The Medium of Growth

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Within the context of the local church there are several pieces that can, and should, encourage the spiritual growth of the believer.  Those things can range from the pastoral leadership to the people you sit next to during the service to the appearance of the facilities, inside and out. 

While it is certainly healthy to have all of those “things” being just right, the reality is that the pin-point aspect that should encourage spiritual growth, and thus being seen through all of the peripheral items mentioned above, is the Word of God itself.

The Bible speaks much about the value of itself but we will focus only a few key passages in this post.  In 2 Timothy 3: 16, the Apostle Paul states that “All scripture is profitable….”  In making this statement, Paul is most definitely including the writings of the Old Testament (the Law) in conjunction with the writings of the New Testament.

No matter how you attempt to translate what appears in our English Bible as “All Scripture” you will find that “all” means all and “Scripture” is referring to the writings found within the canonical Bible.

As we follow this idea to the next step, we need to explore what these writings are profitable for.  Paul’s statement continues by saying that it is profitable for “doctrine [teaching], for reproof [rebuking], for correction [adjusting], for instruction [training] in righteous-ness.

Thankfully Paul does not stop at this point but he continues on to tells us for what purpose these things are profitable.  In verse 17 he tells us that they are profitable in order to guide the man of God to be “perfect [proficient], thoroughly furnished [equipped] unto all good works.

This plays out in a number of different ways in the local church today but John 17:17 provide some great insight here that helps us see exactly why it must be central.  The words of Jesus Christ read “Sanctify them [make them holy] through thy truth: thy word is truth.”  This verse provides a concise view of what medium must be used in order to see growth in the body of Christ.  The Word of God is the only medium that will not change and is profitable for many things (2 Timothy 3:16).[¹]

Paul, in Ephesians 4:15, exhorts the reader to be “speaking the truth in love”.

When true lives are married to love, the Spirit is free to do his work, and the result is wonderful.” [²]

The sufficiency of Scripture must be relied upon in both the life of the teacher and the life of the student (all believers).  If this reliance is not found on one side of this equation the effectiveness of the medium of growth greatly diminishes.

__________________________________________________________________________________

[¹] Not only is God’s Word profitable for instruction in righteousness (which is what we all love about it) but it is also profitable to reprove and correct us when we make those wrong turns that we are all prone to make in life.
[²] R. Kent HughesPreaching the Word: Ephesians, (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1990), 136.
©2013 Mark Davis

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To the Fifth and conclusive page in the series >>

Continued Reading:

Guilt

O.K. You did it!

Guilty Pleasures - Big Mac Combo

Now a sharp nagging guilt has set in.

Nobody else knew; or maybe they did.  One thing is for certain… You know and God knows and listened.  He knows all about it.  He is the One who knows the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Mark 7:21 – 23
“For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

The big problem now is:  “how can I live under this load of guilt?”

It might have been because of some exchange of harsh, cruel words; disobedience; some kind of sexual sin; theft of what is not yours; or a host of any other things.  It makes no difference what kind of a problem you created.  The point is… it was wrong – and it has succeeded in creating a big case of guilt.  You know about it and God knows all about it.  He even knows your thoughts and motives.  You cannot fool God.  You will ultimately give answer to the “all-knowing God”!

You are tired of the load of guilt!  The question now that needs an answer is, “What can be done about it?”  Is there any hope of relief from this nagging problem?

You CAN’T go on this way!

I want to carefully explain what has been done for this situation.  I want you to know that you are not alone with the problem of guilt.  Everyone has that same tendency toward sin.

Romans 3:23
“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God”.

That sin can show its ugly head in a variety of different ways.  Nevertheless, it does show itself.  And… most assuredly it has guilt and consequences.

Romans 6:23
“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.”

There are basically two kinds of sinners in the world…  The lost ones – never trusted Jesus to save them – and there are the saved ones - they have been to Jesus and have accepted God’s free gift of forgiveness and eternal life.  Both can experience guilt.

