“The Gifts Christ Gave To The Church”

11 Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers.— Ephesians 4:11 NLT

Ephesians 4:11-16 NLT

Christ has given 5 gifts to the church, these are known as the 5-fold ministry. They are not given to the leaders so they can do all the work. They are given to the church leaders so that they can equip the laypeople (that’s us) to do the witnessing, visiting, and serving. They build up God’s church by training and encouraging us. Learning to do these things is how we grow to maturity in Christ. When we are new Christians, we can be easily misled by those who are in authority, but as we learn, we should be able to “stand against the wiles of the devil”. One of his tricks is to use Christians to mislead others. Choose carefully those to whom you listen. There are sheep in wolves clothing trying to deceive the elect. Always cross check every message and lesson with the Bible. Don’t be swayed by charisma, charm or emotions. “Be rooted and grounded” and stand firm. As we mature, we become more like Jesus. Follow His example, speak the truth in love and lead others to Jesus.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post -09-11-2019

Gifts Are to be Used for God’s Glory

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11 Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? 12 Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.” — Exodus 4:11, 12 NLT

God has given each of us particular gifts and we use those gifts daily in our secular lives but when God asks us to use them for His work, we suddenly pretend we don’t have those abilities.  Take Moses, for instance, forty years earlier, Moses had no problem taking charge.  He killed an Egyptian who was beating a slave. The next day, he comes out and tells the slaves to quit fighting each other.  Those are characteristics of a leader. But, now after forty years of desert training, when God wants Him to use those same talents to free His people and lead them through the desert, Moses suddenly can’t.  If  you think God was happy with Moses, you are wrong.  In fact, He met Moses and was about to kill him and would have except for the actions of Zipporah.(Exodus 4:24-26)


In today’s world, think about the effectiveness of the church if:
Every school teacher volunteered to teach Sunday School
Every CEO or business leader volunteered for a leadership/mentoring position
Everyone who served others in any position served in the church
Whatever talent you have, you used that talent in the church

Just think about this:  The Creator of the universe, the Omniscient God would not ask us to do a job that He has not specifically given us the talent and the training to do.  If God knew someone else could do the job better than we could, then He would have called them instead of us!  The next time we feel that little nudge to volunteer, before we say “no”,  think about the results in the parable of the talents (Matt. 25:14-30).

 
10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. ​ — Eph. 2:10 NLT​
“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous
Post 09-20-2018

“Let Love Be Your Highest Goal”

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31 Now eagerly desire the greater gifts.​ ​

1 If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.–1 Cor. 1​2:3​1-​1​3​:1 NIV

​In chapter 12, Paul has been explaining the importance of each individual in being part of the body of Christ. He ends chapter 12 with the instructions to desire the greater gifts. Before the translators came up with  divisions of chapters and verses, this would have been a continuation of Paul’s words without an interruption. Paul immediately launches into an elongated definition of love, giving us the “love” chapter of Corinthians 13. This is a pretty strong hint in what Paul considers to be the most important aspect of Christianity. Unless our words are backed up with actions of love, we are just making noise and creating much ado about nothing. Then Paul starts chapter 14 with this verse
 
Let love be your highest goal! But you should also desire the special abilities the Spirit gives—especially the ability to prophesy   –1 Cor. 14:1 NLT

Paul continues his letter with a discussion of gifts and their use in  the church.  Remember that Paul wrote these two letters to the Corinthians because they were having issues in the church about gifts and who was the most important. So, right in the middle of this discourse on the body of Christ and the gifts God has given us, he pauses to emphasize that none of this is about us.  It is about serving God in love and unity. Use your gift in love to edify others, but don’t think that it makes you any more important than anyone else in the congregation.

