GODíS PLAN FOR EDIFYING THE CHURCH
I. TEXTUAL THOUGHTS
1. Eph 4:7-8 - The Ephesian Christians received gifts according to the grace and plan of Jesus.
2. Eph 4:11-13 - Jesus gave many different responsibilities for the building up of the church.
3. 1 Cor 12:28 - God appointed different people to different works.
4. 1 Cor 10:23-24 - The church is edified when each member seeks the good of other members.
II. THEME: Godís plan for the church is for all members to work together for the good of the body using the gifts and ministries entrusted to them.
1. God places leaders in the church so that it may be edified.
a. The apostles and prophets were given to reveal Godís word to the church
††††††††††††††† (Eph 4:11-12, 1 Cor 12:28, Acts 2: 42, 21:8-11, Eph 3:5, Heb 2:3-4).
b. Evangelists were given to preach the word and to train others in the church
††††††††††††††† (Eph 4:12, 2 Tim 4:2-5, 2 Tim 2:2, Tit 1:4-5).
c. Elders and teachers were given to feed, lead, and oversee the church (Eph 4:11, Acts 15:2, 1 Tim 3:2).
2. God gave gifts by the power of the Holy Spirit to edify the body.
a. Different gifts were given to members (1 Cor 12:7-11, 28; 1 Cor 12:28).
b. All the gifts were important for the edification of the body (1 Cor 14:12, 26).
3. God intends for us to do things that edify the body with the service we give.
a. He wants us to use the opportunities we have (Rom 12:6-13).
b. He wants us to have the right motive for service (1 Cor 13, Rom 12:9, 1 Tim 1:5).
III. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS
∑ God did not give the preacher responsibility for ruling the church. One pastor is never mentioned as church leader, but two or more (Tit 1:4-5, Acts 14:23, 20:28, Eph 4:11).
∑ Pastor, elder, and bishop are used to speak of the same men, those who are appointed in the church to feed, lead, and oversee the church (Eph 4:11, Acts 14:23, 20:17-18, 28).
∑ Men who appoint themselves to rule the church are going against the plan of God (1 Pet 5:2-3, 3 Jn 1:9)
∑ The Bible gives us the words of the apostles and prophets, therefore we do not need present day apostles or prophets to reveal truth to us (Gal 1:6-9, 1 Cor 13:10, Eph 4:13, Matt 7:15-23).
∑ God expects us to give our bodies as living sacrifices, and use our gifts to serve the church (Rom 12:1-8).
IV. MEMORY VERSES: Eph 4:11-12 - It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up. (NIV)