Rooted in Spiritual Gifts Preached by: Matthew S. Black Text: Ephesians 4:7-13 Series: Rooted in Christ Date: May 20, 2012, 10:30am Living Hope Bible Church of Roselle, IL Introduction: Open your Bibles to Ephesians. We are continuing our series: “Rooted in Christ”. The title of the message is: “Rooted in Spiritual Gifts”. Spring I love Spring! You can see the flowers blooming everywhere! Actually, I love to see all the various colors of the flowers together. The flowers are of every variety of the brilliant colors of the rainbow! God’s church is beautiful in that same way. Every one of us is different—with different functions and gifting and abilities, yet we are all one Body. And in that one Body, God gave each one of us differing spiritual gifts. Today in Ephesians 4:7-13, we’re going to see God’s plan for your place in the Body of Christ! Wholeness is important. Wholeness means all parts are functioning well. Derick Rose – all good except for his knee. Fiery bush in front yard – blooming! All the little bushes bought for 10 cents blooming! Why? Because roots are deep. Cut out the roots and they cannot function. Thousands of pieces in a Boeing 747. Take off a wing! Take off the landing gear. Take out one of the engines! You need ALL the parts!! The title of our message this morning is “Differing Spiritual Gifts in One Body”. Let’s read Ephesians 4:7-13, “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower parts of the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.) 11 And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ,” [Prayer for guidance] The Church here is described as a Body with all its different members and functions. Or we could think about it like a car or a computer or a space shuttle or any kind of machine with millions of different little parts, but all one united whole. When God saves us, He gives us differing spiritual gifts and unites us to ONE BODY. First we’re going to look at what this passage says, but there are at least three other important passages that harmonize with this one. So as we go through Ephesians 4, we’ll also be looking at I Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and 1 Peter 4. So there are four main passages in the Bible on spiritual gifts. I want you to remember these passages: This text-Ephesians 4, and then 1 Corinthians 12, Romans 12, and 1 Peter 4. What do we learn from Ephesians 4? I. The Fact of Spiritual Gifts (vs. 7). Every Christian has received at least one Spiritual Gift from God which he is responsible to use for the good of the church and for the glory of God. Verse 7 of our text says that “…grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift.” A. Who in the Body of Christ has a spiritual gift? Verse 7 of our text says that “…grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift”. So who has a spiritual gift? “each one of us”! No one gets “cheated” out of a spiritual gift! B. What is a spiritual gift? Verse 7 says that it is a God given “grace” here. In most places in the Bible, the word grace means God’s unmerited favor. But in some places it means supernatural gifting and ability. Here it refers to ability. We are going to look at our four passages on spiritual gifts and find out that a spiritual gift is a supernatural ability that manifests the power of the Spirit of God in your life and always strengthens the faith of fellow believers. Right now we are going to see how it is a supernatural ability that manifests the power of the Spirit of God in your life, and later on we’ll see how it always strengthens the faith of fellow believers. 1. A spiritual gift is a manifestation of the Spirit of God. Look over at one of our key passages on spiritual gifts in 1 Corinthians 12. Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:1 , “Now concerning spiritual gifts, brothers, I do not want you to be uninformed”. So he’s talking about spiritual gifts, and he actually gives his own definition for a spiritual gift in verse 7. Look down at 1 Corinthians 12:7, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” So Paul is speaking of spiritual gifts which he defines here as “the manifestation of the Spirit”. A spiritual gift is always for the common good and edification of the entire Body. 2. A spiritual gift is a supernatural ability given by the Spirit of God. Paul says in 1 Corinthians 15:10 , “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace toward me was not in vain. On the contrary, I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.” It was the grace of God in Paul that worked in him to labor. 1 Peter 4:10 says, “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied [multi-colored] grace”. So spiritual gifts are stewardships of God’s grace. Romans 12:6 says we have: “Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them…”. Again, the spiritual gifting you have is a supernatural ability resulting from God’s grace. In the same way back in Ephesians 4:7 , by merit of what Christ has done, “…grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift” Christ set us free from our slavery to sin and gave us supernatural abilities. Again a stewardship of God’s grace. Application: So let me be clear about spiritual gifts. A spiritual gift always ministers God’s Spirit to someone else. You may be a good cook, but not have the gift of hospitality. You may be gifted in music, but there is a way to sing where it is a manifestation of the Spirit and a way in which it is just a performance. You may be a good mechanic, but a person with the gift of mercy and the gift of helps is going to fix someone’s car in a way where it is a manifestation of the Spirit. Your spiritual gift is a supernatural ability that manifests the Spirit and builds up the Body of Christ. So we’ve seen from our four passages (Ephesians 4, Romans 12, I Corinthians 12, and 1 Peter 4) that a spiritual gift is a supernatural ability that manifests the power of the Spirit of God in your life. II. The Fountain of Spiritual Gifts (vs. 7). A. Christ has the right to give spiritual gifts. Here Paul gives a military illustration from Psalm 68:18. Christ gives spiritual gifts Ephesians 4:7–10 (ESV), “But grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift. 8 Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” 9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? 