Good sermons hook your interest, show you some truth from the Scriptures and then how to apply it to daily life. Paul’s letter to the church in Ephesus is similar. He starts off with the mind blowing lavish spiritual blessings they already had because of Jesus. Then he unfolds the wonders of the grace of God. In chapter 4 he begins to tells his readers how to live in the good of that.
Walk in your amazing calling
This is character first! Paul urges people in the light of all the glorious grace he has just taught in the first 3 chapters to walk in a manner worthy of that. I could very easily point at public figures in politics and other areas or life, who don’t walk in a manner worthy of what they are. But it’s easy to point out others faults. So I need to continually ask myself am I walking in a manner worthy of the son of the king – do I bear humility, gentleness, patience, bearing with one another in love and maintaining unity? Do you?
Unity looks like being part of one body,with one Spirit and one Hope that comes from one Lord, one faith, one baptism and one God!
God has given out different size portions of grace (or favour) to serve God. They are different gifts and different sizes of gift which He has given. In this passage Paul addresses the five-fold ministry gifts. The language he uses talks about apostles, prophets, evangelist, pastors and teachers is not just of having the gift of apostleship, but being an apostle. The person themself, gifted by the Lord becomes a gift to the church.
The apostle – laying foundations and seeing churches planted in regions beyond
The prophet who has a seasoned ministry of receiving revelation
The evangelist who is gifted at bringing people into the fold.
The pastor who cares for the flock and
The teacher who teaches well.
They become a gift to the church not when they get at doing it themselves, but when the equip the saints for the work of ministry. So an evangelist here is not just someone who regularly wins souls but has an anointing to equip others to win souls.
All of those gifts are still needed because of the “until” in v13. Apostles aren’t just the 12 plus Paul and died out when the last one died out. Apostles aren’t just the New Testament writers either – most didn’t write anything and some of those who did like Mark weren’t recognised as apostles either!
The “until” that requires the continuation of the five fold gifts is that saints need equipping, the church needs building up and full on unity needs to happen with everyone mature. Has that happened yet? No! People are stilled being tossed around by the latest YouTube channel or paperback.
Let’s continue to allow these ministry gifts to build us up, to equip us so that the body grows and is built up in love.