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Riches: Personal Unity=Church Unity

Sufficiency of Christ: Book of Ephesians  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Individual unity brings church unity through God's gifts

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From Procession to Gifts

We have all been a part of them, but are we are a part of the greatest gifts given, Christ, the Church, and the gifts given for the unity of the Church.
(insert slides of graduation procession, wedding procession and funeral procession - all saved on computer already.)
We are used to several kinds of processions in our life and in the lives of others. In fact we have more than likely been a part of each of these. The procession we are going to look at today all happened because of the procession Christ made and the gifts Christ gave.
(Insert Picture Roman Procession saved on computer)
(Briefly discuss a Roman procession)
Jesus victory over death was with a purpose, to give gifts!
Victory with a purpose
To give salvation
To give gifts of grace
To give gifts to be used to bring unity and maturity to the church.
(Transition: Who doesn’t like to receive gifts, and the greatest gift is the Fathers gift of the Christ and that is followed by Christ’s gift)

I. Christ’s Gift

The unity of the body of Christ comes from the person understanding the gifts given and the use of those gifts to promote unity within the body. (Eph4:7-10; Eph4:4-6; Psm68:18; Col1:17; Col2:15; Jn3:13; Eph1:22 and Jer23:24)
Ephesians 4:7–8 NASB95
7 But to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, When He ascended on high, He led captive a host of captives, And He gave gifts to men.”
Ephesians 4:9–10 NASB95
9 (Now this expression, “He ascended,” what does it mean except that He also had descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is Himself also He who ascended far above all the heavens, so that He might fill all things.)
While we may find our unity in the unity of the “One’s” and in case you forgot them here they.
Unity of the One’s promotes unity of the One (church)!
Ephesians 4:4–5 NASB95
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as also you were called in one hope of your calling; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
Ephesians 4:6 NASB95
6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
While there is a diversity of gifts that work together to bring unity to the body of Christ (the church). Unity depends on the possession and application of the gifts of grace that God gives to us through Christ Jesus.
God’s gifts, regarding grace:
Gift of grace (salvation)
Gifts of grace to the church
Gifts of grace for the church
Gifts of grace will have proven results
Gifts of grace bring unity to the church.
With the grace given, comes responsibility, stewardship, the administration of the gifts of grace as Paul addresses in this passage. The gifts come from and are originated from Jesus.
Jesus procession vs. Roman procession
What differs between Jesus procession and the Roman procession, the Roman one demanded gifts from the people then the gifts are used to help the people. In Jesus procession it was so that He could give gifts to men.
Ephesians 3:8 NASB95
8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given, to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
Psalm 68:18 NASB95
18 You have ascended on high, You have led captive Your captives; You have received gifts among men, Even among the rebellious also, that the Lord God may dwell there.
He ascended, but that also means he descended (v.10) so that he may fill all.
Ephesians 4:6 NASB95
6 one God and Father of all who is over all and through all and in all.
and you cannot go wrong with a Colossian reference
Colossians 1:17 NASB95
17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.
Christ was the gift given to the Father, the acceptable sacrifice, so that Christ may give gifts to men.
Christ our victor, lead a victory parade
Colossians 2:15 NASB95
15 When He had disarmed the rulers and authorities, He made a public display of them, having triumphed over them through Him.
Because he ascended into heaven, having come from (descended) heaven, oh wait have a scripture for that
John 3:13 NASB95
13 “No one has ascended into heaven, but He who descended from heaven: the Son of Man.
God appointed Him and
Ephesians 1:22 NASB95
22 And He put all things in subjection under His feet, and gave Him as head over all things to the church,
He is over all and through all and in all so we can be all for Him!
Jeremiah 23:24 NASB95
24 “Can a man hide himself in hiding places So I do not see him?” declares the Lord. “Do I not fill the heavens and the earth?” declares the Lord.
We cannot hid ourselves from God, nor should we hide our gifts (graces). Not using the gifts is trying to hide them, we need to bring them and use them to the fulness of Christ.
Ephesians 3:13 NASB95
13 Therefore I ask you not to lose heart at my tribulations on your behalf, for they are your glory.
So, God received gifts, so Christ could give gifts, and the first gifts given were to the Church!

