Tuesday, October 04, 2022
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Using Your Gifts (Union Gospel Press)
Unity in the Community (Standard Publishing)
Lesson 9 Nov 2, 2008
Place: Rome (while Paul is under house arrest)
Lesson: Eph. 4:1-16
Read: 1 Corinthians 12:3-21; Ephesians 4:16
Facts: Study the walk of Christians, seven required unities, imparted gifts and gifted leaders, and edification of whole body of Christ.
Principle: realize that the love of believers for God and for one another brings church harmony.
Application: help believers to strive for Spirit-led maturity.
Introducing The Lesson
What do we think of when we evaluate a church?
Too often we look only at the building size, size of membership, seating capacity, programs, or even social class of it’s members.
Why are there so many Church?
The answer to this question can be very complicated and will involve understanding of church history. On the other hand, a simple common thread is, churches divide when people cannot agree over issues such as control, organization, or even doctrine.
You will find in most churches today division that often stems from What do we think of when we evaluate a church? And Why are there so many Church?
Today we seem to accept the divided church….
We still are far from a united church and for sure a united body in this unbelieving world. It does not have to be this way. When Christ has already prayed for the unity of the church (John 17:21-22)21That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.  22And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
The biggest challenge of Paul’s day was from those who wanted to make or continue to promote certain distinctions between Jew and Gentile within the church.
We need to remind ourselves that Christian maturity should be our goal.
Developing the Lesson
(1)   The Walk (Eph. 4:1-3)
1I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called,  2With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love;  3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
In 1Corinthains 12, Paul explained the nature of spiritual gifts as coming from one source, the Lord, and having the basic purpose of serving and strengthening the body of Christ, the church.
As he wrote to the Ephesians, he first emphasized the Christian’s responsibility to recognize his high calling (vocation) and to live a life modeling such. Such conduct would have as it’s result the unity of the local church within the Holy Spirit.
The believer was expected to be meek and gentle, showing patience with other Christians in a genuine demonstration of brotherly love.
(2)   The Unities (Eph. 4:4-6)(our source of unity)
4There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  5One Lord, one faith, one baptism,  6One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.
Paul is say there is one body (the church universal), one Spirit (the Holy Spirit), one hope (a future with God), one Lord (meaning Father, Son, and Holy Spirit), one faith (the truth about Jesus), one baptism (into the body of Christ – 1Cor. 12:13 For by one Spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Jews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free; and have been all made to drink into one Spirit. And one God and Father of all.
Unity is grounded in the nature of God.
(3)   The Gifts (Eph. 4:7-11)
7But unto every one of us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of Christ.  8Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.  9(Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?  10He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.)  11And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
God gives to each believer particular spiritual gifts. They are given on an individual basis. They are not identical from one believer to another.
Romans 12:6-8 (6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;  7Or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching;  8Or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.)
They are to be used in the within the body for the benefit of the church.
(4)   The Maturity (Eph. 4:12-16)
12For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:  13Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  14That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive;  15But speaking the truth in love, may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ:  16From 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 unto the edifying of itself in love.
An other word for perfecting might be maturing, Christians must grow in Christ likeness. Paul urges believers to speak the truth in love and to grow into the pattern set by Christ. Remembering Christ is the Head.