10 He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)” · Paul is quoting Psalm 68:18, “You ascended on high, leading a host of captives in your train and receiving gifts among men, even among the rebellious, that the LORD God may dwell there.” Verse 8 is a quote of a Messianic psalm – Psalm 68, a psalm about the Savior, Jesus. This is speaking of the victory that David had with the Ark of the Covenant. Those that kept God’s people in captivity were taken captive, and David made an open show of some of them after coming back from war. He took the spoils of that war and gave them to the people. Christ is the Conqueror. He is the King. He is the Author and Finisher of our faith. In verse 8, we have this beautiful picture of Christ as the conquering king, “Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.” Illustration of Conquering King Paul is using a familiar picture here, quoting from Psalm 68:18 – speaking of how David conquered the Philistines. Those that kept God’s people in captivity were taken captive, and David made an open show of some of them after coming back from war. He took the spoils of that war and gave them to the people. He would ascend the hill of Mount Zion, that great hill overlooking Jerusalem, and make an open show of his enemies. In the ancient world, when conquering generals returned home they would bring a procession of prisoners of war as a sign of their victory. They would “lead captivity captive” in this parade and in celebration, give the gifts and spoils of war to the all the people. Jesus is the Conqueror! In the same way, Jesus Christ as our King has taken away our captivity—he has taken of the devil’s spoils. Jesus says in Mark 3:27, “But no one can enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man. Then indeed he may plunder his house.” Jesus is the Conqueror. He's already conquered His enemies. He's already redeemed His elect children. He's already shared with them the spoils of His victory, and He's given them their marching orders. Now get that in your mind. The King has already come. He's conquered the enemies that He had on the cross. And by the cross He redeemed, paid for, and purchased, a Bride. · Christ said, “I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). Christ storms the gates of hell, and no one can stop Him from taking captivity captive. He plunders the strong man’s goods (Mark 3:27). Christ is the one who ascended the hill of victory. Christ is the one who brought the spoils and led the captives free. Later Roman Military Parades – Parade of the conquered Paul also is also painting a very familiar image that all the Ephesians would have been familiar with in the ancient military world of the Roman armies. When the Roman Caesar put down a rebellion within the kingdom, he would take the rebels captive, and usually the kings and generals and commanders of the rebellious nations would be put in chains. The Romans especially would march them through Rome and be a Roman triumphal entry into Rome. And they would come captive in chains showing that they had been conquered. So Paul takes that picture, pulls it out of the Old Testament, and applies to Christ. Christ has taken you out of the hands of the wicked one, and given you grace and spiritual gifts. He’s given each one of you as a gift to His Body. Each of you has a spiritual gift or gifts. B. We do not choose our gifts; God does that job, as verse 7 says, “…grace was given to each one of us according to the measure of Christ’s gift”, and verse 8 says, God “gave gifts unto men”. Take those two words: “grace” and “gifts” and you realize these are gifts that God sovereignly gives us by His Spirit. God raises up and gifts and puts people into His service. It is God who does it. You don’t decide how or where you are going to minister in God’s harvest field. Grace: Charisma – God’s favor or gifting. Gift: Dorea – that which is given or granted In our fleshly excitement in the church at times we think we need to call people to programs and tasks in the church. That can be dangerous. We want people not just to be working, but to manifest the power of God’s Spirit in a ministry given to them by God. D. Martyn Lloyd Jones: I read this week about a famous preacher by the name of Dr. D. Martyn Llloyd-Jones in London. He was at first an assistant to G. Campbell Morgan at the Westminster Chapel of London. But before becoming a preacher, he was a medical doctor. For years he worked in a medical practice. When God called him to preach, Lloyd-Jones sensed God’s calling into the pulpit ministry. Let me read to you his own testimony. He says, “Some thirty years ago when I felt called of God to enter the ministry and to preach the Gospel, I received a letter from the General Secretary of a certain Foreign Mission Society. In his letter he suggested to me that instead of preaching the Gospel in [Great Britain] that I should be a Medical Missionary in India. It seemed so obvious to him. At the time there was a man needed very badly in a certain hospital in India, and here was I going to preach the Gospel in Great Britain when obviously I was the man to fill that post in India.” Of course David Martyn Lloyd-Jones did not go to India. He never practiced medicine again. God called him into a very fruitful pulpit ministry where he revived thousands with Holy Spirit filled line upon line Biblical