Ephesians 4:7-10

The Purpose of the Church Part 2


Intro: I had an interesting experience the other day at Wal-Mart – I experienced something new

A) In fact these days when I go shopping it usually is w/ one purpose to get in & out of the Store as quickly as possible


B) I know exactly what I am looking for – where to find it – and if it is not there – I am gone – I am out of there


C) Well on this particular day I found what I was looking for & headed for the Check out stands – They were all backed up a mile / 50,000 people

1)Now I am debating/ do I really want to stand here for an hr. for one thing?


It was then that I noticed that the there were some Checkout stands open down at the end – but no one was using them

A) They were the ones that read – self serve Check out – Now I had never used one of those – Thinking why are they empty – what is the Problem


B) I’m thinking – it must be pretty hard – because no one is using them – if I go over there and get stuck – Intercom “ Customer service needed for idiot who can’t figure out the Self serve Check out” So I am  Debating …….


C) Just then I see this nice older lady – go thru – I decide to go watch her – well by the time I get over there she is already done

1) I casually say: These seem pretty amazing – is it hard – She is like no so simple – she walks me thru it – I’m done walking out in 2 Minutes


D) As I am walking out – I’m feeling pretty good about myself – I just conquered the self serve Check out – I saved 20 minutes

1) I look back at the lines – still haven’t moved – I am thinking in my head – those poor computer illiterate people – I wanted to shout – it is easy



E) That was my 1st thought – my 2nd thought was sobering – I thought wow if these things catch on – People are going to lose their Jobs

1) That is not good at all


F) My 3rd thought was terrifying – That could happen to me – What if they come up with Computerized Preachers

1) Pick a button – Funny guy today / I want the pick me up sermon / today I want to be Convicted – (good beating)  { I am going to become extinct


G) I literally thought that for about 5 minutes it was horrible –


Well truth be told as helpful / convenient  / efficient and even time saving  that Computer can be – nothing beats a real person

A) In fact there is nothing in the world more beautiful, more wonderful / more exquisite, & more intricate than the human body.


B) The human body is the most beautifully balanced and delicately articulated instrument the world has ever seen.


C) All the computers in the world put together can’t do what a single human

     body can do, w/ such exquisite grace when it is functioning right.

1)  It is so true what the Psalmist - declared when he said that we are fearfully & wonderfully made !


D) Barry Bonds  can hit a baseball that is thrown to him at 99 mph - yet he hits it - 520 feet -that takes incredible timing & hand eye coordination

1)  Or when you sit down & watch a master pianist - work his instrument in such a way - beautiful music - fingers going up down


E) Those are incredible feats - that would be impossible to perform if every member of the body wasn’t functioning TOGETHER  properly

1) You add personality / Character / emotion / the ability to communicate w/ words or in Song – We are truly an amazing Creation


So it is no accident that the Lord refers to His Church as a body - because it is also a thing of  great beauty as well as Complexity

A) But when a Church is functioning properly it can do great things & it is a beautiful thing to behold !


B) In our study last time here in Eph 4 we began to take an in depth look at the Church – study entitled the Purpose of the Church

1) Focused on v. 1-6  Where we saw that the 1st Purpose of the Church is to MAINTAIN THE UNITY  we already have IN CHRIST


D) We are one in Christ – and we need to guard ourselves against becoming Divided

1) Our Unity is based upon Certain undeniable truths – that Connect us to the Lord


E) In v. 4-6 Paul expressed it this way:

4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.


But with in the unity there is also Individuality that gives great Diversity which is what Paul deals with next   Rd v. 7-10

A) So here in verse seven Paul turns from ALL of us to EACH of us, from the UNITY to the DIVERSITY  w/ in the Church.  


B) We are not parts on an assembly line -.  We’re not clones of one another.  1) We are allowed by God to maintain our individuality. 


C) God allowed you to grow up under certain circumstances.  He has given you certain experiences.  You come from a certain cultural background

1) All of that uniquely makes you who you are in the body of Christ


D) And so the Lord takes our various personalities, and backgrounds, and then He gives us gifts. 

1) And with this marvelous diversity He maintains unity. 

And so, “to each one of us grace was given according to the measure of Christ’s gift.”

A) Now the grace here is not saving grace.  Of course saving grace is given to each one of us.  That’s why we’re saved.  That’s why we’re here. 


B) But he’s not talking about saving grace here.  What he’s talking about is SERVING GRACE   And there’s a distinction between those two things. 

1) There’s grace that saves us.  And then there’s grace that is supplied to empower us to serve God. 


C) You see, each saved person is also called to serve. 

1) We’re not called to merely be saved.  [For] some people, that’s their concept of the Christian life.  I’m saved.  And that’s all there is to it. 

I’m not going to hell anymore.  And I’m just going to go on and live my life, just sort of according to my own plan, and what I’d like to do with it, and just know that in the end everything will be okay. 


