Ephesians 4:11-13

The Purpose of the Church Part 3 MINISTRY


Intro: TV is a powerful medium in our culture today. A medium that unfortunately shaped the values of American Culture

A) A medium that tries to tell us what is important – what is essential


B) Well from watching TV you would definitely get the sense that Jesus is not very important in American Culture – Consider these Stats


Of 1,156 hours of Christmas television programming, 90% did not include a major spiritual theme."     

7% with a religious or spiritual theme did not pertain to Jesus! 

Only 3% of Christmas programming was "devoted to Jesus."


Between December 1 and 17, there were 3 hours devoted to Jesus, out of a total 48,000 programming hours. Between December 18 and 25, Jesus was featured during 35 hrs  of 27,000 hours of television programming that aired.


C) Jesus may not be very important to American Pop Culture – But He is the Central Focus of the Church – The Body of Christ

1) HE IS THE HEAD – It is from Him that we want to receive our sense of what should be valuable and important to us.


We have been working thru Ephesians Ch. 4 v 1-16 here on Sunday mornings – Looking in depth manner at the Purpose of the Church

A) 1st Study the P of the C is UNITY v.1-6 – v.3 Endeavor to maintain unity


B) 2nd Study v. 7-10 saw that the P of the C was DIVERSITY – given gifts to each one – use them – that is what makes the body


C) Today in our 3rd study – see the P of the C is MINISTRY:


D) As we pick up today in v.11 – we will see that the Lord hasn’t just given gifts to those in the body but he has also given – gifted men to the body of Christ – Rd v.11-13

Here in v. 11 Paul describes 4 offices that the Lord has placed within the Church – that have been vital for its growth and Health

A) In our study last time we noted that it is not by accident that the Lord refers to His Church as a body


B) Just like the Human body is a Creation of great Beauty and Complexity – Like wise so is the Church { The comparisons are endless


C) For Instance:  in the Functioning of our human bodies there are 4 systems that God has placed w/ in us that are essential for life & growth.

the skeletal system-  (the framework of  the bones & the muscles )  the nervous system, the digestive system, and the circulatory systems.


D) There are other systems in the body which are not essential for life itself (such as the reproductive system) but these four are.


Now these 4 systems  correspond to the four areas of gifting  of the 4 offices mentioned here in v. 11 that the Lord has given to His Church

A) Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers,


B) I want to build on this analogy in the first part of our study today.

1) As we talk about these giftings that the Lord has given to the Church I want you to keep in mind – Primary aspect – Body at large thru out History

2) Also a secondary aspect that relates to our individual Fellowship         


C) So In the human body the First system is the  basic structural system of the bones and muscles. SKELETAL SYSTEM

1)  This gives the body its fundamental support and allows the body to be mobile  and active.


D) We would all be nothing but rolling, shapeless globs of gelatin if

      it were not for our bones and muscles!



Now This image of the Skeletal system – the bones & muscles  corresponds to the Apostles & their function in the body of Christ.

A) Their work was foundational, skeletal- everything we have in the Church is connected to their initial ministry


B) The foundation of the church is Jesus Christ, as Paul declared to the Corinthians, (1 Cor. 3:11),  "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ"


C) Jesus is the Foundation of the Church – the Apostles and Prophets were used by God to build upon that Foundation


D) The primary work of an apostle was to declare the whole body of truth concerning Jesus Christ.

1) That is the foundation and the church must rests squarely & firmly upon that foundation.



The Apostles had a GOVERNING MINISTRY .

A) The basic meaning of the word Apostle means one who is sent out on a mission !-  Jesus Chose 12 - Disciples Mission to Change the World !


C) Now the 1st 12 apostles who were sent out by Jesus seemed to have a unique place in the history of the church!  God's plan!

          1)      They were used by the Lord in the birthing of His Church

                   & in the putting together of God's word! ( Inspired!)


D) They laid the foundation through their preaching ministries, and through the inspired writings that they sent to the churches,

1) the inspired writings that remain with us to this very day.


E) Paul was later classified in this group of original apostles{ Met Criteria according to Acts 1:22-24 need to have seen Rez  Jesus / sent out by Him


Now Because of that criteria I do not believe there are apostles                                today in that Primary way / same type of authority as 12 apostles

A) Reason I mention that is there are men today who claim to be Apostles

     on  an equal level w/ the originals / their words above scripture !


