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TITLE: Gifts from God (Part 1)

TEXT: Ephesians 4:7-16

PROPOSITION: God gives the best gifts IF we know how to use them.

QUESTION: Why?

KEY WORD: Gifts

SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 4:7-10

INTRODUCTION:

  1. This is a time of gift giving.
  2. Sometimes we struggle to find the perfect gift for someone.
  3. God knows the perfect gift for all of us. James 1:17

 

Gifts God has given to His church (11)

  1. Apostles inspired to guide the early church
    Received Holy Spirit baptism guided into all truth, revealed and inspired
  2. Prophets to teach the message from God
    Before the Bible was reduced to written form church relied on the oral message of inspired men.
  3. Evangelists those who proclaim the Word
    Three terms minister, preacher, evangelist (not titles)
    All these terms apply to those who in public and in private teach and proclaim the gospel.
  4. Pastors shepherds to lead us, guide us in the way of God
    Three terms Pastor (shepherd, one who feeds); Elder (wisdom of age, mature); Bishop (overseer, manager, foreman)
    All 3 are used interchangeably in Acts 20:17 & 28; 1 Peter 5:1-2
  5. Teachers to instruct, explain, make application for our lives

 

Why God chose these gifts for us (12)

  1. Equipping the saints We must be able to carry on the work.
    To do the work, we need the tools.
  2. Work of ministry The church is about "ministry".
    Everything we do is ministry classes, benevolence, worship, nursery, fellowship, and tape recording of lessons.
    Everything this church does MUST be ministry OR we need to stop it.
  3. Edifying the body of Christ In addition to serving our world, we must minister to the needs of the Christians.
    Many churches focus on evangelism baptizing bring them in the front door.
    Just as many leave out the back door.
    Other churches focus on "status quo" keep what we got.
    BOTH (evangelism and edification) are important to the survival of the church
  4. Summary
    1. We need the tools.
    2. We need to use the tools.
    3. We need to encourage each other to use the tools.

 


 

NOTE: Tonight we will focus on two issues How long these gifts will last and how to make them useful in our lives.
TITLE: Gifts from God (Part 2)

TEXT: Ephesians 4:7-16

PROPOSITION: God gives the best gifts IF we know how to use them.

QUESTION: Why?

KEY WORD: Gifts

SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 4:13-16

INTRODUCTION:

  1. Have you ever given an expensive gift and it is soon broken or lost?
  2. God has given some gifts that will last until they are not needed.
  3. Matthew 7:11 We know what our children need God knows His children

 How long will these gifts last? (13-16)

  1. UNTIL there is unity of the faith and knowledge
    1. Unity in the basis and principles of our faith
    2. Unity in our knowledge and understanding of Jesus
    3. We will never agree on every detail (fine point)
    4. We will never agree on every matter (clothes, money, cars, politics)
  2. UNTIL we are the perfect man
    1. MEANS mature, complete, the end of a process
    2. NOT perfection, without any sin or flaw
  3. UNTIL we measure up to Christ
    1. Take a minute to take some stock of your life. De you measure up?
    2. What yardstick are you using?
  4. UNTIL we stop being children
    1. In attitude "crybaby", "I want my way, or else."
    2. In speech Learn to speak as the oracles of God (1 Peter 4:11)
    3. In thought 1 Corinthians 13:11 put away childish things
  5. UNTIL we are no longer tossed about by every wind of doctrine
    1. There are many false teachings, ideas, and doctrines out there.
    2. I am not asking if you can answer all of them.
    3. God does demand that you recognize the false from the true.
  6. UNTIL we speak the truth in love
    1. We must teach, without compromise the truth.
    2. But, it must be done in a loving way.
    3. Some are so "loving" they compromise the truth.
    4. Others speak the truth so harshly that the lost are driven away.
  7. UNTIL we grow up (mature) in all things.
    1. Read the short book (see next page).
    2. This is the second time this one is mentioned.
    3. Are you growing? Are you growing UP or down?
  8. UNTIL the whole body is joined together, every part working
    1. Remember, the church is a body many members working together
    2. Without cooperation the body will weaken and die.

 

Focus on these questions

  1. How do you measure up to the standing of Christ?
  2. What yardstick are you using?
  3. In what ways are you "childish" in your attitudes and actions?
  4. Are you being affected (blown about) by the world around you?
  5. Is your speech the truth? Is it spoken in love and compassion?
  6. Are you growing up in all things?
  7. NOTE: These questions are personal. Answer honestly before God.

  

How a person matures: An autobiography of a person maturing, in five chapters.

 

Chapter 1

I walk down the street and there's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I fall in. I am lost. I am helpless. I am angry. It isn't my fault. It takes me forever to find my way out.

 

Chapter 2

I walk down the same street and there's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I pretend I don't see it. I fall in again. I can't believe that I'm in the same place again. But, it isn't my fault. It takes me a long time to get out.

 

Chapter 3

I walk down the same street and there's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I see that it is there. I still fall in. It's a habit. My eyes are open. I know it is my fault. I get out immediately.

 

Chapter 4

I walk down the same street and there's a deep hole in the sidewalk. I walk around it.

 

Chapter 5

I walk down another street.

  



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