Let’s consider first the person who has never put his trust in Jesus Christ as their Saviour, or the lost sinner.  These have not faced their sin problem and the consequences. They are still trying to do it all themselves. This will never work.

Ephesians 2:8, 9
“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

No matter how sincere or religious they are, they cannot do what God requires.  This person (along with all other people on earth) has been born with a sin-nature.

There is one exception, though… God’s Son, Jesus Christ.  He was born without a sin-nature.  He is eternal and He was sent to earth to be born of a virgin.  He did many miracles, and taught the people.

His ultimate ministry was to go to the cross of Calvary to pay the supreme price for sin – death.  He is the “Sinless One” and was the only one qualified to pay for the sin-penalty of all mankind.  He had no sin, so, he, being sinless, died in the place of all sinners.

He paid the wages of sin, which was death.  He did this because he loved us.  He didn’t stay dead.  He rose from the dead on the 3rd day after He was placed in the tomb.  Then, after walking the earth for another 40 days was taken back to Heaven with His Father who had sent Him to accomplish this ministry.

Then 10 days later, God sent the Holy Spirit to indwell, seal, teach, and to guide us in the Truth of the Word of God.  He has placed the seal of the Holy Spirit Himself in each believer to guarantee that they are kept by the power of God till we arrive in the very presence of God.  He has guaranteed that none will be lost.

John 3:36
“He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

If you can identify with this person, then there is a very simple solution.  God wants to give you a “new-life” and forgive your sin.

At present you are spiritually dead.  Before you can have the victory over the sin-nature, you have to meet the requirements that God has established.

The first thing that must be done is to admit that you are a sinner – like everyone else – and that you do not now possess His eternal life.  You are still lost in sin and will be separated from God for all of eternity in Hell.  God wants you to be saved from this terrible consequence.  Jesus paid the full price for your sin.

Won’t you open your heart and trust Jesus by faith to be your personal Saviour?  He promises to give you new life and forgive your sin.  This is the only way you can have freedom from the guilt you are facing.  It is imperative that you do it now!!

Do not delay…

Matthew 11:28, 29
“Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

Then, there are those who have faced their sin problem squarely and dealt with it the way God has provided.  The quilt and penalty of sin are forgiven.  Even though they still have the old sin-nature, they are now a child of God through faith in God’s Son, Jesus Christ.

That old nature is not “eradicated” now, but, we will be rid of it when we are caught up to Heaven to be forever with Jesus.

In the meantime, it is still possible to yield to the tricks and temptations of Satan.  Our relationship with Jesus is not broken, but our fellowship is blemished.  That fellowship is restored when the Child of God repents of that sin and confesses it to God.  He is forgiven and fellowship is restored.

1 John 1:8, 9
“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

A happy, fruitful life is only possible as we yield our body, soul, and spirit to the will of God.

Read your Bible daily and pray.  The Bible , God’s Word, will take on new meaning because we now have the Holy Spirit in us to teach us
and to guide us into all truth.

John 16:13, 14
“… he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.”  
John 16:14 says, “He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you.”  

(We recommend the KJV since many modern translations have incorporated inaccuracies into the text.)

In conclusion — There is hope for you.

Your guilt can be forgiven by the grace of God.  As you put your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Romans 10:9, 10
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.  For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” 

His forgiveness will be yours.  You will be quick to observe the new peace, joy and freedom from the guilt and penalty of sin.  Instead of bearing guilt, you will now have a heart full of rejoicing and praise to God for such a great and wonderful gift.

2 Corinthians 5:21
“For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.”
Ephesians 2:9b
“…the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” 

It really is life changing!

Now there is REAL purpose in life.

I trust I will one day see you in God’s heaven.

What an AWESOME hope!

Bob Davis
©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

The Goal of Growth

This series is written by Nathan Paugh, copyright protected.

A local church building built by Independent B...

