Building the Body of Christ - Construction of His Church

Bible Book: Ephesians  4 : 11-16
Subject: Church, Building of; Christ, Body of
Introduction

Ephesians 4:7, “But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ's gift.”

This passage sets the individual “each one” over against the “all” in regard to unity in the Body of Christ. Unity is not uniformity and is perfectly consistent with diversity of gifts. God’s gracious relation to “all” is also a personal relation to each one.

1 Corinthians 12:7, “But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all”

1 Corinthians 12:11, “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.”

Paul moves from the unity of believers to the uniqueness of believers.

Key phrase, “to each one of us grace was given…” Grace is a single-word definition of the gospel. Nature of grace is giving not getting. Grace is unmerited, unearned, and undeserved. Grace is God’s self-motivated, self-generated, and sovereign act of giving.

His grace saves us and enables us.

1 Peter 4:10, “As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.”

WHAT ARE MOTIVATIONAL GIFTS:

The expressions of God's grace working within each believer. God's grace gives each believer the desire and the power to every Christian has one of the seven motivational giftslisted in Romans l2:6-8. As a result, every Christian views other Christians and circumstances through his orher motivational gift.

Why? We employ them to benefit one another. These are the gifts God has built into us, made part of us, to be used for the benefit of others and for His glory. They are called motivational because they are the motivating force for our lives. They are the gifts that shape our personalities. Since God has created us with a free will, we can choose to use our gifts appropriately, or we can choose to neglect them, or even abuse them. We must learn what they are and how they function.

"What we are is God's gift to us;

“What we make of our lives is our gift to God."

IDENTIFICATION: SEVEN MOTIVATIONAL

GIFTS

l. Prophet - one who clearly perceives the will of God. Proclaims truth and exposes sin.

2. Servant - one who loves to serve others; a doer; meet needs; frees others

3 Teacher - one who loves to research and communicate truth. Researcher; clarifies truth and validates information

4. Exhortation - one who loves to encourage others to live a victorious life. These are the extremely

positive people; stimulates faith and promotes growth

5. Giving - one who loves to give time, talent, energy, and means to benefit others and advance the gospel. A contributor; entrusts assets; maximizes results.

6. Ruling - administrator; one who loves to organize, lead, or direct. A facilitator or leader. Plans ahead and completes task.

7. Mercy - Compassion person; one who shows compassion, love, and care to those in need.

Removes distress and share burdens.

I. CHURCH’S LEADERS. 11

Jesus Christ is the church’s Head and Chief

Cornerstone

Apostles and Prophets – foundation (Eph 2:20)

Evangelist – men who proclaim the good news. He is to preach/proclaim and explain the good news of salvation to those who have yet to believe.

Pastors/Teachers – those along with the evangelist are in place today for the advancement of the kingdom. The pastor emphasizes the care, protection, and leadership of the man of God for the flock. Teacher has to do with the primary function of pastors

Words that are used to identify the pastor:

Pastor – (poimen) shepherd

Bishop – (episkopos) overseer

Elder – (presbuteros) denotes an older person.

3 words – same office

1 Peter 5:1-2, “The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory

that will be revealed: Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly”

Elder emphasizes who the person is

Bishop speaks of what he does

Pastor deals with his attitude and character

This all pictures a shepherd with a caring heart. As a pastor, I am to feed you the Word of God. As an elder, I am to set the example in spiritual maturity. As a bishop, I am to guide you and the church into the will of God.

In Exodus 12:21 and 18:20-21, the Bible speaks of elders of Israel as those who were mature men, heads of families, able men of strong, moral character who feared God and were known for their truthfulness and integrity. They were capable men of wisdom, discernment, and experience. They were impartial and courageous men who would intercede, teach, judge righteously, and live lives of consistency.

These men, these leaders, were God’s gift to the church to lead, not by force or dictatorial power, but by precept and example.

Hebrews 13:7, “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct.”

Hebrews 13:17, “Obey those who rule over you, and be submissive, for they watch out for your souls, as those who must give account. Let them do so with joy and not with grief, for that would be unprofitable for you.”

Christ is the perfect illustration and example of every gift which He Himself perfectly exemplified.

