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Equipping for Growth

Ephesians 4:11-16

  1. Introduction
    1. The church of Jesus Christ is a living organization energized by the Holy Spirit and designed to grow into a manifestation of Christ on the earth.
      1. Illustration
        1. John 16:7 - Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
        2. Jesus walked on the earth as a man, full of the power of the Holy Spirit, preaching the Gospel and revealing God to us. Now that the Holy Spirit has come to dwell in us He now manifests Himself all over the world through the Church, individual believers serving together.
    2. The church needs those who are dedicated to teaching and training to prepare the church to fulfill its purpose.
  2. Gifted men to equip the gifted Saints for the ministry of building up the church.
    1. Some to be apostles (Authoritative representative)
      1. Apostles were men specifically called by Christ and witnesses to His resurrection (in the strictest sense). These men were given to the church in order to provide its foundation in the early days of the church.
    2. Some to be prophets
      1. Prophets were those foundational equippers who spoke forth the word of God inspired by the Holy Spirit in a time when the New Testament scriptures were not yet compiled.
    3. Ephesians 2:20 - …”having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone”
    4. Some to be evangelists
      1. Evangelists are bearers of Good News to those living in the darkness of sin. Men must first receive the Good News by faith before they can be built up.
    5. And some to be pastors and teachers
      1. The word “pastor” means shepherd. This is an office of the local church. He stays in order to feed and lead the flock so they may become a healthy representation of the work of Christ in men.
    6. Application
      1. Pray for your pastor; support your pastor; listen and engage.
    7. His method of feeding and establishing the church is primarily through the teaching of the word of God
    8. Theses gifted men train the church to become the church.
  3. Gifted Saints building up the church
    1. “The saints do not call a pastor and pay him to do the work. They call him and follow his leadership as he, through the Word, equips them to do the job” (Warren W. Weirsbe)
    2. To serve – Equipping Saints for the work of ministry – verse 12
    3. To be established in the word of God
      1. Not tossed to and fro by novelty and trend
    4. To build each other up – verse 12b
      1. Speaking the truth to one another – verse 15
      2. Loving one another – Verse 15b
        1. “Your word is truth” – John 17
      3. Doing your part – verse 16
    5. Application
      1. Do not be a consumer, spectator.
      2. Come to serve. “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.” (John F. Kennedy)
  4. Conclusion
    1. The church of Jesus Christ is a living organization energized by the Holy Spirit and designed to grow into a manifestation of Christ on the earth. But the church cannot grow and become the manifestation of Christ on earth if individual believers don’t do their part.