Summary: God gives godly leaders to train His people to become godly people for a God-honoring outcome.
The Design of God’s Church
Griffith Baptist Church – 9/28/08
Text: Ephesians 4:11-16
Key verse: Ephesians 4:11-12 - 11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; 12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
Premise: God gives godly leaders to train His people to become godly people for a God-honoring outcome.
A little boy was sick on Palm Sunday and stayed home from church with his mother. His father returned from church holding a palm branch. The little boy was curious and asked, "Why do you have that palm branch, dad?" "You see, when Jesus came into town, everyone waved Palm Branches to honor him, and so we got Palm Branches today." The little boy replied, "Oh, no! The one Sunday I miss is the Sunday that Jesus shows up!"
What should happen when Jesus shows up at church?
We know that the church should operate as one.
We know that the people of the church all have gifts.
Now we come to the point where we put it all together.
We often shop for churches based on what we would feel most comfortable in.
This is not a good criterion for finding a church.
Rather, we should be looking for a church based upon the biblical model and how we can contribute to it.
We often think that the church should be here for us, but really, shouldn’t we be here for the church?
Here in this passage is the biblical model we are discussing.
What I want you to consider is this: Are you as a member helping to contribute to making this church the church it needs to be according to God’s Word?
Transition Statement: We are going to take a look at the man of God, the people of God and the objective of God. First, what does this say about the man of God?
1. The Man of God – 4:11-12
A. The calling of the man of God – 11
i. God is the one who gives men for the work of the ministry
a. This is God’s appointment
b. God calls and gifts men specifically for the work they are to do
ii. He has given a variety of offices, two of which are foundational:
a. Apostles (foundational) – “one who is sent with a commission”
• This function ceased with the first century church and there is no indication that it continued or was to continue.
b. Prophets (foundational)
• The common function of the prophet was not so much prediction of future events as it was in proclaiming the Word of God (Acts 11:28; Eph. 3:5)
• This function ceased with the completion of the New Testament (in reference to receiving direct revelation from God)
c. Evangelists – bearers of the good news
• At times we probably feel it would be so much easier if we could be like Lucy in the old Peanuts cartoon: Lucy says to Charlie Brown, "I would have made a great evangelist." Charlie Brown answers, "Is that so?" She says, "Yes, I convinced that boy in front of me in school that my religion is better than his religion." Charlie Brown asked, "Well, how did you do that?" And Lucy answers, "I hit him over the head with my lunch box."
• These men were in the local church (i.e. Phillip)
• They are soul winners and their gift is leading others to Christ
• This does not mean that every believer does not have responsibility for witnessing
• In the early church, these were not itinerant preachers who did a week of meetings and moved on, they were permanent fixtures.
d. Pastors and Teachers
• These are one and the same office – but two different functions
• Pastors – shepherds – to lead and feed the flock
• Teachers – to impart the knowledge of God’s Word to the church
• 1 Timothy 5:17 - Let the elders that rule well be counted worthy of double honor, especially they who labor in the word and doctrine.
• They are to lead, be an example, care for and oversee the flock given to them
• They are under the Chief Shepherd as their greatest authority
B. The work of the man of God – 12
Warren Weirsbe tells a story of a free-lance missionary that visited a pastor friend asking for financial support. “What group are you associated with?” his friend asked.
The man replied, “I belong to the invisible church.”