Faithlife Sermons

#2 Things to pray for (Eph. 4:11-16)

Sermon  •  Submitted
0 ratings
· 1 view
Notes & Transcripts
Sermon Tone Analysis
A
D
F
J
S
Emotion
A
C
T
Language
O
C
E
A
E
Social
View more →

Help my church family to be a body growing in maturity.
Father God, help us to...

BE EQUIPPED

Thank God for those that preach and teach the scriptures to you because Christ “Himself” has given our church for the, “equipping the saints for the work of ministry...” (v11-12).
Pray that our church (and your pastor) would see the role of pastor/teacher the way Paul does — not there to do everything themselves, but to equip all of Christ’s people to do His work.
Ask God to give our leaders wisdom in discerning the areas where members need equipping most, and how best they can do that.
Ask

BE UNITED

“…until we all reach unity...” (v13)
Pray that our church’s unity would not come from being similar types of people in the first place, but that it would be a deeper kind: “unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son”.
Thank God that through the gospel, such unity is possible.
Thank God that through the gospel, such unity is possible.

BECOME MATURE

Pray that our church would be growing more and more int “in every way into Him who is the head — Christ.” (v15)
Pray that our church family would grow “in every way” in each are of believers’ lives.

BE STEADFAST

Pray that our church would not be “tossed by the waves” (v14).
What difficult circumstance are threatening to unsettle individual in our church?
What biblical teachings are we tempted to compromise on?
Pray that our church would hole steadfastly to the truth.
Pray that our church would hole steadfastly to the truth.
Pray that every member — whether they’re preaching from the front, contributing during bible study or speaking over coffee — pray that we will remain confident in the truths of God’s Word.
Pray that every member — whether they’re preaching from the front, contributing during bible study or speaking over coffee — pray that we will remain confident in the truths of God’s Word.

