Healthy LaborWritten by 9th Avenue Church of Christ on Jul 17, 2016 in - No Comments
Part of the Series “Healthy Things Grow” – Lesson #3 of 3
A. Attitudes and knowledge are wonderful and necessary assets, but without work, they will do us no good.
B. Paul recognized that, and as he concludes Ephesians 4:1-16, he shares some important words about the work of a healthy congregation.
A. A Division of Labor (Ephesians 4:11)
1. Apostles and prophets tie to the previous verses (Ephesians 4:7-9), and show us that these were temporary gifts given by the Lord Himself. The ability to lead was passed to elders.
2. Prophets were necessary before the completion of the New Testament. Now, there are evangelists and shepherd-teachers.
3. The key is that the work of the church was divided for greatest effectiveness.
4. But this is dealing with leadership. Paul then turns to all members.
B. All are Laborers (Ephesians 4:12)
1. “To equip the saints for the work of ministry…” All Christians are saints, so all are involved in the work.
2. “Equip” (KJV, “perfecting”) literally means that the work is already perfectly done. In other words, our job is not done until every member is involved in a perfect ministry!
3. “Ministry” comes from the same term as “deacon.” It means “service.”
4. A congregation is wise that has a program of work that is wide enough to involve every member, and deep enough where their work is significant and meaningful.
C. A Perfect Example (Ephesians 4:13)
1. Ephesians 4:13 is one of the most challenging verses in Scripture. It sets the standard for a congregation as being that of looking just like Jesus Christ!
2. And “we all” are involved in this.
3. “Knowledge of the Son of God” means that we know the person behind the information. We are intimately connected with Jesus Christ.
4. When we do that, we are stretching to maturity; to looking like Jesus.
Conclusion: If a church will seek healthy attitudes, healthy teaching, and healthy labor, what difference can it make?
Ephesians 4:14: Doctrinal error will be kept at bay
Ephesians 4:15-16a: Worldliness, apathy, and division will be stopped
Ephesians 4:16b: The church will grow