Summary: Church is not an individual sport like Golf, Tennis or Skiing. Church is a Team Sport! This message looks at Ephesians 4:7-16 focusing on God's distribution of Spiritual Gifts in the Body of Christ.
Church February 20 / 21 2010
Church – A Team Sport
Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”
Jesus replied, “Blessed are you, Simon son of Jonah, for this was not revealed to you by man, but by my Father in heaven.
And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.
“…on this rock I will build my church,
and the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
What an authoritative statement!
Sovereignty and Power!
Promise and Hope!
After Jesus’ resurrection as He was ascending back to His Father (now glorified) He gave this command to His Disciples:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Matt 28:19-20 NIV
Not a very complicated Game Plan!
Jesus is going to win!
Proclaim the Good News (the gospel)!
Teach those who become Christians!
Repeat until I return!
It seems these days that the world is winning the war!
It appears the world system is exerting greater influence on the church than the church on the world.
Yet the promise is…
“… the gates of Hades will not overcome it.”
…will not have mastery over
…will not prevail
…will not overpower
Are we spending our time on lesser things?
Are we expending our effort on wrong things?
Jesus wants to see His church prevail in the world!
Jesus wants to see people coming to know Him as Savior!
The verses we looked at were the Cliffs Notes version of the work of the church.
What is necessary for the Church – The Body of Christ
to function properly?
The Answer is found in Ephesians 4:7-16 (page 812)
ESSENTIAL FOR GROWTH: GIFTED SERVANTS (Eph. 4:7-11)
MEANS OF GROWTH: DISCIPLESHIP (Eph. 4:12)
THE GOAL OF GROWTH: MATURITY (Eph. 4:12-14)
THE MEDIUM OF GROWTH: TRUTH (Eph. 4:15-16)
Basic Outline taken and modified from Preaching the Word: Ephesians by R. Kent Hughes
ESSENTIAL FOR GROWTH: GIFTED SERVANTS
But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. This is why it says: “When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men.”
Eph 4:7-8 NIV
This section begins to reveal the diversity of spiritual gifts that the Lord has given to His church for its equipping and edification.
Each of one of you, upon your conversion to Christ received a spiritual gift from the Holy Spirit.
You could not chose this spiritual gift any more than you could have decided the color of hair or eyes you wanted before you were born.
Spiritual gifts are NOT TALENTS! Many people, including unbelievers, exude many talents. Just watch the Olympics!
Spiritual gifts are supernaturally given. They are for the specific purpose and intent to minister to one another in the body.
They are to glorify God!
They are to build each other up!
“For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.”
Eph 2:10 NIV
“God’s Workmanship” =
God’s “work of art”
God’s Church is a “You Can” be used by God place!
Used by God to make a difference in another’s life
Used by God to make a difference in your community
Used by God to make a difference in your world
Used by God to make a difference for all eternity
Jesus uses people to accomplish
His Mission in the world!
Jesus wants to take the spiritual gift we were given and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to flow freely through us for His purpose.
God receives all the Glory!
We receive the joy and blessing of yielding our lives to HIM!
There is no place in the Body of Christ for:
“Look at Me!”
“Look at Me!”
Look at Jesus! Bring Glory to Jesus! It is all because of Jesus!
Saved by Grace
Kept by Grace
Spiritual Gift is given by Grace
Spiritual Gift is empowered by Holy Spirit
It was in 1873, in Dublin that D.L. Moody heard British evangelist Henry Varley utter those life changing words:
“The world has yet to see what God can do with and for and through and in a man who is fully and wholly consecrated to Him.”
D. L. Moody decided, “I WANT TO BE THAT MAN.”
You become a better athlete by being involved in the game. If you sit on the bench and simply watch others play the game you never develop the same heart and passion.