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CHRIST’S PROVISION FOR HIS CHURCH                        Lesson I

I.      EPHESIANS 4:11(11 And HE GAVE some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.)

A.  He gave. The Lord Jesus Christ gave these ministry gifts.

B. When did He give them?

1.    When He ascended on High taking with Him the Old Testament saints who had awaited the consummation of God’s great plan of redemption since their physical death in Paradise— Abraham’s bosom.

C. EPHESIANS 4:8-10 (8 Wherefore he saith, WHEN HE ASCENDED UP ON HIGH, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.)

II.   For what purpose did He give these ministry gifts?


B. 1st For the equipping (perfecting KJV) of the saints.

1.     The Greek word (KATARTISMOS) translated “perfecting,” according to W. E. Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words.

2.    It means, “a fitting or preparing fully, implying a process leading to consummation.”

a)  “The bringing of something to a satisfying conclusion, or the final satisfying completion or achievement of something.”

(1)  The saints will never reach maturity without the ministry gifts.

C. 2nd Equipping of the saints “For the work of the ministry.”

1.    It takes all of us to do the work of the Ministry.

D. 3rd For the edifying of the Body of Christ.

III. How long did He give the ministry gifts?

A. EPHESIANS 4:13 (TILL WE ALL COME in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, UNTO THE MEASURE OF THE STATURE OF THE FULNESS OF CHRIST.)

1.    These ministry gifts are Christ’s own provision to the church for continual ministry in His Church until He comes again.

2.  When & how often. If you have a change to sit under any sanctioned minister (Ministry gift of the church you belong to) you should be there.

a)    If you believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, you need to believe in all His Word.

b)  Does he lead and guide the ministry gifts?

(1)  Then you need to listen to the Word they are telling you about coming to church and service to the Lord.
(2)  I would rather be home, but I don’t.
(3)  The Lord has called us to be here, you have a free will to obey the Lord or not. (success or failure is in your hands.)

B. What is the ultimate aim in all ministry?

1.       Verse 13 (EPH 4:11-13)

a)    1st He says, “Till we all come to the unity.”

(1)  Bring body to a place of unity.
(a)   Unity with one another
(b)   Unity with all the body(unity of the faith)

b)    2nd He says, “and of the knowledge of the Son of God.”

(1)  The Wuest Translation says, “experiential, full, and precise knowledge of the Son of God”[1]  
(2)  The only way were going to come to this place is through the study of the Word of God, and through a personal relationship with Him.

c)     3rd Then he says “to a perfect man”

(1)  Most translate that as “A mature man.”
(2)  Once again the Wuest says, “to a spiritually mature man”

d)    4th the next phrase, “to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”[2] means to be Christ like (in fullness).

2.       Now read Verse 14

3.       Verses 15-16

a)    The Church needs all-round spiritual growth to arrive at her destined perfection in Christ.

b)    Spiritual children are easily disturbed and swept about by false things.

c)  The ministry gifts Christ placed in the Church help us grow up into His image.

d)  We cannot reach that place without the function of the fivefold ministry.

(1)  Some areas of Christendom have not matured beyond a certain stage of growth because they recognize only two or three ministry gifts: evangelist and pastor, and sometimes teacher.

!! We’ve been looking at EPH 4:11 which talks about the ministry gifts.

C. Summary: The ultimate aim of all ministry is not for self glory or to magnify the human in any way.

1.    There needs to be respect towards the ministry gifts, but they are not to be worshipped.

2.        Heb 13:17

D. The focus of the 5-fold ministry gifts is toward the body. They are not always ministering to the body. Sometimes they will minister to those that are lost, but their goal is to bring them into the body.


A. 1 CORINTHIANS 12:27-28

B. It is interesting that Paul gives numbers to each of the 1st 3 ministry gifts.

1.    If you notice that in verses 4:10 (1Cor 12:4-10) Paul is talking about the gifts of the Spirit.

a)    He is trying to bring some order to the operation of the gifts. We know there were some things that were out of order.

b)    It is very possible that the church at Corinth elevated the gifts of the Spirit and relegated the 5-fold ministry gifts.

2.    So, in his teaching he is saying that the gifts of the Spirit are great, but it is much more needful for you to have the ministry gifts.

C.  Looking at verse 28, Paul lists the 1st 2 ministry gifts in the same order as Eph 4:11. (Apostles and Prophets)

1.     So why does he leave off the Evangelist and the Pastor in the list in 1 Cor 12:28?

a)    He really doesn’t. The pastor is also a teacher and the evangelist is found in the Gifts of Healings.

(1)  The Gifts of Healings are very predominant in an evangelist ministry.

2.    Neither of these 2 lists are in any direct order.

a)    To the local church the pastor and the teacher are the most important.

b)    To the lost the evangelist is the most important. To the Body of Christ as a whole the Apostle and the prophet are the most important.

(1)  Quite often the Apostles and Prophets will bring forth a teaching that will flow from them to the pastors and teachers.    

D. In verse 28 he says, “God has appointed these in the Church.” There is a divine call.

1.    Ephesians 4:11 says “Jesus gave.” This passage says “God has appointed.”

2.    God sets ministry gifts in the Church — not man.

a)    There is a vast difference between God’s setting some in the Church — and man’s setting some in the Church.

b)    A study of Church history reveals how down through the centuries various groups have endeavored to get back to what they call New Testament practices.

(1)  They’ve set up organizations which often were something man manufactured — something in the flesh, something carnal
(2)  They “called” and “set” people who had no divine calling into certain offices. This is unscriptural
(a)   God does the setting. God does the calling.
(3)  Some people have had their lives ruined by people telling them that they are called to preach.
(a)   They make a mess of things.

3.       1 Tim 3:1-7; 8-10

V.  Now if God does call you to the 5-flod ministry, you need time to be alone with the Lord.

A. He usually wont call you to minister in your home area, not at 1st. You need to prove yourself 1st.

1.    Jesus wasn’t received in His home town. Paul wasn’t received in Jerusalem.

a)    Now Paul could have come back after he proved himself.

B. If God does call you, He will equip you. (Supernatural equipment)

1.       Rom 11:29

2.    (Rom 1:6 from the Message translation), “Through him we received both the generous gift of his life and the urgent task of passing it on to others who receive it by entering into obedient trust in Jesus. You are who you are through this gift and call of Jesus Christ!” [3]

a)    You don’t have to struggle to find you position. God will use you right where you are and He will promote.

(1)  If He is not in it, it will fall apart.

C. Once you know that God has called you, you need to be a man or woman of integrity.

1.    Look at Psa 15:4 (NIV Says, “who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord, who keeps his oath even when it hurts,”[4]).


[1]Wuest, Kenneth S. The New Testament : An Expanded Translation. First Published in 3 Vols., 1956-59, Under Title: Expanded Translation of the Greek New Testament., Eph 4:7. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1997, c1961.

[2]The New King James Version, Eph 4:13. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1996, c1982.

[3]Peterson, Eugene H. The Message : The Bible in Contemporary Language, Ro 1:5-6. Colorado Springs, Colo.: NavPress, 2003.

[4]The Holy Bible : New International Version, Ps 15:4. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996, c1984.

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