Summary: Church, weve got a problem...
Perfecting the Saints
Scripture setting- Ephesians 4:8-12
Text-Ephesians 4:12 “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.”
“Houston, we’ve got a problem!” came a voice from space. It was an Astronaut high above the earth. NASA has received the plea for help.
“Apollo we copy that. Stand By.” NASA was quick to solve the problem.
When I look at the text I want to say, ’Church, pastor, youth leader, praise singers, etc.” The problem is the word, “perfecting.” I have not seen too many perfect church goers. The “perfecting” in the Greek is Katartismo and it means complete furnishing. Not much help there. However, as we consider the full text we see Paul is talking about “ministry unto the Lord.”
Now, that makes sense
1. What is Ministry.
The Word used by Paul is ‘Diakonia” which is the root word for deacon. All Saints are to be set aside for service. Martha uses the word for service. “But Martha was cumbered about much serving..” Luke 10:40.
In Acts 1:17 in reference to Judas that he was a part of this ministry. We also see Paul in I Corinthians 12:5 and Romans 12:7 refer to diversities of services. Jesus used the great example of service in washing the disciples feet. Jesus’ also feed the five thousand. The modern day social gospel treats the system but has no cure. It is like a doctor who gives medicine for a terminal illness only to mask the fatal disease. The patient feels better but the disease ultimately takes his life. Social preaching is just a cover up for the inability to offer the cure.
2. The Purpose of Ministry.
The purpose is defined in verse 13. “Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
We are to build a body of believers who are in the image of His son,
Jesus Christ. This is an awesome responsibility. The church is to minister the whole man, body, soul and spirit. It is evident that the spirit part of man is being neglected. The spirit is what profits the most. What life is all about lies in the ministry to the spirit of man. Nothing else can satisfy. This can be identifies in our conversions and life style. “As a man thinketh in his heart so is he.” Proverbs 23:7. We cannot sing the songs of the world and expect high morality and godly living to result.
The Gift of Ministry.
The church is equipped to do ministry with the help of the five fold ministry gifts. vrs. 11
1. Apostles. There are sadly very few true Apostles. Some have embraced the title. It is one thing to use a title and do the works of an Apostle.
2. Prophets. How greatly abused is this gift to ministry. There are charlatans out to make a quick buck ($) and gain popularity by claiming to be prophets. They utter a few words over someone only to add confusion to their situation.
3. Evangelists. What a dieing breed this gift is. I believe Billy Graham to be an evangelist of the scriptural kind. But what happens when Billy Graham is gone. No more revivals is the results. Habakkuk 3:2 “O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years, make know; in wrath remember mercy.” Psalms 85:6 “Wilt thou not revive us again: that thy people may rejoice in thee.”
3. The Marks of Ministry.
a. Ministry is for building up. It is a very positive connotation. It
should be done by gifted people in a spirit of love.
b. Ministry can only be effective if empowered the Holy Spirit.
c. This involves the Spirit-filled life. Ephesians 5:18 “Be not drunk
with wine, wherein is excess, but be filled with the Spirit.”
d. Ministry has rewards. Matthew 25:21,23. “Well done thou good
and faithful servant(minister) thou hast been faithful over a few
things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter thou into
the joy of the Lord.”
4. Other Marks of Ministry,
a. It is to be without pride.
b. It is to be done with humility.
c. It is to done in all truths.
d. It is to be done in public and in private.
e. It requires self-sacrificing.
f. It is to be passed on from saint to saint.
5. Ministry Was Given To Build The Church.
a. It is two fold: First to meet needs and to build up. Second to
equip the church for outward ministry.
God planned it that way, “I will build my church,” and that’s