Ephesians 4:11 Ministry Gifts

And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God … Ephesians 4:11-13

Walking worthy of the gospel call involves more than just being called ‘the church,’ or going to a church building once or twice a week – it is being and living as God’s people in a unified community, loving one another. The unity of Christ’s body is meant to display the very unity of the Trinity! But we need only look around to see how far short we are of displaying such a unity. However, just as God brings people, circumstances, trials and victories, into our lives in order to conform us into the image of His Son, He likewise has a plan for the corporate church to come to the unity of the faith.

While the goal of our individual pilgrimage on earth is that we would be transformed into the image of God’s Son (Rom 8:28-29), we also have a corporate image which we are being conformed into, as the body of Christ. God calls out a people (the church) and separates them from the world and unto each other, so that the corporate church might come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ (Eph 4:13). Toward this end, God gives specific ministry gifts to His church. Spiritual gifts en masse are not in view here, but specific gifts for those whom God has appointed as leaders of the body. God’s plan to bring His church to the place of maturity and unity includes human instruments – namely, apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers. These are gifted and qualified men whom Christ gives to the church, as models and channels of spiritual growth, so that you might be brought to maturity.

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, and pastor-teachers – their ministries are listed chronologically according to God’s plan for the development of the church. Some believe that apostles and prophets still exist in the church today, others consider these offices as passing away with the early church; but either way, these two offices are involved in the planting and genesis of church works. Evangelists mainly preach the gospel to the unconverted so that those with ears to hear might repent and believe and join the church. Pastor-teachers have the two-fold responsibility of leading and feeding the flock of God. Unfortunately today many view the church as a place they
go to watch paid professional “pulpiteers” perform and carry out church programs. This scheme is not only a violation of God’s plan, but an absolute detriment to the growth, health, and vitality of church members. Limiting the work of the ministry to full-time “Christian workers” hinders the spiritual growth of God’s people and stunts the process of discipleship. An excellent leader sees himself not as THE minister, but as one who equips the saints under his care for the work of the ministry.

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2 thoughts on “Ephesians 4:11 Ministry Gifts

  1. Thanks again for the excellent commentary Pastor LoSardo! As always, they were a blessing to me and will help me in my walk with my Savior. I tend to believe that prophets do exist today depending on how one defines their roles. I believe they simply are those who can apply certain scriptures to certain situation, but they can never add to or detract from scriptures. However I don’t believe there are any Apostles in the world today. The church needed architects in the beginning, but now we should simply be following the building plans that have been passed down to us.

  2. One thing we know for certain is, GOD has given us the promised Holy Spirit and He is the Gift and the gift giver. He can do anything he wants to do, this is how we need to view Him, rather than what people believe. We look into His word, He guides us from one scripture to the next. GOD goes to extremes to reveal Himself to us, He orders all of creation, and events to accomplish His will. GOD is building, and rebuilding His church. He is beautifying His Bride and He is preparing her, “equipping her.” We “miss the forest for the trees,” so to say, we absolutely must find a balance. We seem to “search the scriptures for therein we think there is life,” or we look at the “corporate church,” thinking we are working with “the body of believers;” this is an error. Maturity demands us to focus, train out spiritual eyes on “the Head,” Who is Christ, and over Christ is GOD, Who is the Spirit holding us, uniting us, controlling all things, and upholding all things for His glory. It is not about us. We are about HIM. Jesus called us sheep for a reason and not just because our feet travel away from Him, but because our minds are ever turning from Him. WE are told, “to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.” This goes against all that we who are “gentiles” think. We are naturally “heady,” arrogant, informed, knowledgeable, people. When we really, really, seek GOD through the eyes of a child we realize that we don’t know much at all. “So, where is boasting then?” “Who among you are wise?” LORD, GOD get us down to where YOU can reveal YOURSELF in us to this world, this community, this generation, and those who will follow, please, open our blind eyes and pull out the logs blinding our so very narrow view.

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