Thursday, August 21, 2014

Ephesians 4: Leaders Equip the Saints

Eph 4:11-16 I And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, 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. 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.

There are manifestation gifts like knowledge, wisdom, faith, healing, miracles, prophecy, discernment, tongues and interpretation (1 Cor. 12:8-10) given to individuals to use to do the work of ministry to insiders and outsiders. Then there are also ministry gifts (leaders) that the Head of the Body bestows to equip the saints (insiders) to do this work of ministry (to outsiders). The leaders are the trainers, the members are the trainees and the targets of the ministry are outsiders. Like the human body, some members of the body are there to keep the rest of the members nourished and functioning (e.g. brain, heart, lung, liver, digestive system, etc). Once trained and equipped, the insiders are then to do the "work of ministry" to the intended target: the unsaved and the unchurched.

The means for the work of ministry are the apostles, evangelists, prophets, pastors and teachers. These are trainers, not ministers. Their role is to equip the insiders to do the "work of ministry" to the outsiders. We so easily confused means and ends. The means of the ministry are the gifted leadership. The ends are equipped members who are able to do the work of ministry that builds up the body of Christ in quality and quantity by their ministry to the world.

Father, help us recognize our calling as ministers of the Gospel to the world around us. Amen.

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