II. Gifts to the Church

Christ’s gifts “to” the church are important to understand so we can further understand the gifts “for” the church.
Ephesians 4:11 NASB95
11 And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
God gave gifts to the church for a purpose, first let’s look at the gifts, then we will look at the purpose.
He gave some as apostles
He gave some as apostles
an apostle is who who is sent with authority and a message. It is not their message, it does not originate with them. It is from the one who is sending them.
So, specifically these were Christ’s chosen people to be “sent forth.” They were to be God’s mouthpiece after Christ’s ascension (Jn17:6-8, 13, 17-18)
Look at some of the prayer Jesus offered up for them.
John 17:6–7 NASB95
6 “I have manifested Your name to the men whom You gave Me out of the world; they were Yours and You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. 7 “Now they have come to know that everything You have given Me is from You;
John 17:8 NASB95
8 for the words which You gave Me I have given to them; and they received them and truly understood that I came forth from You, and they believed that You sent Me.
Jesus thanked the Father for the Apostles then asks the Father to use them.
John 17:13 NASB95
13 “But now I come to You; and these things I speak in the world so that they may have My joy made full in themselves.
and He sent them with the a prayer and a blessing
John 17:17–18 NASB95
17 “Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. 18 “As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.
Sanctify them, send them, sanctify them through Your Word, send them with Your Word!
Apostles given for a reason (Jn17:20-21)
John 17:20–21 NASB95
20 “I do not ask on behalf of these alone, but for those also who believe in Me through their word; 21 that they may all be one; even as You, Father, are in Me and I in You, that they also may be in Us, so that the world may believe that You sent Me.
Unless you have seen some men who are over 2000 years old, the apostles have since died off, but their message has not. It has been given to us to carry on. We too are sent with authority, just not the power that the apostles had. We cannot qualify as an apostle like they did, we were not there from the beginning of Jesus ministry, we did not witness the resurrection, nor the ascension.
Now leading us to the next gift:
Prophets: Spokesmen for God (1Cor12:10, 28, 13:10; Eph2:20, 3:5; 1Cor13:8-10)
Prophets are more than foretellers, they are forth-tellers
May we look at a few scriptures regarding N.T. Prophets
1 Corinthians 12:10 NASB95
10 and to another the effecting of miracles, and to another prophecy, and to another the distinguishing of spirits, to another various kinds of tongues, and to another the interpretation of tongues.
and then there is
1 Corinthians 12:28 NASB95
28 And God has appointed in the church, first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, various kinds of tongues.
Where in the O.T. we often see a message that was given from God to the Prophet, to tell to the people of what was to come in the future, sometimes forth-telling what God had for His people (i.e. Jer19:10-14). The N.T. Prophets would carry the message of God from place to place. These would assist the Apostles in carrying the message. At the time the letters were not circulated or some even written yet and the prophets helped get God’s and the Apostles word’s out until everything was compiled together.
New Testament Prophets helped the Apostles to carry God’s Word out.
1 Corinthians 13:10 NASB95
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
God’s perfect Word when put together would do away with that which was partial. For, it was no longer needed.
Both of these gifts, both of these offices for the church were foundational for the church but not generational, they were not needed forever.
Here is some scripture to back up the statement
Ephesians 2:20 NASB95
20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone,
Ephesians 3:5 NASB95
5 which in other generations was not made known to the sons of men, as it has now been revealed to His holy apostles and prophets in the Spirit;
1 Corinthians 13:8–9 NASB95
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part;
1 Corinthians 13:10 NASB95
10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.
leading to our next gift (grace)
Evangelists: Those who proclaim the Good News. (2Tim4:5; Act21:8; Mt28:20)
They bring the Good News, invite people to respond to the Good News
I love it, they did not have the prestige of the Apostles, the inspiration of the Prophets, but they are the rank and file of the church now! The missionaries carrying the Good News.
I love the instructions Paul gives to an evangelist
2 Timothy 4:5 NASB95
5 But you, be sober in all things, endure hardship, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry.
Timothy was a great example of an evangelist. Traveled from place to place carrying the message, the Good News. Much like the evangelists today they bring the Good News, they bring the invitation to come to Jesus, to lead people to come to know the truth and respond to the truth.
Another good example was Philip
Acts 21:8 NASB95
8 On the next day we left and came to Caesarea, and entering the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, we stayed with him.
One of the original 7, what would be called deacons, he was an evangelist, you may remember him and an Ethiopian Eunuch.
We are all called to evangelize, but not all called to be an evangelist. The evangelist is not normally the one who disciples the Christian but leads someone to become a Christian. That task is left to another office known as Pastor, Shepher, Overseer, Elder, Bishop depending on version of bible and context you are reading.
Unlike the Apostles and the Prophets, the evangelists are found in every generation of the church.
Matthew 28:20 NASB95
20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
I mentioned Pastor a moment ago, that brings our next gift to the church.
Pastors and teachers (Act20:17, 28; Tit1:5-7; 1Tim3:2)
Where some will link the two together as one gift to the church, it is more apparent with the “and” that they are separate.
Pastor: Poimen (Gk) meaning shepherd, elder, overseer, bishop
Here are some scriptures to show the use.
Acts 20:17 NASB95
17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called to him the elders of the church.
Acts 20:28 NASB95
28 “Be on guard for yourselves and for all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.
Then there is
Titus 1:5–6 NASB95
5 For this reason I left you in Crete, that you would set in order what remains and appoint elders in every city as I directed you, 6 namely, if any man is above reproach, the husband of one wife, having children who believe, not accused of dissipation or rebellion.
Titus 1:7 NASB95
7 For the overseer must be above reproach as God’s steward, not self-willed, not quick-tempered, not addicted to wine, not pugnacious, not fond of sordid gain,
So these Pastors, overseers, shepherds, bishops were to be appointed, who were apt to teach, so it is easy to see the link between Pastors and Teachers.
Shepherds work and compliment the work of the evangelist in teaching the new converts what is to be a christian and to look over the spiritual condition of the flock.
Men who are able to teach.
1 Timothy 3:2 NASB95
2 An overseer, then, must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, prudent, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
It is not God’s plan for Pastor’s to do everything, they have a specific task, to tend to the spiritual condition of the flock as the evangelist is to help lead people to become a part of the flock using the words of the Prophets and the Apostles to do it.
God’s gifts to the church are with a purpose and now let us start a quick look at that.

