Five-Fold Ministry Gifts from Ephesians 4:11-16 Jul 22, 2023 16:58:36 GMT -5
Post by John on Jul 22, 2023 16:58:36 GMT -5
There are many different offices in the Christian church, but in this thread, I want us to take a look at what is often referred to as the five-fold ministry gifts. In Ephesians 4:11-16, we are given 5 ministries that are direct callings from God. God calls and God ordains. These offices that are mentioned are apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers. Each of these serve a unique purpose in the spiritual development and nurturing of Christians.
Apostles are sent by God as messengers and pioneers, commissioned to establish and lay the foundational teachings of the faith. An apostle is basically what we refer to today as missionaries. Church planters are doing the work of an apostle, and yes, there are apostles today.
Prophets speak forth God's messages and revelations, bringing guidance, correction, and encouragement, whatever is needed at the time in the local church. God knows the needs at that time, and he can direct the prophet to deliver a sermon that is what the congregation needs on that particular day, as opposed to just choosing their own text. I suspect there are many anointed ministers being used in this gift that are unaware of it. They just see themselves as being led to choose a particular topic, but God is divinely inspiring it. That doesn't make it equal to scripture, but it is inspired.
Evangelists are about spreading the gospel and sharing the good news of salvation to those who have not received it. While an Apostle does this too, an evangelist is not necessarily about planting churches, but preaching the gospel. They may do it in established churches, at tent meetings or anywhere they have an opportunity to share the truth with sinners.
Pastors are often referred to as shepherds, and they care for and guide a flock of believers, providing spiritual leadership, protection, and pastoral care. They preach the whole counsel of the Word of God and look after the members of their church. They often provide counseling for those who need it.
Teachers impart knowledge and understanding of God's Word, equipping the believers for growth and maturity. Teachers go more in depth in teaching deep doctrinal truth. In many ways, it is possible for anyone that possesses any of these gifts to fill in and do the work of other office holders, they will be better at what God called them to do.
These offices are not meant to operate in isolation. In Ephesians 4:12-16, Paul explains that their purpose is to equip and empower the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. The combined efforts of these offices are necessary for the unity and maturity of the Church.
As believers grow under the guidance of these offices, they are equipped to serve others, share the message of salvation, and edify one another. Each member of the body has a unique role and contribution to make, and the functioning of these offices helps identify and nurture those giftings. This collaborative effort results in the Church reaching unity in faith and knowledge, growing into the fullness of Christ.
Furthermore, this passage emphasizes the importance of speaking the truth in love. As we mature in our faith, we are called to live in truth, expressing our love for one another through our words and actions. By doing so, we build up the body of Christ and become less susceptible to false teachings and deceitful doctrines.
In conclusion, Ephesians 4:11-16 reveals the divine design for the offices within the Church and their purpose in equipping and nurturing believers. Together, apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers work harmoniously to empower the saints for ministry, edify the body of Christ, and foster unity and maturity among believers. Let us embrace the gifts and guidance of these offices, and may we, as members of the body of Christ, contribute to its growth and unity, speaking the truth in love.