BEING THE CHURCH OF CHRIST
Eph.4:13 till we all 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;
4:13 The purpose of the gifts are to present everyone on par and in oneness of faith; believing exactly what the Son of God believes and knowing accurately what He knows concerning us. Standing face to face in equal stature to the measure of the completeness of Christ. (A life filled to the brim with Christ, like a freight ship carrying its cargo.) Mirror Translation
The role of ministry is to serve and not to lord over. A minister is not to dominate, be prideful, or boastful. We as ministers are to LOVE and SERVE. We are to manifest Him, Who is the Shepherd of His sheep, and yet we are to always remain sheep ourselves. A minister not willing to wash the feet of the people, should go into the desert of the Lord until he is ready to really lead God’s people out of Egypt and through the wilderness and into the promise land.
God gave us ministers to perfect us (bring us into maturity), and that word will not return to Him without accomplishing that task or mission as Isaiah declares. No matter how many foxes may have spoiled the vine, God says His vine will produce fruit and He intends on using His true shepherds to do it. SS 2:15; 6:11
As my husband always says: “We are not in the ministry, but the ministry is in us!”
At times we feel like God’s gifts are more like a curse. This is an area where we must mature. We are never under any obligation to receive any spiritual manifestation, or any word from a minister that the Holy Spirit is not revealing to YOU. Maybe it is just not God and it is bitter water coming forth, or maybe it is not the season for you to receive it. The Holy Spirit NEVER pressures you – He leads, leads you into all truth. John 16:13
It is the immaturity of God’s people that has allowed the false Shepherds to teach at their love-feasts. God is saying that this is a day that the blame must be accepted by those that accepted the false doctrine, but I thank the Lord that the hurt we may have experienced because of our immaturity is healed because we serve a merciful God – Who draws near to us as we draw near to Him. James 4:8
True ministry always causes completion. They always serve with the result that the body becomes more mature; and they plant and water, that seed grows to fruit bearing. God gets the glory always!!
1 Cor 3:7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.
True ministry always edifies. Edifying means the BUILDING UP of the body of Christ. Eph. 4:29; 1 Thess. 5:11; 1 Cor. 14:12; Eph. 4:16.
What are we building? The temple of Christ, and God uses ministry to do it. But they are never to be your mediator or go-between. Jesus is your only go-between.
Elijah, Elisha and the Mantle, Gifts:
What is the mantle that fell from Elijah?
In 2 Kings 2:11-14, the mantle passing from Elijah the prophet, to Elisha, his successor, symbolizes the passing of ministry authority: … and when he also had smitten the waters, they parted hither and thither: and Elisha went over.
When He (Jesus) ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and GAVE GIFTS UNTO MEN. And He [Jesus] GAVE some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers. — Ephesians 4:8,11
And God HAS SET SOME IN THE CHURCH, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues. — 1 Corinthians 12:28 Of course, there is no ranking order.
Ephesians 4:11-13 New Life Version -Christ gave gifts to men. He gave to some the gift to be missionaries, some to be preachers, others to be preachers who go from town to town. He gave others the gift to be church leaders and teachers. 12 These gifts help His people work well for Him. And then the church which is the body of Christ will be made strong. 13 All of us are to be as one in the faith and in knowing the Son of God. We are to be full-grown Christians standing as high and complete as Christ is Himself.
The mantle as a symbol of the Holy Spirit. For example, in 2 Kings 2:14 Elisha takes the mantle that had “fallen” from Elijah, similar to how Jesus received the Spirit “descending” on Him at His baptism (Matthew 3:16). The audible voice of God in Matthew 3:17 confirms Jesus as God’s chosen servant (Isaiah 42:1). We see a similar “falling” of the Spirit in Acts 8:15–16 and Acts 10:44. It’s only after Elisha takes the fallen mantle that he performs miraculous works (2 Kings 2:14, 21, 24). The Holy Spirit is the Person who empowers God’s people to do God’s work (Micah 3:8; Matthew 12:28; Ephesians 3:16).
The analogy of the mantle falling when Jesus ascended is this:
When Christ ascended, He took His whole ministry mantle, divided it, and gave it in five parts to men and women. All five are needed to perfect, mature and equip the saints “till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of… the fullness of Christ” (Eph. 4:13). The function of these gifts also sometimes called equipping or ascension gifts, and how they fit together can better be understood through the analogy of how a physical hand functions.
5- fold ministry- Represented by the Fingers of the Hand
- The thumb represents the office of the Apostle. The thumb, as it is able to connect with the other fingers.
- The index or “pointing finger” is represented by the office of the Prophet. For it is the work of a prophet to “point” a people that had known God, back to their God or to “point” to past, present of the future.
- The middle finger is represented by the Evangelist. The Evangelist is most involved in the building up of the body of Christ, strengthening it, fortifying it… stirring up the Holy Spirit within the body, helping to equip and define those gifts that are within others in the Body. further into the body of Christ as is typified often by the evangelist traveling from body to body… stirring up the saints for the work they should do.
- The next finger is represented by the Pastor. A Pastor has such an enduring love for the flock that his gentleness for them carries far beyond the tolerance level the other four fingers have.
- The little finger is representative of the Teacher. Little, not because it is less or least but little, because the revealing characteristic of a true anointed teacher of God is their extreme attention to “detail”; they love detail and they hate missing information or voids where they sense there should be none.
We teach that everyone operates in a ministry gift, not all are leaders. In Eph. 4:11-16 we are talking about 5-fold ministry leaders who equip you to do the work of the ministry.
I have gift assessments, (ministry gits, motivational gifts, manifestations of Holy Spirit), if you are interested in receiving and taking those. My email is firstname.lastname@example.org
We will continue with the purpose of ministry gifts and Lesson 5 next week.
The blessings of the Lord are upon you whether by blood, adoption/sonship or assignment. The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Prov. 10:22