B) That idea is not supported at all by Scripture – if you run into someone who makes that claim – get away from them as fast as you can. 

1) We do not any longer have men with that same kind of calling or gifting. 


C) There’s no one today that has that same kind of authority to let’s say sit down and pen another chapter to the Bible. 

1) That all ended with the death of the last apostle.  But their ministry is perpetuated.  It’s carried on through the written record in the NT


So in the Primary sense this office of the Apostle ended when the last apostle died

A) But in a secondary sense there are still those in the Church who have an apostolic like ministry – Apostle means sent one


B) Throughout the History of the Church there have been those whom the Lord has sent out to preach the gospel and plant churches in new areas

1) In a secondary sense they would be considered apostles – Men like William Carey – left England took gospel to India


C) Hudson Taylor who went into China – Apostle to the Chinese people

1) David Jones went to Madagascar and took the gospel to a country that had really never heard it before


D) In the Context of the CC movement – Pastor Chuck definitely has an apostolic type ministry – Pioneer / Example & Leader

1) Then Greg Opean – We Consider our Apostle to Hungary sent there and he oversees the work in the varies churches .


Actually you could look at it this way:  God the Father had one apostle, Jesus Christ. 

A) According to the author of Hebrews, Jesus Christ is the apostle and high priest of our confession. 


B) God the Son, Jesus Christ, had twelve apostles.  /  God, the Holy Spirit, now has a multitude of apostles. 

1) From the time of the original 12 apostle’s death, the H.S., has still been raising up & sending people out into the world to bring the truth of JC


C) In fact In a very broad sense all believers are apostles in the sense that 

 we have been commissioned by the Lord - be ambassadors for Christ!


D) But the original Apostles make up what we would call the Skeletal system of the Body – Frame work of the Bones & the Muscles


Now Linked with the skeletal system in the human body is the nervous system.

A) It is the means by which the bones and muscles are stimulated to activity,     

       The nervous system is the directive system.


B) It is linked directly to the head, and from there it conveys messages to every other part of the body.

1)This system  corresponds to the work of prophets in the body of Christ.


C) Prophets in the New Testament  HAD A GUIDING MINISTRY.

1)  They were men who were given, as were the apostles, particular

      insight into the doctrines of the faith


D) See Believers in the NT churches did not possess Bibles, and the New Testament wasn’t written or completed Yet –

1) How, then, would these local assemblies discover God’s will? The HS would share God’s truth with those possessing the gift of prophecy.


A prophet is essentially a man who speaks for God, who unfolds the mind of God.

A) Many of the apostles were also prophets – although the giftings differs from that of an apostle- In this :


B) The apostle gives an authoritative declaration of the whole body of truth concerning Jesus Christ;

1) While the prophet interprets that authoritative word and explains the truth so that it becomes very clear!


C) Are there Prophets today in that Secondary sense { The answer is yes in the History of the Church there have been those men God raised up

1) A voice for the nation / a voice for the Church at a particular time – Called out by God to Proclaim Truth


D) IN England – Spurgeon / Campell Morgan / Lloyd Jones

1) Today in America – Closest things we have - Billy Graham / Ravi Zach.


E) We talked about last week in the local Church – God still works thru the gift of Prophecy – Declares His heart to the Church – thru Pastor

1) Thru different members of the Body in various settings – where the opportunity for God’s word is declared


So the office of the Prophet – corresponds to the nervous system in the body - GUIDING MINISTRY – used to give direction to the body of Ch.

A) After the Nervous System we have the Digestive system


B) The digestive system takes food which is quite unlike flesh & transforms it into flesh and bones, making it a living part of the body.

 1) The Digestive system – corresponds to the Ministry of the Evangelist


C)   The Evangelist has a Gathering ministry

  1) Taking that which is not a part of the body and making it a part of the Body – by bringing people to faith in Christ

Now All called to share but the person w/ this gift / very effective leading others Christ / bringing to church!

A) Peter was the first Evangelist – Stephen / Phillip / Paul


B) Today we might Think of people like Greg Laurie / Billy G / DL Moody but Know people who may


C) But there are others who are never going to preach at a Crusade that God uses w/ this gift to grow the body of Christ –

1) Able to share the gospel with effectiveness and results


The fourth area of gifted men God has given to the Church are Pastors and teachers – Their ministry corresponds to the circulatory system

A) The human body depends upon the circulatory system for its life


B) The circulatory system consist of the veins and arteries which are linked to the heart and lungs, which distribute food and oxygen to every part of the body,& take away the accumulated wastes.