preaching with power! You do what God is calling you to do. It is God who sovereignly gives you the gifting. He is the Fountainhead, and no one else. III. The Function of Spiritual Gifts (vs. 11-12). Ephesians 4:11–12 (ESV), “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ”. A. Christ DIRECTS His Church. Verse 11, “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers”. Aren’t you glad for that? He brings us together as a congregation, He brings us together for the purpose of exaltation and for equipping. Christ does all this as our Head. B. Christ’s leaders EQUIP His Church for the Work of ministry. Ephesians 4:11–12 (ESV), “And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the shepherds and teachers, 12 to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ.” What does it mean to “equip the saints”? The word “equip” is a word used to describe fisherman getting their nets ready, cleansed, and repaired. Sinclair B. Ferguson. Let’s Study Ephesians (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 2005), 110. God’s Word restores you; it cleanses you. When it is applied, it revitalizes you. The word “equip” was used of armies, of education, and of child rearing. A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and Other Early Christian Literature by Walter Bauer and Frederick William Danker, (Third Edition; based on a previous English edition by W.F. Arndt, F.W. Gingrich, and F.W. Danker; University of Chicago Press, 1957, 1979, 2000), 526. It is to prepare them, to get them ready for service. My goal each time the Word is opened is to prepare you for service to God—in your home, in your work place, and to your brothers and sisters in Christ. What does that equpping entail? How do pastors equip the saints? In two ways: by teaching and by living out the Word. Pastors equip the church by Teaching how to Apply the Word. Teaching can take place through counseling, preaching, teaching, etc. This is both one on one and through expository preaching of the Word. · The shepherds are to be teaching to Remind. 2 Peter 1:12 (ESV), “I intend always to remind you of these qualities, though you know them and are established in the truth that you have”. · The shepherds are to be teaching Regularly—in season and out of season. 2 Timothy 4:2, “Preach the word; be ready in season, and out of season”. · The shepherds are to be teaching to Reprove, Rebuke, and Exhort. 2 Timothy 4:2 (ESV), “reprove, rebuke, and exhort, with complete patience and teaching.” The saints need both correction and encouragement. o We all stray and we need to be brought back to the path of God’s will. o We all need positive, helpful encouragement as to how to apply God’s Word to our lives. Pastors equip the church by Living out the Application of the Word. "Keep a close watch on yourself and on the teaching. Persist in this, for by so doing you will save both yourself and your hearers" (1 Timothy 4:16). A pastor is to live out the Word of God in his life. C. Thirdly, the Saints BUILD UP the Church. All Christians are the Ministers of the church. Everyone is expected and encouraged to be involved in active ministry. If you want to be comfortable as a mere spectator, Tabernacle Baptist Church is not the church for you. We are a church where every member has a ministry of some kind. Consider who is called to minister – Saints! Every one of us. All the saints are to be equipped for works of ministry. By the way, I shouldn’t take this for granted, but a saint is not some Roman Catholic bishop who has been canonized. A saint in the Bible is a simple believer. Paul writes to the saints at Ephesus, and his goal is that the saints should be trained for ministry. Every one of you who is a believer in Christ is a saint. We are a church not of spectators with one minister. We are a church of a hundred ministers! None of us can be spectators. We are all called to build each other up in the faith. We are all clergy here! We believe in the priesthood of the believer. That means that there is no separation between clergy and laity. We are all to be priests one to another. 1 Peter 2:5, 9 (ESV), “you yourselves like living stones are being built up as a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. 9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.” Revelation 1:6, tells us that Christ “has made us kings and priests unto God and his Father”. How do we build one another up? 1. First, be PRESENT. Be here, present in the congregation each serviced to get equipped. God has ordained a way for you to “repair your nets” and to get cleansed by His Word in a corporate setting so that you can be used by Him. Application: One way that you undercut the ministry to the Body here at Tabernacle is by staying home Sunday School, Sunday evening, or Wednesday night. You need to be here. Is it hard work? Yes! You have to make difficult choices. We are called to “endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ” (2 Timothy 2:3). 2. Second, be PLIABLE. Be teachable. Jesus said we are to be “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:20). o You listen to the teaching each time we meet. You are Bereans. You compare it to the Scriptures. o You apply it to your life. o Then you teach others. Show them how to apply it to their life and their situation. You encourage them from the Word of God. Objection: Perhaps you say, but I can’t teach anyone! Paul says differently in Romans 15:14, “I myself am satisfied [persuaded] about you, my brothers, that you yourselves are full of goodness, filled with all knowledge and able to instruct one another.” The phrase “able to admonish” has been translated “competent to counsel”. 