Scripture: Eph 4:11-16
11 It was HE WHO GAVE some to be apostles… prophets… evangelists… pastors and teachers, 12 to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up 13 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. 14 Then we will no longer be infants, tossed… blown… by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15 Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into [Christ]… the Head… 16 From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.
Thrust: By sovereign design, Christians are emplaced to contribute to the overall development of the local church.
I. Built Up to Build Others Up
Then He appointed twelve, THAT THEY MIGHT BE WITH HIM. (Mk 3:14)
A. Live Lovingly In Unity
20 My prayer… 21 that ALL OF THEM MAY BE ONE… Father…You are in Me and I am in You… they… in Us so that the world may believe that you have sent Me. 22… that THEY MAY BE ONE as We are one: 23 I in them… You in Me… THEY BE BROUGHT TO COMPLETE UNITY… the world know that You sent Me... (Jn 17:20-23)
We are to live together in three distinct yet inter-related spheres:
- Universal: the Church of Christ
- Local: Elim Church
- Micro: Care Cell
Whichever level we live in, we operate under the banner of love.
Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends. (Jn 15:13)
Love must be sincere. (Rom 12:9)
… spur one another on toward love and good deeds... not give up meeting together… (Heb 10:24-25)
… you have purified yourselves by obeying the truth so that you have sincere lovefor your brothers, love one another deeply, from the heart. (1 Pe 1:22)
Finally, ALL of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic, love as brothers, be compassionate and humble. (1 Pe 3:8)
7 let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God… 11 since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. (1 Jn 4:7, 11)
You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also ought to wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you. (Jn 13:13-15)
B. Serve Others Willingly
Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practise hospitality. (Rom 12:11-13)
… whatever you do, do ALL to the glory of God. (1 Cor 10:31)
But we do ALL things, beloved, for your edification. (2 Cor 12:19)
And whatever you do in word or deed, do ALL in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. (Col 3:17)
serve one another in love (Gal 5:13)
II. Unionised to Contribute
A. Christ Gave the Five-fold Gifts to the Church
You did not choose Me but I chose you and appointed you. (Jn 15:16)
B. Office Holders to Prepare God’s People for Works of Service
- ESV, CEB, NASB, NLT: equip
- KJV, WEB, Webster Bible: perfecting
- NIV: prepare
- HCSB, MSSG: training
Conclusion and Challenge
- 1. Doing Life together is optimal in a small group.
- A Strategic Framework: 3-2-1 by Dr Tan Soo Inn
- 3 friends to meet 2 hours in 1 month to share life’s struggles and successes
- Implant essential knowledge, preferably a biblical truth, to benefit the 2-3 friends.
- Impact by moderating attitudes towards God and/or godly living.
- Impart a life skill to help friends improve their service to God and for the Kingdom
- 2. Love fellow believers whom God has brought into your life. Love must be sincere.
- 3. Every believer can be prepared, equipped, and trained to do works of services for God. Each has the potential to serve in a ministry.