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Scripture Reading: Eph 4:8-16. Introduction  Paul is continuing a natural flow of thought from  A call to walk in unity  The basis of this unity we.

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Presentation on theme: "Scripture Reading: Eph 4:8-16. Introduction  Paul is continuing a natural flow of thought from  A call to walk in unity  The basis of this unity we."— Presentation transcript:

1 Scripture Reading: Eph 4:8-16

2 Introduction  Paul is continuing a natural flow of thought from  A call to walk in unity  The basis of this unity we must have  Gifts we have been given to attain this unity  Paul also begins to make a transition here from what all Christians have in common to how Christians differ from one another  It is these individual differences working together that help to keep the body functioning in unity and love  This morning we will look at these gifts

3 A quick warning concerning gifts  Gifts are not toys to be played with  Gifts are tools to build with  If gifts are not used in love, they become weapons to fight with  Paul deals with the above issue at length in 1 Cor 12-14

4 Christ is the giver of these gifts (Eph 4:7-10)  Eph 4:7 “ 7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”  As foretold in scripture (vs 8)  Having ascended far above all the heavens to full all things (vs 10)  Eph 4:8 is an allusion to Ps 68:18  The idea here is that a military victor has a right to receive gifts from the people he has conquered  Paul suggests that as the One who conquered death and removed slavery to sin, Christ gives gifts to his new devoted followers (His captives)

5 Gift 1: Apostles  The word means “One who is sent with a commission”  Jesus had many disciples, but He selected 12 Apostles (Mt 10:1-4)  A disciple is a “follower” or “learner” but the Apostles were divinely appointed representatives  The Apostles were to give eye witness of the resurrection and had to have seen the risen Christ personally  Acts 1:20-22 “ 20 “For it is written in the Book of Psalms: ‘Let his dwelling place be desolate, And let no one live in it’; and, ‘Let another take his office.’ 21 “Therefore, of these men who have accompanied us all the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, 22 beginning from the baptism of John to that day when He was taken up from us, one of these must become a witness with us of His resurrection.”

6 Gift 1: Apostles  There are no Apostles today in the strictest sense of the New Testament  These men helped to lay the foundation of the Church  Eph 2:20 “ 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets,…”  Once this foundation was laid, they were no longer needed…they continue as gifts to us today as we can read of them in scripture  God authenticated their ministry with special miracles so we need not demand miracles performed today  Heb 2:3-4 “ 3 how shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation, which at the first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by those who heard Him, 4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will?”

7 Gift 2: Prophets  Believers in the New Testament Churches did not have Bibles, nor was New Testament written and completed  How then could these assemblies discover God’s will  His Spirit would share God’s Truth with the possessing of the gift of prophecy  Paul suggests that the gift of prophecy had to do with understanding “all mysteries, and all knowledge” (1 Cor 13:2)  The purpose of prophecy is edification, encouragement, and consolation  1 Cor 14:3 “ 3 But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort to men.”  Along with the Apostles, the Prophets had a foundational ministry in the early Church, and are not needed today because we have the completed Word and can go back and learn from them any time we wish (Eph 2:20)

8 Gift 3 Evangelists  This term means “Bearers of the good news”  These men travelled from place to place preaching the gospel and winning the lost (Acts 8:26-40)  These men instructed others in evangelism as well  2 Tim 2:2 “ 2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”  Phil 4:9 “ 9 The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

9 Gift 4: Pastors  The term Pastor means “shepherd”  Pastor’s provide oversight, comfort, and guidance as they watch over their flock (the Church)  Acts 20:28 “ 28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.”  1 Pet 5:1-4 “5 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: 2 Shepherd the flock of God which is among you, serving as overseers, not by compulsion but willingly, not for dishonest gain but eagerly; 3 nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock; 4 and when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.”

10 Gift 5: Teachers  Teachers instruct and help apply God’s revelation to the life of the Church  Teachers are concerned with passing on the Church’s revealed teachings rather than bringing in new inspirational insights as the Prophets did  1 Cor 15:3-4 “ 3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,”  Teachers are necessary for the building up of the Church and enabling its members to distinguish between true and false doctrine  1 Tim 4:1-2 “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, 2 speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with a hot iron,”

11 Conclusion  As we close out this section let us all be thankful for the gifts God has given to us to help us achieve the Spirit of unity He expects within His Church  As you consider the lists given and in particular those that are still being done today (evangelists, pastors, and teachers), ask yourself if you have these abilities and if you are using them as God would have you to further build and support His Church  If there is anything we as a congregation can help you in your spiritual journey, let us know while we stand and sing

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