Our church is an independent, non-denominational congregation focused on equipping believers to accomplish all God has for each individual. We emphasize growing to maturity through regular, relevant study of God’s Word, meaningful corporate worship, and fellowship. Del Rio Bible Church was established in 1997 by a … Read More »
Arrested Development (Part 3)
Bible Text: Ephesians 4:7-16 | Preacher: Pastor Joe Ricchuiti | Series: Arrested Development Marks of Maturity, Ephesians
1. In Ephesians 4:11 Paul once again takes up the topic of spiritual gifts which he raised in verse 7. Instead of listing spiritual gifts, as in other places (1 Corinthians 12; Romans 12), here he mentions gifted individuals given to the church to build it up. The gifts mentioned are apostle, prophet, evangelist and pastor/teacher. Two things tie these gifts together: each is a speaking gift and each is used in leadership.
2. “Apostle” and “Prophet” are called foundational gifts in Ephesians 2:20. An apostle was “one sent by God with a commission” and a prophet was a spokesman for God usually by direct revelation (to communicate God’s will to the church, necessary before the New Testament was completed). Together they laid the foundation for the church.
3. An “evangelist” was one who pioneered the work of the gospel in areas not yet reached. They were traveling ministers akin to missionaries today.
4. The last of the four gifted people Paul mentions is the “Pastor/Teacher.” These are not two individuals but rather one individual with two functions. The root meaning of “pastor” is “to protect.” A pastor/teacher protects the flock by teaching the Word of God. “The Word of God is the local church’s protection and provision, and no amount of entertainment, good fellowship, or other religious substitutes can take it’s place.” (Warren Wiersbe)
5. According to verse 12, the reason God gives these gifted people to the church is not to do the work of the ministry, but to equip God’s people for works of service. The word translated “prepare” or “equip” means to restore something to usefulness, to its original purpose. We are made useful for service to God and protected from errant theology through the teaching of the Word of God.