The power of the church

Lesson 6

AMP Eph 4:11  And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
Eph 4:12 His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),

Message Eph 4:11 filled earth with his gifts. He handed out gifts of apostle, prophet, evangelist, and pastor-teacher
Eph 4:12 to train Christians in skilled servant work, working within Christ’s body, the church,
Eph 4:13 until we’re all moving rhythmically and easily with each other, efficient and graceful in response to God’s Son, fully mature adults, fully developed within and without, fully alive like Christ.

  1. Who has the responsibility to equip the saints?
  2. Whose responsibility is it to do the work of the ministry?

One of the most incredible stories I love in the bible is the church in the wilderness Num 13:1-2

For forty days they went and spied out the land Num 13:27-32

  • This is one of the most challenge stories that I recon you can read in the bible
  • Because when the spies came back
  • 2 had a good report and said WE CAN DO IT
  • 10 had a bad report and said WE CAN’T DO IT
  • Here was the challenge of the ten, the report they gave was factual, it was accurate, it was honest but the bible says it was a bad report, it was even described as an evil report.

AMP Num 13:32 So they brought the Israelites an evil report of the land which they had scouted out, saying, The land through which we went to spy it out is a land that devours its inhabitants. And all the people that we saw in it are men of great stature.

  • They gave a report that was contrary to God’s plans, and God called it an evil report
  • God gave them an assignment and they failed to believe that they could fulfill the assignment
  • They came up with every excuse under the sun why they would not be able to fulfill the assignment that God had given them
  • At the end of the day I have come to realise that it wouldn’t have mattered if they had said “We can’t do it or we don’t want to do it, the result was the same”
  • They failed to fulfill God’s assignment for their lives.

Here is one of the greatest challenges of the Christian life

  • It is not only found in this story but in every story about every person that God had an assignment for
  • God does not judge them according to the difficulty or the challenges of the assignment but according to their willingness and their faithfulness to do what he had asked them to do
  • God consider it an evil report because they refused the challenge based on their strength and ability not on God’s strength and ability to fulfil His plans and purposes for their lives

NKJV Eph 2:10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

  • It is up to each one of us to walk in God’s plans and order our lives according to the destiny that God has for us

So, when we look at the parable of the talents

MSG Mat 25:14  “It’s also like a man going off on an extended trip. He called his servants together and delegated responsibilities.
Mat 25:15  To one he gave five thousand dollars, to another two thousand, to a third one thousand, depending on their abilities. Then he left.

  • Faithfulness is the only yard stick, the only measuring rod that God uses to qualify our willingness to do what he has called us to do, to fulfill your assignment

Mat 25:20  The man who had received the five talents brought the other five. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘you entrusted me with five talents. See, I have gained five more.’
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!’

  • The word faithful comes from the root word faith
  • Faithfulness to God’s calling has to come out of a belief that he has a plan and a destiny for your life
  1. Do you believe that God has a plan and a purpose for you to make a difference
  2. Do you believe God has a plan and a purpose for our church and that together we can Make a difference in our generation
  • Faithful means:
    • first to be consistent, reliable, loyal and trustworthy
    • secondly to be accurate in detail, are you doing what God has called you to do
  • It is not the difficulty of the assignment but the depth of your faith that will ultimately determine if you fulfill God’s plan for your life
  • For you to be faithful you must be willing to take responsibility for something
  • If you have no responsibility in the house of God or the kingdom of God, it is impossible for you to be found faithful
  • Your faithfulness is connected to your God given responsibility; your God given assignment. Luke 9:62
  • Can I say this honestly, I have come to the place where I actually believe that Christianity is not for the casual Christian, it is not a get out of hell free card
  • Christianity is for people that are seeking to be disciples of Jesus Christ Luke 14:27
  • The cross represents sacrifice, it will cost you to follow Jesus, it will require you to lay some things down it will require you to make some sacrifices, it will require you to be diligent and to set correct priorities in your life Luke 14:28-35
  • I have an incredible challenge as a pastor to see you become seasoning and not fertiliser

Mat 25:24  “Then the man who had received the one talent came. ‘Master,’ he said, ‘I knew that you are a hard man, harvesting where you have not sown and gathering where you have not scattered seed.
Mat 25:25  So I was afraid and went out and hid your talent in the ground. See, here is what belongs to you.’
Mat 25:26  “His master replied, ‘You wicked, lazy servant! So you knew that I harvest where I have not sown and gather where I have not scattered seed?

  • Here is the challenge of this passage, faith begins where the will of God is known
  • This man was operating on an incorrect understand of God, he was functioning out of ignorance
  • He believed God was a hard man
  • He believed that God could harvest where he had not sown
  • Fundamentally his belief about God was flawed
  • He believed God was a hard, harsh literally an oppressive task master, he was a slave driver
  • Secondly, he believed that God didn’t need him to accomplish his purposes, that God can do whatever he wants to do whenever he wants to do it
  • I reckon one of the greatest challenge of the church is that people think God does not need them
  • He didn’t understand that God operates on the principle of sowing and reaping, you cannot reap if you do not sow. Gal 6:7-10
  • Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.
  • The problem has always been the workers not the harvest

Luke 10:1  After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go.
Luke 10:2  He told them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field.

Here is the bottom line

  • God needs you; God has created you for a purpose, God has an assignment for your life

Eph 4:16  From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

  • When one part of the body stops to function that part of the body gets atrophy

Atrophy is a wasting or decrease in size of a body organ, tissue, or part owing to disease, injury, or lack of use: muscular atrophy of a person affected with paralysis.

  • When a certain part of the body is not used it decrease and diminishes, the muscles get atrophy and begin to weaken.
  • When that part of the body stops functioning the whole body becomes disabled.
  • When the body parts are healthy. the body grows. When the body is unhealthy the begins to shrink

Q. Can I ask you a question are you helping the church body to grow or are you paralysing it

  • God needs you to do what he has created you to do
  • Faithfulness is the only yard stick, the only measuring rod that God uses to qualify our willingness to do what he has called us to do, to fulfill your assignment
  • When we stand before God the only question that will have any consequence will be this: Did you do what I called you to do
  • God is not looking for excuses he is looking for faithfulness

Q: How well are you stewarding God’s plan for your life?

Q: Have you been trained and equipped to fulfill the destiny God has appointed you for?

We trust that you have been blessed by this study

Please complete and submit this part of  lesson, we are looking forward to seeing what God has revealed to you in His Word and through this Study.

As disciples we don't always need more information but we need new revelation from God. Is there a certain part of the teaching that you loved, that stood out for you or you felt God was giving you insight into it?
Discipleship is all about learning God says. What was something new that you learnt in this lesson?
Putting God's word into practice is the greatest thing we can do. Was there a lesson, a principle or a promise that you can put into practice in your life?
The greatest part of discipleship is taking what you have learnt and sharing it with someone else. What part of this lesson could you pass on to others?
If there are any questions or queries about this lesson or regarding the school of ministry please feel free to ask.