D) But understand That’s not God’s plan.  God planned to save us, and then to put us into service. 

1) And so just as He supplied grace for us to be saved, He supplies grace for us to serve Him. 


That is what Paul is wanting us to see when he quotes here in v. 8-10 from Psalm 68 – Speaking of Christ

A) He didn’t descend from Heaven & come to earth as a man to give his life and Descend further into the Grave – just to save us


B) He Descended – He came to give his life – to set the Captives free

1) But He also Rose & has ascended into Heaven – that He might empower us to now Serve God – He has given Gifts to men !!!


C) God supplies each of us with the grace.  And the grace is manifested through various gifts that He’s given to us. 


These Gifts are specialized functions, These gifts are like so many electrical appliances. There is great variety .

A) There are computers / DVD players / toasters / Blenders / TV’s – but they all share a common link : They operate off the same power


B) SO too in the body of Christ there are various gifts – all operate off the same Power – the Power of God in our Lives


Now when we talk about the gifts that God has given there are really two list – One list is in Rom. 12 – Another is in 1 Cor 12

A) The list in 1 Cor 12 is what we would call the Charismatic gifts –

      Word of wisdom – Knowledge / tongues etc


B) We will consider that list in a later study -  The List in Rom 12 – might call – Practical gifts

1) I want to finish up today by briefly considering the list in Rom 12

                       Turn and read v. 6-8


C)  Having then gifts let us use them !

1) Gifts mentioned in Rom. 12 Divided into 2 groups - Expound the word / those that expand the work !


Prophesy - Declares truth

A) It derives from a Greek root which means "to cause to shine," and is 

        linked with the prefix "pro" which means "before."


B) So a person w/ the gift of prophecy is one who stands before and causes the word of God to shine.


C) ) Prophesy is the gift of declaring truth  basically it is the gift of expounding Scripture, making Scripture come alive.

1)  The word burns w/ in the heart of those who have this gift & they must get it out !


D) OT – Fore Telling – mostly Predictive / NT – Forth Telling !!!

The ministry of prophesy is can be evidenced in the Church when a Pastor is preaching the word

A) Prophesy can be seen in a time where we believers are  just waiting on the Lord – like in an afterglow at a retreat


B) Simply - someone sharing a word of Scripture ! It is exactly what the church or part of the body needed to hear


C) This can also be evidenced in daily conversations - where the Lord puts you in a place to share w/ someone a specific word of scripture

1)  And it is the perfect thing for that person - God impresses deeply upon your heart this is what this person needs to hear.


D) SO the Gift of Prophecy DECLARES TRUTH


Next He mentions MINISTRY

A) Ministry - depicts truth - gift of helps - living illustrations of the Word


B) Jesus showed us this over & over He would first teach & then He would touch !

1) He would Teach truth & then touch people in healing or reaching out as an illustration of what He taught !


C) I believe that the gift of Ministry is the same as the gift of helps mentioned in 1 Cor. 12 - simply means serving .

1) those who are Deacons fall into this category - word deacon - means  

         servant ! Deacons will have the gift of helps or ministry


D) The person who has the gift of ministry of the gift of helps is one who depicts the truth of God’s word by being a servant !

1)Their lives are a living testimony & illustration of the truths of the word !


E) SO Prophecy Declares Truth / Ministry Depicts Truth


Next is Teaching -  Teaching : Defines truth - takes it and explains it - gives Application

A) A teacher shares systematically - verse by verse - line by line - defining & explaining what the word says & means


B) Jesus illustrated this in Matt. 5: 27,28 "You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.'28  "But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.


C) Took the word & brought definition to it ! Defined it & made it very applicable!


D) Teaching is the ability to impart knowledge and information, to instruct

the mind/ Where as  prophesying instructs the heart and moves the will.

1) TEACHING OUTSIDE OF THE CHURCH -  New Believers - home group - just impart the word - one on one - discipleship


E) SO Prophesy Declares Truth / Ministry Depicts Truth / Teaching Defines Truth –


Next is Exhortation: Exhortation- Develops Truth

A) Person who comes along side of another & literally shows them how to walk or how to minister by doing it w/ them


B) It is a very hands on type of gifting - / in fact the word itself is extremely enlightening ! Parakaleo in the Greek

1)  Means one called along side to help or to aid - it is derived from the exact same word used to describe the ministry of the H.S.


C) He is referred to as the Parakletos - or the one called along side to help!

1)  So an exhorters primary ministry is one of encouraging & coming along side to aid . Strongly urging one to pursue a course of conduct !


D) It is a gift which encourages others to go higher / to not settle for mediocrity in their walks / or ministries

A Good example of someone in the N.T. who exercised this gift was Barnabas - name = Son of encouragement

A) After Paul was saved - no one in Jerusalem wanted much to do w/ him –

      I am sure they questioned the sincerity of his conversion


B) It was Barnabas who came & stood w/ Paul & took him to the apostles


C) And then in Acts 11 Things are sprouting in Antioch / gospel has gone to the gentiles . These new believers need a lot of help!