Part 1
Part 2
Part 3 of 5
Part 4
Part 5

The ultimate goal of the preparation of the saints and the work of their ministry is the building up of the body of Christ.”¹ This building up of the body ultimately finds itself producing a great level of unity within the body of Christ.  This unity allows for believers young and old to be able to come together around a common goal and push forward.

As the local church (the body) grows toward Christ-likeness individually, the corporate unity begins to take place.

Having established that the gifted people were given to the church for the immediate purpose of preparing all the saints to minister for the building up of the body of Christ, Paul explains the need for the process to continue until attaining the goal that believers mature to the measure of the fullness of Christ.”²

Maturity does not always equate to unity nor does unity always equate to maturity.  Many times one will make the other to be more likely, but they can be used synonymously.  Full maturity that is to the measure of the fullness of Christ cannot humanly be experienced this side of eternity, but it is extremely necessary for the believer to continue to strive toward that end.  Paul explains in verses fourteen and fifteen the importance of growing individually so that the whole body can function as it was designed.  If one part has failed to develop as it should then failure is eminent and thus the entire body will suffer.

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¹ Frank Thielman, Ephesians, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2010), 280.
² Harold Hoehner, Ephesians: An Exegetical Commentary, (Grand Rapids: Baker Books, 2002), 551.
©2013 Mark Davis

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The Medium of Growth >>

Continued Reading:

Hell? or Heaven?

“This life is the only hell believers will ever know.
But for those who die in their sins, this is their only heaven.”
– Ray Comfort

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Kimberly Dawn Nyborg – Reconciling Your Past

Wrestling with unforgiveness of the past sins that I have committed has taken me on such an interesting journey.  It seems odd that I came to understand God’s forgiveness even before I was capable of forgiving myself.

How many of you have done some stuff in your past that has been unlovely, corrupt, ugly, even despicable?

On my journey I have found it quite interesting to see that God does not place sins on a scale of 1-10.  A simple look at the Ten Commandments makes that rather clear.  You can stretch them as far as you want and the bottom line is that without the shed blood of Jesus Christ, we have all fallen short of all of the Commandments.

That is why our righteousness is considered as filthy rags as it says in Isaiah 64:6.  But that being said, I will admit that it seems that the ‘uglier’ the sin we commit, the harder it is to reconcile, perhaps because our tendency is to rate sin.

Looking back at myself as a fifteen year old, on my own, revisiting the stuff that I let myself get into, made it very difficult to believe that God could and had forgiven my sin.  Thankfully, and after much study in the Word, the truth prevailed and with a huge step of faith I received His forgiveness.  I was then left to struggle with forgiving myself for what I had done!  I knew what I had done and had been involved with were wrong and that I was completely rebellious in my actions.

It is here that I would like to put in a plug for Dr. Neil Anderson’s ministry, Freedom in Christ.  This is just one of the ministries out there that focuses on our identity in Christ.  I absorbed myself in his book Victory Over Darkness and God used it to change the way I saw myself.  I can give credit to a ‘book’ because in this book were the many Scriptures that assured me that I was accepted by Him, secure in Him and significant to Him.  I was able to believe that if God could forgive me, I had to be able to forgive myself.

You may have said to yourself, “How am I worthy of God’s love?”

  • I got pregnant out of wedlock and the father of the child convinced me that we did not know each other well enough to get married.  He decided that I would have an abortion to solve the predicament in which we found ourselves.
  • When my first marriage was on the verge of divorce, a “Christian” counselor once asked me, “Do you believe that you are ‘good enough’ to marry a pastor?”  My reaction was that no pastor would ever want me for a wife, not with all that I had done in my past!  I was not a born again believer at that time but was attending church and seeing a church counselor to try to save my marriage.
  • One of my loved ones believes he is a ‘good man’ because he does lots of ‘good things’.  He also believes that he is not good when he does not do good.  His belief is that to be a part of the kingdom of God you have to do lots of good things and keep your “nose clean” (so to speak).