“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post  04-03-2018

Body Parts

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27 All of you together are Christ’s body, and each of you is a part of it. – 1 Cor.12:27 NLT
 
Paul, using the comparison of the physical body to the Spiritual body of Christ, continues to emphasize over and over, the importance of each part. The parts of the Spiritual body are the gifts that the Holy Spirit has placed in each of us. Each smaller body of Christ, the individual congregations, must have the parts to function in unity. All of the gifts are given to edify the complete body.  Each congregation must have those with gifts of leadership. But not everyone can be a leader, so there are other positions to fill. God has given each of us a specific gift that is necessary for the body.

 

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. — 1 Peter 4:10 NIV

Each of us should study, meditate and pray so that we might know our gift and use it effectively. The gifts are not given to us for our own possession, but for the benefit of the whole body. Unless we share the gift, it is of no value to us or to our congregation. The gifts are given to each of us to share with others.

33 “No one lights a lamp and puts it in a place where it will be hidden, or under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, so that those who come in may see the light. — Luke 11:33 NIV


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 04-02-2018

Oh No! Where’s My Toe?

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If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. 
​- Romans 12:7 NLT
 

If you have ever had a problem with your big toe, then you are aware of some of the issues it can cause. Our toes, especially the big toe, help us balance and propel us forward when we are walking or running. So, when we have toe problems, our body will naturally try to compensate for that and pretty soon, it will affect the ankle, then the leg, the knee, the hip and the back.  If the toe issue continues long enough, we will develop other skeletal problems. Other parts of the body have varying functions. Just try to pick up anything substantial without using your thumb. It doesn’t work so well, does it?  the point is for the body to function efficiently, it needs every part doing what it is designed to do. The body of Christ, the Church, is the same way. We are each a part of the body and God has given each one of us a gift to help the rest of the body.  If any of us refuse to use the gift we have been given, then, eventually the whole body suffers. If the church we attend isn’t functioning properly, is it possible that we are the malfunctioning body part? Whatever gift God has given you, the body needs it to complete the mission God has given to the Church.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” – Anonymous

Post 03-14-2018

Abundant Wisdom

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17 But the wisdom from above is first of all pure. It is also peace loving, gentle at all times, and willing to yield to others. It is full of mercy and the fruit of good deeds. It shows no favoritism and is always sincere. — James 3:17 NLT
Earthly wisdom is the wisdom that leads to quarrels and chaos. It is based on our egos and leads us into all kinds of evil trying to satisfy our fleshly lusts. It leads us to make statements that are boastful and not approved by the Holy Spirit. Earthly wisdom says “me first”. Earthly wisdom is foolishness to God.

19 As the Scriptures say, “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and discard the intelligence of the intelligent.” 20 So where does this leave the philosophers, the scholars, and the world’s brilliant debaters? God has made the wisdom of this world look foolish.–1 Cor. 1:19-20 (NLT)
 

God has given us access to His wisdom. It is there just for the asking. This is the wisdom that is pure, peace-loving, gentle and full of mercy. Godly wisdom leads us to put Jesus first, others second and ourselves last. We are blessed because we become peacemakers and we will reap a harvest of righteousness.


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 06-04-2017

Gifted to Give!

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 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.– Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
 

Our salvation is a gift from God, we didn’t earn it by works and we didn’t purchase it with favor or money.  It was God’s plan before the foundations of the earth were laid.  As Paul said, if we boast, we must boast in Christ Jesus alone.  Does this negate works?  Not at all, we are saved to work, not by our works.  Just as it was God’s plan to send Jesus to purchase our redemption with His blood, it was always God’s plan that we would have a part in His kingdom work here on earth.  God has gifted each of us with a spiritual gift to be used in His work.  Some of us are preachers, others are teachers, others encourage, others have gifts of helps.  The list of gifts is lengthy, because we all have a part in God’s plan and purpose.  Make a commitment today to ask God about your gift and how to use it in His plan.

1 Peter 4:7-11 NKJV


“The Gospel has come to you because it’s on its way to someone else.” -Anonymous

Post 11-10-2016