You are all leaders

II. THE LEADER’S RESPONSIBILITY. 12a

“for the equipping of the saints”

How? By providing spiritual leadership and spiritual resources to help our people, “flock of God,” to become Christ-like.

“Equip” – refers to that which is fit; made complete; restored to original condition.

Medical Term

Setting of bones (made complete)

Hebrews 13:20-21, “Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.”

Equipping results in unity

1 Corinthians 1:10, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

4 Tools Used for Equipping:

1. Bible.

1 Peter 2:2, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby”

2 Timothy 3:16-17, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

I am to feed myself, feed His people, and lead them to feed themselves.

2. Prayer.

Colossians 4:12-13, “Epaphras, who is one of you, a bondservant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God. For I bear him witness that he has a great zeal for you, and those who are in Laodicea, and those in Hierapolis.”

3. Testing.

James 1:2-4, “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

Hebrews 12:5-11, “And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons:

‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; for whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’ If you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

4. Suffering.

These can be purging experiences.

1 Peter 5:10, “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.”

2 Corinthians 1:4-5, “who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ.”

Paul magnified equipping at the church of Colosse.

Colossians 1:28, “Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.”

Equip is word used for mending the nets, bringing together opposing factions, furnishing a house, discipling an offender.

The basic idea of the word is that of putting a thing into the condition in which it ought to be: Usefulness.

III. THE LAITY’S (LEADERS) RESPONSIBILITY. 12b

A. SERVING. 12b

“for the work of the ministry” – to equip the people given into your care to meet the needs in practical service. The leaders share in serving, and many of those equipped share in the equipping. Spiritual service is the work of every Christian; participation in ministry; Service

B. EDIFYING (BUILDING UP) 12c

Proper equipping (discipling), proper serving by the laity, results in building up the Body of Christ.

Word refers to building of a house, used of any sort of construction. Speaks of development.

Acts 20:32, "So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.”

C. UNIFYING. 13a

“come to the unity of the faith” – referring to Christian doctrine; disunity in the church often comes from doctrinal ignorance and spiritual immaturity. When believers are properly taught, when they faithfully do the work of service (obedience), and when the body is built-up, unity of the faith is an inevitable result. Only a biblically equipped, faithfully serving, and spiritually maturing church can attain to the unity of the faith.

D. UNDERSTANDING. 13b

Speaks of full acquaintance; not salvation knowledge but a deep knowledge through a relationship with Christ that comes from prayer and faithful study of and obedience to God’s Word. This is a life-long process; experiential knowledge – we know through experience.

E. MATURING. 13c

Manifesting the character qualities of the One Who is the only measure of full-grown. The agents of maturity are the Word and prayer.

These Lead to Growth

2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

1. DOCTRINE. 14

a. Anchored

“no longer be children…” one who does not talk

b. Aware.

“trickery of men” – manipulated

“craftiness” – manipulation of error made to look like truth

“deceive” – scheming

Paul’s emphasis is that none of these will mislead the spiritually equipped.

2. DEVOTION. 15

Means to speak, deal, or act truthfully. We speak the truth within the context of a truthful and authentic Christian life. Living authentically and proclaiming the truth.

The equipped church, whose members are sound in doctrine and mature in their thinking and living, is a church that will reach out in love to proclaim the truth of the gospel.

F. FUNCTIONING. 16

None of us can do as much as all of us can do. As a body, we belong to each other, we affect each other, and we need each other.

This text tells me that when each part of the body is working properly the body receives the support it needs.

The body “joined and knit together” where the spiritual supply, resources, and gifts pass from one member to another, providing the flow of ministry that produces growth.

John Calvin said, “If we want to be considered members of Christ, let no man be anything for himself, but let us all be whatever we are for the benefit of each other.”

v.16 translates – “Under His control, the different parts of the body fit together and are held together by supporting joints. As each part works as it should, the whole body grows and builds itself up in love.”

“increase” – growth; is present middle in form, indicating that the body produces its own growth through resident dynamics. Spiritual growth in the body does not come from forces outside but from the vital power within that causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself.

CONCLUSION

These truths affirm that every believer is to stay close to Jesus, faithfully use his spiritual gift in close contact with every believer he touches, and that through such commitment and ministry the Lord’s power will flow for the building up of the Body in love.