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.
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!
III. The Performance Desired (16) –
Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

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. Finally Paul spoke of the necessity and benefit of unity among the church. United we can prosper; divided we will fall. Consider:

A. 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.
Is it easier to deafeat one or a whole group.

God has gifted the body to fulfill her calling. If each member will share their gifts for the good of the body, and the work of the ministry, we can be successful in completing our mission.
B. 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.
C. The Nurturing through Unity (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. As we labor together, each contributing for the good of the entire body, the body as a while increases and is strengthened. Paul knew outside sources could aid and affect the contributions of each member for the good of the body, but the health of the body rested primarily in the contribution of its members.
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!

Now don’t get me wrong the Lord will still be successful with us or without us. However do any of us want to stand before him and answer why we didn’t do out part?

 

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.

Why would we refuse the Lord our God? Look at what he has done for us; we certainly didn’t deserve it.

LIFE IS THE TIME TO SERVE THE LORD
Life is the time to serve the Lord,
The time to ensure the great reward;
And while the lamp holds out to burn,
The vilest sinner may return.
Life is the hour that God has given
To ’scape from hell and fly to Heav’n;
The day of grace, and mortals may
Secure the blessings of the day.
The living know that they must die,
But all the dead forgotten lie;
Their memory and their sense is gone,
Alike unknowing and unknown.
Their hatred and their love is lost,
Their envy is buried in the dust;
They have no share in all that’s done
Beneath the circuit of the sun.
Then what my thoughts design to do,
My hands, with all your might pursue;
Since no device nor work is found,
Nor faith, nor hope, beneath the ground.
There are no acts of pardon passed
In the cold grave, to which we haste;
But darkness, death, and long despair,
Reign in eternal silence there.

Love and Prayers
Cheryl

 

 

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