III. Gifts for the Church

The gifts to the church are gifts for the church, given with a purpose, to be applied, to be used (Eph4:12-13; Eph4:4-6; 1The5:11)
Ephesians 4:12–13 NASB95
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ; 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
Gifts for equipping
The gifts that were given, Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, are for the equipping of the saints for the works of service the Lord has for the church, then, and now! (expand)
Gifts for building up
The gifts that are given, given to build up, encourage and to edify one another (expand)
Gifts to obtain unity of the faith
The gifts that are given are to bring the unity of the faith as mentioned in Eph4:4-6; When we are united in that, then we teach others so that they may be united in that too and there is no division.
Gifts of knowledge of the Son of God
The gifts that are given, given so we may know, so we may have knowledge, wisdom, understanding and in turn sharing, teaching that to others about the Son of God
The leadership helps with the equipping so the church can do the works of service and to bring unity to the body of Christ. Another great scripture to add to this.
1 Thessalonians 5:11 NASB95
11 Therefore encourage one another and build up one another, just as you also are doing.
For the equipping with a purpose comes with a purposed result

IV. Purposed results of the gifts

The purposed results of the gifts, ah, they bring many things. To mold, to equip, to supply, to prepare, to form and shape, to mend, to bring comfort, to restore and to bring unity.
Ephesians 4:14–15 NASB95
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; 15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
Purposed results: Maturity that is strong, rooted and grounded
The results are we are not swayed in the winds of time, not tossed by the waves/seas of different doctrines, nor easily tickled or deceived by the schemes of man.
Resulted gifts:
Purposed results: Able to speak in truth with love, to maturity
The results are on body who is bold, truthful, filled with love for others who is willing to share the truth with others so all may grow to maturity in all aspects.
Ephesians 4:16 NASB95
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.
The church, as a whole has unity of faith because we have the gifts of grace that were given to the church and for the church so we may know:
That we are being fit together
Purposed results: Being built up in love!
That we each have a part, a proper part, individual part to bring and use
That it is for the building up of itself (the church) in love
Purposed results, the application
To teach (Lk6:40)
To equip (1The3:10)
To prepare (Heb10:5)
To form, mold and shape (Heb11:3)
To mend (Mt4:21)
To comfort (2Cor13:11)
To restore (Gal6:1)
To bring harmony (1Cor1:10)
(insert slide with cog’s on it working together; already saved on computer)
It’s about unity, it’s about family, it’s about maturity of the body, as one body, with many parts to form one body that works together.
Come work with us by being a part of the body and bringing your part to the body to be used.
(invitation slide)
(stop recording)
(invitation slide)
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let us start a quick look at that.
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