My thoughts toward myself were that I certainly could never be used in God’s work because of all my past failures.  Who would want what I had to offer especially if they knew what I had done?

I wonder just how many folks out there are letting their past rule instead of willingly making the decision to say, “If God can, then I must“?  When I do not forgive my past, I am saying that God is not able to see me through the shed blood of His Son, Jesus.

I am not saying that you cannot have Christ in your heart if you are unable to forgive yourself of past sins.  But, what I am saying is that it is a hurdle that, once leaped and internalized, will literally thrust you to the next level.  Why walk around with a debility that is not necessary and that can be healed?

Too many of us with bad stuff in our past have simply skewed the truth, having a very shallow view of who we truly are as children of God.

My friend Peggy, who has spent years studying the Jewish roots of the faith, once shared the analogy of our identity in Christ like this: If you take a piece of white wool and dip it into a dye, it absorbs that dye and becomes that dye’s color.  Now ‘color’ is not quite the same thing as our identity but the principle is the same.  In essence, we have been dipped in the shed blood of Christ and we are now covered to the point that God sees us absorbed in Christ’s blood.  We have now absorbed His very essence.  Ephesians 1:7 says, “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace”.

When we become born-again Christians, it is so vital that we make the decision to embrace the Word (God’s truth) and all it has to say to us. In doing so, we can eventually get to the place where we see that we can forgive ourselves for our jaded past because it is first and foremost washed under the blood of Christ.

The following list of verses are only a few that will help us to forgive ourselves because we have made the choice to believe them.

I am accepted…

John 1: 12 – God gave us the right to be His child.
Romans 5: 1 – We have been justified by faith.
1 Corinthians 6: 19, 20 – The Holy Spirit lives in me… I have been bought with Christ’s precious blood.
Ephesians 1:5 – I am now adopted as His child.
Colossians 1:14 – I have redemption through Christ’s blood and my sins are forgiven.

I am secure…

Romans 8: 1 – I am no longer under condemnation, free from the law of sin and death.
Romans 8: 2 – I no longer walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.
Hebrews 4: 16 – I am now able to boldly ask of God Himself having mercy and grace in my time of need.

I am significant…

John 15: 5 – I am a branch of the true vine and I abide in Him.
1 Corinthians 3: 16 – I am God’s temple and filled with the Holy Spirit.
Ephesians 2: 10 – I am created in Christ Jesus for good works.
Ephesians 3: 12 – I am free to boldly come before God without fear.

Oh, my friend, there is nothing that you can do to make yourself clean, good and usable to the King.  Only by admitting your need of the Savior and accepting Jesus’ death on your behalf, then becoming crucified with Christ because it is no longer you who live but Christ who lives in you!

“Jesus, my Lord, my Savior and my Friend, I thank you for showing me that I can forgive myself as You have already done, of every unlovely thing in my past, present and future.  It is because of Your amazing love for me that I can walk with a much lighter step as I live my life and serve You for the rest of my days.  I will praise You, for Your Word tells me that I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  I cannot even express my gratefulness for Your shed blood.  Let me live my life in worship and wonder of Your majesty. Amen.”

Much of what has been shared in dealing with this stronghold of forgiving myself will tie in with our next one, “Walking in the Truth”, so we can believe what God says about who we are!  Too many of us struggle with these issues, especially when coming from a self-debasing past.

From the Editor:Kimberly Dawn Nyborg

Thank you so much for your contribution Kimberly.  It really is awesome to see how God works in and through us if we allow Him too.  If you would like to read more of Kimberly’s writings on this blog you can find them here:

“The Gift of Contentment”

Kimberly thoroughly enjoys sharing her gift of encouragement by sharing her heart and story at various types of speaking engagements.  She has been guest speaker at retreats, camps, many women’s events, as a guest speaker in church and as a representative for Psalm FM Radio station for many years.  In radio rallies she has also served as worship leader.  You can contact her through her website.