3. Thirdly, be PROACTIVE. Serve one another. In other words, ministry does not only happen when we meet at this building. We are called to get involved in each other’s lives. We assemble on Sundays and Wednesdays to get trained to minister to one another. Spiritual Gifts indicate God’s call and purpose for a Christian’s life –as verse 11 says, “And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers”. How does Paul describe this gift? In these verses, Paul doesn’t list specific gifts, but instead the offices for the gifts. He doesn’t list prophecy, shepherding, evangelism, and teaching as gifts. He lists the actual offices. IV. The Focus of Spiritual Gifts (vs. 13). Spiritual Gifts are for the common good to build up the Body. Ephesians 4:13 (ESV), “until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ”. A. Focus #1 Everyone must be involved! Turn over to 1 Cor. 12. 1. Everyone is important. Sometimes we wrongly depreciate members of Christ's Body. 1 Corinthians 12:23–25 (ESV), “…on those parts of the body that we think less honorable we bestow the greater honor, and our unpresentable parts are treated with greater modesty, 24 which our more presentable parts do not require. But God has so composed the body, giving greater honor to the part that lacked it, 25 that there may be no division in the body, but that the members may have the same care for one another.” The visible, outwardly teaching members aren't necessarily the most important ones. Rather, we're to value every believer's role. And a believer who says, "I'll only serve if I'm a hand or an eye" is being disobedient to God's Word. That's because we're saved to serve. 2. Every one benefits. 1 Corinthians 12:7, “To each is given the manifestation of the Spirit for the common good.” It is our responsibility to make sure that every brother is profiting and being edified in the faith. Every one of us has gifts, and every gift mutually benefits Christ's Body. 3. Everyone is responsible. 1 Peter 4:10 (ESV), “As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied [multi-colored] grace.” We are going to give an account to use our gift!! Conversely, non-use adversely affects the Body. As Paul said in 1 Corinthians 12:15–22 (ESV), “If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” that would not make it any less a part of the body. 17 If the whole body were an eye, where would be the sense of hearing? If the whole body were an ear, where would be the sense of smell? 18 But as it is, God arranged the members in the body, each one of them, as he chose. 19 If all were a single member, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, yet one body. 21 The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” 22 On the contrary, the parts of the body that seem to be weaker are indispensable…” How are we to use our gift? Go back to our text in Ephesians 4. Look at verse 7 and then 12. Every one of us is given a gift. For what purpose? Verse 12 and 13 say that we are given these gifts: “to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, 13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12–13, ESV) B. Focus #2: God has gifted you to strengthen others. The basic goal is to become the kind of person who wakes up in the morning, thanks God for our great salvation, and then says, "Lord, O how I want to strengthen people's faith today." If you were reading through the New Testament, the first place you would run into the term "spiritual gift" is Romans 1:11-12 . Let's look at this text together. Writing to the church at Rome, Paul says, “I long to see you, that I may impart to you some spiritual gift to strengthen you— 12 that is, that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine." It sounds like Paul wants to help them have a gift, but the text actually means that he wants to give them the benefit of his gifts. "I long to see you that I may use my gifts to strengthen you." So which spiritual gift do you have, you’re wondering? I think it would be fair to say also from this text that you shouldn't bend your mind too much trying to label your spiritual gift before you use it. That is, don't worry about whether you can point to prophecy, or teaching, or wisdom, or knowledge, or healing, or miracles, or mercy, or administration, etc., and say, "That's mine." Instead, the way to think is this: The reason we have spiritual gifts is so that we can strengthen other people's faith; here is someone whose faith is in jeopardy; how can I help him? Conclusion: In closing I want to give you If your service for Christ is dying, then here are some suggestions. 1. Fan the flame of spiritual gifts. 1 Timothy 4:14 (ESV), “Do not neglect the gift you have”. 2 Timothy 1:6 (ESV), “fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands”. 2. Do everything you can to build up the faith of your brethren. Criticism and gossip and having an over sensitive spirit will all tear down the faith of your brothers and sisters in Christ. It could be through your gifts of speaking and wisdom and application and exhortation. Encourage your brethren for whom Christ died! Conclusion Some of you might not know about Elton Musk, but he is the founder of Paypal, Tesla Motors, and the SpaceX program. Nasa hired him to bring over half a ton of food and other supplies for the crew aboard the station. The mission is worth 1.6 billion dollars. The first mission by a private company to the International Space Station was aborted before dawn Saturday at Cape Canaveral, Fla., when computers detected an anomaly in one of the rocket's engines and automatically shut down the launch sequence. The countdown forSpace Exploration Technologies Corp., or SpaceX, was flawless until about 4:55 a.m. EDT when, at the last second, the rocket engines briefly lit up and then went dark. "Three, two, one, zero and liftoff," announced NASA commentator George Diller before he realized what had happened. "We've had a cutoff. Liftoff did not occur.” More important than the Space Program is God’s program for His people: the local church.