|Ephesians 4:11-16 Five ministry gifts that are vital to the church to fulfill its destiny|
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
Ephesians 4:12 For the perfecting [total equipping] of the saints [Christians], for the work of the ministry [service], for the edifying [building up] of the body of Christ:
Ephesians 4:13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect [mature or complete] man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:
Ephesians 4:14 That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight [trickery] of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;
Ephesians 4:15 But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:
Ephesians 4:16 From whom the whole body fitly joined together and compacted by that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body to the edifying of itself in love.
It is normal for the natural mind to disregard all or part of this scripture. There are many ways to eliminate the Bible and what the Holy Spirit says through the Bible. Some have said that this was only for the apostolic age (whatever the apostolic age might be). Some say that the Bible isn't to be taken seriously.
Some say that we need to add our rationalized and speculative ideas to the Bible and change this. They add human ideas about this unity that the Bible talks about.
Only Christ can do any edifying. In understanding Ephesians 4:12-16, you must go back to the main verb, edoken, in verse 11. Christ gave the gifts. He gave the office of apostle. He gave the four ministries. Those gifts are not the persons but the Christ in those persons, as another passage says, "Christ in us, the hope of glory." The text cannot be read any other way than to understand that these gifts are performing all of this work as the gifts proceed from Christ. Grace means, literally, free gift. This is grace, and we know from Scripture that it is grace that does any work that is done. In fact, God could give no greater gift, so He gave us of Himself. He chooses to do it through apostles, ones sent. He chooses to not use those who send themselves or who are sent by men. It is plain from the Greek that it is not gifted people who do any of this work, but rather the Gift Himself does the work through the members. This is true whether it is the apostle who is totally equipping and completing the member or the member who is now also moving in the power and authority of the same gift. When any member comes into submission to the apostle, that person carries the same anointing and authority of the apostle just as long and to the extent that they are in submission. They are not submitting to a man but to Christ Himself. If you can discern the Body of Christ, you will see this. If you see this, flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but your Father in Heaven has revealed it.
You can go many places on the internet, on Christian radio, or in the religious world where you will find people twisting this Scripture. They will twist "apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;" into "teacher/pastors", or "pastor/teacher", or "evangelists, pastors, teachers", or some other misquote. It is evil to twist the traveling elders and deacons, the apostles, into locally abiding pastors. Nowhere in the Bible does it talk about locally abiding pastors. There are locally abiding elders who pastor (care for the church as a shepherd does sheep) the members, and those men receive no money for what they do. They receive a double measure of honor. The Bible says what it says. The Scripture cannot be broken. Satan hates the Bible and he hates God's church and the orders of God's church. If you see someone doing this, run, do not walk, away.
Let God be true and every man a liar.
God is in the process of restoring this order and power to the Church. There are counterfeits, of course. The real is still real. Don't let any person steal your destiny with lies.
The gainsayers may rationalize away Scripture, saying: "That was for the apostolic age." That's a good one; you can get rid of any part of the Bible at all by saying that. Here is another one: "Those Scriptures are no longer valid." Or, how about this one: "Tongues and prophecy are cessation gifts because 1 Corinthians 13 says that they will cease when that which is perfect is come and the Bible is perfect, so they have ceased." Taking from the Bible in this way is very disrespectful to God. But they don't leave it there. They attack the Holy Ghost. This is very dangerous because they put themselves into a position where God can no longer lead them.
An unbeliever writes, "Master/Slave relationship? Who would want to become a slave? No wonder so few are becoming Christians." He is very astute. That is the exact reason that some people claim to not believe in God. They are willingly ignorant and refuse to acknowledge God. They know, intuitively, that the relationship is that of submission to authority. Too bad many who call themselves Christians don't have this understanding. Jesus said, "Count the cost."
If you become a slave to Love, this is what you will be like: patient, kind, forgiving, stable in righteousness, enduring, knowing the difference between good and evil, truth and error, following God's patterns for life, and always choosing the good and the true, filled with the Spirit no matter what, and able to see God's vision of hope.
Then, you will not have pride, or be self-righteous. You will not boast, compare yourself to others, lie, covet, envy, steal, cheat, commit any sexual sin/perversion, have a disrespectful attitude toward God or any person, disobey God, or be rude, critical, demanding, irritable, unjust, resentful, or bitter.
You would never follow that which is demonic. You will not be drawn toward demonic, sensual/sexual, disorderly, disrespectful, or angry music or entertainment. If you become a slave of Jesus, which is a slave of Love, then you will hear His voice and yield to it, and the love of God will flow out through your heart by the Holy Ghost. This is a progressive experience where His voice becomes more clear over time and your ability to allow Love to flow through you and do God's work increases over time. You will see and discern the Kingdom of Heaven. You will see and discern the Body of Christ and have a deep respect and holy awe for the Christ in every member no matter how mature or immature they are in Christ. When people knowingly reject the idea of going deeper in Christ and walking in His patterns and precepts, they show that they do not want love. When people are driven toward all these things that are listed here, they show that they do not want Jesus.
For those who have come to God to know God by the one method that God has provided, belief in Jesus as Savior from slavery to Satan, this is written: "The love of God is poured out through our hearts [shed abroad in our hearts] by the Holy Ghost Who has been given to us." That's a bit different from religious forms, isn't it?
Let God be true and every man a liar.
Apostles are given the responsibility of protecting the entire flock of God from the attack of the enemy, but with so many voices in the world, each one claiming to be the one that should be listened to, how can you know? You are responsible to be close enough to God so that you can tell the difference between false apostles and real apostles.
Read the complete
definition of "Apostle."
Last updated: Aug, 2011
Toons & Vids
Ephesians 4:7-8 An apostle must be called and appointed by God to be an apostle
Ephesians 4:7, 8, 11 Apostle is an office, not a ministry. Prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers are ministries, not offices.
Ephesians 4:11-16 Five ministry gifts that are vital to the church to fulfill its destiny
Ephesians 4:11-16, The Purpose And Duration Of The 5 Ministry Gifts
Ephesians 4:12-16 The Apostles Equip Believers So the Believers Can Minister (Serve) Until Completeness
Ephesians 4:14 Winds of Doctrine
Ephesians 4:15-16, Body Ministry By That Which Every Joint Supplies
Ephesians 4:20-24 Righteousness Leads to Holiness: be renewed in the spirit of your mind (renewing the mind is repentance, and it is holiness) . . . put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness
Ephesians 4:24-30 Righteousness, Holiness, and Redemption and How they Work Together in You
Ephesians 4:23, Let God Be Your Knowledge, Wisdom, And Understanding Flowing Through Your Mind.
Ephesians 4:29 Let No Corrupt Communication Proceed Out Of Your Mouth, But That Which Edifies, That It May Minister Grace To The Hearers.
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