The equipping of the church
Eph 4:11 It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers,
Eph 4:12 to prepare (Perfect, teach to serve, to equip) God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up
Eph 4:13 until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.
Eph 4:14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming.
Eph 4:15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.
Paul describes three types of people in the church
- There are infants: infants have trouble determining what is right and wrong, they are naïve and will believe anything and everything.
- Then there are those that are deceived: they fail to determine what is right and wrong teaching and fall into error of deception
- Then there is the mature: Where they are able to determine the truth because they have been equipped to know what the will of God is
- Maturity is not a by produce of getting older, it is a product of being training and equipped. Eph 4:16-18
Here is God’s plan and purpose in a nutshell
- The church grows as each part does its part
Ephesians 2:10 (AMP) For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
- Here is an incredible passage because God not only created us but he recreated us in Christ Jesus
- Here again is a sense of ownership Gal 3:29, Gal 5:24
- One of the reasons God can have an expectation on us is because we have been created by him and we have been created for him, we belong to Christ Eph 1:4-5
- When we talk about destiny, we’re talking about what God has predestined for us, what God has planned beforehand for us. Before the creation of the world God had a plan for your life
- Something I have discovered is that God is a master craftsman, God never created us to fail, just like everything God has created when he completed it he said it was good
- I have said it before, and I will say it again the devils greatest joy would be to stop you fulfilling your destiny
David Wilkerson: When he started Teen Challenge Drug Rehabilitation Centre, said his greatest challenge was not seeing the kids on that had come from the ghetto but kids that had come from Christian homes, kids with great talent and gifting that the devil had shipwrecked their lives
- Someone once said it like this: God formed us, the devil deformed us, and God is now wanting to reform us
- The greatest path you can take in life is the path that leads you to destiny Jer 1:5
- God has uniquely created you and specifically designed you for good works Mat 5:14-16
- God never created you to just be a bright spark, you were created you for good works
Here is the challenge
- The only person that can stop you fulfilling God’s plans is you
Eph 2:10 that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].
- It is nobody else responsibility but you to ensure that you walk in the plans that God has prepared for you
- One of the things that I like about the principle of tithing is that God does not require equal giving be he requires equal sacrifice
- I think for most of us we don’t have an issue with tithing but how many of you would be prepared to tithe your time
- God has blessed every one of us with 168 hour in the week
- Imagine what you would be like if you could give an hour a day to study and devotions, a few hours to prayer, then a few hours to serving and fulfilling destiny
- God requires us to order our lives in such a way, that in the middle of the hustle and the bustle and the 1000 things you have to do every week God requires us to walk in our destiny
- He requires us to have good time management, God requires us to be good stewards of our time Eph 5:15-17
- When we stand before God one day, we will have to give an account of the good works. 1Co 3:12-14
- In fact, not just an account of our good works but the quality of our good works
- When we stand before God and he says come good and faithful
Mat 25:21 “His master replied, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’
- He is talking about someone that is faithful, reliable, consistent, dependable,
- I suppose the question really is, can God trust you with the destiny he has for you, can God depend on you to use your gifts and talents.
- I am not talking about being a one hit wonder, but I am talking about walking consistently in the path he has planned for you 1Pe 4:7-10
- How you manage God’s gifts and God’s calling and God’s destiny upon your life is what you will be commended or condemned for
- It would be extremely cruel of God to judge you by a criteria that he never made clear
- But it makes perfect sense to me that God has every right to deal with us on the basis of calling if his intent has been made clear to us. 2Pe 1:10-11