Summary: Unity, Truth, Our Speech, Others
GROWN UP CHRISTIANS – Grown Up Thinking and Speaking
Ephesians 4:11-32 (p. 815) May 31, 2015
When my brother in law Kevin was about 6 or 7 years old he was at a restaurant with his mom Nancy and her best friend Tina...as they were eating Kevin looked across the table and said, “No wonder you’re so big...you eat too much!”
At that, Nancy kicked Kevin underneath the table and Kevin yelled, “What are you kicking me for!??”
Kids are unfiltered...”Kids say the darndest things.” Here’s just a few quotes from the famous TV show:
1. SILENCE YOU PEASANT!
2. IT’S NOT YOUR STYLE
3. ALL WE GOT IS BELCRO
4. I WANT A TWIK
5. ELSA “GET OVER IT!”
I’m 55 and I’ve done and said plenty of stupid things in my life...I remember fairly recently asking Kari... “Are you gonna wear that?” I didn’t mean it like it sounded...but it was “stupid” none the less.
My buddy Greg Bowen who went to heaven last year was shaking hands with folks after a revival service and smiled at a woman walking out and said, “When is the baby due?” She glared at him and said, “I’M NOT PREGNANT!”
He was trying to be kind...but it didn’t work out that way...I’m sure the woman was affected by his question...and I know Greg slapped himself on the forehead more than once because of these words.
Most of us have done some forehead slapping in our lives!
Kids get a little bit of a pass...not that we don’t try to teach and correct...but we understand kids are still learning about filters and the feelings of others.
Even as “Babes” in Christ we are just learning to have the “mind of Christ” and to “think of others before ourselves.” The Holy Spirit is feeding us on the simple “milk of God’s Word.” As new believers we are making our first shaky, stumbling steps to walk and talk like Jesus. It’s understandable when we sometimes fall flat.
That’s why we need spiritual parents and helpers to help us grow up.
Christ Himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up, 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. Then we will no longer be infants.
I. JESUS PLANNED FOR MATURE DISCIPLES TO EQUIP GROWING DISCIPLES
Jesus Himself gave! Those are 3 powerful words...and they clarify some foundational essentials. Apostles, the original 12 – Judas Iscariot, plus Matthias from Acts 1...and the Apostle Paul, especially called by God. They had been with Jesus and witnessed a risen Jesus. They were endowed with the Holy Spirit’s power at Pentecost and God’s Word says. In Christ “We are no longer forgiveness and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household...built on the foundation of the Apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
The Apostles teaching came from Jesus as the Holy Spirit brought repentance. Our New Testament exists because of these foundation stones...but in the 1st century they were the living breathing teachers of Jesus’ Word. This was their priority... “Teaching the Word and prayer.” The word prophet means “proclaimer” speaking for God...It’s preaching the Word...like Peter did on Pentecost. It’s not predicting the future...it’s sharing the good news and God’s plan for all our present and future.
Evangelists like Philip in Acts 8 are messengers who are sensitive to divine appointments like “Ethiopian Eunich’s reading from Isaiah...Evangelists speak the truth of salvation in very powerful ways...so you stop the chariot and get baptized right then and there.
Pastors are shepherds...they protect, lead, teach, and minister to the flock...God’s church. Those who do it well, especially in regards to preaching and teaching are worthy of double honor.
Teachers share truth, in ways that make it understandable and applicable... teachers...are concerned about both knowledge and wisdom...knowledge is having the truth...wisdom is knowing how to apply it.
Each of these individuals had grown in their faith to where it became essential for them to equip others for works of service.
[Paul’s frustration with many in the church at Ephesus was that they’d been in spiritual kindergarten, then grade school, Middle school, High School and college under Himself, Timothy, Titus and other leaders...and they would not leave the classroom to go to work...instead they argued about who was the best leader...and about the resurrection and it became “godless chatter.” (2 Timothy 2:16).
People who are only gatherers of biblical knowledge become “puffed up” arrogant...but those who understand why Jesus gave Apostles, prophets, teachers, pastors, and evangelists...become equipped to serve others....lessons that aren’t lived are lectures...Lessons that are learned and lived become places of service and salvation!]