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Christ’s Gifts Put Into Practice

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Christ’s Gifts Put Into Practice

The Worthy Life - Part VI

July 8, 2007

“And he gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ” Eph 4:11-12

1. The New Testament counterparts to the Old Testament Prophets are New Testament Apostles. Jesus used the new term apostle to designate those who had the authority to write scripture. The Greek word “prophetes” at the time of the New Testament had a very broad range of meanings. It didn’t represent anymore the term “one who speaks God’s very own words” but rather “one who speaks on the basis of some outside influence.” (Titus 1:12; Luke 22:64; cf. John 4:19)

2. An evangelist is one who possesses a special ability to communicate the gospel of salvation from sin through Jesus Christ.

3. “Pastor” refers to one who has pastoral oversight of others. It is based on the idea of shepherding and looks to Jesus, who described himself as “the good shepherd” (John 10:11) and is referred to as “that great” (Heb. 13:20) and “Chief Shepherd” of the sheep (1 Peter 5:4).

4. The word “teacher” is self-explanatory. What should be said is that it is always a most important gift and may be one of the gifts most needed at the present time. We see the importance of the gift of teaching when we recognize that this is the key thought in Matthew’s version of the Great Commission. There Jesus says, “Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and [to explain how this specifically is to be done] teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:19–20). Clearly, those brought to faith in Christ are to be discipled primarily through teaching.

5. In the past there have been false patterns of teaching that have perpetrated a sense of clergy class and laity class of Christians and it is wrong.

6. Our goal here at PRBC is for every member to find their gift(s) and put them to use in unity and harmony here at the local church. But remember, if a Christian is more interested in having others serve him than in his or her serving them, he is dishonoring his Master, who came “not … to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).

7. Today I feel that it is appropriate to propose a new model of ministry for PRBC. It will be a simple model made up of all members utilizing their gifts in ministry.

8. I purpose to call the ministry “Charis” (caar-ess) and as most of you know this is the Greek word for “Grace.” I envision that our Charis ministry would be made up of three parts. (1) Invitation - purposefully witnessing to people and inviting them to come hear the true Gospel. (2) Participation - Utilizing your gift(s) for the sole purpose of ministry to the people as they come and (3) Sacrifice of your time, talent and treasure to accomplish this work for Christ in this area.

9. “If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. ” Luke 6:32-33

10. Living intentional and for the purpose for the kingdom of our Christ and King is what this becomes.

Evangelism

We have greater work to do here than merely securing our own salvation. We are members of the world and Church, and we must labour to do good to many. We are trusted with our Master's talents for His service, in our places to do our best to propagate His truth, and grace, and Church, and to bring home souls, and honour His cause, and edify His flock, and further the salvation of as many as we can. All this is to be done on earth, if we will secure the end of all in heaven.

Richard Baxter

GracePointe Baptist Church

2209 N Post Road

Oklahoma City, OK 73141

Phone: (405) 769-5050

http://www.gracepointeonline.com

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