17 Mar THE CHURCH 10. ITS MINISTRY (Ephesians 4:11-16)
What is the purpose of the church? What does it…do?
Glorify, Edify, Multiply… How?
“A community of Christians who live as an on-the-ground expression of the supremacy of Jesus, by advancing the gospel in distance, and advancing the gospel in depth” (Jonathan Parnell)
How? By ministry
Ministry: 4 simple questions
What is it?
Who does it?
How do they do it?
What are the results?
Ministry: 3 dangers
What are they?
How can we avoid them?
1. MINISTRY: WHAT IS IT?
4:12: “for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ”
Gr. diakonia – act of serving or ministering
Wide range of uses:
domestic service (Martha, in Luke 10:40)
serving others (Rom 12:6-8, 1 Cor 16:15)
sending relief (Acts 11)
providing for physical needs (Acts 6)
teaching the Bible and prayer (Acts 6:4)
Up to God in worship (Eph 1:12)
In to church in nurture (Col 1:28)
Out to the world in Evangelism & Mercy (Matt 28:19, Luke 6:35-36)
Eph 2:10: “For we are his workmanship,
created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them”
“Ministry is something I do”
We think event-based and not life-based
Acts 20:24 – “but I do not account my life of any value…
if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus…”
Ephesians 4, 5, 6 shows how we should minister in church, in the home, in the world. All areas of life!
2. MINISTRY: WHO DOES IT?
4:11: “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherd and teachers to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for the building up of the body of Christ”
the saints. That’s you if you are a Christian (Eph 1:1)
we are given gifts (4:7, 1 Cor 12, Rom 7) by Jesus to use in ministry
we are given leaders to equip us (4:11-12)
equip – to mend (Mark 1:19), to strengthen (1 Pet 5:10), to supply
(1 Thess 3:10), to ‘perfect’
equip – by example, by instruction, by working alongside
“Ministry is their job”
A danger that we come to church as consumers, and not as participants. Thoughts/words such as:
“I was disappointed in…”
“That/this/the other didn’t meet my needs”
Disappointment in each other damages our ministry, it damages worship, it damages love for one another, it damages our witness to the world.
Gen 4:3-7 – “sin is crouching at the door”
Ephesians 4:32 – “forgiving one another just as God in Christ forgave you”
3. MINISTRY: HOW DO WE DO IT?
4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to
grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…”
Speak the truth about the gospel, about sin, about the Saviour, about heaven, hell & eternity, about God’s love, faithfulness & sovereignty.
Speak about my testimony, what God is doing, what He has done
Do it whilst practically loving people (1 John 3:18)
How do I love people? Write a card, send flowers, go visit, give financially & in time, do a DIY job, open your home, feed the hungry, pray, spend time, esteem others more highly than us, teach the truth, encourage the downhearted, share joys & sorrows, forgive quickly…
Do both, both inside and outside the church (Gal 6:10)
4:15 “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into him who is the head, into Christ…”
Individually & corporately
Love but no truth = risk of love fading, shallow depth, ‘social gospel’,
Truth but no love = cold, hard, possibly hypocritical or legalistic
4. MINISTRY: WHAT ARE THE RESULTS?
“no longer be children” (4:14a)
“mature manhood” (4:13)
no longer be insecure in our faith (4:14b)
“until we all attain to the unity of faith” (4:13)
“and [unity] of knowledge” (4:13)
“joined and held together” with Christ (4:16)
“for building up the body of Christ” (4:12)
“makes the body grow, so it builds itself up in love” (4:16)