140 likes | 556 Vues
Growing a Healthy Church Ephesians 4:7-16. Spring is great time of year to focus on growing things. Review Chapter 4: Paul begins to teach the PRACTICAL application of the THEOLOGICAL truths from Chapters 1-3. Ch. 1-3 – our wealth because of our new identity in Christ
E N D
Growing a Healthy ChurchEphesians 4:7-16 Spring is great time of year to focus on growing things.
Review Chapter 4: • Paul begins to teach the PRACTICAL application of the THEOLOGICAL truths from Chapters 1-3. • Ch. 1-3 – our wealth because of our new identity in Christ • Ch. 4-6 – walk worthy of this new relationship we have in Christ • Foundational to “walking worthy” UNITY in the body of Christ • Demonstrated by humility, gentleness, patience, “put up with” love
Unity modeled in the Trinity: • God the Father, Christ the Son, the Holy Spirit • Unity is the foundation for growing a healthy church. • Paul is describing the spiritual growth of the members of the body of Christ. • The Prerequisite For Growth • The Process Of Growth • The Practice In Growth
1. The Prerequisite For Growth • Balance between diversity and the individual responsibility of each person in the body. • v.7 “But…” • Unity does not mean that individuality or individual responsibility are not required. • Ephesians 4: 7 [ESV] - But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. • First prerequisite: God’s grace given to each individual. • the “grace” of doing ministry.
Ephesians 4:8 [ESV] - Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” • vs.8-10 scriptural support that after Christ ascended into heaven He blessed His Church with gifts to do ministry. • Ephesians 4:11 [ESV] - And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers.
Second prerequisite: people that Christ has gifted to serve and build up the body of Christ. • All believers have been gifted to serve in the church and to edify the body of Christ. • Apostles - those who had seen the risen Christ and commissioned to go into the world to preach the gospel. • Prophets - were those who also preached in association with the apostles - proclaimers of the truth of God’s Word
Evangelists - persons gifted in sharing the gospel and winning people to Christ. • Shepherds (Pastors) – “teaching” - the primary responsibility of the pastor/shepherd is to feed the sheep from God’s Word. • God grows His church through the ministry given to gifted people equipped to serve • This is the biblical basis for our theme for the year: • United Together • Passionately • Serving our Saviour.
2. The Process Of Growth – discipleship • Common in this list of gifts involve the proclamation of the Word. • Ephesians 4:12 [ESV] - …to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ. • This is the process of discipleship. • The cornerstone for the very doctrine of the church: • Pastors – leaders – teaching God’s Word to equip the people to do the work of ministry.
We are all called to the same task of building up the body of Christ even though the individual responsibilities vary. • Are you using your gifts to build up the body of Christ? • “Pastors are not hired to do the ministry, but to prepare the people to work, and pastors must be the first to expect work from their parishioners…Pastors must be experts in the gospel and its application to live. They need to train people biblically…A pastor’s job is to help people be productive with their own Christian work and service.” Klyne Snodgrass
The result when leaders equip and people are prepared for service: • Ephesians 4:12-14 [ESV] - …for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes. • The Result: spiritual maturity
3. The Practice In Growth • Ephesians 4:15,16 [ESV] - Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ, from whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love. • This growth process involves LOVE • “speaking the truth” – literally “truthing” • Not just speaking truth BUT actually LIVING out God’s TRUTH!
Truth is the foundation of the Christian life. • Jesus said: “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” • John 17:8,17 [ESV] - For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me …Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.
Every aspect of walking worthy involves truth. • The gospel is the word of truth • We are called to speak and do truth • Jesus taught us to worship in spirit and truth • Worship is telling the truth about God. Confession [of sin] is telling the truth about ourselves. Counseling is a process of helping people deal with the truth. In the end, we have no other activity but speaking and living the truth in love. • Klyne Snodgrass
How do you grow a healthy church? • Ephesians 4:16 – “when each part works together properly.” • Gifted by God’s grace • Equipped through God’s Word to do ministry • Living our God’s truth with love. • Are you committed to using the gifts God has graced you with to make Calvary Gospel Church a healthy place? • Let’s strive to do the ministry God has called us to do together.