C)  That in essence is  the work of the Pastor teacher w/in the body of Christ

1)  Those who are there to maintain the life of the body by feeding and  cleansing it - by giving it a steady diet of the word !


Pastor teacher = one office - Every pastor - needs to be have the gift of teaching - yet not all teachers are called to be Pastors

A) Pastor is synonymous w/ the word Bishop & the word Elder in - the Bible

     All 3 describe the position from a different view point


B) Bishop = overseer/ Describes the Ministry = watches out for the flock

1)  Elder describes the Man - mature in the Lord - /


C) Pastor = Shepherd describes the Method -  feed & tend & to guard – It is Grounding & a Guarding ministry !


D) Giving the word – feeding the flock / caring for the sheep { Servant

So these special offices have been given to the Church for the Purpose v.12 of having a great Club? No / purpose of doing all the work ? / No

A) No their function is to equip the Saints –for the work of the Ministry!


B) I want to consider this word equipping: it is an interesting word in the grk

1) This verb, in the original language, is katar/tismon, from which we get our English word, artisan -- artist or craftsman, a mechanic,


C) It describes someone who works with his hands and accomplishes things. 1) The word first appears in the New Testament in connection with the calling of the disciples.


D) When Jesus walked out along the Sea of Galilee, he saw the two pairs of brothers, Peter and Andrew and James and John, sitting in a boat,

1) They were mending their nets. The word "mending" is the word translated here "equipping."


E) Those nets would get stretched / torn and dirty – they would need to be fixed so they could be used again.


So think about this: they were mending, their nets - they were equipping their nets;

A)They were getting them ready; they were fixing them up, preparing them.


B) That is the job of the Church – you see people are like those nets – have been torn by life / stretched by stressful circumstances

1) Some have been dirtied by others


C) The Job of the Church { Jesus working thru His Church }is to mend and to fix – broken and stretched people –

1) Equipping them to become useful to God !!!


D) Thayer, who is the authority in this field, says it means "to make one what he ought to be." I like that!


So the Lord has given – gifted men to the body of Christ – for the purpose of equipping his people for the work of the Ministry.

A) The Church has been described like people watching a football game 80,000 in the stands watching 22 guys on the field


B) That is not God’s plan for his Church – Listen this is not my ministry. It is the Lord’s ministry – Like you I am a part

1) We all have a function to play in this ministry that the Lord has called us to.


C) Now when we talk about the ministry that we have been called to as a Church – there are three aspects to it !!!


1st UPREACH = exaltation /  Remember this – our #1 Ministry is to the Lord -  Worship

A) But it goes beyond singing :  Col 3:17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.


B) So the first ministry is to the Lord – UPREACH - 2nd INREACH = Edification ( Building up the body of Christ )

1) ministering to each other & helping one another grow – FOCUS NEXT TIME !!!!  v.13 The edifying ….. building up


C) It is important that a Church spends a great deal of it’s time and attention on building up the saints – INREACH

1) But having said – that too much in reach or focus inward is dangerous

     Critical and Stagnate


3rd Ministry is OUTREACH  EVANGELISM   " Going out & sharing the gospel

A) 1 Peter 3:15"always be ready to give  a reason for the hope that is in you"


B) Witnessing should be as easy as talking about any other meaningful life experience.  If you can talk about your family / vacation/ grand kids

1) You should be able to equally tell people about Christ 

C) I pray that God would increase our Burden as a Church for lost people – We would realize that God wants to use us in that way


D) The Goal of our ministry here is to – stir up one another to Love & good works – 1st Love for the Lord – Up reach – greater intimacy

1) 2nd Love for each other – In reach – build up – mend


E) 3rd Love for the World that needs to know Jesus { Outreach


That is why we spend 100,000 of dollars every year on missions and outreach – lost world that Christ has called us to reach

A) I pray that you are being equipped as you come here – that you are being mended - / repaired and Prepared – God’s call for you


B) That is the goal – the goal is not to build a big Church – the goal is to build big people – in the Church – w/ big hearts for the world.