Readers, please leave a comment below to let Kimberly know what you think of her story, especially if it has touched your heart somehow.

You can also read more from Kimberly in her new blog and her website.

©2013 Mark Davis

Leave Your Comment Here

 

Continued Reading:

Kimberly Dawn Nyborg – The Gift of Contentment

by: Kimberly Dawn Nyborg
Kimberly Nyborg

Kimberly Nyborg

Have you ever thought of how a racehorse might feel when it is in the chute awaiting the noise of the gun and the gates to fling open for the race to begin?  Well, I have felt what that must be like and it is nerve wracking to me when you think that the time is now but…that gate will not open!  Or the familiar expression “chomping at the bit,” which says it the way I feel it, exhibiting impatience or frustration when delayed.  You see, I am a now kinda girl and I have really struggled with waiting and waiting and waiting!

My guess is that there are a lot of us who have a picture of what it is that we are supposed to be doing in this life.  For me, it was my dream to be a teacher.  After all, it stemmed from way back as a little girl playing school with my stuffed animals and dolls.  I would line them all up as if in a classroom and teach them to read and count.  When I was waylaid as an adult because of so many poor choices, that dream disappeared.

It did not return until my youngest son was having trouble in school and was removed from his school setting.  I purposed to try home schooling him in an effort to see if it would help his predicament.  While engrossed in looking for curriculum, my desire to teach was again stirred up.  Wow, the dream came back to life! I only home-schooled my son for a year or so, but with this renewed interest in teaching I decided to try college, hoping that I could be a teacher one day.

Some years before, since I never did graduate (having left home at 15), I received my GED in 1985.  The instructor told me there was no reason I could not continue on to college if that were my desire.  Being a mom put that on hold, especially with a troubled child.  But in 1992 I gave it a shot when that teaching desire was once again stirred in my heart.  My dream, however, was once again shelved when more difficulties arose with my son and my husband did not think it wise traveling so far on a daily basis from Int’l Falls to BSU, especially in the winter.  Well, the teaching aspirations were once again tabled and I kind of gave up on my dream.

As you wonder where the ‘contentment’ comes in, let me assure you that God sure knows the desires of our heart!  It was not long after my teaching bubble was burst that I was impressed and given the okay to lead women’s Bible studies at my church.  Over the years, I have gone through various Bible studies, which have allowed me to engage my teaching abilities.

Isn’t God good to me?  Although it is a different picture than what I thought, I am blessed to use a gift He has given me to build others and build myself in my times of preparation.

I would have to say that God is teaching me that contentment is being satisfied where I am!  And that He also uses me right where I am.

But when He begins to open up different avenues of ministry, then what?  If you are like me, you are anxious to get going and ready to jump in and get your feet wet but…hold on.  There is perfecting that has to take place, some lessons to be learned, and some observations to be made before the time is right.  That is where I have struggled the most — in the waiting.  After all, you cannot hurry drying paint or varnish, aging cheese or wine, or whatever it is that needs time to season and perfect that finished product.

Preparation takes place through a period of time and circumstance and the God-given release will come when He knows we are ready to accomplish all that He has for us!  In the meantime, while the seasoning is taking place, I am learning to be content right where I am.  The Message paraphrase of Deuteronomy 28:12 references the timing thing here.  ‘God will throw open the doors of his sky vaults and pour rain on your land on schedule and bless the work you take in hand. You will lend to many nations but you yourself won’t have to take out a loan.’  I think that is such a wonderful example of right timing!  The rains came at just the right time to bless the people’s efforts so that they would become the lenders and not the borrowers!

So, friend, whatever it is that we put our hand to do for the Lord, we must rest in being content!  Know that His timing is perfect and if or while waiting on Him, know that we are in process — for it is not about us but all about Him.  We are being seasoned so that we will be that salty, shining light God will use for His glory!

