The church is God’s idea, and He has designated it to be the epicenter of His presence, the place where we corporately worship Him, and where discipleship is facilitated.
The church has the potential of being one of the greatest influencers on earth. We are not impeded by adversity nor limited by ability but empowered by faith to overcome every obstacle.
No other organization is as unique as the church. We comprise of various age groups, cultures, races, males and females, yet unified as one.
Unity is not obtained but surrendering our distinctiveness but redeemed we represent a beautiful mosaic of God’s handiwork.
In chapter 4 we see the significance of Jesus’ ascension in “that he might fill all things.” The word “fill” in the Greek means to make full, abundance.
This statement reveals two things to us about the Christian life and church life.
#1 We can’t build God’s kingdom without Him.
Our charisma, abilities, and strategies, apart from faith will fall short in building God’s kingdom.
“not by might, nor by power but by my Spirit declares the Lord of host.” Zechariah 4:6
#2 God is involved with us on this journey.
God is with us each step of the journey.
The author of Ephesians mentions five specific offices within the church responsible for equipping the saints (that’s you!). They are tasked with equipping you for the work of ministry.
Church life is more than attendance or membership. It’s about participating in the purposes of God. We are a people on a mission.
Discipleship is not a “me” thing but a “we” thing. We are in this together!
Likewise, increasing our impact in this world is a team effort. The ministry of the church is far greater than any one person can do.
Let’s look at the three blessings or benefits of a working church.
#1 Unity. Ephesians 4:13a
Have ever been in a relationship or a part of a work environment where there is disunity? Then you know firsthand the importance of unity.
Regarding the church, unity is the conduit for the power of God to work among us.
Without the power of God, we are unable to accomplish the will of God.
We live in a day and age where any topic can become a point of division. Division is the antithesis of God.Through the cross, Jesus tore down the walls between Jew and Gentile, slave and free, man and woman, republican and democrat.
“For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.” 1 Corinthians 2:2
Paul tells the Corinthians that I did not share my opinions or inquire about your thoughts on current events while with you, but about Jesus Christ and Him crucified.
We need to be avoid blurring the lines of truth and opinions. Opinions change but God’s word never changes.
#2 Spiritual Maturity.
Spiritual maturity is the by-product of being a doer of God’s word not only a hearer. Active faith is defined by what we do, not what we don’t do.
For example, some might define active faith as;
- I don’t murder.
- I don’t steal.
- I don’t lie… much.
- I don’t cheat.
Godly people are good people, but good people are not always godly.
The word “work” in our main text is the same word that Jesus used repeatedly about doing the will of God.
“I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.” John 17:4
Jesus didn’t come to talk about the will/work of God, but He did the will/work of God. Every Bible study, every sermon, every time you read God’s word, should lead you to be a doer of the Word.
- Our spiritual maturity hangs in the balance.
- More than ability, God is looking for availability.
“For the kingdom of God does not consist in talk but in power.” 1 Corinthians 4:20
The word “power” comes from the Greek word dunamis and means achieving power, to be able. Faith is action.
Spiritual maturity also aids us in weathering the theological storms of life. Paul describes immature faith as being blown around by the waves of Christian fads or deceptive teachings that are not rooted in God’s word.
Humility is essential in God’s economy.
- God gives grace to the humble, James 4:6.
- God exalts the humble, Matthew 23:12.
- A humble spirit will obtain honor, Proverbs 29:23.
Verse 15 instructs us to speak the truth in love. I wonder if some people reject the message because of the messenger.
Truth without love is brutality. Love without truth is heresy.
Humility influences how we see ourselves and how we treat others.
Speaking the truth in love requires humility. Without humility, the truth becomes an obscured message distorted by a love-less presentation.
God has handed the baton to us to continue the mission He began. He has gifted us to do the work and we have Pastors, teachers, and Evangelists to equip us for this work.