LESSON 4- Ephesians
The Mystery- Revelation
Our Inheritance in Christ Cont.’
Eph. 3:7 of which I became a minister according to the gift of the grace of God given to me by the effective working of His power.
3:7 This Gospel defines my ministry; I am supercharged by the gift of His grace! Mirror Translation
Eph. 3:7 “a minister” – (diakonos), “minister; server.The word (diakonos) is transliterated in the English into “server”. Paul became one who “ministers”, and the type and extent of his ministry is explained in the succeeding verses, in words such as “to make all men see”. Paul lived and worked in the “service” of Christ. 5-fold ministers are leaders/servers.
There is no merit involved in Paul’s becoming a minister. He has done nothing to earn or deserve any special treatment from the Lord. In fact, he states that he was the “chief of sinners”. If a minister is successful, it is because of who and what God is, not who and what he is in the sense realm but according to the Spirit.
1 Tim. 1:11-16″According to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, which was committed to my trust. “And I thank Christ Jesus, our Lord, who has enabled me, in that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry. “Who was before a blasphemer, and a persecutor, and injurious; but I obtained mercy, because I did it ignorantly in unbelief. “And the grace of our Lord was exceedingly abundant with faith and love which is in Christ Jesus. “This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief. “Nevertheless, for this cause, I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might show forth all long-suffering, for a pattern to them who should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
The word “minister” is used several ways in Scripture.
* Those in authority in a national entity are ministers, such as judges. Romans 13:4.
* Every believer is a minister: 2 Cor. 3:6; 4:1; 6:4
* The ministry gifts given in Eph. 4:11 are ministers: Eph. 6:21; Col. 1:23; 4:7
I teach that everyone has a ministry gift but not necessarily a leader, part of the 5-fold ministry as described in Ephesians 4:11-16.
Everyone a Minister
YOU HAVE BEEN CALLED before the foundations of the world. Eph. 1:4
YOU HAVE BEEN CHOSEN by God Himself.
YOU HAVE BEEN EQUIPPED with everything necessary for life and godliness. 2 Pet. 1-2
YOU HAVE BEEN SET IN EXACTLY THE RIGHT PLACE, with just the right intellect, parents, siblings, and personality.
YOUR MINISTRY, YOUR GIFTS, YOUR TALENTS AND YOUR PLACE ARE ABSOLUTELY UNIQUE TO YOU, and no one else can fill your place. If you do not do it, then there is specific Kingdom work that will be left undone.
How are we to minister?
With: Openness, vulnerability – walk in the light
Concern and compassion – we must want to know what is going on in the lives of others and show it! If folks aren’t convinced that we really want to know and that we care enough to listen and participate, they won’t share. How often has someone asked you how you were doing and then walked off before even hearing your response? You knew all they wanted to hear was, “fine”.
Acceptance – Ephesians 1:6 as God accepts us. This is the next step, whatever people say to us, we must accept them. We don’t like their stuff necessarily, but we accept them because we ALL have stuff!
Care, kindness, tender-heartedness actively shown.
Take time to listen – patience. People have been known to spend $5 a minute just for someone to listen to them without talking. One of the best gifts you can ever give to someone is to listen, truly tuning into body language, tone of voice, things said and un-said. This takes true humility and servanthood because what we have to say takes a back seat to what the other is saying. Often asking meaningful, thought-provoking questions is necessary as well.
Ephesians 4:15-16 – speak the truth in love – once the right to be heard is earned – like mentioned above, then, and only then, can you do this. Then we can all grow up in Christ – the Anointed One and His anointing. Then the whole body will supply each other what it needs and it will be fit together. Proper working of the body causes growth. We are all then built up in love.
BENEFITS OF BODY/TEAM MINISTRY
Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 by having 1-2 close people in your life – who work with you:
More work is done.
When one falls, stumbles or is just down the others can pick them up. Can keep each other warm – physically, emotionally, spiritually, etc. (can be a matter of survival)
They help each other in the battle against the enemy (satan and powers of darkness) (one can set a thousand to flight, two can set to thousand – exponential). Sometimes one doesn’t realize that they are under attack and the other can help with that.
ONE CAN CHASE A THOUSAND, BUT TWO, IN UNITY (AGREEMENT), CAN DO SO MUCH MORE!
You may be mighty in Prayer alone, but you can be mightier with someone joining you. The Bible says that “…one will put one thousand to flight but two will put ten thousand to flight.” [Leviticus 26:8; Deuteronomy 32:30].
There is strength and they are not quickly torn apart.
James 5:16 confess your sins to each other and pray for each other and Ephesians 4:32 and Colossians 3:13 Forgive each other – John 21 Jesus tells the disciples that they have the authority to forgive sins – not like God does, but, rather, proclaiming to each other the forgiveness that is already there. We need to hear that often.
Why minister to the body?
(v.12) for upbuilding, edifying
(v. 13) for unified faith and knowledge
(v. 13) for the corporate personality of Christ-likeness
(v. 14) to be no longer babes
(3:10) for the glory of God’s wisdom
We minister by speaking the truth in love (Eph. 4: 15) [see also 2 Pet. 3:17-18].
How do we minister? (from Eph. 4:16):
1. By relying on Christ as the source of growth (“from whom…”)
Christ gave gifts and grace to all (Eph. 4:7)
Christ gave equippers to the church (Eph. 4:11)
Christ is the model and aim (Eph. 4:13) to guide and as inspiration
“I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18)
The Lord produces love (1 Thess. 3:12; Gal. 5:22)
Christ wins obedience through word and deed (Rom. 15:18)
2. “The whole body . . . makes the growth of the body”
The question seen from Eph. 4:12 is:
Do equippers minister or do the saints minister? BOTH Saints (note the change in preposition, the “whole body,” “each single part” (Eph. 4: 16d)
Do you feel responsible to speak the truth in love?
3. The body makes growth by connectedness (“joined and knit together through every joint for supply”)
5- fold ministries are the joints of the Body. Joint: may be every place of connection (from part to part) not every bone connection (elbow, shoulder, etc.) as we know it.
Point: growth happens through points of contact. Corporate building happens through connectedness.
The supply is Truth & Love
4. “The working in measure of each individual part” (Eph. 4:16d)
Not just all; but every individual
in measure (we do not have the same measure)
(see also Romans 12:3 as God measured a measure of faith).
5. Upbuilding /Edifying of itself (through/from Christ) but we do make a difference (Eph. 4:16f)
6. Done in love (Eph. 4:16g) Nothing else works.
1 Cor. 8:1 – love builds up -2 Cor. 12:19 – we speak…and all, beloved, for your upbuilding
So, the exhortation is this: speak the truth to one another in love, relying on Christ as the source, for he makes the whole body grow.
Do more than just pray…speak to one another, and encourage one another.
My husband, David, often reminds me: “He and I are not in the ministry, but the ministry flows out of us.
We will continue with Lesson 4 next week.