Before we can take on the cults, false doctrine, false teachers or anything else we must first equip ourselves for the battle that lies ahead.
- Four gifts given for the equipping of the saints:
- Apostles – One sent forth – While the office of Apostle is no longer available, you may be gifted to go forth proclaiming the Good News and establishing churches.
- Prophets – One who proclaims of God’s Word – This office is no longer available, yet you may have the gift of proclaiming God’s Word.
- Evangelist – One who has a gift for sharing the Gospel.
- Pastor Teacher – One who is gifted with the ability to lead God’s people and teach God’s Word in local church setting.
II. Two reasons why these gifts were given:
A. Perfecting (getting you ready) of the saints for the work of the ministry. Complete furnishing refers to equipping the saint with everything that he will need to accomplish ministry.
1. What does the saint need to be equipped with? Eph 6:10-18
a. Truth: The Word of God is truth. John17:17. The saint is equipped with truth through the systematic teaching of God's Word. Jer 3:15, II Tim 2:1-3
Note: The belt held all of the other pieces of armor on. Without the belt the rest of your amour was useless.
b. Righteousness: Refers to our right standing with God. Not in salvation but in our fellowship with God. A Saint must be taught how to stay in fellowship with God.
Note: The breastplate protects your vital organs -Righteousness protects your fellowship with God.
c. Preparation in the Gospel of Peace: Every saint must be instructed (prior preparation) in the gospel so that he/she can proclaim the gospel of truth in every opportunity.
Note: Feet shod - adequate foot wear - for a firm footing - good footing in the gospel. You can't make a good stand if your foundation is shaky.
d. Faith: Every saint must be instructed in the promises of God and how to claim them.
Note: Shield used to guard against the deceit and lies of Satan and his host; i.e. the promise of Titus 1:2.
e. Helmet of Salvation: Assurance of salvation every saint must know where they stand with God on the basis of their salvation.
Note: Helmet used to protect the head and to provide assurance in combat. Head wound most feared.
f. Sword of the Spirit: Every believer must be equipped to defend the truth of God's Word by God's word (Heb. 4:12). You must be able to use it effectively.
Note: The two edged sword was the automatic rifle of the time of Paul. It was a big contributor to the success of the Roman Army.
g. Prayer: Must be taught to pray as the Apostles were. Matt. 6; Luke 11:1.
B. Perfecting of the Saints for the edifying of the Body of Christ:
1. Edifying: To build up - refers to the act of one or more persons promoting growth in another.
2. The purpose of edification is so that we can be a spiritual benefit to one another as we grow and mature spiritually.
III. Four Goals of Local Church Spiritual Leadership:
A. Unity of the Faith: Oneness of beliefs, produced by the Spirit through the Word of' God", 'which results in oneness of thought and oneness of purpose.
B. Knowledge of the Son of God: Full and precise or correct knowledge. The knowledge that we have as babes in Christ must be built upon to understand His person and work with full and correct knowledge. Bringing people closer to Christ through teaching God's Word.
C. Perfect Man: Mature, fully grown, you arrive at a place where you operate on the basis of your Knowledge of God's Word and not on emotions, feelings or circumstances.
D. Measure of the Stature of the fullness of Christ: The process of being conformed to the image of Christ through the intake of God's Word. We arrive at a place where we think and act as Christ would.
IV. The result of Systematic Teaching.
A. No more children: Spiritually immature.
B. Tossed to and fro, carried about by every wind of doctrine: unstable - changes what they believe every time they hear something new.
C. By the sleight of men: Cube - dice game - they are gambling, playing a game with your soul, trying to win you over to their way of thinking. Fill you with false doctrine.
D. Cunning craftiness: trickery - they try to trick you into their way of thinking. (i.e., we really believe the same things as you do about the bible.)
E. Lie in wait: systematic plan or ambush. They are using systematic false teaching against us only the truth will defeat it. To deceive: they are trying to deceive you, which is their goal.