Ephesians 4:11-16 ESV
“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds 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.”
Gifts and Ministries of the Spirit
I believe I am to focus my attention here on the equipping of the saints, so I am not going to enter into a discussion on whether or not prophets and apostles still exist within the church today. But I will say that I don’t believe that we are to add to Scripture words that we want to say are equal with Scripture, i.e. in saying that Christians have to obey our words, nor are we to take away words from the Scriptures just because we don’t like what they say. But we are to hold fast to the purity of the Scriptures, in context.
Now, with that said, I will also say that I believe that all the gifts of the Spirit are alive and well within the church today, even though most groups of people calling themselves “the church” in America don’t all agree with that. And many of them have decided which gifts no longer exist and which ones do.
But, let me add a word of caution here. The gifts must be done under biblical guidelines, for there are far too many abuses of the gifts today, which is one of the reasons I believe many have forsaken the use of the gifts.
But the way church is being done in America, for the most part, it looks nothing at all like the New Testament models of church. And since most of them are denying the gifts and workings of the Holy Spirit, the body is mostly all head (human leadership, not Jesus Christ) and the other parts are mostly missing or dysfunctional or they are minions.
And largely this is because the gatherings of the church have been turned into businesses of men which are run like businesses and which are being marketed to the world, and so what is being called “church” is not really the church at all, but they are businesses, and the body of Christ is suffering.
To Equip the Saints
Okay, so the point here is that God has gifted all of us who are his by genuine faith in him with specific gifts and ministries, and we are not all gifted in the same way and we don’t all serve in the same ministries or roles within the church. And not everyone is appointed to lead and to shepherd and to equip the saints for the work of the ministry, but some are, but many of them are not doing their job at all. For they are too busy building their earthly kingdoms by following marketing schemes on how to “grow” their “churches,” i.e. their businesses, and so the body of Christ is suffering.
For, each of us has been given gifts by the Spirit to be operated in the Spirit and not in the flesh. And each one of us has been assigned a specific body part, our role (are of ministry) within the universal body of Christ, which is appointed by God, and not by humans. And even though we are all different parts, together we form one body, and we are all to work together for the building up (encouragement, exhortation, urging) of the body of Christ to maturity in Christ. For this is God’s design for his body, the church.
But since so much of what is now being called “church” is not really the church, although some of the true church gathers together with them, they are not really operating as God designed. And so the saints are not being equipped for spiritual ministry within the body of Christ according to their spiritual gifts and callings of God, but rather they are being assigned specific roles according to business models and marketing schemes and humanistic philosophy on how to “build” God’s “church.”
[Rom 12:1-8; 1 Co 12:1-31; Eph 4:1-16; Eph 5:17-21; Col 3:16; Heb 3:13]
By Every Wind of Doctrine
But we need each other! The body is not to have just one voice doing all the teaching. Some of us have been gifted with the gift of teaching, and/or with the gift of prophecy (sharing the truths of God’s word in practical ways that can be applied to our lives and to our world and to the church today), or with words of wisdom, knowledge, and discernment, or with faith, etc.
And we are each to share what the Lord gives us to share. Plus we are all to work together for encouragement and strengthening and maturity of the body of Christ so that none of us will be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.
And we are to be doing all of this in working together as one body, exhorting one another daily, until we all reach maturity in Christ, so that none of us will remain immature and be easily tossed back and forth and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.
For many are they who are of such nature who are standing in the pulpits of what is being called “church” who are leading the people astray from the truth and to follow a false gospel created in the minds of humans in order to appease the sinful flesh and to turn NO ONE from his sins.
For the truth of the gospel as Jesus taught it, and as the New Testament apostles taught it, and which is written down for us to read in the Scriptures, is largely being smothered, suppressed, stifled, lessened, muted, and altered in order to be more acceptable to human flesh and to the worldly-minded. And those who are promoting this cheap grace gospel substitute are in large numbers everywhere spreading their lies which are permeating the church of today in America and which are deceiving people by the masses.
And not only are they teaching that we can believe in Jesus, be forgiven our sins, and be guaranteed heaven as our eternal destiny regardless of how we live our lives on this earth, but they are speaking out against the true gospel, they are lying to the people, and they are telling them that the true gospel is a lie and that the lie is the truth, and that they don’t have to submit to the Lordship of Christ nor obey his commands nor forsake their sinful practices, and that he will still receive them into his heaven.
And since this is so massive, and so widely spread, and since they are coming out in full force to oppose and to discredit the true gospel, the truth of the gospel is being silenced, censored, and put to disrepute, and so the masses are not listening to the truth but to the lies.
But, if we were all doing our job, and if we were all working together as one body in helping one another to maturity in Christ and to walks of purity and obedience to our Lord, then there would be a whole lot more voices speaking the truth and more people would be able to hear the gospel and to turn from their sins and to follow Jesus in obedience. And the church would be walking in purity of devotion to the Lord and not living in impurity and in disobedience to their Lord, and revival would break out in our nation.
Speaking the Truth in Love
The thing of it is here is that so many people today professing faith in Jesus Christ have bought into the lies and into the business model for how to do church and into remaining silent in not sharing the truth of the gospel. For they are being brainwashed into staying in their own lane and to not saying anything that would offend anyone or that would make them feel uncomfortable or judged, as though this is a righteous thing to do this and to not share the gospel.
But we need to be those who are speaking the truth in love, for the sake of the spiritual growth and maturing of the body of Christ and for the salvation and eternal life of those who do not have genuine faith in Jesus Christ and who are, thus, not on their way to heaven, but on their way to hell. So, don’t let them silence you or convince you that you should not talk about Jesus or that you should not share his gospel.
Be bold! Be brave! Speak the truth in love for that is the most loving and kind thing you can ever do for anyone. And all of this is to the praise and glory of God, whose will for us is that we die with him to sin and that we live to him and to his righteousness. For, if you continue in deliberate and habitual sin, you will not inherit eternal life with God.
[Lu 9:23-26; Jn 6:35-58; Jn 15:1-11; Rom 6:1-23; Rom 8:1-17; Eph 4:17-24; 1 Pet 2:24; 1 Co 6:9-10, 19-20; 2 Co 5:10, 15; Tit 2:11-14; Jas 1:22-25; Rom 12:1-2; Eph 2:8-10; Gal 5:16-21; Eph 5:3-6; Gal 6:7-8; Rom 2:6-8; Matt 7:21-23; Heb 10:26-27; 1 Jn 1:5-9; 1 Jn 2:3-6; 1 Jn 3:4-10]
We Will Glorify
By Twila Paris
We will glorify the King of kings
We will glorify the Lamb
We will glorify the Lord of lords
Who is the great I am
Lord Jehovah reigns in majesty
We will bow before His throne
We will worship Him in righteousness
We will worship Him alone
He is Lord of Heaven, Lord of Earth
He is Lord of all who live
He is Lord above the universe
All praise to Him we give
Caution: This link may contain ads