Gifts to equip the Body!
Scripture reading for September 25th: Ephesians 4:1-16
It was God’s amazing love that birthed the church from both Jew and Gentile. Paul prayed that the church at Ephesus might be strengthened with power through the Holy Spirit and that Christ might dwell in their hearts by faith. He prayed that this amazing love would establish them and unify them in spite of any previous differences. As he prayed, he knew and confessed that Christ was able to do more than he could even ask or think about! (Ephesians 3:20-21)
God’s plan to save Jew and Gentile through the Gospel was made known to the church. God then raised up an army of those who would equip the church for the works of service that God required to advance His plan. These gift-people included apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. The purpose of these gifts to the church was to equip the body of Christ. God wanted each member of His body to come into unity of purpose and have a full understanding of the Son of God.
When a person is first born again, that person is like an infant baby. They must be fed and cared for so that they can grow properly. Good food with a balance of proper nutrition must be given the infant. They need milk in order to grow. (1st Peter 2:2) In the church at Ephesus, as in other churches, there were some false teachers who might try to persuade these new infants to eat from junk food that they were serving. These false doctrines would toss them about and prevent them from growing up as mature believers in the faith. (Ephesians 4:14) As each appointed part of Christ’s body did their part, the church would grow up to be like their head, Christ.
The church today needs God’s gift people more than ever. There are many opportunities for infants in Christ to be tossed about by winds of doctrine and deceitful counterfeits. Church leaders must use discernment and preach the Word. Evangelists must preach the Gospel of Christ and birth infants. Apostles must plant churches and take the Gospel where it has not be preached. Prophets must expound the Word of God, keeping the church in God’s grace. Pastors and teachers must make disciples and care for Christ’s sheep by feeding and shepherding them. When all work together, Godly growth into the fullness of Christ results!