          1)      Who did the apostles send down there to encourage these

                   brand new baby believers ?  Barnabas


D)     Once down there the work is going great growing & there is so

          much to do Barnabas needs help . What do?

1)  He knows just the guy / he goes & gets Paul ;( who was really  doing nothing at the time ) / Barn. saw his potential


E)      He brings Paul down not to assist him but to lead the work &      Barnabas will become His assistant!

          1)      He wasn't caught up in thinking "This is my ministry"


Bernstein the great  conductor  was asked what is the hardest spot to fill in the Orchestra ? Answer – 2nd Violin -  It is hard to find people who are willing to be 2nd Fiddle.  - Not Barnabas


Poem good description of exhortation

I saw them tearing a building down,  A gang of men in a dusty town.

With a "yo heave ho" and a lusty yell, They swung a beam and the sidewall fell. I asked the foreman if these men were as skilled  As the men he'd hire, if he were to build.   He laughed and said, "Oh, no indeed.  Common labor is all I need." For those men can wreck in a day or two,  What builders had taken years to do.

I asked myself as I went my way, Which kind of role am I to play?

Am I the builder who builds with care, Measuring life by the rule and square?  Or am I the wrecker who walks the town, Content w/ the role of tearing down

The Person with the gift of Exhortation is one who has the gift of Building others up

A) So First 4 gifts expound the Word in Different ways - seeking to build up & edify the Body !  Declaring / Depicting / Defining / Developing …


B) The next 3 gifts mentioned are involved in Expanding the work of God !   Next Paul says V.8 he who gives, with liberality;

1) Giving expands the work. Again Barnabas was a good example of this


C) In Acts 4: 32 the early Church was growing

1)  It was Barnabas who sold a piece of land & gave the proceeds to the Church to benefit & to bless it - Help expand the work - Help grow


D)  Now Paul says that those w/ this gift need to give w/ Liberality/  Giving w/ liberality  means giving with no strings attached .

1)  It is giving to the Lord freely & Cheerfully not expecting - any pay backs / any notoriety – any favors


E) Example You might not be able to go on a missions trip yet - you can

      use your gift of giving &  give to help someone else go !


Next Paul mentions the gift of leadership : he who leads, with diligence;

A) Also called the gift of  administrations / in 1 Cor. 12 -


B) Those w/ the gift of leading or administrations are those who have Practical oversight - They’re  into details & specifics

1) They are great for taking someone’s Vision and carrying it out . They  help the vision become a reality - cover all details - cross T’s / dot the I’s


C) Steve H. great at that here at the Church – take an idea and he runs with it organizes – gets people involved


D) People w/ the gift of leading are those people who have been gifted by the Lord w/ ingenuity & Creativity

Anthony Green won first prize & $5,000 Because he used duct tape to patch the wing of the plane he flew from Guatemala to Honduras, in the Best Use of Duct Tape' contest. AMAZING

 Those in the Body w/ the gift of leading  are  like Anthony Green. They know how to patch things up. They know how to make things fly.

A) They have a feeling for how things should happen.



The final gift mentioned in Romans 12 Gift of mercy : Getting into someone else’s skin & feeling what they feel !

A)Caring for others being there to be a shoulder to cry on an ear to listen !


B) Person w/ this gift might not ever counsel or share / but they make a big impact by what they don't say ! Just there


C) Often times this gift is mixed w/ the gift of helps - compassion - desire to help - to pick up some one fallen going through it.


D) Do it cheerfully !  Not being a burden / not being heavy / not complaining but being a  blessing to those who are going through it !



Which gifts do you have? Well Where are you drawn ?

A) Ally Rose  analogy – trips on the stairs - what would be your reaction ?

      What a klutz!   Let someone else deal w/ that ! 








B) Prophecy : Lesson to declare truth - "life is like those stairs – many things that can trip us up -  Watch your step  

1) Ministry "Where is the broom ? "   Depict truth of being a servant – clean up after the fall


C) Giving   "  How much was that glass ? Write a check"


D) Teaching " When carry glass wipe condensation / right amount of pressure w/ each hand!

1) Exhorter - " Come on Ally you can do this go & get another glass  / I'm pulling for you sweat heart”


E) Leads  " Who designed these steps that way”

          1)      Mercy "Come here honey  / I know just how you feel I Did the

                   same thing in the 3rd grade."



Each one  responding as the Lord has gifted them !

A) That is how the Body is to function – Diversity of people with Different gifts all functioning together for the purpose of Getting the Job Done


B) What gift in that list best identifies you? – How are you using your gift to BLESS & Build up the Body?


C) Your gift your place -





C) Now in 1 Cor 12  – Two attitudes that we need to avoid –

1) 1st – Insignificant Attitude – They don’t need me –


D) 2nd Is an Independent attitude – I don’t need them