Presentation on theme: "There is always room for Christian growth. Paul says that we are all to “come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect."— Presentation transcript:
There is always room for Christian growth. Paul says that we are all to “come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:13). In tonight’s text, Paul discusses what a mature church looks like.
Paul seems to talk about a church’s maturity. Context is unity among believers. “[Endeavor] to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Eph 4:3). Unity speaks much more of a cooperate body than individual members of that body. Christ gave different offices in the church “for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Eph 4:12).
“We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting” (Eph 4:14). When we became Christians, we were infants. “As newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby” (1 Pet 2:2). But, we need to be growing!
A mark of a spiritually mature church is not being tossed by different doctrines. Error in this context was being taught by dishonest men who wanted to draw people away from truth. False doctrine was a reality in the first century. “As I urged you when I went into Macedonia--remain in Ephesus that you may charge some that they teach no other doctrine” (1 Tim 1:3). “Their message will spread like cancer. Hymenaeus and Philetus are of this sort, who have strayed concerning the truth, saying that the resurrection is already past; and they overthrow the faith of some” (2 Tim 2:17-18).
BEING CARRIED AWAY FROM TRUTH HAS SERIOUS CONSEQUENCES!
A GROWING CHURCH IS NOT GULLIBLE, BUT GROWING UP INTO CHRIST vv 15-16
The mature church will speak the truth in love and grow up into Christ. Speaking the truth in love clearly contradicts the craftiness and deceit of the false teachers. Two important lessons for us. One: We must speak the truth. Truth is found in Christ (Jn 1:14). “Speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine” (Titus 2:1). Two: We speak the truth in love. We can speak in an uncaring manner (Eph 4:29). We can speak for selfish motives (Acts 20:30).
We “may grow up in all things into Him who is the head--Christ” (v 15). The idea of growth into Christ is becoming more and more like Him (1 Jn 2:6). Christ is the head. I think “head” here means “origin.” The body is held together by every supporting ligament. What are these “ligaments”? Context suggests they are the apostles, prophets, evangelists, and teaching pastors (v 11).
The body grows and builds itself in love. “Grow” pictures maturation from the standpoint of a body. “Build” or “edify” pictures maturation from the standpoint of a building. This growth is to occur in love. Eph 4:2.
In order for the church to grow, “each part” must do its work. “You wicked and lazy servant” (Matt 25:26). “That servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes” (Lk 12:47).