BUILD EACH OTHER UP

Ask God to help our church “grow” and “build” one another up and “work” (v16).
Ask God to give us specific opportunities to do so when we next meet together as a church family!
Pray that we would not flinch from speaking hard truth to one another, that we’d do so “in love”.
Pray that we would not flinch from speaking hard truth to one another, that we’d do so “in love”.
Thank God that it is “by every supporting ligament” that the church grows, “by the proper working of each individual part.”
Thank God that it is “by every supporting ligament” that the church grows, “by the proper working of each individual part.”
Pray that those who are on the fringes of church life would come to see the essential role they can play.
Pray that those who are on the fringes of church life would come to see the essential role they can play.
______________________________________________________
Here in chapter 4 vv1-16 we hear and read of unity and maturity in the body of Christ.
Paul stresses the importance of maintaining unity in v1-6 and of using diverse gifts to attain maturity in the church (vv7-16).
This passage (especially v1) sets the stage for what follows lays out for believers to live worthy of their callings and maintain the unity of the Spirit in the community (v4:17-5:20) and in the household (5:21-6:9).
v7 begins with “Now grace was given to each one of us...” which is tucked away here in the overall teaching of the theme of unity.
Here the concept of diversity in Christ’s distribution of grace to each individual believer.
So you have “grace given to each of us” (v7) and in v16 we read (at the end) of the “proper working of each individual part.” (v16).
From vv7-10 we have diversity and which is tied into our unity.
I want to pick it up in v11.
11 "And he himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers,” ()
God intends to fill the entire cosmos (v10).
The building up of the body is firmly linked with His intention of filling the universe with His rule, since the church is His instrument in carrying out His purposes for the universe.
Apostles and prophets are mentioned first. So there are some who say, “Hey we had a prophet come to our church who shared a word from God to us!”
Really… did it come from the bible? “No, God tells him what to say and he or she let’s us know.”
Or apostles. Are there still apostles out there receiving direct revelation from Christ?
Just let the bible speak ok? 19 "So then you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with the saints, and members of God’s household, 20 "built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the cornerstone.” ()
The apostles and prophets make up the foundation. We’re building the church up, the foundation is already laid.
4 "By reading this you are able to understand my insight into the mystery of Christ. 5 "This was not made known to people in other generations as it is now revealed to his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit:” ()
But why do we have the writtings that we do from the apostles and prophets?
12 "equipping the saints for the work of ministry, to build up the body of Christ,” ()
The purpose of Christ’s bestowing these gifts of pastors and teachers, on the church is expressed here in v12.
It’s to equip the saints for the “work of ministry”. Does everyone have a ministry?
Who was grace given to (v7)? “each one of us”. According to the measure of Christ’s gift. ( for older and younger women) (Fathers train their children, husbands wash with God’s Word) (Women are taught and instructed and guided [just like the church])
So God uses pastors to equip the body to the spiritual work that God has called each of us to.
“work”. Sometimes serving God and others is nothing less than hard work.
In Scripture Christians are called not only the children of God, but also servants of God.
Recall how Paul typically starts his letters by referring to himself as a servant of God (as in ).
Every Christian is a servant of God, and servants work.
The hard work of the ministry belongs to the body.
Part of which is found in vv15-16. The whole body, speaking the truth in love, grows as it build itself up, each part doing its work!
So every member has to own two things. His own discipleship, which is his or her following of Jesus.
Discipling. Which is him or her helping someone else follow Jesus ().
A Great Commission church will cultivate a culture of discipling among its own members.
It helps every member own the responsibility for helping other believers grow in the faith.
Pastors equip the saints for the work of ministry, says Paul (), which means the work of the ministry belongs to all the saints.
Biblically the church is active, not passive. To catch a baseball, you need each part of your body to do this part.
You’re at third base and your brain helps you to remember that this guy ripped one down the base line last time.
So you cheat a bit closer to the bag. You eye watches the ball and your ears hear the ball crack off the bat and the coach yell, “Joel!!”
and your feet and legs take to to the ball and your hands and arms reach to field the ball so that you can fire it over to first for the out.
Now, if you go to make that play and your arm doesn’t show up what’s going to happen? You may get a black eye!!
Now, if 2% of the body of Christ is regularly engaged in discipleship how much of the ball player is going to be there if only 2% of him is there?
A couple of fingers?
Could this be why the American church is on the decline?
So when sermon time is happening, this isn’t entertainment time, it’s part of our equipping time.
Have you ever thought that your personal role is to take the things you learn and join in the overall project of
building up the church towards maturity and attaining the whole measure of the fullness of Christ?
13 "until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of God’s Son, growing into maturity with a stature measured by Christ’s fullness.” ()
Unity is more than having a loving or tolerant attitude.
It is uniting around the core Christian beliefs of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God (cf. v. 5; ; ; see “apostles’ teaching” in ).
Moo, D. J. (2015). The Letters and Revelation. In D. A. Carson (Ed.), NIV Zondervan Study Bible: Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message (p. 2405). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
become mature. Or “to a mature man.” Contrasts with “infants” in v. 14.
14 "Then we will no longer be little children, tossed by the waves and blown around by every wind of teaching, by human cunning with cleverness in the techniques of deceit.” ()
infants. Contrasts with “become mature” in v. 13 (see note there).
tossed. Immaturity leads to instability and susceptibility to every kind of false teaching (cf. ; ; ; ).
Apart from the obvious difference in maturity levels indicated by their ages, the singular “man” also contrasts with the plural “infants” and emphasizes the importance of corporate unity (v. 15)
Moo, D. J. (2015). The Letters and Revelation. In D. A. Carson (Ed.), NIV Zondervan Study Bible: Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message (p. 2406). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
4:15 speaking the truth. The truth of the gospel (v. 21; 1:13) must be proclaimed “in love,” not with a combative attitude.
grow to become … the head. Restatement of v. 13 using the imagery of Christ as head of the body. mature body.
This translation brings out Paul’s emphasis on corporate maturity—the growth of the church.
4:16 Paul continues to use the imagery of the body to describe church growth.
From him. Christ, as head of the body, is the source of sustenance for the church (cf. ).
together … every … each. Shows the necessity of each member utilizing the gifts that Christ has given them (see v. 7 and note) for the corporate growth of the body.
Shows the necessity of each member utilizing the gifts that Christ has given them (see v. 7 and note) for the corporate growth of the body. love. Its repetition (see vv. 2, 15) emphasizes its importance for maturity and unity.
love. Its repetition (see vv. 2, 15) emphasizes its importance for maturity and unity.
9Marks Journal, Winter–Fall, 2015 Cultivate a Culture of Discipling

Great Commission church will cultivate a culture of discipling among its own members. It helps every member own the responsibility for helping other believers grow in the faith. Pastors equip the saints for the work of ministry, says Paul (Eph. 4:11–12), which means the work of the ministry belongs to all the saints.

Moo, D. J. (2015). The Letters and Revelation. In D. A. Carson (Ed.), NIV Zondervan Study Bible: Built on the Truth of Scripture and Centered on the Gospel Message (p. 2406). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
Related Media
Related Sermons