From the Editor:

Thank you so much for your contribution Kimberly.  It really is awesome to see how God works in and through us if we allow Him too.

Kimberly thoroughly enjoys sharing her gift of encouragement by sharing her heart and story at various types of speaking engagements.  She has been guest speaker at retreats, camps, many women’s events, as a guest speaker in church and as a representative for Psalm FM Radio station for many years.  In radio rallies she has also served as worship leader.  You can contact her through her website.

Readers, please leave a comment below to let Kimberly know what you think of her story, especially if it has touched your heart somehow.

You can also read more from Kimberly in her new blog and her website.

Other Articles from Kimberly:

Kimberly Dawn Nyborg – Reconciling Your Past

©2013 Mark Davis

Leave Your Comments Here

 

Continued Reading:

What is God’s Will For My Life?

“Many people ask me what can they do to find out what God’s will is for their life.

My Answer: I’m too busy doing things for God to find out what His will is for me to do for Him.”

– Mark Davis

Philippians 2: 13
For it is God which worketh in you both
to will and to do of his good pleasure.”

Gluttony

1 Corinthians 10:31
“Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do,
do all to the glory of God.”

Deuteronomy 14: 29 
“And the Levite, (because he hath no part nor inheritance with thee,) and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow, which are within thy gates, shall come, and shall eat and be satisfied; that the LORD thy God may bless thee in all the work of thine hand which thou doest.”

– Proverbs 23:2
“And put a knife to thy throat,
if thou be a man given to appetite.”

Proverbs 23:20, 21 –
20 Be not among winebibbers;
among riotous eaters of flesh:

21 For the drunkard and the glutton shall come to poverty:
and drowsiness shall clothe a man with rags.”

– Philippians 3:18 – 3:19
18 (For many walk, of whom I have told you often,
and now tell you even weeping,
that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ:
19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly,
and whose glory is in their shame,
who mind earthly things.)”

Proverbs 25:16
“Hast thou found honey? eat so much
as is sufficient
for thee, lest thou be filled
therewith, and vomit it
.”

Romans 12:1 –
“I beseech you therefore, brethren,
by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies
a living sacrifice
, holy, acceptable unto God,
which is your reasonable service.”

– James 4:7
Submit yourselves therefore to God.
Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Galatians 6:7-8
7 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
8 For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.”

– Ecclesiastes 10:17
“Blessed art thou, O land, when thy king is the son of nobles,
and thy princes eat in due season, for strength,
and not for drunkenness
!”

1 Peter 4:3 –
“For the time past of our life may suffice us
to have wrought the will of the Gentiles,
when we walked in lasciviousness, lusts, excess of wine,
revellings, banquetings, and abominable idolatries:”

Exodus 16:21
“And they gathered it [manna] every morning,
every man according to his eating:
and when the sun waxed hot, it melted.”

– Ezekiel 16:49
“Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom,
pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness
was in her and in her daughters, neither did she
strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

1 Corinthians 3:16-17
16 Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you?
17 If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy; for the temple of God is holy, which temple ye are.”

©2013 Mark Davis

Continued Reading:

Your Body Is The Temple of the Holy Spirit

How Many Ways Are There To Get To Heaven?

The Spiritually Dormant Life

Growing In Grace – The Bible Study

What Does Your Mouth Say About You?

What Are You Wearing?

Your Spiritual Wages

The Means of Growth

This series is written by Nathan Paugh, copyright protected.

A local church building built by Independent B...

Part 1
Part 2 of 5
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5

Having briefly explored how gifted leadership is essential to the growth of the church in verses 7-11, Paul begins explaining how that takes place in verse 12.  In this verse the process of discipleship is established as the means for growth.

