Gifts & Calling // Part 2
Bible Text: Ephesians 4:11-13 | Speaker: Parkey Cobern | Series: Gifts & Calling | For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. /// ROMANS 11:29 (NKJV)
This is indeed a powerful scripture. It was originally written to describe the unchangeable ministry of the nation of Israel. But, how can a nation be called to ministry if the people who make up that nation are not called to ministry? A nation is called because of the individual calling of the people. And, God does not call that which He does not empower to fulfill the calling. Therefore, God has both called and gifted for ministry. Is this gifting and call simply for Israel or does it apply to spiritual Israel as well – of which we are a part? Let’s take a look:
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. /// EPHESIANS 4:11-13 (NKJV)
What is this scripture telling us?
1. There is an existing five – fold ministry
The Bible clearly details five ministry callings that are delegated the work of preparing the saints for the work of the ministry. These ministry callings are delegated the authority to teach, disciple, enlist, and discipline those under their care.
2. Called to equip the saints
The word “equip” used in this passage relates to what is given by the five-fold ministry. What is given is the Word of God and the Spirit of God to bring about that which furnishes completeness. In other words, there is a distinct set of teachings and contacts that produce a specific outcome. The five-fold ministry is called to provide the teaching and the contacts that are intended to produce the outcome God desires for the saints – not a special class of a few.
3. To do the work of the ministry
What does the desired outcome produce? The work of the ministry. Work is defined as that which puts forth energy to accomplish something/purpose. So, focused effort is expended in this endeavor toward a defined purpose. The purpose is called ministry. This is defined most simply as Spirit empowered service. The word service indicates what ministry is. It is effort put forth to meet the needs of others. Let’s sum up:
The calling of the five-fold ministry group is to release the Word of God and the Spirit of God to furnish maturity in the people of God which is evidenced by their focused effort in Spirit empowered service to meet the needs of others. What does this service to others produce?
1. Edification of the body of Christ
The service the people of God provides builds up individual members of the body of Christ in such a way that those individual members become more mature and stable in the faith.
2. Till all come together in Christ’s heart and service
The service of the people toward other members that produces maturity and stability in faith will bring the body of Christ to be centered around glorifying Jesus and working toward His goal. Unity is more than getting along – it is coming together to complete the Great Commission.
3. By the use of what is called “contact knowledge”
Contact knowledge is defined as knowledge gained through first-hand relationship — first-hand experiential knowing. This type of knowledge cannot be attained through the study of concepts but comes through the relational contact with what is being studied. So, if we are obtaining knowledge of Christ then this knowledge would come through relational contact with Christ. The body of Christ plays an indispensable role in releasing this contact knowledge. Do all in the body of Christ have gifts?
xárisma (from “grace,” /xáris) – properly, the operation of grace (divine favor), i.e. a grace-endowment to edify the Church (note the -ma suffix, focusing on the end-result of the endowment of grace).
/xárisma (“grace-gift”) divinely empowers a believer to share God’s work with others, i.e. Spirit-empowered service to the Church to carry out His plan for His people.
Do all in the body of Christ have a calling? To do what? What does Romans 11:29 say about the calling?
ametamélētos (an adjective, derived from /A “not” and /metamelomai, “regret”) – properly, no change of concern (interest), i.e. without regret or remorse for an action because it was done from deep conviction (true concern).
Do we want more glory?
Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. /// EPHESIANS 3:20-21 (NKJV)
Romans 11:29 (NKJV)
Ephesians 4:11-13 (NKJV)
Ephesians 3:20-21 (NKJV)
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