He says quite simply that God has given gifted leadership to the church ‘to prepare God’s people for works of service’ (v.12a) – or as it literally reads, ministry.”[1]

The word commonly translated as equipping is the Greek word karartismos which “basically refers to that which is fit, is restored to its original condition, or is made complete.”[2]  Christ, through His divine power, “hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness,” however, those things must be honed through the sound teaching of the Word by those that have been appointed to be over the body – the leadership.[3]

This teaching can be done from a pulpit, classroom, one-on-one, e-mail, instant-messenger, etcetera.  Regardless the means, this teaching must be taking place.  The body of Christ is the most obvious people-group that such teaching would take place in.  Although the ministers of the church are ultimately over the teaching material and training times this does not have to be done only by the church staff.

Many times a fellow lay person would be the best person to work with another lay person in order to immediately break down barriers and see God’s Word do a great work.  This can be one of the most rewarding relationships a believer can have.

When a believer takes a personal interest in a fellow believer, it causes both parties to think and study so that they can be better equipped and therefore would be able to equip others also.

The Bible speaks specifically to these types of relationships in Proverbs 27:17 and 2 Timothy 2:2.  Within both of these passages it becomes apparent that believers can have a great impact on each other and not be considered “official” church leadership or staff.

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[1] R. Kent Hughes, Preaching the Word: Ephesians, (Wheaton: Crossway Books, 1990), 134.
[2] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 152.

Leadership; The Essential Component for Growth

This series is written by Nathan Paugh, copyright protected.
A local church building built by Independent Baptists [photo credit: Wikipedia.com]
Part 1 of 5
Part 2
Part 3
Part 4
Part 5
In order for God’s purpose to be accomplished through His chosen instrument, the Church, it is imperative the appointed leadership be setting a proper example.  God has called out men to be the leaders of His Church.  These men must meet specific qualifications (1 Timothy 3; Titus 1) and exercise the gifts that have been given to them.[1]
God has supplied each of His children with grace according to the measure of Christ’s gift (Ephesians 4: 7).  This grace “is measured out to be consistent with what is necessary for the operation of Christ’s gift.”[2]  Therefore, due to the measure of grace that has been bestowed upon the believer, there should not be an assembly production of Christians.  True, genuine disciples are not manufactured, rather, they are develop one relationship at a time.
In verse eleven of this passage, Paul makes it clear that there are specific gifts of Christ that have been given to the whole Church:  “And He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.”[3]  God provided these specific offices “for the perfecting [equipping] of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ.”[4]  While all of these gifts are not still active today, the principle behind having several offices still stands.[5]
In order to train the believer to follow after Christ and to do the work of the ministry, it takes many individuals actively involving themselves in this process.  The men that hold these offices must not be ignorant about spiritual gifts in their own life or the lives of those that they have been called to oversee.  This entire idea can really be summed up with a statement by Wayne Mack, a very influential and Biblically sound author.

Ignorance about spiritual gifts in the life of any particular believer is harmful to the church because that believer has been gifted by God to play a unique role in the body, and the individual himself suffers because his usefulness and joy in Christ is dependent upon his exercise of that giftedness.  On the other hand, if you as a Christian understand the truth in God’s Word concerning spiritual gifts and practice it, you will make a significant contribution to the success of your congregation and experience increasing personal fulfillment in your walk with Christ.”[6]

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[1] R. Kent Hughes really does a great job at including some real life examples so that the reader can really get a grasp on what he is trying to communicate through his statements.  It is imperative for the leadership of the church to not only meet a set of criteria but to also live out that criteria daily, regardless of what setting they are found in.
[2] John MacArthur, The MacArthur New Testament Commentary, (Chicago: Moody Press, 1986), 135.
[3] King James Version, Eph. 4:11.
[4] Ibid. Eph. 4:12.
[5] From what I can tell of my study, the offices of an apostle and a prophet do not fit the biblical model that is still in place today.  This is not due to tradition but rather due to the plan that God had for that particular office and thus that purpose has since past.
[6] Wayne Mack & Dave Swavely,  Life in the Father’s House, (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R Publishing, 2006), 145.
©2013 Mark Davis

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